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What are Police
- - front line agency
- - deals with grass-root enforcement of law
- - arrest, investigations
- - face-to-face interaction
- - discretion
- - write ticket or not? warn or cite someone?
- - probable cause – even if they have PC, they do not have to charge you
- - discretion is used all the time
- The district attorney has a lot of discretion
- - should they be charged
- - what plea can we offer/accept
- - what kind of sentence
- Police are the primary referral source to juvenile court
- - filed by police – call a “referral.”
what is the Reactive Crime Fighter Model
- We inherited policing model from England (as we did our law – Common Law reference)
- Traditional model of policing was the reactive Crime Fighter model
- - after the crime is committed – not proactive, it was reactive to crime
- In the 1960s social changes began and the Supreme Court reevaluated long-standing rules.
- The traditional model of policing was reevaluated in many ways in response to the social uprising during the Vietnam War.
Proactive Community Policing Model
- - philosophy that cops form partnerships with local citizens – they seek assistance from citizens
- - decentralize police department precincts
- - maximum police visibility – police are not the enemy
- - better communication with community and from community
- - police become accountable when visible to the community
- - racial acts, etc., would be easily observed
- - very proactive
- - police should prevent crime – be involved in community crime watch, etc.
In the past, juvenile were given little attention by police. Now, juvenile policing is MORE important. Why? Because those children are our future. There is still time to rehabilitate. Juvenile crime is where it all begins and we may have positive results to a proactive approach.
Discretional Justice (problematic issue)
- discretion – selective enforcement of the law by police agents
- - discretion is said to operate in the “twilight zone” of law and morals
- - prime example of “low visibility” decision making:
- - we don’t know what’s going through the mind of the cop when he does or does not use
- - there is potential for abuse and prejudice
- - things enter into decisions that should not
Discretional Justice (problematic issue)
- - when you try to control too much, you can become unfair and arbitrary
- - for example, federal drug laws
- - but every offender in every crime is different
- - numerous nuances that go into each case make it individual
- - one murder is not the same as another
You cannot account for every contingency with policies. It can backfire. The more you try to control, the more you lose control.
- many fingers propose limiting discretion – many lawmakers.
- - how do we limit?
- - use of specific language in policies
- - policies that account for as many contingencies as possible for guidance
- - requiring police officers to “record” their decisions for later evaluations
- - the interpretation of the words by the police, is in effect, discretion
Four Primary Constitutional Issues Controlling Policing:
- 1. Arrest Procedure
- 2. Search and Seizure
- 3. Custodial Interrogation
- 4. Juvenile Line-Ups
What protects us against arrests
- - the 4th Amendment – equality, privacy and prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures
- - requires probable cause upon issuance of warrants
- - the 4th Amendment is the controlling Amendment regarding arrests and seizures
An arrest is a seizure of your body
What is required before police can arrest?
What is Probable Cause
- Probable Cause is not mere suspicion or conjecture. It is when facts and circumstances of the situations would warrant a reasonable man of caution that a crime is being committed and defendant probably committed it – very ambiguous
- Common language is that there must be objective facts known to that officer that would lead a reasonable person to believe a crime was being committed and that the crime was probably committed by the defendant. A probability, not a certainty.
What are warrents
- - part of our government’s checks and balances – limits power of police
- - warrant – basically a cop wants to arrest someone but needs a permission slip…
- Procedure – the cop has to tell the judge what they think is probable cause to go in and search. If the judge agrees, a warrant is signed and an arrest is made. The 4th Amendment has a preference for warrants but it is not a requirement. There are exceptions: