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New Jersey State Troopers - Research Paper Example

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Policing involves decision-making. Decisions such as stopping, arresting, searching and even questioning is considered as an infringement of liberty. Arresting, searching and stopping people do not go down well with the citizens, both for those who have and have not been involve in a police encounter. The public’s perception on the negative conducts of police officers is strengthened with the allegations on media reports suggesting that the officers are racial, corrupt and violent. These types of behaviors have negative effects on the citizens’ life, because they do not feel comfortable near or when in the company of police officers. This paper, therefore, describes the rights and conducts of New Jersey State Troopers. Discretion is all about having to choose in respect to the situation, for instance, in reference to the police work discretion is the ability to have a choice (Bechtel, 2005). New Jersey troopers are expected to exercise discretion in all of the decision-making they take. For example, the issue of taking or not taking petty offenders to the court can be decided upon either by issuing out written warnings to the offenders or communicating to them verbally (Bechtel, 2005). However, there are some situations where discretion should be applied with a lot of cautiousness. For example, domestic violence is a sensitive area where troopers have tried to be more understanding, and tried to look for professional help. Instead of just arresting the accused, they have tried to use alternatives

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means such as mediation, social referrals, counseling, and cool-off periods since domestic violence is viewed as more of a private matter than a public issue (Fuentes, 2006). Most of the time, there is a thin line separating cases such as drug abuse, homelessness and boredom from mental illness. Therefore, discretion must always be exercised, and the need to check an individual’s mental health before locking them up is advisable. In addition, social, public facilities should be provided to keep the boredom in check, as well as drug abuse among the youths and adults (Fuentes, 2006). Rational decision-making is always reserved for the superiors. Most decisions are made based on the knowledge available, experience in dealing with such a situation, and the expertise. However, every trooper has his or her personal method of making decisions especially when going about his or her duty as a law enforcer. In addition, the lower the rank the more discretion is practiced. This is because; most of the crimes take place at the lowest level (O'Rourke, 2012). Discretion in police does not stop at the arrest, but it involves much more including warnings for lesser offences or instant fines, which is done as per the set norms that bound discretion to ensure it is put to recommendable use (O'Rourke, 2012). Patrol officers are one of the police force who practice discretion more than any other section of the police force. The decision they make is influenced by the situation necessary to conduct high-speed chase, when to stop, and when to question a suspect (ANON, 2009). Moreover, the decision made also depends on the urgency and necessity of making an arrest without being accused of racial or other forms of unnecessary arrests. Racial arrest is where an officer regularly stops, questions and arrest one group of people in a community based on their racial background (ANON, 2009). Abuse of power is one of
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Summary

New Jersey State Trooper Name: Institution: Police officers have greater power over individual citizens under the law when it comes to security matters. Modern democracy commits to an accountable and reliable police service. However, the reactions that come to some individuals on police conduct are a wonder what they have done wrong this time…
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