Issues that plague law enforcement personnel essay

His research interests include natural University of Regina. Prior to his academic resource law enforcement, campus policing and career he was a supervisor and manager within police academies.

Issues that plague law enforcement personnel essay

The information activities of law enforcement can be broken into three categories. Gathering and analyzing information to determine that a law has been violated; Gathering and analyzing information to determine the identity Issues that plague law enforcement personnel essay the person or persons responsible for a violation of law; and Gathering and analyzing information to enable a legal showing in court that the person or persons identified in fact were guilty of the violation.

All of these gathering and analysis activities have been altered in basic ways by functional advancements in the technologies that have become available for collecting, storing, and manipulating data. In actual practice, these categories can overlap or the activities in each category can occur in several temporal sequences.

When a police officer observes someone breaking a law, the officer is determining that a law has been violated, gathering information about who broke the law presumably the person he or she is observingand gaining evidence that may be introduced in court the testimony of the officer.

The essential difference between these categories is the locus or subject about which the information is gathered. In the first category concerning the breaking of a law, the locus of information is the event or activity.

In the second sort of activity, the locus is the determination of an individual or set of individuals involved in the activity. In the third category, information associated with categories one and two are combined in an attempt to link the two in a provable way. Although activities in the first category usually precede those in the second, this is not always the case.


This is one of the rationales for certain kinds of undercover activity and is frequently regarded as more controversial. Page Share Cite Suggested Citation: The National Academies Press.

A case in which an individual is targeted to see if he or she has violated a law is conceptually and legally and morally different from a case in which information is gathered about an individual as part of an investigation into a known or suspected violation of law or in which there are other grounds for suspicion.

In the former case, information may be gathered about individuals who in fact were not involved in a violation—which is different in kind from the task of assembling information about an individual in the hope of finding a violation of law.

The potential for data gathering targeted at a particular individual or set of individuals to aid in the discovery of previously unknown violations of the law, or the risk that data gathered by law enforcement may be used for political or harassment purposes, often underlies efforts to restrict the kinds of information that law enforcement agencies can gather and the ways in which it is gathered.

Even if the information is never used, the very fact that considerable amounts of data have been collected about individuals who have not been accused or convicted of a crime ensures that substantial amounts of information about non-criminals will end up in the databases of law enforcement agencies.

Moreover, with such data a permanent part of their files, citizens may be concerned that this information will eventually be misused or mistakenly released, even if they are not suspects in any crime.

They may even engage in self-censorship, and refrain from expressing unpopular opinions.

Issues that plague law enforcement personnel essay

For individuals in this position, issues such as recourse for police misbehavior or carelessness are thus very important. Nor are worries about the gathering of information by law enforcement agencies restricted to how that information could be used in legal proceedings.

Such proceedings are governed by the laws and professional ethics that protect the privacy of the individual, and the inappropriate use in a criminal context of information gathered by law enforcement agencies can be balanced by judicial review. For example, watch lists, such as those used by the Transportation Security Agency, are not subject to the same level of scrutiny as evidence in a court of law yet can still affect the lives of those whose names appear on such lists.

What is new are the modern information technologies that law enforcement agencies can now use to observe situations and identify individuals more quickly, more accurately, and at less expense than ever before.

These technologies include surveillance cameras, large-scale databases, and analytical techniques that enable the extraction of useful information from large masses of otherwise irrelevant information.

The sections that follow describe a number of technologies that allow law enforcement agencies expanded capabilities to observe, to listen, and to gather information about the population.

Just as the ability to tap phone lines offered law enforcement new tools to gather evidence in the past century, so also these new technologies expand opportunities to discover breaches in the law, identify those responsible, and collect the evidence needed to prosecute.

And just like the ability to tap telephones, these new technologies raise concerns about the privacy of those who are—rightly or wrongly—the targets of the new technologies. Use of the technologies discussed requires careful consideration of the resulting tension posed between two legitimate and sometimes competing goals: Using the anchoring vignette approach described in Chapter 2 see Box 2.

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Here are a number of possibilities: These vignettes, ordered from most to least privacy-protecting, illustrate only a single dimension of privacy namely image-based personal informationbut they are a starting point for knowing what must be analyzed and understood in this particular situation, and what decisions society will have to make with respect to the issues the vignettes raise.

Whether it is used to see that a law has been or is being broken, to determine who broke the law, or to find a suspect for arrest, physical observation has historically been the main mechanism by which law enforcement agencies do their job.The first of these was an Officer Use of Force Survey, to be administered anonymously to front line law enforcement personnel (patrol officers, detectives and first line supervisors, as well as any other personnel primarily engaged in routine police duties).

the conclusion is a discussion of the general gaps in the research on occupational health and safety issues of police officers indicating areas where future research needs to be completed.


Law enforcement officers have traditionally been held to a higher ethical standard than their civilian counterparts. Raver () says, in reality, the humanity of the men and women of law enforcement can and does sometimes lead even the most respected and devoted police officers into the chasm of alcoholism, divorce and suicide.

Aug 08,  · Tools for Tolerance for Law Enforcement helps law enforcement professionals explore the evolving role of law enforcement in a rapidly changing, increasingly diverse and complex society. Tools for Tolerance for Command Staff focuses on the unique challenges facing command-level personnel and policy makers in an increasingly democratic and.

Police: History |

Law Enforcement: Issues. Police gratuities - the long-time and controversial practice of providing unsolicited largess to sworn law enforcement officers - is a situation that was debated on legal and moral grounds.

The acceptance of gratuities has been scrutinized since the beginning of policing. The military, like law enforcement uses a chain-in-command system to control personnel.

“Law enforcement agencies adopted the paramilitary model because policing originally was designed primarily to address the public’s need for safety.”[Dav13] The military is .

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