Law Enforcement Patrols and Gangs When the 'Discussion and Results' chapter

Excerpt from 'Discussion and Results' chapter :

Law Enforcement Patrols and Gangs

When the Police Are Called

A call for police response by citizens is a service call, in which the public has an implicit assumption for immediate solutions. The motivations for citizens to call upon police intervention are cited falling into four classifications as; maintain social boundaries, relieve disrupting situations, counter-punching (the caller's own suspicious activities), or obtain emergency response services (Walker & Katz, 2008, p. 238). In addition to the four classifications, the ease of calling '911' can compel citizens to use the police emergency line to communicate disruptions of traffic or malfunctioning city services.

The assumed duty of the police, by the public, is that the cause of the situation precipitating the call will be negated. The public may desire for a resolution, however the police are typically limited to diffusing situations. Although an officer may lack the legal authority to compel a citizen to leave their residence, it is difficult to assert that asking the disputing parties to cooperate in restoring the police is preferable to a potential use of force. If a citizen were to refuse the request of an officer to leave and assist in facilitating the restoration of the peace, then it is unfortunate that it would necessitate a continued presence.

Police officers are sworn to uphold the law, but simultaneously must be adept at judging situations that do not rise to the level of breaching laws. An officer that is able to respond to domestic dispute call, and diffuse tensions before a law is broken or harm inflicted is serving the public spirit of law enforcement efficiently.

Domestic Assault

Situations of domestic assault are unlikely to be isolated instances of dispute. Random crimes or disruptions involving strangers are characterized as such, due to their unlikely probability of recurrence or interactions with each party. However, domestic dispute calls warrant particular attention by officers because the victims may or may not be under duress. The concern of police officers extends to other parties, children, that are even less likely to be control or able to escape a domestic dispute.

Determining what transpired in domestic disputes is frequently very difficult, due to the high degree of emotion of the parties. It would be foolish to assume that males perpetrate domestic assaults only, as females are also capable of initiating violence and injury. If an officer is unable to ascertain who is at fault, then arrest of both may be warranted, as well as a call to protective services for children. Many police departments have particular guideline policies to assist officers in dealing with domestic assault cases (Walker & Katz, 2008, p. 247).

Although it may be enticing to advocate mandatory arrests in cases of domestic assault, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that this approach would improve anything (Walker & Katz, 2008, pp. 247-249). In fact, some detractors to mandatory arrest argue that it may have the unintended consequence of dissuading calls for police intervention and help. Encouraging households experiencing domestic disputes or violence are best served by introducing counseling resources aimed at resolving…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Walker, S., & Katz, C.M. (2008). The Police in America: An Introduction (6th Edition). New York, New York: McGraw-HIll.

Dept. Of Justice. (2010, September). Crime in the United States, Offenses Cleared. Retrieved October 3, 2012, from United States Dept. Of Justice: http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/offenses/clearances/index.html

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