Discretionary Actions by Chiefs of Police

In: Other Topics

Submitted By ysarter
Words 1100
Pages 5
Every day people make decisions to choose what should be done in any given situation. Knowing what is appropriate and what is inappropriate is the freedom to utilize action or judgment to make these decisions. In law enforcement, police professionals are trained to be able to face any task or situation by utilizing good judgment and making sound decisions alone or with little or no supervision. This is the heart of police discretion ( The Rynard Law Firm, 2007). Discretion is the quality of having or showing discernment or good judgment within certain legal bounds (Merriam-Webster, 2012). Although regular routines and protocols should be followed by officers to make sure that they abide by the law as well as enforce the law, often situations arise that force officers to decide or act according to their own judgment. Even though the Chiefs of police are not in the field, they still have to use discretion in making very important decision that affects the department and the community as a whole.

In the DC Sniper case, Chief of Police Charles A. Moose use discretion in the investigation by deciding what information should be shared with the public. As the Chief of Police one of his most important duties is to reassure the public of their safety. While trying to keep the public informed without causing panic, Chief Moose limited the details of the investigation in order not to alert the snipers. With this being one of the most tumultuous killing sprees within the DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) area, crucial decisions were made by Chief Moose in an effort to save lives. At the crime scene of the eighth victim a tarot card and a note were recovered as evidence with a specific message directed to law enforcement. Chief Moose decided to use his better judgment and not release the latest finding at the crime to the media. His reasoning behind his controlling…...

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