Police force is an entity that is mandated to enhance security to all citizens and maintain law and order as stipulated by the country’s constitution. Police officers are obliged to make sure that the fundamental rights of all citizens are safeguarded at all times. A police officer is obligated by the law and the oath of office only to exercise force on a suspect if he restrains arrest reacts in a manner that portrays a threat to the law enforcers. Human rights activists and the international organizations on civil rights serve as the whistleblowers that monitor and castigate the law enforcers in case they violate the fundamental rights of citizens by use of force while on duty.
Describe the Use of Force police policy
The police department is determined to providing protection to the people, their rights, properties as well as providing reliable public safety. Due to the complexity of some incidences that are faced by the respective police departments, the Use of Force police policy is advocated. Ideally, there are situations where individuals fail to comply with the law. Therefore, the police are compelled to use force where voluntary compliance is deficient (Kuhns, 2010). However, the Use of Force demands that the government’s special interests rhyme with the provided individual constitutional rights. Accordingly, the policy of police demands that officers should ensure that prompt and relevant dignity and emancipation are highly regarded. That is; Use of Force should be minimally relied on.
The policy of Use of Force has some provisions that give guidance to the enactment process. Initially, Use of Force is allowed to the police officers on specified grounds. First, the officers are legitimized to use force if they need to protect themselves. That is if the suspected criminal or individual is deemed to fight back the officers on duty; the police officer is given the freedom to protect himself. Similarly, force is feasibly acceptable if the officer is in line of duty to protect others. Other situations that are provided by the policy as legitimate include when the officer is required to affect a lawful detention, lawful arrest or conduct an authorized search on suspected scenes and individuals (Kuhns, 2010). However, if there is no prior awareness of the suspected individual, the officer is required to issue their intention statement on intent to arrest him or her. This is identified as the best measure. However, any defiance gives credit for the use of the Use of Force to apply.
Note: law enforcement officers are given authority to use this force on circumstances. However, these officers are trained in the Use of Force during their line of duty.
Creation of Use of Force policy
First, the Use of Force policy was one of the most essential developments within the United States. Initially, there arose a contingent situation in which the police departments and the public that it served were not into terms. That is; the community suffered from deadly force from the police. This was a plague among many American resident communities (Wettemann, 2009). Therefore, organizations such as the Community Relations Service within the united framework projected its ideologies on the matter. Ideally, the (CRS) Community Relations Service is a department of the Justice Agency in the United States. The department assisted in resolving the community conflict between the police officers and the public.
The police departments, the legislative counsel, and the departments of justice prescribed the need to initiate a system that will define rules of police-public relations. Through the approval by the congress, the provisions were initiated into policies that defined the distinct boundaries between the police and the public. Therefore, to ensure equal treatment and consideration, the policies described the situations in which a police officer was supposed to use force, and that he or she was not supposed. The policies were induced to the constitution of the United States (Wettemann, 2009). Precisely, the fourth amendment was made on the objectively reasonable conditions that the court could apply when determining the reasonableness of any force impeached on a citizen by an officer.
Key factors involved in making of the policy
There are several major parties that are deemed to have played an essential role in making of the use of force police-policy. Ideally, the Community Relations Service is a representative of the justice department of the United States (Kuhns, 2010). The first key players in making the policy were the heads of the police departments. They were the closest people who interacted with both the citizens and the police officers. The policy also incorporates the laws on the use of force. Therefore, the Civil Rights Division, the department of the Justice office was also actively involved. Its main objective was to ensure that it protected the individual rights from unruly infringement by the police. Therefore, the United States department of Justice had its final jurisdiction to instigate the actions against unruly police (Wettemann, 2009). The amendments in the constitution provided protection to the police officers who used force necessarily. The congress was also involved in legalizing the policy.
The use of force continuum is a doctrine that derives its objective from the English laws that considered the role and behavior of police officers during their line of duty. The policy regulates the extent to which police officers may apply force to arrest a suspect or control an unruly crowd. As a result of the immigration into the US in search of better livelihood, racism has dominated the United States and other nations across the globe. Law enforcers have been the subject of ridicule by the citizens and international human rights organizations for exercising excessive force on suspects to the extent of causing permanent harm or death. New Jersey Use of force Advisory committee formulated the Attorney General’s Use of Force Policy 1985 and was reviewed in the year 2002. The policy explained the limits to which police officers are allowed to apply excessive measures to arrest suspects or influence a certain group of people to refrain from their behavior such as demonstrations. For instance, the policy states that a law enforcer shall not apply lethal force to a person whose only risk is to destruct the property. Additionally, the law enforcement officers shall promptly notify the division prosecutor’s office in case excessive force leading to injury or death was inflicted on the suspects.
The Universal Declaration of human rights asserted that law enforcement officers shall have the responsibility to protect the life of citizens and their property. Moreover, they shall be protected under law to exercise reasonable amount of force when the suspects gets unruly or threatens the law enforcers. The code of conduct for Law enforcement officials in Article 3 stipulates that law enforcement officers should commensurate use of force in their duty with the provision of human rights of every citizen without bias of race, religion or political affiliations.
Unfortunately, the use of force policy has been contravened by law enforcers especially in the United States where international human rights watchdog has lamented about the ever rising complaints of police harassment on the local and foreign citizens. The US department of Justice reported that roughly 423,0000 people who aged above 16years have been victims of police brutality in at least more than one incidence. Additionally, the Chicago police department claimed to have compiled a list of more than 10000 complaints by citizens about use of excessive force by police officers in the department. In an international view, the United Nations on Human rights committee lamented about the misdemeanor by police officers of harassing civilians especially in their efforts of eradicating terrorism in the country.
Foreign citizens have been the largest victims of harassment indicating the contravention of the Use of Force Act to infiltrate racism in disguise of maintaining law and order. Therefore, the effectiveness of use of force policy in its initial stages of its enforcement has been eroded by the rapid changes in the social-economic status and an increase in emigration trends across the globe. In addition, the political instability in the countries has been cited as a negative factor that diverted the loyalty of law enforcement officers in favor of impunity. The International Association of Chiefs of Police report in 2001 on the use of force by police indicated that complaints of police brutality have been increasing at an alarming rate thus inviting a review of the police guidelines on how police and the community interact.
National police use of force database revealed that between 1999 and 2000 indicated that arrests of intoxicated victims dominated the complaints database report. One of the factors that have been fronted to enhance favorable environment between citizens and law enforcers is the adoption of community policing project that would provide a platform for citizens to interact freely with the police. Community policing is an approach that if effectively implemented may reduce the cases of police brutality. This is because the current status of use of police force policy is not impressive since it has been infiltrated by inequality, discrimination and information asymmetry problem.
Use of force by law enforcers is essential under the circumstances that indicate that the life of an officer is at stake or the suspects’ reaction is in a manner that threatens the life of an officer or the surrounding citizens. Conclusively, use of force policy should be subjected to review to realign its rules with the current trends in the society such as terrorism, racism and political instability. Community policing should be blended into the law enforcement strategic plan to ensure that law enforcers and police interact freely in sharing information about the status of security in the society.
Kuhns, J. B., & Knutsson, J. (2010). Police use of force: A global perspective. Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger.
Wettemann, R. P. (2009). Privilege vs. equality: Civil-military relations in the Jacksonian era, 1815-1845. Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger Security International.
International Association of Chiefs of Police (2001). Police use of force in America 2001. Alexandria, Va.: International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Attorney General's Use of Force Policy. (2005). New Jersey advisory committee.