All law enforcement agencies provide a valuable public service that is intended to keep every citizens safe. Law enforcers have the noble duty of maintaining peace and order within the community and to ensure that they render services that will protect and serve for the public welfare. While the police officers are endowed with the highest duty of protecting the community, conduct arrests and seizures, fight criminals and even put their own safety and life at risk in the line of duty, very few procedural and administrative protections were provided for law enforcers. In view of the foregoing, the federal government finds the necessity of enacting a law that would also uphold the rights of police officers. Thus, a state law was legislated that embodies the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights which this essay paper will explain including the instances when the Miranda Rights Advisory is required during police operation and performance of their duties. This paper will also provide and describe the police procedures that are required to be observed when responding to special circumstances in the performance of their duties.
The law enforcers are given with the authority to enforce the law and apprehend those who violate it. However, the way they can exercise this authority is highly constrained by law and they must observe that the performance of their duties is within the bounds of respecting the constitutional rights of every citizen. Oftentimes, we find police officers facing administrative charges but do they have adequate protection in the same way that the suspects they apprehend enjoy?
There were many state laws enacted that are designed to provide an added protection to law enforcement officers during disciplinary and administrative proceedings and one of these laws is the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights. The goal or purpose of this legislation is to provide police officers with adequate protection against inappropriate investigative proceedings (Gianes and Worrall, 2012). The Bills of Rights provide for the procedures that should be observed by the internal investigators throughout the investigation process. Perhaps it can be said that the main spirit of the said Bill of Rights is to afford to every police officer the right and protection against investigating processes that may be subject to abuse as well as to uphold their right to the due process of law that every police officer also deserves in like manner that any suspect of a crime who is under a custodial investigation is accorded with by the law. Among the rights that are accorded to a police officer under investigation include the right to be informed of the nature of the charges against him, his right to a counsel during questioning or the interrogation process, a reasonable time for questioning, protection against any form of harassment, the right to be heard as among many others (Silver, 2005).
In cases when the police officer is taken into custody for investigation of a criminal charge, there is the need to read the Miranda Rights advisory. The same procedure is always observed whenever any arrested citizen is taken to police custody for investigation because of a criminal charge. According to Ortmeier (1999), the Miranda Rights is applied only in criminal cases which includes the right of the suspect or person under interrogation to remain silent, to be informed that anything he says may be used against him in the court of law, the right of the accused to have a lawyer throughout the investigation process and that if he cannot afford to get an attorney, the court will provide one for him.
There are certain instances when the police officers are confronted with special circumstances where they need to respond differently in order to ensure the public safety and eliminate the risks of a crime from happening. A standard procedure for a police officer when making an arrest and seizure is to secure a warrant from the court and to justify that there is a probable cause for the police operation. However, in emergency cases where a crime is actually being committed that justifies a warrantless arrest, a police officer may stop and frisk a suspect or make an immediate arrest without any court warrant. However it is worth noting that the Miranda Rights advisory cannot be dispensed with by any police officer who is making an arrest. Once the arrested suspect of a crime is arrested or subdued, whether the arrest is made with or without a warrant as in warrantless arrest cases that are allowed by law, it is a requirement that the advisory of Miranda Rights to the accused must be given subsequent to the arrest and the same cannot be dispensed with under any circumstances.
Gianes, L.K. and Worrall, J.L. (2012). Police administration. New York: Cengage Learning.
Ortmeier, P.J. (1999). Public Safety and Security Administration. Woburn, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Silver, I. (2005). Public Employee Discharge and Discipline. New York: Aspen Publisher.