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C J-210-G01- Law Enforcement
Your safety is their top priority. Policing is a crucial part to everyday life in government organized areas. Policing not only enforces laws but maintains safety for people, putting their life last. As important as policing is, there is a few ethical issues that cause controversy. Factors like, off-duty life creates boundary for officers during their personal life. Also, using the necessary force needed in situations, because the public is easily open to negative assumptions. Lastly, profiling is one of the most controversial hindrances to an officer. Maintaining morality is not a problem within law enforcement but acting within seconds is. Making the wrong decision can put their job and life at risk, so police are very cautious.
The correct use of force is a central role of the police. There are limits to the force that police officers can use in different situations. There are five levels of threat in which an officer may act upon. The first level being compliance, meaning the person is cooperative. Therefore, the officer is to use communication to resolve the situation. The next level being, passive resistance. That is basically, nonviolent opposition to authority, especially a refusal to cooperate with legal requirements. So, in this case the officer uses a low level physical tactic. This level is the first physical aggression the officer may use. Going on, the next level is active resistance. This, comparable to the previous step is, violent opposition to given authority. During this step, the officer is open to using "come-along holds", pressure points, and chemical sprays. Next step is assaultive potential bodily harm. When the officer may use defensive tactics like striking maneuvers. This situation could be for instance, an uncontrolled protest. The last step is, assaultive potential serious bodily harm. Officers can use deadly force in this situation, as needed to protect himself and others. This could be for example, a school shooting putting many people at risk. These five steps are known as force continuum, a scale of force alternatives, to mediate the level of response used in a given situation. This scale has been put together by The Federal Law Enforcment Training Center. I believe these steps are very adequate and efficient in the workplace. The use of legitimate force is civil and set up accordingly.
Next, off-duty life on an officer is challenging and limits what they can do. This is because they must maintain a professional image even after they clock out. Primarily because, they are under constant public scrutiny, and rely on society for trust to maintain power. Officers are faced with the ethical issue of maintaining their level of social reverence and fidelity to the law every moment, therefore they must always be aware of what they are doing morally. Officers must follow a code of ethics put together by their department, most regarding how personal life cannot affect the efficiency of their role within law enforcement. This is relevant to the ethical issue of off-duty life because, no matter what the officer has been through they cannot act officiously due to personal feelings. The badge does not come off when they are off-guard, it is a sign of public faith, in which they have sworn to protect. Although, situations can escalate beyond an officer’s control when off duty. So, they should also be very cautious as of what type of predicaments they put themselves in. For example, case of Chicago Police Officer Michael Mette. On October 8, 2005, Officer Mette was arrested in Dubuque, IA, for trying to defend himself. Mette left a party and wanted to avoid a confrontation with 20-year-old Jake Gothard. Who was a highly intoxicated college student. According to Mette, Gothard ran after him for about block and a half. Gothard punched Mette multiple times in the chest, Mette punched Gothard in the jaw to stop the attack. In court, Mette got sentenced and was told he should have ignored it and retreated by Judge Ackley. A series of events can cause an off-duty officer to make the wrong decision.
Lastly, profiling is a very touchy subject. Some cultures believe that the color of skin or beliefs encourages officers to use unnecessary force upon them. Something that was ongoing for a long time