PoliceOfficers Disciplinary Actions
Thereare rules and policies that govern every police officer in service.Police officers are expected to follow the rules so as to offerquality services to the citizens. Law and policy makers set thesestandards to ensure that police officers do not misuse the powersthey have, to harass others and involve themselves in unethicalbehavior while in service. There are disciplinary actions takenagainst those breaching the policies. Different offenses attractdifferent sanctions. Depending on the degree of the offense, seriouscrimes are considered to attract severe penalties while less severelead to minor consequences.
Inthis paper, we will have a presentation the actions that mightwarrant to a more severe sanction to a police officer. Also, we willhave a presentation of the actions that should be taken to a lawenforcement officer who had a drinking problem, taking bribes,stealing from a crime scene. Other actions included hitting ahandcuffed suspect, having checks and balances, being disrespectfulto a member of a minority group or sexually harassing a co-worker(Garcia, 2015).
Someoffenses are considered more critical than others. The more severedisciplinary offenses attract severe sanctions to a police officerviolating a certain policy. These crimes are considered more serioussince they threaten the security of citizens or even the co-workers.These actions include the use of force during the arrest process,threatening a fellow police officer, dishonesty and immorality, beingdisobedient to the senior officers, and finally being involved itcorruption. These offenses might lead to disciplinary actions againsta policeman which include fines, demotion, imprisonment, dismissalfrom their jobs (Walker, 2012).
Rationaleof Punishment administration
Drinkingproblems in a police officer can pose a problem to the policedepartment. The problem is because a drunk person cannot offerquality services. Therefore alcoholism affects an institutionproductivity. Before reaching a decision, a disciplinary committeedoes research to find the reason why the police officer is involvedin drinking. Depending on the cause of drinking, some actions may betaken to help eliminate the problem. An officer is advised to attendto an employee assistance program where he/ she can receive guidance.These programs are put in place to assist the employees who have aproblem with substance abuse eliminate the problem. If the officerdoes not show any changes, then he/she should then receive a firstand second warning in the form of writing. If the officer still doesnot show any changes in his/ her conducts, severe disciplinaryactions are taken. These disciplinary actions include suspension fora period, being fined, being demoted in position or even dismissalfrom service (CRT, 2016). These disciplinary actions depend on theseverity of the offense.
Beinginvolved in corruption like taking bribes is a severe crime since itis against work ethics. Receiving of bribes is one of the offensesthat warrant to severe sanctions. Police involved in taking bribesshould first be suspended to give room for investigation. A surveydone should provide enough evidence to help in judging the officer.If an officer is found guilty of the offense, severe disciplinaryactions are taken against him. Depending on the degree of the offensedifferent actions can be taken against a police officer. Theseactions include imprisonment which would lead to loss of job,demotion, and fines (Walker, 2012). Imprisonment and demotion fromhigher ranks are steps that a disciplinary team should take againstthe officers who have committed serious bribery offenses and who havereceived warnings but have not changed.
Stealingfrom a crime scene is another offense that warrants severe sanction.Police officers should have integrity and honesty while handling acrime scene. Honesty and integrity help build trust in the community.Stealing from a crime scene is an action that destroys the image ofthe police department. Stealing from a crime scene is a seriousoffense as it might be connected to the violation of evidence andalso leads to loss of properties. If an Officer is found guilty ofthis offense, the disciplinary team should dismiss the officer fromtheir office and give room for the court of law to make the judgment.Such an officer should not work in a police department and thusshould be dismissed from work. Though depending on the situation likestealing of something that does not interfere with the evidence, theofficer may just be fined and warned against such actions.
Hittingoff a suspect is an offense that many can view it as harassment ofthe suspect. The law protects every person including the suspects. Ahandcuffed suspect is defenseless and thus hitting him/her is aviolation of human rights. If a police officer hits a handcuffedsuspect, an investigation is done to find the reason for that action.At this case, an officer should receive two warnings in the form ofwriting. The officer may also be fined as a punishment for thisaction. If the officer repeats this mistake, more serious action likesuspension and demotion are done against him/her as a form ofpunishment (Walker, 2012).
Anofficer having checks and balances means that he/she is exerting somuch force or power to either the citizens, suspects, or the juniorofficers. What to do first towards the action of such an officer isto gather evidence that shows that the officer is misusing the power.Second is to find out why the officer is exerting a force on thevictims. An officer may use force so as to ensure that other officersare performing their duties as expected. An officer may also useforce so as to hide some evidence or get some evidence from asuspect. If the offense is severe, the officer involved is given awarning. If the police do not change, the officer is demoted or finedif his actions led to a violation of human rights (Walker, 2012).
TheConstitution protects every citizen and non-citizen regardless ofrace, religion or any other difference. Being disrespectful to amember of a minority group is an offense discouraged especially amongthe police officers. A minor group may be a particular race, thedisabled or a group of junior staff. Police officers are there tooffer protection and serve every individual without discrimination.Being disrespectful would thus create a bad image for the policedepartment. If an officer is found guilty of disrespecting a memberof a minority group, the disciplinary team should take actions likedemotions and fines against the individual. The actions are doneafter determining whether the officer did that intentionally or itwas an accident (Walker, 2012).
Sexualharassment is an offense that many people highly condemn inworkplaces as it leads to low productivity. Sexual harassment cutacross both genders. For example, a senior police officer might beasking for sexual favors from a junior officer. Sexual harassment mayalso involve an officer is handling another officer. After suspectingsuch actions in the police department, the disciplinary team shouldinvestigate to proof that indeed an officer is guilty. Interrogationsof both the victim and the suspect would be necessary so as to helpthe executive team in making their decision. If found with themistake, the officer is given the warning to stop his/her actions(CRT, 2016). If there are no changes detected, the officer might betransferred as a punishment for his/ her actions.
Actionsthat may attract more severe sanctions
Fromthe document above, we can see that some offenses warrant more severesanction to a police officer. These crimes include bribery, lack ofrespect for the seniors, sexual harassment and much more. Theseactions have serious consequences to an officer found guilty. Beforetaking action towards the officer, the disciplinary committee carriesan investigation to determine if the person’s action wereintentional or were accidental. The investigation then helps decidewhich disciplinary action to exercise on the individual.
Dependingon the degree of the crime, the disciplinary team can take differentactions. These actions include fines, dismissal from office, demotionand also request to resign from the office. We also have a discussionof measures to taken against a police guilty of some of the offensesmentioned above. This paper is important as it will help many peopleunderstand that there is the law protecting them from the policeofficer. It would be the work of the disciplinary team to make thenecessary measures against the officers who are breaching thepolicies guiding them.
AddressingPolice Misconduct Laws Enforced By The Department Of Justice | CRT |Department of Justice. (2016). Justice.gov. Retrieved 13 October2016, fromhttps://www.justice.gov/crt/addressing-police-misconduct-laws-enforced-department-justice
Garcia,V. (2015).Constructing the `other` within police culture: an analysisof a deviant unit within the police organization. Police Practice &Research, 6(1), 65-80.
Walker,S. (2012). The neglect of police unions: exploring one of the mostimportant areas of , 9(2), 95-112