Free Critical Thinking On Leadership Personal Issues And The Rules Of Law

Type of paper: Critical Thinking

Topic: Crime, Police, Criminal Justice, Law, Arrest, Warrant, Social Issues, Supreme Court

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/12/04

Leadership Personal Issues and the Rules of Law

Policing in the United States of America has changed its approach towards fighting crime constantly. It has been evolving by adopting new procedures like Community Policing and Problem Oriented Policing backed by routine activities theory. Although the crime rates have reduced in the past decade, this period hasn’t been without controversies. The ethical behavior of police personnel has been given the spotlight longer than the effectiveness of the police in preventing crime.
Ultimately, the actions of individual police officers will also be used to judge their supervisors. Moreover, the intensity of these infringements has been on the rise in recent times. There are a variety of incidents ranging from incorrect arrests (arresting without probable cause), lying under oath, indulgence in domestic violence, coercive interrogations to gain false confessions and excessive violence. This paper analyzes the factors that lead to these unfortunate incidents that not only shed poor light on the police but also have serious implications on police supervisors.

Hiring requisites: Educational requirements

Municipal Police Departments only require a high school diploma for uniformed police officers, however most of the police departments ensure that their force take up college courses during the course of their careers.
All senior level positions however require and associate degree in criminal justice or law enforcement. These courses have subjects that cover communication, humanities, history, political science, computer science, mathematics, psychology, criminology, juvenile justice, corrections, criminal courts and criminal justice ethics. These subjects enhance the capability of a police officer at problem solving, conflict resolution, interpretation of laws and procedures, an understanding of the ethnic population and the expectations for ethics from the role of a police officer (Swanson et al, 2012).

Procedure: Arrest and search

The United States Constitution has provided its citizens with a list of safeguards to protect them from unnecessary detention and searches by law enforcement agencies. Arrest and search warrants are mandated to law enforcement for ensuring that these tenets are not misused. These allowances are compiled in the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. The Constitution also allows the police department some rights in conducting searches or placing people under arrest without warrants only if they have probable cause (FindLaw, 2014).

What is probable cause?

If a citizen exhibits behavior consistent with concealment of criminal activity, it gives police officers probable cause to arrest the individual or conduct a search on the individual’s property. For example if an officer notices a vehicle that constantly swerves off its lane, the police officer can stop the vehicle check if the occupant is DUI (KnowMyRights, 2013).

Arrests and searches with warrants

The procedure to search a property or arrest an individual in the United States almost always requires a warrant. This warrant must be obtained from a judge. The prerequisite for the warrant is circumstantial evidence that was obtained through enquiries or tips from the public.

Search Warrant

In accordance to the Fourth Amendment, a search warrant should specify the exact locations that are to be searched. If the warrant reads, “warrant for searching garage”, then only the garage can be searched. The house would be off-limits.

Arrest Warrant

The procedure to procure an arrest warrant is similar to that of a search warrant. However, the evidence needs to be much more comprehensive than what is required for a search warrant. The evidence obtained from a search warrant can result in an arrest; the discovery of stolen objects, contraband materials, a missing person or human remains.

Arrests and searches based on Probable Cause

The tell-tale signs of a crime or possession of drugs are good cases for probable cause and result in search or even of the individual. If an officer spots a firearm on the dashboard of the vehicle during a routine traffic stop, he can choose to search the vehicle. The justification is the presence of a firearm. An example for property search could be when a patrolling officer hears a gunshot from a house or if he receives a report of a gunshot, he is not bound by the Fourth Amendment to not approach and enter the property (Corrigan, 2014).

Infringements on Fourth Amendment and Bill of Rights

Arrests or searches conducted without probable cause are an infringement on the Fourth Amendment and the Bill of Rights. For example stopping a vehicle for running a stop light does not merit the officer to search the trunk. The sight of scattered white powder in a vehicle that is driven by a woman with her children in the back seat is not probable cause for a drug arrest (KnowMyRights, 2014).

Ethical violations in law enforcement

Ethical violations in the law enforcement fraternity is not a new subject however, it has been receiving a lot of attention off late. There have been too many violations from a premier department that is the role model for upholding the law and protecting the innocent.

Packer’s crime-control model

Herbert Packer’s crime-control model propagates that the control over crime is the primary function of the criminal justice system and is required for a free society. Criminal justice should focus more on the rights of victims and not that of defendants. Police should have more power to enable easier investigations, arrests, seizures required to convict criminals. Legal restraints like the Bill of Rights should be removed. Criminal cases should be allowed to proceed to disposition smoothly. Arrested individuals should be perceived as guilty as soon as they are charged with the crime. The main objective should be to seek the truth or establish the guilt of the defendant.

Packer’s Due process model

Packer’s due process model states that the primary function of the criminal justice system under due process is fairness. The criminal justice system should provide adequate emphasis in protecting the rights of defendants who are not covered by the Bill of Rights. Police should not have unlimited power or authority such that it infringes on an individual's rights. Constitutional rights have to be adhered to mandatorily to allow fairness for all. There should be various check points that allow safeguards for protecting the innocent and convicting the guilty. Facts alone should not find any individual guilty of a crime; there should be legal procedures and fact-finding to establish guilt.

Which model inflicts damage?

Packer’s crime-control model inflicts damage exponentially by offering to make police powers beyond the Fourth Amendment. This approach will essentially harm the interests of the police department as it will influence distrust in society against law enforcement agencies in general.

Police Supervisors: Situations for concern

There are a variety of instances where police violate criminal justice ethics and most of them have immediate effect on their supervisors. Police supervisors are responsible for the emotional and psychological performance of the uniformed police force they monitor apart from their job performance. Hence, it is their responsibility when one of them flaunts procedure in favor of quick closure.

Arresting the wrong individual

In 2008, the Denver Police Department arrested a shy housewife named Christina Ann Fourhorn for robbery. However, it turned out that the actual perpetrator lived in Oklahoma and was Christin Blue Fourhorn; she was six years younger, weighed 100 pounds less and sported a tattoo on her arm (Chen, 2010).
There is no question that the Denver Police blundered the arrest however, it was based on an outstanding warrant. Clearly, the person in-charge of briefing for this arrest is directly responsible for the wrongful arrest.

Police officer lying under oath

In 2011, a New York Police Department (NYPD) lied under oath that an activist had injured him resulting in a broken bone. However a video taken showed police officers charging the defendant who did not do anything to provoke them.
This case is straightforward that more than one officer was involved and certainly could not have been achieved without a supervisor’s knowledge.


The role of the police supervisor is vital in leading the police force with high morals and by following the tenets of the constitution of the United States of America. However, they have failed to envision the future of law enforcement if a matter of officer untruthfulness is allowed to linger. The cost for this infringement is the trust built with society over the last one hundred years.


FindLaw Staff (2014). "Search and Seizure" and the Fourth Amendment. Retrieved from:
KnowMyRights Staff (2013). 4th Amendment Supreme Court Cases. Retrieved from:
Corrigan, Brian (2014). Identifying Illegal Search Warrants and Arrest Warrants. Retrieved from:
Cliffnotes Staff (2014). Which Model Crime Control or Due Process. Retrieved from:
Swanson, Charles, Territo, Leonard, Taylor, Robert W. (2012). Police administration structures, processes, and behavior. Pearson Education, Inc. New York: NY. P.378-400.
Chen, Stephanie (2010). Officer, you've got the wrong person. Retrieved from: Staff (2013). NYPD lied under oath to prosecute Occupy activist. Retrieved from:

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