Law Enforcement and Force

In law enforcement, it is inevitable to use force. Law enforcers themselves face certain amount of danger in carrying out their tasks, thus it is necessary that they undergo trainings that shall enable them to properly respond in threats, possibly using the least amount of force. It shall be given enough attention that the police force does not employ too much force because it can harness fear and unrest towards the community that they serve.

The use of force, for it to be legitimate must be based on moral principles – it must not be an act pursued from selfish objectives. It is also legitimate if the force has been used against a person who violated the accepted rules of behavior (Legitimizing…). It shall not be employed on the basis of prejudice and biases.

As much as possible, there should be a thorough and critical thinking process and negotiation before acting on such impulse. Also, it is more acceptable if the use of force is administered among people who have the same set of culture.  Though it is not an absolute rule, it is still the best option to use police officers to negotiate for incidents that happened within their community.

Police uses force to control resistive behavior. However, the degree of force used must be “reasonably necessary”. The police officers should first make use of reasonable means before employing force (Use of… ). It must be clear that force should be the last resort to control any argument.

In this view, use of persuasion instead of force is suggested. Persuasion can be much more effective in getting the suspect to cooperate in the process. (US Dept…) This is a much more effective way of resolving conflicts. As long as it is possible to keep both parties level headed and willing to negotiate on any disagreements, it is much more advisable to avoid use of force through peaceful manner.

At the event of use of force, it is recommended to investigate  upon the incident and take the appropriate action. There are sectors that are entitled to know the results of the investigation. Fact collectors are being utilized to know the real story behind the scene. Following the investigation, the police officer should be given constitutional protection. The investigation must be geared towards knowing whether the officer has employed force following the proper guidelines or if he has committed any criminal offense.

At the height of the investigation, public information is an essential factor. Correct information must be addressed to the community, as they are an integral part of the society. They must be assured that proper information must be given out (US Dept…).

However, as there are still questions raised on the legitimacy of employing force, the future of policing is still at hand. Law enforcers should still undergo trainings and seminars that will equip them more with persuasion skills that they can use in solving conflicts. Also, there must be uniform guidelines that shall rule the police community in dealing with conflicts.

The police people being in the forefront of danger in doing their jobs should be given constitutional protection, though at a certain level that will not allow any abuse of their authority. Thus, there must be a guiding principle that shall cover police forces and the civilian community regarding the accepted rules of behavior and the sanctions that they are to face if they commit injustice or acts that will harm other people.

It shall be taken into account that community safety should always go first. Safety must never be put into second priority while still employing diplomatic capabilities as such to prevent physical arguments or disagreements that may result in scuffles or anything that shall result to use of force.

Police responsibility is tied to police accountability. They are accountable for the keeping safe the people in their responsibility. Accountable in such a way that they have to look after their safety without incorporating hostility towards their forces. They must work together with the people in the community harmoniously because there shall be no other way that the effectiveness of the police force will be increased. Good policing is always essential in gaining the respect of the people and getting their support.

It is also in this way that the people will gain confidence and trust in the government (US Dept…). Failure to do this may result into discontent among the citizens. And this will result to a bigger problem. It is in this light that the communication and cooperation between the parties shall always be open and in good terms for one cannot co-exist with the other if there is no harmony in their relationship. Law enforcers serve the community, and the only possible way to serve the people well is to co-exist with them without being in conflict with them.]

References:

Legitimizing the Use of Force. International Online Training Program On Intractable Conflict. Retrieved October 5, 2007 from http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/lefitfc.htm

U.S Department of Justice. Police Use of Excessive Force, A Concilliation Handbook for the Police and the Community. (2002). Retrieved October 5, 2007 from http://www.usdoj.gov/crs/pubs/pdexcess.pdf

Use of Force. (2000) Retrieved October 5, 2007 from http://www.state.nj.us/lps/dcj/agguide/useofforce2001.pdf