We live in a country with many freedoms. We each have many rights that citizens of other nations do not have. With all these rights and all these freedoms, there is a need of regulation. At one moment the police officer is a hero, the next a monster... to people in trouble he is a savior.. to criminal suspects he is a demon (Geller 53). The police in this country protect citizens everyday and yet need protection themselves. Police officer have the power to interrogate someone, arrest someone and settle disputes. However, when someone does not comply with the officers and resist arrest, the officer must use force.
This is where police officers are limited in power. There is a need of more power for those who protect our everyday lives. When thinking of the power one can come up with many conclusions but in this case we are dealing with police power. Police power, in law, is the right of a government to make laws necessary for the health, morals, and welfare of the population (Columbia). How and why did this creation occur? Simply because the police is an arm of government, whose creation and existence is necessitated by the imperfections of human behavior.
When the United States Constitution was ratified in 1788, its main focus was on preserving the new democracy and protecting against future tyranny by ensuring separation of power among the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government (Vila 20). An example of the separation of power is found in the Fourth Amendment, which places limitations on police behavior and its protection of individual? s right to privacy. Police officers are equipped with everything they need, most noticeably a gun, only to be used if the suspect has a gun as well and threatens to use it.
A 1978 Police Foundation survey reported that 49 percent of the forty0nine police departments surveyed required their officers to carry their guns while off duty, while 51 percent allowed but did not require them to do so (Vila 231). Many times officers threaten to shoot but never do. In time, criminals gain confidence in escaping the law knowing that they will not be shot. Running away from the law should be another misdemeanor. When criminals evade the law they can many times cause even more trouble. The biggest trouble a person can cause is by creating a car chase.
The police must stop the suspect? s car without harming the public. When a car chase is at hand, everyone is in danger. Many times a chase will end in tragedy. This is one of the biggest reasons police must have more power. One way to give police more power is to give them the ability to shoot. Police should only shoot someone who puts others at risk or runs away from the police. Of course never shoot to kill but rather immobilize. Whether to stop someone from running away or to shoot at the car you are chasing, the use of the gun may be very helpful.
This way, criminals will learn not to try to avoid the police or even break the law to begin with. Criminals who understand the law will try to find its weak spot and win. There are many flaws in the judicial system that many say is unfair. The police do not create the conditions that exist in society. Crime, violence, and disorder had their roots in social and economic conditions that are beyond the scope of the police (Bent 32). The law needs a stronger voice in society. They know what to do in many cases. Police officers need support, trust and resources to do their jobs, which is to serve and protect.
Even though today there are many cases of corruption in police departments across the country, there are many departments that are doing very well. Law enforcement, like any other occupation, is a business. You must keep your employees happy in order to keep production in high quality. All officers of the law are there because of their dedication and will to be peacekeepers. They put their lives on the line everyday and get treated like average employees from some corporation. Simply stated the police believe that they key to law and order is considerable citizen respect for the individual policeman (Bent 9).
Police officers not only need more power but also support and benefits. Doing something right makes the job worthwhile but after tears on the force, it takes a little more. Exceptional officers should be awarded for the great job they do everyday, not the sacrifice they made or went through. Crime in this nation is growing everyday. There is always a new way to break the law and a new way to fight the law. Will Fung, a political science major at the University of Florida, said, ? Cops are sued unjustly because they use force to stop an incident. This could scare other cops to use force for fear that they too might be sued.
We? ve grown into a country where lawyers are the ones keeping the laws not cops.? If criminals have all the power they need, should not police officers be able to keep up? Do not police officers have the right to sue whatever means needed to do their job? Just like criminals try anything in order to escape the law? Giving the police more power would pay off in many ways. Less people will commit crimes, and those who do will learn their lesson the first time. More power allows the police to fight crime better and make the law a force not to be reckoned with, making the world we live in a happier and safer place.