Questions and Sample Answers on Factors Influencing the Decision of a Police Officer to use Force

Table of Contents

How does the gender of the police office influence their decision to use force?

In general, female police officers, social control agents, court workers and correction agents use less force and make fewer arrests compared to their male counterparts. Female police officers usually regard persuasion as the most effective way of achieving cooperation by the suspect. The urge for continued use of verbal interaction with him or her even if it seems to take a bit longer to understand his or her conditions. In case the suspect flees, for instance during road traffic, the female officers would prefer to rely on patrol agents to arrest him or her. Their male counterparts emphasize on….

Explain how the background communities of the police officers influence their decision to use force

Officers from rural and suburban areas and those from affluent urban areas tend to show different approaches when deciding the degree of force to apply on a certain subject. Those from rural and suburban areas have more education that is formal when a comparison is made between them and their urban counterparts. The former are more likely to apply proper policies and laws regarding use of force and application of arrests. Some studies have noted that the highly educated are more likely to apply less force when interacting with their citizens (Kelling, Wasserman, & Williams, 2019; Nickel, 2015). The contrary is that…

Does age and experience of the police officer officers influence their decision to use force?

Police officer’s age and experience on the job would determine the decisions he makes on the use of force and conduction of arrest toward a suspect or criminal. Various literatures have indicated that skills of enforcing the law cannot be learnt from the classroom alone (Alpert, MacDonald, & Dunham, 2005). As one advances in age and involves in repeated exposures to situations that require law enforcement in the line of one’s work, one will….

Explain how education and training of the police officer influence their decision to use force

Several studies have shown that officers with college education tended to use less physical and violent force when a comparison was made between them and those that had no higher education. It is also argued that female officers are less likely to use physical and violent force because they are more educated (Kelling, Wasserman, & Williams, 2019; Nickel, 2015). This does not mean however that they did not use or prefer the use of force. In the event that…

How does National Laws and statutes influence the decision of police officer to use force?

The law has provided four underpinning criteria for fair and effective use of force in search, stop, or arrest. In this regard, the decision to make such moves has to be fair, has to have legal basis or application, must ensure professional encounter with the public, and must ensure transparent and accountable actions. In Payne v. Pauley (2003), it was ruled that the use of force was to be necessary and reasonable to avoid public outcry. In Nelson v. City of Davis (2004), officers were unable to find any criminal charges against Nelson during a picnic partying session, and their actions that caused permanent loss of visual acuity and temporary blindness to him were deemed unnecessary and unreasonable (Harmon, 2008). Officers can make varying decisions on use of reasonable and necessary force depending on…

What role do situational factors play in influencing the use of force by police officer?

Some situations call for quick responses and rapid use of force. Officers in such situations are more likely to use more physical and violent means of search and stops or arrest. In Plumhoff v. Rickard (2014), the police’s use of force was justified due to the situation in which they were. When told to stop by traffic officers, Ricard fled the scene, leading to a high-speed chase to seize him. In latter events, the subject hit several vehicles and nearly hitting his chasers. The police opened fire subsequently and the driver and his passenger died (Harmon, 2008). The Supreme Court justified the use of forced and…

Does organizational culture influence the decision of police officer to use force?

Departments can differ in organization culture, which in turn can determine the differences in officers’ behaviors between them. If the management has no or less policies that are enforced, police officers will be attempted to do their work according to their attitudes and feelings. In such departments, ` police will be more likely to use lethal force, because they are not being supervised. For instance, in the Rodney King’s case, police officers used more forces because they were not being supervised. This has also been the case of the use body cameras where…

Explain how peer control influences the decision of a police officer to use force

Peer control can influence the way individual officers use force and make arrests. Peers can control each other to maintain proper standards of their profession. This approach has worked well in older professions such as law, medicine, and science. Police departments such as London Metropolitan Police, Home Beat Officer, Kansas City, Los Angeles Police Department, and the Senior Lead Officer have indeed embraced this approach. In fact, officers go on to elect their own officials to…

How does psychological condition affect the decision of a police officer to use force?

Police can become psychologically disturbed, and this could subsequently influence the way they make decision regarding use of force. Stress can emanate from organization characteristics such as lack of positive reward, poor equipments, excessive paper work, or family and personal issues such as divorce and separation. When it becomes too much to the point of leading to drug abuse, it is unlikely that the police will make a reasonable decision on the use of force Nieuwenhuys and Oudejans, 2010). For instance….

What role does age and gender of the suspect play in influencing the decision of a police officer to use force?

Officers respond differently to suspects according to their gender and age. This is because women and children are perceived to be less violent and physical when a comparison is made between them and their male counterparts. The latter are regarded as more compliant to police’s requests and orders (Alpert, MacDonald, & Dunham, 2005; McCluskey, Moon, & Lee, 2015). Men are contrarily more likely to…

Does religion or racial origin of the suspect influence the decision of a police office to use force?

Ethnic and religious profiling of minorities can lead to intentional misuse of force. Members of minority groups often receive discriminatory treatments; these make them to suffer at the hands of law enforcement officers (Newark Police Department, 2014; Ross, 2018). For instance, frequent and abusive raids on Gypsy and Traveler Camps in France have been described as forceful police eviction of minorities. Individuals in a country with religious and racial discrimination will often experience racially biased behavior by….

Explain the role of socio-cultural background of the suspect in the decision of a police officer to use force

Objective material differences in real world can influence the way people interact with the police. Those with lower per capita income would be arrested more frequently when a comparison is made between them and those in higher socio-economic status. In most countries, poverty-stricken areas experience more violence and subsequent police use of…

What is the impact of psychological condition of the suspect in the decision of the police to use force?

 Police usually regard a person who is mentally or psychologically disturbed as dangerous. The department frequently receives calls about this kind of people and such perception towards them can influence the decision it makes. However, some authors have argued that personnel informed in mental health can know how to deal with this kind of individuals. For instance, they could take the subject to a mental health hospital instead of…

Describe the role of community organizations in determining the use of force by the police officers

Communities can help police officers in deciding different ways of using force. Community policing has been defined as a proactive and personalized policing that involves collaboration between officers and the community. The goal of this initiative is usually to improve the relationship that exists between members of the community and the police department through partnerships and interactions in various functions to reduce crime (McCarthy, et al., 2019). The community-police relationship encourages people through school talks and neighborhood watch groups to prevent crimes. Officers feel less in danger and they could opt for increased use of foot or bicycle patrols. There would be clear communication between the department and the public. However, the police department and every officer are subjected to…

How do command and control management functions influence the use of force by the police officers?

This management tactic is usually applied during civil riots and disturbances, where large police units are required to restore peace and order. During such cases, there are higher likelihoods that one will not be constrained by one’s warrant on the use of force (Harmon, 2008; Kelling, Wasserman, & Williams, 2019; Newark Police Department, 2014). The police would be in most cases protecting competing political interests while sacrificing constitutional guarantees, communal morality, and neighborhood wellness (Kelling, Wasserman, & Williams, 2019). Even If the country emerges out of the riotous state, the officers would be reluctant to…

Explain the influence of government administration in the decision of a police officer to use force

The decision taken by police officers in using force can be determined by the government’s own policing program (Harmon, 2008; Kelling, Wasserman, & Williams, 2019; Newark Police Department, 2014). The state can plan and implement administrative programs such as training, education, rewards, direction, peer influence, supervision, career opportunities, and supervision. It is widely believed that…..

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