The case under analysis reveals the influence of political life on the actions of police officers of WPPA. The problem lies in prohibition imposed on police officers who are not entitled to run for the city council unless they are deprived of the responsibilities and authority to be police officers. In particular, the premises of the doctrine of incompatibility are persuasive in restricting Wisconsin policy officers to holding another position conflicting with their primary obligations and duties. At the same time, there are provisions and conditions allowing police officers to participate in political actions and activities that can contribute to the welfare of the public sector. On the one hand, there is the Amendment of the U.S Constitution and Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights endorsing the officers’ participation in political life. On the other hand, there are certain limitations for Wisconsin officers that prevent them from holding two conflict positions because of the different roles and functions performed.
Discussion of Relevant Law
As it has been mentioned previously, the case under consideration refers to the First Amendment of the Constitution, as well as to Law Ethe nforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights that support the WPPA right to take part in political activities of the region. Thus, the First Amendment runs,
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishing of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right the people peaceable to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances (US Const., amend I).
Despite the existence of the law allowing for freedom of speech and actions, the main function of police offices lies in expressing impartiality toward other people, which can become the major conflict of interest. There are cases that contradict the provisions stipulated in the First Amendment. Specific attention requires the case Mancuso v. Taft, 476 F.2d 197 (1973), which reveals that a city charter prohibits public employees from running for any public office because of filing for a candidate to U.S (319). Congress does not create so much difficulty while representing a candidacy for a local office. The court posed restrictions on local officers running for national and state office. The circumstances represented in the cases, as well as the laws imposed on the public employee, contradicts significantly the provisions of the First Amendment.
Nevertheless, the appellee should be fully aware of the responsibility he takes for the voters on the basis of equal protection grounds. In this respect, the appellee depends on those who vote for Mancuso who seeks to assert the interest of himself and the class of people he represents. In response, the voters have the right to appeal to the existing candidacy restrictions because the public officers cannot be engaged into the activities contradicting his position. To prove the case, it should be stressed that citizens of the United States should adhere to a democracy model, which assumes that “democratic accountability is possible only if police departments are response to the will and political preferences of the officials that the public has elected” (Minow and Lipinski 196). Therefore, certain restrictions should be imposed on police officers, but total abstention should be avoided to adhere to the principles of the First Amendment.
The possibility of participating in the political activities occurs when the policy officers are off-duty. The problem lies in the widespread practice taking place in the United States, when local politicians take advantage of police offices and use their authority to expand their power. Therefore, police officers involved in these questionable activities, including outlaw solutions to meet politicians’ purposes, must be imposed with restrictions. Such an assumption is underlined in Chapter 92 of Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights, according to which “A law-enforcement officer within a jurisdiction in this State has the same rights to engage in political activities as are afforded to any other person” (Crimes and Criminal Procedures, Title 11). With regard to the presented laws, many contradictions arise on this ground. On the one hand, engagement in political activities can contribute to the welfare of the public sector located under the authority of the police administration (Skogan and Frydl 45). On the other hand, impartiality, equality, and fairness should be among the priorities of the police administration regulations.
Discussion of Facts and Law
An in-depth analysis of positive and negative responses of legislature to the political activities and their influence on policy administrations has revealed that a certain limit should be imposed on the public officers. In particular, the political action in favor of personal interest and the political action aimed at the improving the welfare the local community are two different dimensions that a policy officer should take into consideration. The case under analysis reveals positive intention of the policy officers since they seek to enter the city council to improve the situation in the city and contribute to the welfare of Wisconsin community. In this respect, running for the municipal government can be interpreted as the will of the police officers to serve the will of the community that gave their votes for them. In addition, police department can also be regarded as the executive body of the government which serves the public. Police officers are appointed and elected to be accountable for the community and their actions. Therefore, the WPPA officers should ignore partisan politics. Rather, their actions should embrace political actions aimed at improving the morality and social welfare of their region.
With regard to the above-presented deliberations, the police administration of Wisconsin can avoid conflicts of interest provided their being a candidate for the city council is based on their attempt to meet the goals of the citizens who are going to vote for the officers. Despite the possibility, the local officers can still be involved in many other political actions directed at the prosperity and needs of each resident. Other than that, a police officer should still adhere to the impartiality as far as the questions concerns the political and criminal justice position. In this situation, the priority should be given to safety and security of the community. Engagement of politics into criminal issues can create a number of serious challenges that can prevent the court from establishing judicial decisions in a reasonable pace.
In conclusion, it should be stressed that the case with WPPA can be solved in case the police officers are more concerned with the political actions contribute to the prosperity of the local community. However, the arguments represented in the First Amendment are not applicable in case the political actions prevent from establishing reasonable legal authority and delivering criminal justice decisions in the region.
Crimes and Criminal Procedures. Chapter 92. Law-Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights. Web.
Minow, Mary and Tomas A. Lipinski. The Library Legal Answer Book. US: ALA Editions. 2003. Print.
Skogan, Wesley G., & Kathleen Frydl. Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing: The Evidence. US: National Academies Press, 2004. Print.
U.S. Constitution. First Amendment. n. d. Web.