Police work is a responsible and dignified business. A policeman is always at the center of crime and danger. Moreover, a policeman must know all laws and the rights of citizens in any situation. Making decisions quickly, and ensuring order and tranquility on the streets is not a complete list of the duties of this profession. Therefore, to work in the police, one needs to have many abilities and skills necessary for such a responsible mission.
The United States has always positioned itself as a free society. Given this, regulating the powers of a police officer in the freedom of citizens is most acute. The events of September 11, 2001, forced the authorities to collect more personal information about the country’s inhabitants, which can be perceived as an attempt at freedom (Brandl 6). However, this event was undertaken to combat terrorism and not infringe on citizens’ personal space. However, civilians should not be afraid to provide their information for the country’s benefit because a law-abiding citizen has nothing to hide.
Between 1900 and 1960, the police system improved, and many of the adopted strategies and laws have remained valid since then (Brandl 28). However, in the same years, the crime rate was high, so the development of the system became a necessary measure. The police fight crime, but it is a crime that drives the growth of the police. The ideal, almost impossible task for the police is to be always one step ahead of crime.
The Problem of Becoming a Policeman
Having good officers in a department depends mainly on vigorous recruitment efforts, appropriate selection standards and a rigorous selection process, and adequate training. Each process is dependent on others (Brandl 85). A police officer constantly studies during his or her seniority since it is impossible to cover all strategies for combating crimes in a short period of training. Selection includes theoretical and physical activity. Everything else comes with experience.
The first steps of a police officer in the system are mastering the basic principles of patrolling and the criminal investigation process. Basic patrol strategies include traffic stops, foot patrol, and SQF (stopping, questioning, and frisking) (Brandl 123). The police officer must quickly respond to incoming calls to 911 and correctly prioritize such calls. When deciding on the distribution of police patrols, the main factors are the number and nature of support calls in the area, the characteristics of the population and housing, and the time.
The transition to work with criminal responsibility can lie in wait for the patrolman every minute of his career. The police officer must work with the crime scene step by step. Crime analysis includes collecting and analyzing data related to the crime and the search for the offender (Brandl 140). It is also essential to constantly keep in mind all the rights of witnesses and detainees, clearly explain them, and not forget about their rights and obligations.
The policeman’s direct responsibility is to be at the center of such hazards and prevent them. First of all, there is a psychological load and, as a result, stress. Much research aims to investigate and avoid stress in police officers because physical fitness directly depends on the psychological state (Brandl 206). The police officer is also not insured against accidents such as road accidents.
In certain situations, a policeman must use force, which can also affect his or her health. The use of force includes several stages, from verbal warning, through bodily force, up to death force (Brandl 240). The most promising development in this direction is Early Intervention Systems, which can minimize the use of force by the police, thanks to technologies that can predict unwanted incidents.
The use of force is also an important social issue. Every police officer’s excess of their powers must have a good reason. Otherwise, they are also subject to all the punishments prescribed by law. This problem often worsens the relations between the police and citizens, which is negatively reflected in the entire system. The police need to maintain cooperation with the community since it is often citizens who contribute to the disclosure of crimes.
Finally, another ailment of the police system is corruption and misconduct. Every policeman is, first of all, a person who makes mistakes. Therefore, it is worth noting that police officers are not only constantly studying, but they are also under constant control. In addition, Early Intervention Systems are capable of regulating this issue, which monitors not only potential criminals but also the internal structure of law enforcement agencies.
Solutions and Perspectives
The problems of maintaining order primarily dictate the development of technology. DNA analysis, CompStat, and various expert systems with the SARA (scanning, analyzing, response, assessment) approach solve many urgent problems, including a predictive function (Brandl 331). A vast number of information centers and databases have been founded. In the future, there are prospects for the creation of unmanned aerial vehicles.
A person must be prepared both psychologically and physically to get a job in law enforcement. A future police officer should be aware of the history of the police system and know the history of his or her country as a whole. It will allow them to have a solid civic position that will ensure them handle various moral issues that require a quick response. Finally, today’s police officers must have high intelligence and keep up with modern technologies to immediately use them in their work.
Brandl, Steven G. Police in America. Sage Publications, 2019.