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Discretion is defined as “an official action by a criminal justice official based on that individual’s judgment about the best course of action” (Walker & Katz, 2013, p. This means that a law enforcement officer has the freedom to act on their own judgment. Police discretion allows law enforcement officials to effectively make decisions in the field when no clear-cut solution is illuminated by law or a handbook.As a law enforcement officer, every situation will be handled differently.
The advantage here allows an officer to focus his energy on those situations where he believes a law has genuinely been broken in reckless fashion or when he believes a suspect is hiding something and may have broken more serious laws.
Jonathan Lister has been a writer and content marketer since 2003.
There are many deciding factors when an officer makes decisions and location is one of those deciding factors.
Officer discretion is something that cannot be taught in a classroom.
Discretion is used for a wide variety of things such as deciding not to arrest someone or letting a person off with a ticket.
Discretion is also used when deciding to use lethal force or not.
Police officers are not simply rule-following soldiers.
Discretion, as it is used by these law enforcement professionals, acts as a deterrent to crime simply by avoiding predictable patterns that criminals can take advantage of.
This trend in police work has many advantages such as allowing officers the flexibility to handle each situation in a manner that best fits its individual needs.
A police officer has the ability to utilize discretion when determining an acceptable level of force to against a suspect.