Type: Review
Pages: 4 | Words: 1178
Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Building upon David Fuller’s experience as a legal rights specialist, pupil and instructor, the book requests learners to think about the goals and procedures of the legal rights system and presents them to important moral challenges experienced by legal rights professionals. Using an improved crosscurrents theme, it shows the reasons of the legal rights self-discipline and motivates learners to think seriously about different methods of implementing law and identifying rights in the United States.

The Reasons of the Legal Rights Self-Discipline

The Police’s Occupational Culture

The police must develop an occupational culture that shapes their response to crime, offenders, and the criminal justice system.Manning is a fundamental task expected of the police in general. This owes to the fact that the police have the tasks of crime prevention, crime detection, and the apprehension of criminal suspects in an efficient, apolitical, and professional manner. From the chapter, it is apparent that the police work in three major ways or forms. These are the watchman or rather, Security guard style, the legalistic style, as well as the service Style. The watchman style distinguishes between two mandates of policing: order maintenance and law enforcement. It mainly involves discretion, and the preserving the social order is key. Legalistic style concentrates on enforcing the law by writing more tickets, making more arrests, and encouraging victims to sign complaints. It also requires little discretion. The service style, on the other hand, is more concerned with service(s) to both the community and citizens. Per se, it employs alternative strategies, the likes of official warnings or diversion programs. Here, discretion is used, but in retrospect, it is subject to formal review and evaluation.

The Quasi-Military Nature of Police Organizations

Another point that emerges from this chapter is the quasi-military nature of police organizations. According to Bittner, there are three reasons the military model is attractive to police planners. Both the military and the police are in the business of using force. Theintroduction of military-like discipline in the 1950s professionalized police departments. The police lacked other models of organization. The apparent difference that emerges between military organizations and the police is discretion.

The Police as Soldiers

Another noteworthy point concerns police as soldiers. The major difference between the police and the military occurs in that, in the military, all the important decisions are made at the top of the chain of command. In policing, on the other hand, discretion is vested with the individual police officer. Police activity revolves around four major functions. These are inclusive of patrols, investigation, traffic enforcement, not to mention peacemaking and maintenance of order. In addition to this, it is upon them to daunt crime, thereby enhancing the feeling(s) of public safety. It is also upon the police force to avail officers for service round the clock. Along these lines, four major aspects of response time emerge. These are discovery time, processing time, reporting time, in addition to travel time.


Investigation, on the whole, is also highlighted in this chapter. For patrol officers to be able to resume patrol it is upon detectives to take over the function of gathering evidence. To assist them in such cases are others such as crime-scene technicians, as well as photographers.

Traffic Enforcement

Traffic enforcement is also another function of the police highlighted in this chapter. In lieu with this, a number of actions are expected of the police. These are inclusive of impromptu response to accidents. It is also upon the police to put a stop to road carnage by detecting drunk drivers and subsequently stopping them before they go out of hand. The apprehension of suspects has primordially been a function of policing. The enforcement of traffic laws is also a factotum of policing under traffic enforcement. As such, in tasking out such traffic duties, the police come into close contact with citizens.

The Maintenance of Law and Order

The maintenance of law and order, as well as upholding it to the latter, coupled with peacemaking is also a highpoint in this chapter. Under this function, the police handle domestic disputes, control crowds, mental illnesses, juveniles, vices, not forgetting the first response expected of them. The police are expected to give credence to the procedural law under which they operate. These are the rules put in place by the government, and as some critics would have it, they tend to tie the hands of the police. Per se, they are expected to meet the underlying values incorporated by the Constitution.

The Selective Enforcement

In additional to this, the police do not make an arrest every time they are authorized to do so. The criminal justice system could not effectively deal with so many cases. The most serious offenders would be obscured by the mass of cases. This selective enforcement has its pros and cons. The pro emerges in that selective enforcement may result in less overall crime and less damage to citizens and property. As for the con, it tends to violate the idea of fair play, as not all suspects are treated equally. All this traces its epicenter to discretion. This procedural law controlling the activities of law enforcement is derived from the Fourth Amendment. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Despite the fact that it constitutes only one sentence, the Fourth Amendment covers a lot of territory. These are seizures, search, arrests, special-needs searches, as well as stop-and-frisks.

The Search Doctrine

In the search doctrine, Officers must have the approval of a judge to get a search warrant. However, the court recognizes four major exceptions to the requirement that officers obtain warrants before conducting a search. Doctrines encompassed under this directive are inclusive of the trespass doctrine, the plain-view doctrine, public places,the open-fields doctrine, abandoned property, along with the privacy doctrine.

In terms of seizures, the Fourth Amendment does not allow illegally seized evidence to be presented in court. If the police intimidate a suspect so that he/she does not feel free to leave, an illegal seizure may be deemed under the Fourth Amendment. Stops and frisks, on the other hand, encompass two distinct behaviors. Stops are generally categorized as seizures, whilst frisks pass for searches. For a lawful frisk, a stop must meet the conditions of a lawful seizure. Actual-seizure stops involve officers physically restricting a person’s freedom. Show-of-authority stops involve officers showing their authority and the suspects submitting.

In terms of arrests, a higher standard of suspicion of guilt is required. This requires that police have probable cause that the suspect committed a crime. To use deadly force, the officer must believe the suspect to be a threat to others. The court recommends four restrictions on home arrests. First of all, the crime should be a felony. Second, the police must knock and announce. Additionally, the arrest should be made in daylight. In addition, the police must meet a stringent probable-cause requirement that the suspect is in fact at home.

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