How Terrorism Has Impacted The Police Mission Criminology Essay


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How has terrorism impacted the police mission in the United States? What disagreements exist regarding the appropriate law enforcement behavior which fights terrorism but maintains personal liberties?

The basic police mission in the United States, according to Schmalleger (2007) are to: (1) enforce and support the laws of the society of which the police are a part; (2) investigate crimes and apprehend offenders; (3) prevent crime; (4) help ensure domestic peace and tranquility; and (5) provide the community with needed enforcement-related services (p.192). For the most part, the principal basic police mission of the United States remained the same. However, as a consequence of the September 11, 2001 Islamic terrorist attacks, police took on more antiterrorism and incidents of terrorism related emergency response responsibilities. Police agencies are now dedicating more of their time and resources to training in preparation for future potential terrorist attacks and the gathering of information and the intelligence essential to prevent terrorist attacks. Also, Police's priority now is emergency response to incidents of terrorism, and it takes precedence over all other police duties.

According to Delattre (2006), disagreements have surfaced since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and one of these disagreements is "…how much intelligence federal agencies can and should share with state and local police" since the FBI are too guarded with their information (p. 415). This means, that criminal intelligence and information must be shared across jurisdiction and between agencies all over the country because information sharing is vital to antiterrorism. Police network with the community and they are able to exchange information with the community to gather intelligence, and this information may be critical to other agencies, such as the FBI, and vice versa.

It has been recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) (2008), that there are five key principles that must be formed for the basis of any effective national homeland security, and they are:

Homeland security proposals must be developed in a local context, acknowledging that local, not Federal authorities have the primary responsibility for preventing, responding to, and recovering from terrorist attacks.

Prevention, not just response and recovery, must be paramount in any national, state, or local security strategy. For too long, federal strategies have minimized the importance of prevention, focusing instead on response and recovery.

Because of their daily efforts to combat crime and violence in their communities, state and local law enforcement officers are uniquely situated to identify, investigate, and apprehend suspected terrorists.

Homeland security strategies must be coordinated nationally, not Federally.

A truly successful national strategy must recognize, embrace, and value the vast diversity

Among state and local law enforcement and public safety agencies. A one-size-fits-all approach will fail to secure our homeland.

In summary, antiterrorism cannot be prevented by the Federal agency alone. They need assistance from the local police, state police, and other law enforcement agencies, especially from local police because they are the ones that patrol communities, guard public speeches and public events, so forth. They are more familiar in their community as far as usual goings-on. Police exchange information from the citizens and gather intelligence. Therefore, information sharing must be done nationwide between agencies. Though, information must be secure to protect citizens' privacy .

What role does social stigma play in police ethics? Give specific examples from reading or experiences where social stigma played a role in either furthering police corruption or reducing it.

Social stigma plays a big part in policing and rules in police officers whose character is flawed. On the other hand, police officers of excellent character are not influenced by social stigma whether or not he or is supervised. Violators of the accepted norm are regarded as outsiders and are stigmatized. One good example is the New York Police department in 1993 that tolerated corruption, dishonesty, brutality, fraud and other misbehaviors of the Buddy Boys. Supporting wrongdoing by the police officers in a way of sustaining the "'code of silence' to protect their own careers from discovery of corruption in their units and that a deep-rooted reluctance to uncover corruption is to be found in all ranks (Delatree, 2006, p.253). Reality is that police officers work in a criminal justice system that is flawed and they deal daily with the portion of the populace that are corrupt or criminals, and these are not excuses to validate police officers' wrongdoing or participation in such. Law enforcement personnel must persist and persevere in the feat of their sworn duty. They must not allow themselves to be affected by the ethical tests and temptations in which they find themselves.

Are the ethical forces behind police corruption the same as those involved in police abuses of force?

The ethical forces behind police corruption are the same as police abuse of force. When police officers are sworn in, they avow to The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics. Corruption and police abuse are proscribed within the boundaries of The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics. Excerpts from The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics provided by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (2008) reads:

As a Law Enforcement Officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality, and justice… and … be constantly mindful of the

welfare of others. I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.

Therefore, any violation to the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics, whether it be coverted or not, is unethical. Bad is bad, unethical is unethical, violation of the law is a violation of the law, no matter how you twist and turn it, no matter which angle you look at it, it is still bad, unethical and a violation.

Discuss individual conscience and police assignments using specific examples. How can training prepare would be police officers for the ethical dilemmas they will face?

The meaning of conscience is the "the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one's conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action" (, 2010). A police officer, due to religious beliefs, for example, may not believe in abortion. In this case, his individual conscience means is that if he safeguards an abortion clinic, that he would be doing something against his religion and that it is wrong.

In employing individuals for police positions, "departments should look for evidence that the candidate is a person of conscience - a person whose habits show a trustworthy sense of right and wrong and regard for the golden rule" (Delattre, 2006, p.335). With a good foundation intact, training will then "intend to enable people to discover what they already consider good and right, not to ask what they out to consider good and right."

According to Delattre (2006), there are at least three lessons must be taught to recruits: (1) The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution explicitly denies to government the power to "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law"; (2) That all of us have faults; and (3) the concerns the way of life intended by the Constitution - a way of life in which justice and securing "the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity" are fundamental (p.336).

In summary, effective policing rely more on inborn personal characters and traits than on educational achievements or history of good credit. Training enables them to apply the good and right in an in-life scenario, in a classroom setup.

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