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.
Where you have discretion, you have discretion that is misused and you also have the need to control discretion.
The role that discretion plays in policing is important because it affects each and every decision that a law enforcement officer makes.
A police officer that has an ordered route of patrol each night can be mapped and criminals will target areas at times where police are not immediately available.
Discretion in this area however allows an officer to choose his patterns, mix them up and avoid leaving locations without police presence for too long.
An officer is able to use lethal force if he believes his life to be in danger but he is not obligated to do so.
Preserving life is always the foremost concern of officers and allowing them the ability to create every opportunity to do so is advantageous to the system across the board in providing victims of an offense closure and allowing an offender an opportunity to do something with his life and amend it as opposed to simply ending it.
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.