The police are mandated by the government to enforce the countries laws and maintain order. It is a fact they indulge in very stressing and dangerous scenes that involves violent situations. Kennedy, Homant, and Kennedy (1992) say that they have to ensure that they control the situations. In most cases, they are forced to confront the public and at times use force on the situation to bring things under control. This force may at times involve hand to hand combating with the public who go against their commands. They must control riots, demonstrations and in most cases are forced to arrest those who violate peace and order.
Use of Force
There are times when the police are forced to use force. One of such times is when there is a riot. The police are armed with teargas that they should use to disperse crowds. In most cases the police do not take time to understand the nature of the situation. In such occasions so many people end up sustaining injuries that they would have not gotten. The equipment they use to disperse the crowds has a big effect on the culprit’s life. The orders they receive from their leaders becomes the first mistake in the police department. This is because they simple use the orders rather than using the situation at hand. They sometimes end up using these harmful weapons on the sick or even children. Such acts portray immaturity in the police service. The police may even go to an extreme of using the force on peaceful rioters. When someone is not cooperating with the police when he has assaulted another person then force may be used on him. If the person refuses to be arrested and instead becomes wild, the police are forced to forcefully arrest him and get him into the car. This is an acceptable force.
There are a number of laws governing the use of force by the police. One of the rule states that only where threat to human life and safety of the law that the police is allowed to use force. Such threats may be the threat to the society or to an individual. U.S. Department of Justice (2001) says that the police have a vital role in protecting the rights of the citizen and protecting the citizen as declared in the Human Rights Universal laws. The provisions on the use of force are as set up by the government laws. The guidelines specify the circumstances that allow the police to use firearms and ammunitions. The police must first of all provide warning to the people involved before implementing the law.
Acceptability on the use of force varies based on the kind of situation that the police are facing. First acceptable way is when they need self defense. They are allowed to use force to defend themselves so that the threat is contained. They are also allowed to use the law when there is a probable destruction of materials. For such cases, a rioting body may destroy properties worth a lot of money. It is the responsibility of the police to protect the materials of the citizen.
The use of force provides that the police should make an arrest (National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Law and Justice, 2004). The arrests depend on the kind of situation at the moment. Despite the police use of force, they must also respect the right of the individuals so that the innocent individuals are not penalized at the expense of others.
The use of force in the police department has been an issue of discussion for long. It is true that there are acceptable situations where the police are allowed to use force. In such situation they have to do it with a lot of intelligence and respect. If they just use force without analysis the situation, then they can also be liable for judgment and prosecution in a court of law. In other cases, the force may be unacceptable. The police should observe their rules so that they offer the citizen protection at all the times.