Police discretion denotes the decision-making power given to the police officers, which enables them to decide if they want to use police procedure or just let a person walk away with a mere warning. Each day, police officers are faced with a great array of circumstances with which they are expected to deal with (Cihan & Wells, 2011). Most of the situations they encounter are unrelated, even when evaluates a huge number of scenarios over a long period. Police officers are often in the position where they have to make decisions on ways to deal with a certain matter alone, or with little extra directive without close or immediate supervision. This is the core of police discretion. As I will discuss below, the exercise of discretion by police officers, particularly in Canada has merits and demerits associated with such practice (Seglins, 2012).
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The interactions between the citizens and the police are hence injured or soiled. The best approaches to limiting discretion are embedded in the development of procedures and policies and the enactment of legislations, which put reasonable restrictions on the application of discretion. Police discretion must not, indeed, cannot, be removed for various reasons some of the highlighted as merits of police discretion.
Canadian Police,. (2010). Corruption in Policing: Causes and Consequences – Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Retrieved 12 February 2015, from http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pubs/ccaps-spcca/corrup-rev-eng.htm