Who are the real bad guys?

by Ncama1 on October 22, 2013 - 9:48pm

There is a problem all around the world with police abusing their power and hurting citizens by using excessive force which is a major problem for police and citizens. There is many types of excessive force which is extra force used that’s not needed to get suspect in custody. The study used in this research article looks at possible ways to stop police brutality and excessive force, and one method is training and it’s believed it will make the officers act in a more professional and socially acceptable manner. With police training there are many questions posed: Which of the following courses of police training have the most impact on officer’s use of force: code of ethics, human relations, legal training, or community-oriented policing? And does the amount of time spent in one of those courses have any impact on the use of force by officers? To answer the question the study examines the relationship between police training and police use of force such as does training affect the use of force by police officers. The hypothesis in this study is; the more training police officers have, the less they use force, and the less officers use force, the fewer incidents of civilians get injured and the fewer complaints they get for the use of excessive force. National data used from the law enforcement departments in the United States are used to test the hypothesis. There were 1,111 agencies that participated in the research which includes municipal police departments, county sheriffs, county police departments etc. The data shows that more training for police officers is a useful tool in decreasing excessive force. Some of the actions that are known as excessive force is chemical agents used, vehicle ramming, and dog attacks. Some key findings were that ethics training in the academy is significantly related to the use of excessive force. The more community oriented training for new officers the more chemical agents and batons are used the more citizen complaints. The larger the departments the more dog attacks and the more hours of legal training in the academy the more incidents of vehicle ramming.  In conclusion the more chemical agents and batons used result in more citizens wounded and the more vehicle ramming and dog attacks result in more citizen complaints and among the force variables chemical agents had the most impact on both citizen injuries and complaints which all these types of force are taught in the police academy training.

 

Police use of force is often excessive and not made out to be as big of a deal as it should in the media. The article did a great job of explaining the police use of excessive force and what types of excessive force is used and the correlation between specific aspects of training and what type of excessive force is used. The use of excessive force on citizens by police officers could put a damper on the relationship between communities and law enforcement departments. The main purpose of the article is to see what training in the police academy causes the most use of excessive force, what aspect of academy training causes what type of excessive force and ways to stop the use of excessive force such as extra training. The most important information is the data that connects the type of excessive force with the type of training used for example in community oriented training chemical agents were used in 63 percent of disputes and batons in the other 37 percent. The main conclusions in the article is police academy training causes police to use excessive force in certain situations that excessive force shouldn’t be used and that extra training could help reduce that. If we fail to take this line of reasoning seriously, the implications could be that citizens look at police officers and law enforcement as the bad guys when they should be the good guys. If excessive force and brutality is not stopped it could put a huge imprint on society’s view of police officers that will not able to be undone.

 

APA citation:

Gül, Z., Hekim, H., & Terkeşli, R. (2013). Controlling police (excessive) force: The American case. International Journal Of Human Sciences, 10(2), 285-303.

Comments

I found this article to be very interesting. I am a criminal justice major and in one of my classes we talked about police brutality and the use of excessive force. One of the things that kept coming up in our discussion was the amount of digression that officers have in their jobs. This digression makes it difficult to reprimand officers when they are accused of excessive force. I would be interested to find out more about this study and how the researchers defined excessive force. I have to disagree with you though that the media does not make a big deal out of police use of excessive force. If anything I would argue the opposite. I have seen many news reports that have done highly inaccurate reports on incidents where police are accused of using excessive force.

I agree with you when you said that police officers looks like the bad guys when they should be the good guys. Police officers can abuse of their title to enforce violence when they shouldn't. It's not the majority of the police officers that do it but because of those who do, police officers look bad at the society when they shouldn't. It's also true that police brutality and excessive force is not being take seriously enough. I don't understand though how the technique the article is talking about works, but it's cool that it does work. In my point if view, it depend on the traits of a person, there's police who have a good character that will never use of force freely, but there are police officers who enjoy having power over citizens who will, but the data says that the number decreases and that is what matter. Interesting article.

I find your article really interesting. In Quebec, in 2012, we had what we refer to as the “Érable Spring” – a period during which students massively protested against the rise of tuition fees. As a student, I was obviously concerned by that situation, which soon evolved into a popular upset of the government. At the time, there have been numerous clashes between the demonstrators and the police, and your article brought back to my memory the souvenir of these events.

While keeping in mind that our respective societies – that is, American and Canadian – might slightly differ, I have to disagree when you say that “police use of force is often excessive and not made out to be as big of a deal as it should in the media”. For one, our media tend to victimize a lot those who face police brutality. For two, I wouldn’t say that police use of force is “often” excessive…

For sure, there are some officers who cross the line and become dangerous to their fellow citizens. We’ve had some eloquent cases in Quebec recently… However, I wouldn’t blame an entire police service. Moreover, as someone pointed out earlier, police agents are confronted to lots of digression, pressure, stress, and so on in their work… Just look at the recent protests I mentioned: the officers on the ground were facing bricks, rocks, paint balls and buckets – we’ve even seen some of them beaten with iron bars… And this list is not exhaustive!

Do not mistake me. I do not excuse nor advocate police brutality. However, I simply point out that it might be hard for police officers to keep control of their nerves in such situations. The study’s conclusion (that is, more of hours of training) seems a great path towards a solution (but who am I to judge?)… I would also suggest more frequent and tighter psychological counseling for those who serve in the police forces.

I found your post interesting because I just led a class on police brutality for one of my criminal justice courses. You are absolutely right when you say that the more training that officers have, the less likely they are to use force. This is also true when comparing officers with college degrees and those without them. The less-educated officer has more of a tendency to use force than the officer with a degree. Regardless of their education level, use of force standards are not uniform across the nation. Some departments implement Early Warning Systems (EWS) that are designed to identify chronic deviants within the department and take action before they become a liability to the department. A lot of departments have also required officers to submit use-of-force reports when they have to use different levels of force when apprehending a suspect. I think it is important that departments enforce minimum training standards on use of force, less-than-lethal force and brutality. Most commonly taught is the use-of-force continuum, which outlines seven different levels that officer should use when dealing with an offender. This is important to teach because it prevents officers from using too much force for the situation they are in. I really enjoyed reading your post, it was well written and had a lot of great points.

It is interesting to learn about these facts and statistics because we do not always know these and it may help to solve the problem of police brutality. I also think as well that maybe if the police had more hours of training, but psychological training as someone said earlier, it could make a difference because it is true that they face very stressful situation that can lead them to do things that they will later regret. The police force represent an important face of authority in our society because they should represent the justice, therefore, I think that it is important that they are all very well trained so that we can count on them.

The article you have chosen is interesting. I was born and raised in the NYC area and the use of excessive force would always be mention in the newspaper and in the media. I haven’t witness police using excessive force myself however; I have seen and been in situations where police officers abuse their power. Because there are some bad police officers out there, it makes all police officers look bad and gives a bad reputation on them that instead of protecting citizens, they would abuse and harass them. I agree with your point of view that if police officers would go through a longer training, the use of excessive force will decrease because police officers will know when it is the right time to use that type of force. Again, I believe the media is aware of the use of excessive force however, does little to prevent and stop this type of force from happening in situation where that type of force doesn't have to be used.

The article you have chosen is interesting. I was born and raised in the NYC area and the use of excessive force would always be mention in the newspaper and in the media. I haven’t witness police using excessive force myself however; I have seen and been in situations where police officers abuse their power. Because there are some bad police officers out there, it makes all police officers look bad and gives a bad reputation on them that instead of protecting citizens, they would abuse and harass them. I agree with your point of view that if police officers would go through a longer training, the use of excessive force will decrease because police officers will know when it is the right time to use that type of force. Again, I believe the media is aware of the use of excessive force however, does little to prevent and stop this type of force from happening in situation where that type of force doesn't have to be used.

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