Difference Between Power And Discretion Essay

792 Words Jun 18th, 2015 4 Pages
For starters, there is a large difference between “power” and “discretion.” In police organizations, power is held at the top of the organization, or “pyramid,” and from their power flows downwards, as does accountability. Discretion on the other hand is held greatly by the lower ranking individuals inside the organization. If individual officers did not have discretionary powers then they would be spending all of their time trying to get permission to perform everyone role and aspect of their jobs. Therefore, the difference between power and discretion is that power deals with the ability to make rules, while discretion is the ability to interpret and apply the rules that have been made by the people with power. Therefore, in context, the chiefs/commanders make the rules, and the officers interpret and apply the rules. Police officers must use discretion in their day-to-day activities when enforcing and interpreting the law. If all officers did not have the ability to use discretion as part of their job, they would dedicate all of their time to enforcing every violation of law they see and have minimal time for crime prevention or anything else as a matter of fact. Most people do not understand how many crimes that are committed a day and how few law enforcement officers they are to catching them. For example, according to a study conducted by the NY Times, two-thirds of all drivers exceed the speed limit daily, how could all of these offenders be arrested or even…

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