“If you wish for peace, prepare for war.” This Roman proverb can be applied to police; they must be trained for the worst possible incident but they should try hard to avoid using their training in real experiences. Most police departments and officers would believe strongly in this proverb, however there are a few examples in the U.S. in which the officers’ use of force has been excessive and unnecessary where they used their training to harm rather than protect and enforce the law. During their service, police are given several authorities to exercise the law and make sure that the law is carried out among citizens. This can lead to an officer having a sense of entitlement and a possibility of them losing respect for their boundaries.
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When they are called in, officers feel important and this can be a high point in their schedule. If a cop arrests someone they are looked at with more respect by their colleagues. Hans Toch says that a conviction reassures the officer of his own competence and at the same time of the worth of his job. This need for arresting someone or doing something noteworthy can lead to an officer doing illegal things to get approval. Competition in the force can motivate individual officers to do more than necessary. The type of assignment can affect the officer’s actions since more stressful assignments can lead to the officer reacting more forcibly. Fear can also spark overreaction to a situation and an officer may do things in which they aren’t authorized. The behavior of a citizen directly impacts the officer in an encounter. For example, a citizen may be talking rudely to the officer and be considered a “wise guy” and the officer might feel the need to retaliate, or teach him a lesson. This sense of alienation can lead to different, possibly more harmful or chaotic, reactions by police (Geller and Toch).
Violent or unnecessary reactions to situations often happen without any reasoning or justice. Although they are trained to use force as their last resort, police officers can often get away with this injustice. Not very much information is known as hard