Police Role Description in the Media Essay

Nelson Mieles Police Role Description in the Media CJA/333 Policing Theory & Practices Instructor – Patrick S. Montes, MSCJ University of Phoenix May 18, 2010 Week One Crime Fighter Men and women who fight against crime, not only in uniform of the police force they work for but also as civilians who want to keep their neighborhood free of crime, are considered Crime Fighters. This title is not limited to just men and women, it may also be a title for the piece of equipment that the police officers use.

The article by Conor Berry of The Pittsfield Berkshire Eagle titled “Breath-test technology heads to Ma. Courtroom,” questions the efficacy and accuracy of the alcohol-detection device used in drunk-driving cases. The Alcotest 7110 is an alcohol-detection device used by Massachusetts police department. On September 23, 2010, Worcester District Court Judge Richard Sullivan is expected to hear testimony from Pittsfield attorney Leonard H. Cohen and other Massachusetts defense attorneys advocating for a legal position regarding the reliability of this device.

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To obtain answers about the dependability of test results about the Alcotest and to have it admissible in court of law, the company who manufacturers the device, a German manufacturer, needs to disclose information about the device. Such requirements need a judicial intervention. In the past, Alcotest’s manufacturer says that the information being sought was proprietary in nature and therefore off-limits to lawyers and the public. However, company officials at Drager, Alcotest manufacturer, have agreed to turn over the source codes. The source codes are a series of algorithms arranged in a way to implement Alcotest’s breath-testing equence. This inferred breath-testing manner is “the only accepted method for evidentiary breath testing in the commonwealth” according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. Cohen anticipates the issue will make it to the Appeals Court or possibly to the Supreme Court, in which clear-cut legal precedents would be established. Does this article give and accurate view of police work or a media enhanced view? I believe that it clearly points out the “behind the scenes” of police work and the people who are trying to make police work easier and fair.

This article brings up a question, if we are acquiring problems with such devices, such as, not being able to get the print-out or the schematics of a product from a foreign country being used by our officers in the field, why are we purchasing these products from foreign countries? Why not purchase the products from an American company who can easily be “forced” by a court order to give up the idea or plans on how this type of device works. Social Servant “Off-duty Illinois deputy stood by as shoplifter was killed. ” This was the headline of an article in the Chicago Sun Times written by Kim Janssen and Frank Main.

Police and eyewitness accounts are different about what exactly happened when a correction officer just stood by as a drugstore employee strangled a shoplifter to death at a CVS pharmacy. The incident was filmed on the stores camera and it showed the off-duty Cook County Sheriff’s officer standing just yards away while the employee strangled the shoplifter. Chicago Police said that they were unaware of the off-duty correctional officer’s presence during the shoplifter’s final moments. Chicago Police spokeswoman Lt. Maureen Biggane said the officer dialed 911 from the scene and identified herself.

Anthony Kyser, 35, an unemployed barber with a history of drug and burglary arrests, was choked to death by a store employee, after stealing toothpaste and crayons from the CVS store. Police say the death was “accidental” and that the employee will not be charged. Conflicts remain regarding whether the officer drew her weapon or left the scene before the Chicago Police arrived. Witnesses told the Sun-Times, that shortly before 11 a. m. Saturday, an employee chased Kyser from the store and put him in a choke hold for what seemed like several minutes as three men held kyser down in an alley.

The correctional officer pointed a weapon at kyper and told him to stop struggling. Kyser repeatedly pleaded that he could not breathe. The surveillance video shows the officer in the alley, speaking on her cell phone, but does not have her pointing a weapon. The officer waited for the ambulance but left after they got there and before police officers arrived. The identity of the correctional officer was not released and the Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Patterson said there is nothing for the sheriff to investigate, based on Chicago Police’s account of her actions.

Sources, who saw the video, say it shows the officer holding a gun behind her back while talking to kyser as he struggles. They say the struggle started after kyser punched the employee. Two witnesses who live by the alley told the Sun-Times that the officer never told the employee to release his hold on kyser. Witness Jessica Elabed said that the officer was on the scene when Chicago police arrived. The correctional officer told Chicago police that kyser was to blame for the incident before getting into her car and driving away, Elebed said. The employee of CVS has been suspended.

Does this article give and accurate view of police work or a media enhanced view? There are so many confusing holes in this story. The bottom line is “videos do not lie. ” The enhanced line that I found was the title of the article. “Off-duty Ill. Deputy,” since when is a correctional officer, a deputy? Then the story, as it unfolds titles her “sheriff. ” For a person who is not educated in what is the difference between a correctional officer is from a sheriff or deputy, correctional officers work in prisons, jails and do not have the power of arrest out in public, so the article made it seem as if she did.

When is it not a crime to strangle someone? The last time I checked the law, it is only deemed necessary if it falls under the category of self-defense and still there is a fine line not to cross. The employee was not acting under self-defense, and I see that the news article tend to put that into a broader view. Instead of using the words “held him and accidently killed kyler,” they kept mentioning the word “strangled. ” It is very hard to strangle someone and very easy to do it when you want to.

A correctional officer is considered a Social Servant, so she was wrong in her actions if she did leave or if she did not leave the scene. The officer should have taken control of the employee strangling kyler. The employee should be up on criminal charges and the officer suspended and I believe this is what the writers want the public to see. Although both sides of the witness’s stories were different, both sides of the story have the same consequences for the officer and the employee. Crime Preventer

Headline reads “California Police Snipers End Deadly Standoff,” in the San Francisco Chronicle. The standoff took place in Pittsburg, California. A 20-year-old suspect held his mother at gunpoint for 30 hours. According to the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, the snipers “had no choice but to shoot and kill the 20-year-old man with a history of mental illness who had held his mother hostage at gunpoint. ” The suspect, according to reports, was a known gang member convicted of a 2009 robbery, began the standoff a 1330 hours on Friday, May 7th.

He reportedly threatened to shoot his mother, himself, and any officers who tried to enter the residence. The standoff lasted until 1730 hours, Saturday evening. The suspect was wanted on an arrest warrant for violating his probation. Pittsburg police Lt. Brian Addington told the Contra Costa County Times that the suspect “was clearly suicidal, and as negotiations progressed, there was a potential for him to become homicidal. His behavior became more agitated at the end and what changed the dynamics is when he turned the gun on his mother. ”

SWAT Columnist, Dan Marcou in a conversation with PoliceOne said “The suspect had a choice and made his choice to endanger his mother, which left the other officers with no choice. They did what they were trained to do and were clearly the best people to bring this worst case scenario to an end. ” PoliceOne Firearms Columnist Dick Fairburn, added, “Police snipers train extensively for the shot they hope they’ll never have to make. A shot like this one isn’t a matter of the sniper or snipers, acting as judge and jury. They are simply the most reasonable level of force available to neutralize the threat. Does this article give and accurate view of police work or a media enhanced view? Although, I do not agree with the actions taken, I believe the article gives an accurate view of police work. Order Maintainer Headline reads, “Ga. Deputy Shot, Killed Attempting to Serve Warrant. ” Authorities identified a sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed in Rockdale County, Saturday afternoon during an exchange of gunfire. Deputy Brian Lamar Mahaffey, was part of the Narcotics and vice unit and was attempting to serve a warrant at a residence at the time of the shooting.

Investigators said when deputies entered the residence and announced their presence, suspect Terry Brown, who was hiding in the closet of the back room, opened fire as the officer’s approached the door of the closet. Officer Mahaffey suffered gunshot wounds and later confirmed dead at Rockdale County Medical Center. I believe the article gives an accurate view of police work. Conclusion The articles that I presented on this paper, clearly shows me, not only that the media may or may not exaggerate the situation but also, describes to me the hard decisions any officer of any branch in Criminal Justice have.

The first article dealt with the devices these brave men and women have to use and these devices should not only work properly to them but also to the people that they serve. I have read and heard, thousands of times that a police officer is on duty 24 hours a day, even while their off-duty. The article of the CVS incident, the correctional officer should have done her duty and stopped the “vigilante” store clerk from murdering the shoplifter. As for the “snipers” story, maybe or maybe not, time was the fault here.

Thirty hours is a long time of waiting for something to happen. I understood that the mother was in fact in danger when the son pointed the gun at her, but if the snipers had him in the “crosshairs” for 30 hours, why didn’t they fire at a location on his body that would not have killed him? I believe that they waited too long and patience gave up. I noticed that after the articles that I have searched to write this paper on, at the bottom of the articles, the reader has a chance to comment on what they have read.

I was sickened by some of the remarks that I read from law enforcement personnel. None showed any remorse for the person or suspect that was shot and killed even when he or she were mentally ill. These are police officers who are given the responsibility to carry a weapon that could end a person’s life instantly, “playing god” sort of speak, and they mostly commented on how glad and ecstatic they were to see these human beings get killed no matter what mental capacity they were.

References Berry, C (2010, May 16). Breath-Test Technology heads to Ma. Courtroom. The Pittsfield Berkshire Eagle. Retrieved May 16, 2010, from http://www. policeone. com. http://www. policeone. com http://www. wsbtv. com/news/23495648/detail. html Janssen, K. , Main, F. (2010, May 16). Off-duty Ill. Deputy stood by as shoplifter was killed. Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved May 16, 2010, from http://www. policeone. com.


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