The Job of Police Officer’s Advantages and Disadvantages
Though a good percentage of the public is aware of the duties and responsibilities of police officers, a few have not equipped themselves with this important knowledge. This is had for the police officers who have to work closely with the members of the community whom they serve. However, the main job of police officers is to offer protection to the community members and to ensure that the people they serve adhere to the provisions of the law. They are thus a very important agency due to the fact that the laws must be enforced at any given time. This sociology essay presents an insight into the job of police officers as well as the advantages and disadvantages that come with it.
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The main job of the police officers is to ensure that law and order are maintained. They achieve this through working closely with the community which they serve. They thus offer protection to the members of the public as well as their properties. They also work to prevent the occurrences of crime through such activities as investigation and patrolling. This way, they do reduce the amount of fear that the public could have based on the possibility of occurrence of crime. Overall, policemen work to improve the quality of life for the people whom they serve through the provision of safe environment for their stay (Graduate Prospects, 2013).
It is, therefore, the police officers who maintain public order. They achieve this through preventing the activities of organized criminals, countering terrorist’s threats as well as devising actions against any identified form of unaccepted behavior. The officers do work in coordination with the criminal justice system members, schools, health trusts, social workers, community groups, local businesses, various housing authorities, and town planners. Together with these stakeholders, they seek to provide education, assistance as well as advice to those committed to ensuring reduced rate of crime in the society which they serve (Graduate Prospects, 2013).
To be efficient and effective in their job, the officers have to carry out a number of activities. They must be physically present to ensure crime deterrence and to offer reassurance to the members of the community which they serve. The officers must also physically carry out patrols and help empower the community members to aid in the identification of their vulnerable members as well as specific places which are prone to crimes. The officers must also respond whenever they are called by the members of the public especially whenever an accident has occurred or when people have been attacked. In addition, the officers are also expected to attend public meetings, processions, strikes or trade disputes as well as social events to help keep peace (Graduate Prospects, 2013).
Police officers are also expected to comply with the various requirements of the law, conduct initial investigations, take statements as well as gather relevant evidences to allow for the prosecution of cases in the court of law. They achieve this through conducting interviews with the identified suspects, witnesses as well as various victims of criminal activities in line with the provisions of the existing legislations. The policemen also conduct arrests of those who are either suspected or criminalized in the court of law. They do this while considering the safety, the various human rights as well as the health of the individuals or groups they are dealing with (Graduate Prospects, 2013).
Police officers must also prepare the reports on the crimes they investigate and thereafter proceed to present the various case files to the relevant officers who are normally their seniors. In certain circumstances, the officers have to attend the proceedings in courts to give the required evidences to allow for the prosecution of criminals by the court of law. Related to this, is the submission of their internal reports on crimes as well as reports of the criminal intelligence. In adhering to the bureaucratic principle, police officers are expected to consult with their seniors regarding the various directions to take while on their duty. In addition, those in charge of traffic are always expected to attend to various incidences and accidents related to roads. In this line, such officers penalize various offences identified. Finally, police officers also deal with any lost or/and found property to ensure that they end up in the hands of their right owners (Graduate Prospects, 2013).
Irrespective of the risks and dangers that police officers are normally subjected to, a number of advantages of being a police officer can be identified. Apart from such intangible benefits as opportunity to serve other people and to help the society, there are a number of practical benefits enjoyed by the law enforcement officers. First, having a government job, police officers are able to enjoy various benefits like health cover and retirement benefits. Secondly, police officers are given a fairly good salary package. This is normally between 45,000$ and 30,000$ annually in the developed nations like the U.S. However, with career advancement opportunities, one is able to improve his ranking and earn up to 75,000$ annually. Additionally, police officers have great opportunities to advance to higher ranks (Great Britain Parliament, 2012).
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Equally, police officers are always presented with the opportunities to continuously learn since they do work in different kinds of environment. This means that police officers have numerous tactics as well as techniques of executing their job. This is what helps them improve their security even in situations perceived to be risky and dangerous. In addition to the voluntary trainings, the officers have to undergo certain compulsory trainings that also help them advance their career (Great Britain Parliament, 2012).
Though there is a number of advantages, it is evident that police officers are faced with numerous challenges/risks. The dangers that face police officers can either be physical or psychological, all of which relate to their conditions of work. Physically, there is the possibility of the police officers being attacked at any given time. In addition, police officers are normally involved in tasks which are very tasking physically. Another problem has been that of police brutality. Any recruited officer is normally faced with situations where they have to make very swift decisions but which may lead to their death. Their job is characterized by a high level of danger as well as stressing situations. In fact, this is the major reason why some officers turn to be brutal on the very people whom they are expected to protect. Normally, the officers become brutal because of the stress they go through and the expectation that their decision must be instant even in stressing situations. Many of them even witness their counterparts being killed yet they are still expected to act with restraint.
In fact, most dangerous challenge facing law enforcement police officers are those which are psychologically related. These could result from the thought that their lives are in danger as well as the knowledge that their lives are ever to be exposed to those negative events facing other people. This was experienced in such incidents that happened in Philadelphia. Closely related to stress is the fact that the policemen are, in most cases, not trusted by the very people to whom they lay their lives down to serve and protect. This is because of various cases of corruption as well as their perceived brutality towards the public. In fact, the major challenge of the highly ranked officers has is how they can achieve the highly demanded reformation in their departments (Herrington, 2012).
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The officers are also normally faced with comprising situations like a case where one is dealing with illegal drugs worth millions of dollars. In the early days, it would be easy for the majority of police officers to refuse accepting bribes and strictly adhere to their cords of conducts and to the relevant provisions of the law. This was basically because such vices as illegal drugs. However, with the increasing demand of these drugs and the huge amounts being offered as bribes by the dealers, the officers have been presented with difficult choices which in certain cases have led to loss of their employment with some ending up behind bars (Herrington, 2012).
Interview Questions and Answer
The findings presented in the essay can be reinforced with another set of findings obtained from a personal interview conducted with Henry. Henry is a retired U.S. police officer who had served the country for more than 20 years. With this kind of experience, I found Henry very resourceful as far as this work is concerned. The questions asked were basically on the areas covered in the essay. Here is a copy of the interview:
Me: Thank you for your time and for the information that you will give. Be assured that the information you will give will only be used for academic purposes.
Henry: Most welcome!
Me: What would you say about you roles and responsibilities as a police offers during your time in service?
Henry: I may not really highlight all of them, but it is important to note that as a police officer, I was responsible for offering pretention to the community, ensuring law and order prevails, arresting criminals, investigating crimes, carrying out the duties assigned to me by my seniors, and preparing of crime-related reports.
Me: Having served the country for that long, are there some advantages that you enjoyed as an officer?
Henry: I must admit that there are a number of advantages that come with the career. From the onset, I had been on salary since I got recruited as a trainee. This stopped only when I retired, but even now, I am enjoying my retirement benefits. Equally, I got opportunities to advance my career as an officer. This enabled me to rise from one rank to another. However, what I loved most was the self-fulfillment that came with the thought that I was serving my community. S,o you can see what I enjoyed.
Me: Are there some dangers that you can say you faced because you worked as a police officer?
Henry: Of cours,e yes; there was a number of them with the major once being various instances where I was physically harmed, and there were the instances where we had to be out in the dark facing terrorists face-to-face in a shooting exchange.
Me: Thank you for your time once again.