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Homeland Security: The Sworn Duty of Public Officials

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Friday, April 17, 2015

CJ Admin Week 3 Discussion 2

The courts of law in this country understand that their power within the criminal justice system is greater than the power of the police. Both serve to enforce the police power of the State. Chief Justice Tanney explains this power; “But what are the police powers of a State? They are nothing more or less than the powers of government inherent in every sovereignty to the extent of its dominions. And whether a State passes a quarantine law, or a law to punish offences, or to establish courts of justice, or requiring certain
instruments to be recorded, or to regulate commerce within its own limits, in every case it exercises
the same powers; that is to say, the power of sovereignty, the power to govern men and things within
the limits of its dominion.” (Bell, 2007, p. 1) The courts establish the authority that police work under. “The United States Supreme Court's understanding of police practices plays a significant role in the development of the constitutional rules that regulate officer conduct. As it approaches the questions of whether to engage in constitutional regulation and what form of regulation to adopt, the Court discusses the environment in which officers act, describes specific police practices, and explains what motivates officers.” (Stoughton, 2014, p. 847). A major example of the establishment of such rules would be found in the Miranda ruling. Although the courts do establish the authority that police act with, the police have a great deal of power through the use of police discretion in the criminal justice filter. “Every policeman becomes an arbiter of social values with the result that many offenses are never brought before the courts.”(Louthan, 1974 p. 35)

Although there may be some level of interorganizational conflict, there is no need to equalize the power that these seperate arms of the criminal justice system wield. Each has a part to play, and fulfills a different function within the system. Courts sentence corrupt policemen on occasion, and policemen arrest corrupt judges. In either set of circumstances, the organizations are doing their job.

Bell, A. (2007). The police power. UNC–Chapel Hill School of Government Retrieved August 22, 2014 from http://sogpubs.unc.edu/cmg/cmg04.pdf

Louthan, W. C. (1974). Relationships Among Police, Court, and Correctional Agencies. Policy Studies Journal, 3(1), 30–37. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1541-0072.1974.tb01124.x/abstract

Stoughton, S. W. (2014). Policing Facts. Tulane Law Review, 88, 847–1007. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from https://litigation-essentials.lexisnexis.com/webcd/app?action=DocumentDisplay&crawlid=1&doctype=cite&docid=88+Tul.+L.+Rev.+847&srctype=smi&srcid=3B15&key=04df1538adee961b68b2964e73797246

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