Officer discernment |dɪˈsəːnm(ə)nt|
noun [ mass noun ]
the ability to judge well: an astonishing lack of discernment
It’s important to know what does and does not constitute PC for any given situation.
Officers with four-year degrees are more skilled at resolving problems without having to resort to force, and they often give citizens alternative means of compliance instead of simply relying on the stick, the mace or the gun.
Probable cause is the legal standard by which a police officer has the right to make an arrest, conduct a personal or property search, or to obtain a warrant.
The headlines today are full of officers making arguably poor — if not downright criminal — decisions: shooting unarmed black teenagers, beating up suspects, using Tasers to the point of death, conducting high-speed — and deadly — car chases through populated city streets, and so on.
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., notes that higher education is not an “absolute answer” but stated in its 1994 Standards Manual that “Officers who have received a broad general education have a better opportunity to gain a more thorough understanding of society, to communicate more effectively with citizens, and to engage in the exploration of new ideas and concepts.”
Numerous studies conducted since the 1970s have suggested that the benefits of higher education in policing include:
•Better behavioral and performance characteristics;
•Fewer on-the-job injuries and assaults;
•Fewer disciplinary actions from accidents and use of force allegations;
•Greater acceptance of minorities;
•And a decrease in dogmatism, authoritarianism, rigidity and conservatism.