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Ethical Issues and the Use of Force - Essay Example

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Abstract Using force to subdue and control a criminal is a key component of security personnel’s’ job profile. Law enforcement or security bodies and departments have come up with set standards and rules regarding the use of force. In addition to these guidelines, the authorities are given access to many technological tools, so they use force in an apt and ethical manner…
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Ethical Issues and the Use of Force
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Download file to see previous pages Ethical Issues and the Use of Force A problem or issue statement and Research questions From time immemorial, the activities of human have bordered both in the positive direction as well as in the negative direction. Positive direction in the sense, humans has focused their body and mind in constructive activities like development of civilizations, invention of mechanical tools, etc, etc. At the same time, they also involved themselves in destructive activities like war, crime, etc, etc. With these negative and criminal activities harming a lot of innocent people, overseeing bodies to strengthen criminal justice were formed throughout the world. The role of these bodies is to maintain the law and order, and actualize peace in their allocated territories. They were known under different terms like Law enforcement authorities, security forces, police, military, even security guards for private bodies, etc, etc. As part of the protection of law and order, and protection of lives, they were authorized to use force to control or subdue the persons who are indulging in the detrimental actions. If the actions of those persons are harmful to the innocent lives, or against the set laws and rules or even injurious to themselves, and when they cannot be prevented from carrying out those actions through verbal communication, use of force will become mandatory. Although, using force during those occasions is a positive step, some times or even most times, the levels of used force could cross the ‘acceptable limits’, causing physical and mental damage and problems to the victims. In that case, these actions of the law enforcement authorities could come under the ethical scanner, with the human rights agencies, media and other segments of the population criticising their actions and wanting strong punishments for them. Literature Review As pointed out above, the use of force is necessary during certain occasions, as it could protect lives as well as maintain law and order, leading to positive outcomes. Thus, the government controlled authorities or officers are legally backed to use force. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights points out this fact by stating that “…in diffusing situations, apprehending alleged criminals, and protecting themselves and others, officers are legally entitled to use appropriate means, including force.” (“Use of Force”). Alpert and Dunham (2004) echo the same point by stating that “while there may be considerable pressure to limit and restrict the use of force by the police, against citizens, no one is calling for them to abandon its use.” However, the ethics angle comes into picture in the form of rules and protocols, which stipulates what form of force or how much force is acceptable. These rules are also applicable to the private security managers, who work for non-governmental, commercial organizations. Although, it also “depends on the situation and how the officer is equipped”, while using force, officials in government sector are stipulated to follow set protocols under the auspices of Use-of-Force continuum levels as part of ethics. (McGoey, n. d.). Gaines and Kappeler (2011) state that this continuum is basically a guide to officers, so they are less likely to use excessive force, as it outlines an increasing levels of force, an officer can use to subdue the suspect. That is, an ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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