The Issues Surrounding the Discourse Community of Law Enforcement - Admission/Application Essay Example

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MEMORANDUM TO: xxxxxxxx FROM: xxxxxxxx DATE: October 8 2011 SUBJECT: Discipline Investigation Report INTRODUCTION This memorandum outlines the issues surrounding the discourse community of law enforcement. The assignment is about a discourse community, and it explores the way that people communicate within the law enforcement professional area, looking at informal and spoken contexts as well as more formal written contexts…
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Download file to see previous pages This analysis looks in detail at the way language is used and highlights the specific rules and conventions that apply in the policing professional context. Appendices containing the interview questions and the actual code of conduct are attached at the end for reference. INTERVIEW SUMMARY The purpose of the interview was to gather information from an experienced officer which helps to educate a less experienced person, such as an applicant to the police academy. The questions were at the same time professional and personal, for example exploring what the officer finds good about his job, and what he finds difficult. The first questions were simple and factual, such as asking how long he had worked in this particular job, but as the interview progressed, and a rapport was built up between the interviewer and interviewee, some more open questions were asked, such as explaining what the main features and duties of the job actually are. It was apparent that there is a significant amount of discourse going on in a police division. There are basic levels of factual narrative, which each officer must prepare in writing, and there is also a checking mechanism in place, so that a senior officer looks over the work that junior officers have done. This officer moves between formal processes, such as submitting reports, and informal processes, such as building up a relationship of brotherhood with his fellow officers. It was clear also that some situations are very difficult, and require high levels of skill such as dealing with sexual abuse and rape cases. Some technical vocabulary is necessary when writing about police equipment and procedures, but there are also informal names for things which only police officers use between themselves such as “rat squad” and “puzzle palace” which refer to different grades of police officer and detective. An outsider would have some difficulty understanding this language at first, but learning to talk like the other officers is part of the process of bonding and becoming a functional team. DOCUMENT SUMMARY The Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials was written in 1979, and it is in the form of a set of articles declaring what officers must do, followed in each case by commentary, giving more explanation on what the terms mean and how the instructions have to be interpreted. It was probably drafted by a committee of several senior people, and no doubt has been through several revisions to make sure it stays up to date and in tune with the law. The language is extremely formal, with no mention of “I” or “you”, but instead only an impersonal style of giving out orders such as “law enforcement officials shall...” There is no emotion, or personal touch to the document, because it is intended to suit all persons and all occasions, as a guideline to be followed. The Miranda warning is a very common text which is required by law to be used when arresting suspects for questioning. There are different formulations of it, some with more detail than others, but the basic function is the same: to inform suspects of their legal rights and ensure that both suspect and arresting officer behave in full awareness of what they are doing, and possible implications for any legal processes which follow. It is constructed in the second person “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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