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Raymond Kafka

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Why are our police not required to have law degrees?

How are the police to enforce laws they do not know? What system is created when this occurs?

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    Jul 26 2013: This is fun. I'm gettin a lot of feed-back.
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    Jul 26 2013: Better livin through unquestioned obedience is the rule of the day?
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    Jul 26 2013: Are they not the ones to Protect our rights? And not po;lice, who do nothin but sell out to their superiors? I hear Hitler had a similar system he used.
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    Jul 26 2013: I think cops would cease engaging in criminal activity if they knew of the laws they are forced to enforce. Duh...
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    Jul 26 2013: The last thing we need is morel lawyers.
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    Jul 26 2013: The same reason firemen are not required to have physics degrees, and waitresses are not required to have nutrition degrees. The job description for a cop does not include being a member of the American Bar Association. Do you really think our problems would be reduced by adding MORE lawyers?
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    Jul 26 2013: Don't they know that? Isn't that why they are abusive/criminal?
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    Jul 26 2013: Is it LEGAL? Constitutional? Is it the system we are suppose to have and be goverened by?
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    Jul 26 2013: That is another issue. Police advance with performance reviews, not time put in. This creates a serious problem of entrapment. Entrapment is not policing.
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    Jul 26 2013: Every builder doesn't need to be an architect.
    With a law degree you can get a better-paid job than being a police officer.
  • Jul 26 2013: It's a different function with different training.
  • Jul 26 2013: I would speculate that like our teachers, society expects the best, but is unwilling to equate appropriate wages with the expectation. If someone obtains a law degree, why would they want to physically chase criminals when they could make more money pursuing them in court, in a safer environment? Another question might be: Why are more Americans not educated on the US Constitution, and their (eroding) civil rights? I agree with you though, seems there should be some form of continuous training (maybe there is?). I can tell you as a former supervisor (in manufacturing), we were always interacting with the company lawyer, being versed in legal/ethical behavior....Your question also raises other thoughts such as: How are you innocent until proven guilty, when you may not have committed a crime in the first place (if the officer is ignorant of the law). And in these instances, is one due monetary compensation relating to lost time and mental anguish, from the officer and the city/state/government that employs her/him? In relation to recent events, how are police to properly enforce laws, even with a law degree, without also having a formal education in cultural diversity? With the new Corporate Prisons, it is just a matter of time before police officers become employees/extensions of that system...how scary is that!!! For profit incarceration, enforcing only the laws that obtain the most return on the investment....Yikes! Respectfully, ghost.
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    Jul 25 2013: A number? Like whut, 1 in 100,000?
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    Jul 25 2013: There are law enforcement degrees... And a number of police officers obtain these degrees in an effort to enhance their promotion eligibility. In fact, many lawyers are a little put out when police officers have some advanced knowledge of the law. There is a well known axiom that lawyers say to police officers... "if you don't practice law, I won't go around arresting people". Fair enough.
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    Jul 25 2013: I dunno. I think if they knew what laws they were in fact enforcing they would chose another profession. That is why they are taught 'procredure' and not law.
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    Jul 25 2013: Trainning? Not really. I have seen instances of classes on TV.
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    Jul 25 2013: from what I know, every police station has a lawyer who works in the station, I don't know for sure but imagine they help the police stay abreast of the laws.

    Also, the police get a lot of training at the beginning and refresher training throughout, and this helps them to stay up on the laws.

    also, the police frequently go to court and are exposed to the law there.

    Also, they keep copies of the laws, for example the California penal code, at the station.

    The police don't know all the laws, but they're doing pretty well.
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    Jul 25 2013: Most of the laws and how they fit together are outside the bounds of what police are charged with doing, so getting a full legal education would not be necessary.

    Do you happen to know what sort of professional development police do get?

    I ask this because people in a profession commonly are educated about the law that effects them. For example, teacher education includes training in the law that affects teachers in their practice, like what cannot be disclosed, what must be reported, and so forth. They may not know the whole body of case law that led to those conclusions and interpretations.

    Before you sit on a hiring committee in the public sector, you need to go through a training so that you know what you may not ask the interviewee, what you may ask, and so forth.

    Have you looked into the training police officers receive in areas that affect them?