CJS200 Week Four Checkpoint Submitted by Travis Hance

 What is the role of police in society? What would happen if the role of the police were lessened as it applies to the theory and practice of community policing? The role of police and its functions have evolved over the past few centuries as society has become more complex and sophisticated. With citizens beginning to live in closer proximity, the need for security as well as the prosecution of crimes has increased. Working in concert with the justice system, the police function within society provides trained professionals serving the communities needs by bringing criminals to justice. In varying times throughout history, some communities have experimented with reduced police roles. The reasons for such experiments are including budgetary requirements, new schools of thought including private security services, and other ideas. However, the most respected form continues to be the traditional police department, carrying a commission either from a local city, region, or the state. Lessening the role of police in society has detrimental effects on society. The reduction of preventative patrol correlates to an increase in crime, which directly leads to societal decay. In addition, the theory of community policing promotes a police force tuned to the needs of the community. Reduction in force would obviously lead to a less aware, less effective department that could very well lose the trust of the citizens.  How do daily issues such as probable cause affect police from a legal standpoint? How can these issues be improved to aid police organizations in combating crime? The police function relies on probable cause to bring suspects into an environment in which they undergo processing by the judicial system. Probable cause is not the level of proof needed for conviction of crime, it is simply a set of circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a crime has been committed. With probable cause, the police officer proceeds to either issue a citation or affect an arrest until the suspect stands trial. Although all suspects are innocent until proven guilty, the police officer and the department represented wield a tremendous amount of authority due to the potential suspension of individual liberties, while respecting constitutional rights. The major issue perceived as an area of improvement, is education. Police Academies invariably strive to teach the cadets the minimal amount of

information needed to pass state testing requirements. However, such information does not include the skills required. The cadet should memorize the penal codes of each state, as departments and agencies demand the best, a possibly unachievable standard, so that issues such as probable cause are not only recognized by the individual officer, they are actually understood.