In our society police are in a very precarious situation when it comes to the amount of force they can apply when dealing with a civilian suspect. Whether it be physical force, persuasion, or coercion; they must use discretion when deciding what course of action best suits the situation. They must take the precise course of action to fit the time, because if they are too lenient or to forceful, even when dealing with the pettiest things, they can be chastised by superiors and public, even laid off. Must police use force? If so, under what circumstances and what should define the limits of force they can use? These questions can guide the police when using the force they sometimes must exert on civilians. .
Some people believe police should not have the power to use force, no matter what the situation. They believe everything can be solved along peaceful terms in which no one can be injured or killed. These people do not realize the necessity of force and the responsible usage of this force by the police. Not all problems can be solved in a peaceful manner. If police did not have the right or the power to use force it could result in injuries and deaths to members of our police force on a regular basis. Though police do have this right, it is not necessity for them to use force on a regular basis. The use of force depends on many factors at the time of the crime. Just because a policeman may want to, does not mean he is capable or allowed to use force. .
It is not a question of would or whether, but when and how much. Therefore, the amount of force a policeman uses does not solely depend on himself but also the character of the people he polices and the policies of his department. (Crank) .
Whether or not a policeman uses force at a given time is based on his discretion concerning the present danger at the time of the arrest. Discretion is the authority to make decisions without reference to specific rules or facts, using instead one's own judgment; allows for individualization and informality in the administration of justice.