Throughout of the course taken this semester (CJ311) there has been quite a bit of discussion on crime and exactly what are the moral principles that come into play when crime happens. Over the past 19 years, ever since the massive terrorist attack that happened in our country, there has been rising of concerns and questions. The concern is personal liberty has diminished in the face of personal safety and the question following that is with the concern of personal safety has it redefined the understanding of what is considered acceptable for criminal investigation tactics used by law enforcement. Today, there is going to be explanation on the impact changes that have happened in criminal investigation techniques and the methods that community policing may have. Also, criminal prosecution and the ability of major crimes being investigated by police.
In todays society, people are quite aware of terrorism and how homeland security’s concerns have redefined the acceptable tactics of investigation that is being used by law enforcement. Americans concern for personal liberty and personal protection should maintained at a balance. Concerns are continuing to rise from the public about their sense of security.
When it comes to the relation between officers and the community it is a major concern for law enforcement. Without the help from community’s police will find it challenging because police want to be able to trust those within the communities, they want to be able to find or have cooperating witnesses. If police cannot get this from their community it may lead to leaving police with fear. Without the help and support from the community’s, police would not be able to do their jobs. Without the help and support the police would be taken over by the communities because there is simply not may police officers. With the demand from the government and police agencies are having a difficult time with the tactics that are put in place, which can lead to an issue. It could possibly cause things to get out of hand, but possibly not happen if checked on. As tactics harshen, the trust from the public will start to fade and as mentioned earlier making police officers jobs a bit harder.
When it comes to effective investigative tactics used on criminal procedures, they seem to be quite similar to police community relations. However, when it comes to investigators, they need to be able to find more evidence, because the more evidence collected the high there is for investigators to have a winning case. Now when it comes to the court process there are safeguards that are put in place to protect defendants. With policy implements such as the Exclusionary Rule, the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendment; these are put in place to help protect defendants’ rights. Police have now become more restricted in the way they preform at their job.
Defendants’ rights during a trial “have several constitutional rights including the remaining silent, confront witness, the right to have a public trial, the right to have a jury, the right to have a speedy trial, be represented by an attorney, and lastly, not be tried twice for the same offence” (Criminal Defendants’ Rights, n.d.).
Lasty, how do the changes in investigative techniques and methods affect the ability of police to investigate major crimes? As mentioned in the previous paragraph defendants during trial they have benefits and protection, because of this it may make investigators job a bit more complex. Not only that, but investigators are already trying to find the perpetrator (which is already difficult), they are also trying to gather evidence against the perpetrator. Which causes them trying to accomplish their case a difficult way. But with the new developments of the Patriot Act police agencies are able to have more leeway in the apprehension of terrorism. Which makes law enforcements job a bit easier.