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What Laws are musts for Law Enforcement Career?

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Posted over 1 year ago

 

Do Police Officers HAVE to know alot about law; I mean as far as becoming a Police Officer, or is it something thats learned on the job. Is it a requirement to know law, all law, certain laws etc. What are the standards as far as Law when you first start, and how does it or does it play a major role in being an Officer.

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 Yes, law enforcement must know a lot about the laws of their country, state and local. You learn 98% of the laws at the Academy, others you will learn on the job and on case by case basis. This is kinda a common sense question. "Law" Enforcement...enforcement of laws. Yes your going to have to know all laws not just certain laws. Its part of the job.


You wouldn't go in there for a million bucks...A Cop does it for less...A Reserve does it for free....

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You are bored?

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thegig says ...



Do Police Officers HAVE to know alot about law; I mean as far as becoming a Police Officer, or is it something thats learned on the job. Is it a requirement to know law, all law, certain laws etc. What are the standards as far as Law when you first start, and how does it or does it play a major role in being an Officer.



If I understand this correctly I believe the OP is asking how much is expected of a candidate prior to employment? While it can never hurt, and will definitely be a plus during your training, knowledge of every code, statute, ordinance, and law is NOT a prerequisite to employment. Study up on the U.S. and your state's Constitutions and pay particular attention to the portions relating to search & seizure, etc. Everything else you need to know will be taught to you at the academy and on the job.


 

Eagle_and_flag_max50

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Moved so OP can see responses.


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I just make them up as I go along.


So far none of the attorneys or judges have noticed.

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I figured that law enforcement must know law, but i guess what i wondered is the extent of it like can every officer pass the bar, is it about the same, or because you deal so many Different situations your knowledge would be way more extensive then say an attorney that only handles say Medical malpractice, I can totally see the vast amount of Law thats learned through your everyday experience, . I mean a homicide detective doesnt really need to know much about wills and trusts, right.

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Yes an officer and or any leo is expected to know laws,especially after graduating from the academy.Dependant upon where you work and the size of your agency  you will have almost daily hand outs to assimilate and or place in you S.O.P. ( standard operating procedure manual.)You will also recieve,upon academy graduation,large volumes of your municipality,county,state and federal laws.Absolutely you will NOT know enough to pass a state bar exam.The law profession consists of much,much more than just memorizing a few improper parking codes.That ma'am will require four years of college,in good standing and three years of law school.--While on the job,especially in larger agencies you will have a great amount of "In service training as well as seminars.You are expected,as a leo, to stay abreast of recent changes,in law,additions to laws and elements of laws.

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LE are not expected to pass the BAR exam as an aspiring attorney is required to do prior to becoming an attorney.  That said, we are expected to:


1) Prior to employment, know the law well enough that our conduct reflects that we have obeyed the law and qualify to become LE.


2) As part of the academy, we are required to learn and know the application of the laws that we enforce.


3) We are expected to know the elements of a crime so as to determine if the law or laws have been broken and then write the necessary court ready report(s) of the crime(s) and subsequent arrest(s).


4) We are also required to know and obey the law as it pertains to how we conduct business as LE on and off duty so that we do not infringe on or violate the constitutional rights of the citizens we are charged to protect.


As for your example:  A homicide detective knowing about wills and trusts.... Some knowledge in that area may assist the detective in establishing a motive (financial gain) for a homicide.  That said, the homicide detective does not need to know Probate law like a probate law attorney needs to know the same.

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Thankyou for taking the time, and now believe me every question i had regarding this has been answered.  Along with how im discovering that Law Enforcement isnt just enforcing the law. Like what SkoolCop wrote as 1) Prior to employment, know the law well enough that our conduct reflects that we have obeyed the law and qualify for L.E- to me that would also mean that once your a L.E.O., your job is now 24-7.  Ive read how most of you carry Always , and by doing that also would add to this, say you see someone getting beat up or robbed at disneyland, your with your family, right away you would make sure your familys safe and then go after him, right? Ive read alot of storys of off duty officers doing just this. And that would be like your "Always ON", no matter where you go. This is what i think from reading and listening, and as a citizen, to be honest have never tried to quote walk in your shoes(youi know understand what you must accomplish, keep accomplishing, and go through everyday on or off the job. And you know its ALOT.  most citizens are oblivious to this, the risk, the schooling, the standards and the life choice. The majority only go as far as "that cop gave me a ticket, or at a concert or a rave everyones like" thers the cops partys over, then theres thepeople who areso involved with money,fashion, outdoing each other they dont give anyone a second thought, then theres us, people who have actually had a LEO save them from a bad life experience, saves your life, physically and saves you from the tramatic stress that would of resuted if he had not shown up, and those whose children you saved, whos uncle was in a car accident and your actions saved his life, to the battered wife, robbery victim etc etc And the more im learning about law enforcement the more i can brag about all the good/great things, all the lives saved physically and mentally , the committment and all Those who lost thier lives protecting me and you-May they Rest in Peace, and Id like to thank each one for thier service-They will NEVER be forgotton.. If anyone wants to add anything about law enforcement being 24-7 I would love to listen if not thanks for all the answers You have been very kind to me have a great week. Be Safe! Debbie  

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Debbie,


Sorry for late response; I see you posted "question answered" but I've been trying for about an hour to get by the "prohibited html" error. Ugh! Hope you don't mind I beat a dead horse with this... I made some effort and didn't want it to go to waste. :)


Skoolcop's response was awesome and I'd like to follow up if I could. Just chiming in here:

Must Laws:




1. The United States Constitution- Foremost being the 4th Amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized". As a police officer I dealt with this on a daily basis (search & seizure) and with a fierce passion of upholding the rights that were secured for Americans with spilled American blood.




2. Caselaw- Legal principles enunciated and embodied in judicial decisions that are derived from the application of particular areas of law to the facts of individual cases. A cop needs to know what he is allowed and not allowed to do by the courts. Obviously, right? Because he is going to be sending criminal cases to them… Some of these change frequently such as DWI caselaw and some have stood the test of time for many generations of law enforcement like Miranda v. Arizona and the #1 in my opinion, established by the greatest cop who ever lived, 38 year veteran, Cleveland PD Detective Martin J. McFadden; Terry v. Ohio.  Reasonable suspicion and probable cause are found here and depended upon daily.




3. Department Policy: The giant 5 inch thick bible I got in 1987 that KEPT GROWING! LOL These are the "laws" of the agency and should be the nuts and bolts of what your organization says you can and can't do. Catch a crook but violate DP and your case might stick but you'll be out of a job pretty soon. The main one that comes to mind is pursuit policy.




4. State Penal Code: For most prosecutors, assistant district attorneys, investigators, police officers and sheriff's deputies this is the yardstick held up to what I listed in 1-3; also very thick and subject to change. All the elements of offenses are listed out in addition to mechanics and punishments. I have left out federal U.S. Code which perhaps someone with better knowledge can cover. True, you learn these at the Academy and again at "In-Service" training but generally from massive repetition in the field training program and out on your own. People pretty much do the same bad things to one another... Crimes against persons: assaults. Crimes against property: thefts. Health & Safety crime: drugs.




5. City & County Ordinances: These are jurisdictional laws and generally deal with "quality of life" issues like parking, noise, permits etc.




6. Traffic Law: As we are a mobile nation a good cop needs to know these in combination with current caselaw. When I worked the streets 90% of my field contacts were traffic related. When I worked drug interdiction it was not unusual for me to stop 30-40 cars a day. Here also people generally do the same things: speeding, follow too close, seatbelts, expirations etc.




I carried these dog-eared, hi-lighted, place-marked, behemoths in my gear bag for my entire career and had them accessed on the desktop of my toughbook as well. I referred to them daily and also took caselaw publications so I could keep current. I guess the best answer is this; when you are given the power to take people's freedom away, give them a criminal record, cost them money and excluded them from the power to walk away from you then you BETTER know every jot & tittle of the law. Every criminal law is a must. Having said all this I can also tell you the majority of my time as a street cop was spent with counseling and advising people with an emphasis on order maintenance. Every call didn’t boil down to book law it was a lot of simple common sense. Hope this helps.

 

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Thankyou so much OneXray10, I truly appreciate the information and your time. There is soooo much more to Law Enforcement than i had once thought. I wish everyone knew what i just learned. I dont believe that alot of citizens even have the sl;ightest idea just how much is involved, how much risk, commitment, knowledge, etc.I really wish there was a way to make them see. I know trolls will always be trolls, butwho cares about them anyway. im talking the people who just go with whatever someone elses opinion is. I do klnow that if they meet me they walk away with a different view of Law Enforcement, or at the least i have them questioning thier current outlook. Thanks again, Thankyou all of you for your service and Be Safe! Debbie