English Final Essay

Submitted By walkingdeadmeat
Words: 870
Pages: 4

Poor Police Performance

Does the name William J. Whitfield 3rd ring a bell with anyone? Will Whitfield is just one of many unsuspecting victims of a police officer who has performed poorly. Whitfield was shot and killed in a supermarket in 1997 by a New York police officer that had mistaken Whitfield’s keys for a gun (Police Brutality… ¶1). The cause for this “lash-out” as some may see it could be closely related to stress. Police officers may not realize that they could be in a situation exactly like the officer and Whitfield. Many officers will make it into the force and become successful people of law. As always, there are two sides to every sword. Although the other side of the tracks may seem harsh, the un-successful officers do have options at overcoming whatever it is that causes poor performance. Police officers have many methods of improving performance. However, some of them are not safe methods. Methods such as extreme alcohol or drug use are not safe for officers by any means. Other methods can be illegal, like domestic violence against the wife or kids, or can be very expensive and time consuming. Some methods can just be way too expensive. One area that seems to be overlooked a lot is the short-term versus long-term effect of the methods. Another thing that should be looked at is if the method is practical and ethical. The solution method needs to address these problems and outweigh them enough to where the officer is benefitting. One of the solution methods that can be used to improve police performance would be to visit doctors. By visiting doctors, the officers can achieve an appropriate diagnosis of their performance problem. However, if the performance problem were not medically related, visiting a doctor would be useless. Plus, paying for a doctor every time something is wrong gets pricey. It can be somewhere between $2,500 and $3,000 just for one person yearly (Cost of Health…¶22). The other half of the solution that fits with visiting the doctor would be the usage of prescription drugs. Although at first they will help, long term can cause many serious problems, the major one being addiction. Prescription drug addiction causes more than 26,000 fatal overdoses over each year (Szabo ¶5). By managing how much of the drug you take can help, but the next solution idea seems a lot easier and safer. Stress management therapy is another solution method that is being practiced today by many government workers extending past police officers. Stress therapy sessions aim to educate the police officer in interpreting his/her own reactions to stimuli, resulting in smarter reactions to stress (Franklin ¶7). If the officers know how their bodies work then they are more able to maintain control over themselves. Plus, it is very safe. A short term, but popular, method to improve performance is to buy new equipment. Who doesn’t want to play with new toys? However, the flaws associated with new equipment is the cost and the training to learn how to se the equipment. An example would be the cost of new guns for the whole department. The price of one new Glock 22 handgun is just over $500.00 (Cheaper Than Dirt 47). Now multiply that by however, any people work in that department and that comes out to one nice chunk of change. After reviewing the three options, the best that suits all criteria would be stress management therapy. Stress