The Role and Purpose of Police and Law Enforcement in a Free Society

By Brian K. Lutes, Uniontown, PA, January 4, 2011

It is very easy for law enforcement officers to lose sight of their purpose; with 6 years of experience as a police officer and Deputy PA State Constable I know this to be true. We often get caught in the vicious trap of trying to do all we can to get the bad guys off of the streets while at the same time trying to protect the good guys in a politically correct manner.

It is nearly impossible, but somehow we must get the job done, and we do.

It is not easy enforcing laws in a free society; it is not supposed to be. It would be much easier enforcing laws in a society where the citizens have, what some would call a healthy, fearful respect, of men with badges on their chests. A society where the citizens know that you don’t dare step out of line or the police will show up and make an example of you for all to see. And, if you want to work in that type of society you only need to move to China, Cuba, or any one of several Eastern European countries where law enforcement officers are feared and the citizens step aside when they approach.

In those societies police officers are looked upon as overseers making sure no one steps outside of the boxes their government masters have drawn for them. Making sure that citizens who express displeasure with those same government masters are taken away for ‘re-education’ before they corrupt their neighbors with crazy notions of freedom of speech and assembly.

However, we can thank God, and our Founding Fathers, that we do not live in such a country; at least not yet, and a key determining factor in whether or not we ever will, falls on the shoulders of us, the law enforcers.

We are the individuals that are on the street, among the people, our neighbors and families, applying the rules of civil society as laid down by our fellow employees of the people, legislators. And it is us that decides whether or not to write the ticket or make the arrest for whatever violation of law we observe or discover; It is our discretion (The reasonable exercise of a power or right to act in an official capacity; involves the idea of choice, of an exercise of the will, 94 N.W. 2d 810, 811).

Our #1 job while serving our fellow citizens is to live up to our Oath of Office to “Support, Obey and Defend the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; and that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same… and I do further solemnly swear that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of law enforcement officer with fidelity”. We have all taken this oath, or something very similar to it, before we ever pinned that precious badge on our chests. But, how many of us ever really thought about and realized the significance of that oath we so willingly took? I fear not enough of us have.

When we take the oath of office we swear before God that we will, above all else, support, obey, and defend our Constitutions, state and federal. We do not swear to get the bad guy at all costs. We do not swear to be creative, without technically lying, in our report writing to get the warrant (This amounts to “False Swearing which our courts have defined as a “willful and corrupt sworn statement made without sincere belief in its truthfulness” See Perkins & Boyce, Criminal Law 511 (3d ed. 1982)). We do not swear to tell the Chief that the guy swung at us to justify cracking the guy with our flashlights, although this does understandably sometimes happen. We swear an oath to uphold our Constitutions and the protections of American freedom therein.

The Constitutions we have all sworn to uphold are the very foundation of our uniquely American lives. Our Constitutions are the only thing standing between our way of life and the subservient lives of Cubans or the Chinese. Every time our Constitutions are violated, be it by Legislators, Judges, or Executive Branch Agents, our American way of life suffers. It especially suffers when it is violated by those of us that have sworn to uphold it.

Our purpose as law enforcement officers, every time we put that badge on, is to go out and preserve our uniquely American way of life by enforcing, or not enforcing, our laws in accord with our oaths to our Constitutions.

We, I say we because those of us who are charged with enforcing the laws are subject to those same laws, as Americans, have a right to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” and when those rights are violated by someone who murders, steals, assaults, or kidnaps one of our fellow citizens we show up and take action living up to our oaths by arresting the offending individual, depriving them of their liberty, pursuit of happiness, and possibly their life, for violating the rights of the victim(s); we do not technically arrest the offending individual for killing the victim, but for violating the victim’s right to life.

We also, as a result of our oaths to support, obey, and defend the Constitutions, have a responsibility to not enforce, by exercising our prosecutorial discretion (which our courts have defined as “The wide range of alternatives available to a prosecutor in criminal cases, including the decision to prosecute, the particular charges to be brought, etc… or not to prosecute (see Lafave, Arrest 72 (1965)), laws passed by the legislatures that violate our Constitutions (consider this: “The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, whether federal or state, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose, since unconstitutionally dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it” (16th American Jurisprudence, 256, 2nd edition).

For example, say the town council adopts an ordinance, which our courts have defined as “A local law that applies to persons and things subject to the local jurisdiction(see 90 F. 2d 175, 177) that says no one in the town is allowed to possess a gun for any reason and that law is put on the books in the town. We as law enforcement officers have an obligation to refuse to enforce the law because it is in violation of the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, “…The right of the people to keep & bear arms shall not be infringed” and Article 1 Section 21 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of PAThe right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be questioned” that we took an oath to support, obey, and defend.

Our purpose as law enforcement officers, regardless of whether our badge says “Officer, Deputy, Sheriff, Animal Control Officer, Constable, Liquor Control Agent, Probation & Parole Officer, etc. in our free society is to insure that we, as citizens remain free not just from molestation of our lives by the “bad guys”, but also from those who would destroy our American way of life under the guise of adopting laws that violate our Constitutions.

7 Responses to “The Role and Purpose of Police and Law Enforcement in a Free Society”

  1. rasheeda Says:

    not understood your explanation

  2. Tony Ciampi Says:

    I have been seeking any law enforcement officer anywhere in the country who has the courage and integrity to go on record condemning the deliberate destruction of evidence by Palo Alto Police Chief Dennis Burns.

    Look at the evidence, if you can refute it, then let me know. If you cannot, I would appreciate it if you would make a public statement condemning the destruction of evidence by Chief Burns and his subordinate officers.

    http://chiefburns.weebly.com/exhibit-5.html
    ____________________________________________________

    From: James E. Rogan (jrogan@occourts.org)
    Sent: Mon 4/09/12 6:19 AM
    To: Tony Campi (fwbwtd@hotmail.com)

    “My dear Mr. Ciamp,……………”

    “Nowhere is the rule of law more jeopardized than when those who are entrusted with its execution violate their obligation to support and defend it. As citizens, we must always be on guard for the terrors of a justice system run amok by those who are charged with legal authority, yet show no fidelity to the Constitution or the notions of justice underlying it.”

    Blessings to you and your family in the coming years.

    Respectfully,

    Judge James E. Rogan (Former Congressman-Clinton Impeachment Prosecutor)
    ____________________________________________________

    Obama appointed a federal judge, Lucy Koh, with the purpose of concealing the crimes of police officers.

    The evidence:
    http://chiefburns.weebly.com/

    The cover-up:
    http://judgekoh.weebly.com/

    Taser http://chiefburns.weebly.com/exhibit-7.html

    DA http://chiefburns.weebly.com/exhibit-8.html

    The Obama Connection:
    http://obamakillsthelaw.weebly.com/

  3. John Says:

    This article is BS. The only thing police officers care is about their salaries. It is extremely rare, the officers do something useful.
    In reality, they put their badges on and go and tow your car when they should not, give BS tickets to squeeze money from innocent people. It would have been much better if there were fewer officers so the state did not have to give them salaries and benefits.

    • ten8 Says:

      Some of what you say is true, and that is why I wrote the article, to show what the true purpose of the job is supposed to be.

  4. Pat Says:

    Purpose of Law Enforcement should be viewed as protection of freedom for all in organized society as they cannot be considered personal bodyguards. Their job is to enable freedom, not bully people, or enslave citizens, or worse, kill them.

    Everyone would be in danger otherwise.
    Armies are for assaults and invasions, traditionally, overseas for those who would threaten American people’s freedom.

    That’s why use of coercion to create power, make money, or enslave others is completely outside the scope of purpose of law enforcement.

  5. rathari aron Says:

    role of lawenforcement in society

  6. Elijah Says:

    I have a question. I would like to be replied via email. It goes “Explain the philosophy behind the establishment of the criminal justice system” it happens to be a probable question for my forth coming exam

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: