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The Police in America, 4/e
Samuel Walker, University of Nebraska
Charles M. Katz, Arizona State University-West

Police Problems
Police Discretion

Multiple Choice Quiz

Choose the best answer:


How often do police officers exercise discretion?
D)We do not know.
E)It cannot be determined.

Police discretion
A)is unnecessary.
B)is not noticed.
C)is insignificant.
D)is against the law.
E)has consequences.

The power to exercise discretion
A)is not unlimited.
B)only applies to potential misdemeanor cases.
C)is unlimited.
D)is not connected to administrative policy.
E)is less available in misdemeanor cases as opposed to felony cases.

A)is not confined to the police.
B)is only found in police work.
C)has no advantages.
D)tends to bring about congestion in the criminal justice system.
E)is usually a negative act.

Which types of police officers exercise the greatest amount of discretion?
E)Chiefs of police.

What does James Q. Wilson note about discretion in terms of police work?
A)Discretion decreases as one moves down the organizational hierarchy.
B)Discretion increases as one moves down the organizational hierarchy.
C)Discretion is not needed.
D)Patrol officers should not have discretion.
E)Discretion is illegal.

What did the disparities in traffic stops of African-Americans by the Maryland State Police indicate about discretion?
A)The absence of discretion.
B)Indifference to discretion.
C)Abuse of discretion.
D)Proper use of discretion.
E)It favored minorities.

Police discretion
A)is unnecessary.
B)has never been used against minorities.
C)is limited to arrest.
D)is not limited to arrest.
E)decreases as one moves down the level of organization within a police department.

Criminal law
A)does not change.
B)is always interpreted the same way.
C)is one of the basic causes of police discretion.
D)seldom deals with social and medical problems.
E)forces police officers to interpret the law in the same manner

Women who do not conform to gender role expectations when they encounter the police
A)receive preferential treatment.
B)do not receive preferential treatment.
C)are ignored.
D)are always arrested.
E)create a favorable impression with the police.

Most police-citizen interactions are
B)quite exciting.
C)routine and uneventful.

What is noted about female officers?
A)They engage in more actions that result in either citizen complaints or generate some kind of disciplinary action.
B)They generally receive citizen complaints at half of the rate of male officers.
C)They are more likely to be identified as potential “problem” officers.
D)Female officers differ significantly form male officers with respect to their attitudes toward the job, citizens, and their department.
E)Male and female officers demonstrate similar patterns of behavior in few situations.

What is noted about the effect of official department policies on police discretion?
A)They have no effect.
B)Whatever effect they may have is not noticeable.
C)They have a powerful influence over police discretions.
D)It is difficult to ascertain their effects.
E)They are the same in every department.

Historically, what has been the reaction of the police to the suggestion that they exercise discretion?
A)They readily admit to it.
B)There is a denial of exercising discretion.
C)There is a demand for more discretion among all police officers.
D)There is strong criticism of discretion.
E)There is feeling of indifference to discretion.

In one of the first studies of police discretion, what did Joseph Goldstein conclude?
A)It was illegal and should be abolished.
B)It should be retained.
C)It should be legalized.
D)Other public agencies should adopt it.
E)It should be increased.

What do most experts argue regarding plea bargaining?
A)It is useless.
B)It should be completely abolished.
C)It serves some useful purpose and cannot be completely abolished in any event.
D)It should not apply to misdemeanor cases.
E)It should only apply to felony cases.

Administrative rulemaking refers to
A)a method of control that has evolved through the use of written policies that guide the police officer’s exercise of discretion.
B)various rules which allow considerable discretion.
C)special rules that only apply to administrators.
D)unwritten rules of procedure.
E)key decisions that only affect mid-level officers.

Kenneth Culp Davis, a leading authority on administrative law, describes the principles of administrative rulemaking in terms of
A)avoiding legal suits.
B)combining law and practice.
C)a strategy to fill the gap between law and practice.
D)answering all questions of policy.
E)avoiding “tough” decisions.

What do Kenneth Davis and Herman Goldstein argue about a system of open rulemaking?
A)It has never been used previously.
B)It is useless.
C)It would have a negative effect on police-community relations.
D)It would have a positive effect on police-community relations.
E)One would not be able to measure the effect of the system.

In a Justice Department report on "Broken Windows" and Police Discretion, what does George L. Kelling suggest that needs to come about for the police to effectively address quality of life issues in neighborhoods?
A)More money to recruit qualified officers.
B)Better and newer equipment, especially computers.
C)More rigorous training standards.
D)More communication between residents and the police.
E)Clear guidance in the form of rules that tell them both what they should do and what they should not do.