|Lawson Police Department,
You Make the Call
Modern Policing is an ever changing and often complicated environment. As new laws
and new court decisions are made, Police have to constantly adapt to these changes in
order to make lawful decisions. Often Police Officers are confronted with complicated
and quickly changing situations and are required to make split second decisions. To
be a Police Officer takes experience and constant training to keep up with these ever
changing laws and court rulings.
Now its your turn to make the call and be the Police Officer. Below is an actual situation
where Police Officer's had to make a decision. How would you handle the call?
Officer Jones was walking foot patrol when he observed Mr. Smith stumbling and falling
down on the sidewalk near a bar which sold alcoholic beverages. Officer Jones made
contact with Mr. Smith and found that Mr. Smith was heavily intoxicated and smelled of
alcoholic beverages. Officer Jones had dealt with Mr. Smith before and knew that he
lived several miles outside of town.
Officer Jones took Mr. Smith into custody for being incapacitated by intoxication and
transported him to the local jail. At the jail, Mr. Smith was searched prior to being
placed in a holding cell and narcotics were found on his person. He was then charged
with possession of the narcotics and his case went to court.
At court, the search of Mr. Smith was questioned. Mr. Smith argued that the search
was done illegally because he was arrested without probable cause for being
intoxicated. He also claimed that his civil rights were violated because he was being
unlawfully detained. He argued that he did not consent to the search at the jail and that
Officer Jones had no reason to hold him.