Respond to Peter Post

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Hello Class,

I apologize for the late submission of this discussion post. For this topic I am going to chose to pick a NH State Trooper, which is a career path that I am currently striving for. During this line of work, wide discretion is used on a daily basis as one of the major parts of the job is to patrol and protect the interstate system. Deciding when to pull someone over because they were speeding is probably the most common one. If you think about yourself driving and how many times you are over the speed limit, multiply that by however many vehicles may pass by a trooper who’s pulled off the side of the road. If you’re him, you’re using discretion on when to make your move constantly, because the truth is, you can’t pull everyone over that’s speeding.

I actually have a real-life example of when discretion would be limited in this line of work. I was having a conversation with someone I know who is actively in law enforcement. We were talking about marijuana in New Hampshire, and how close it is to becoming legal, and he shared with me with the only time he actually arrested someone for a DUI while under the influence of it. He said he’s pulled many people over where he could smell it, but never really had enough evidence to do anything further except one time. The driver of the vehicle actually still had the lit joint in their hand and passed it to him as he pulled the individual over. He said the driver replied with a response like “sorry, man, I’m really baked right now”, so, he really had no choice, but to arrest and charge them with a DUI. 

In response to two of your peers, explain any additional benefits or drawbacks to having wide or limited discretion in their chosen career field. You may also want to describe any other instances in that career field in which the criminal justice professional is afforded wide or limited discretion, and how this may impact the decision-making process.

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