Duty, due diligence and discretion

An accused still has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law

Editor, The Times:

Like all civilizations down through the ages, ours is defined by its laws as well as the way in which they are enforced.

In the process of carrying out their duty, our police officers are expected to use some degree of discretion. When receiving a complaint an officer’s first duty is to consider the credibility of the accuser. Is the accuser sober and unhindered by psychoactive drugs? Is he or she of sound mind and free of malicious intent?

These are only the beginning of the difficult considerations of an investigating peace officer. Only after these first initial considerations are satisfied will a good peace officer proceed to the next phase of his or her duty and lay charges or make an arrest.

It may happen that, due to certain circumstances, the second phase of an officer’s duty is executed and an arrest is made, even though all considerations of the first phase have not yet been fully satisfied.

This might simply be for the purpose of setting in place a “No Contact” order attached to a “Promise to Appear” merely as a precaution while the matter is being investigated.

In the meantime, an accused still has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, should the matter end up going that far.

Ralph w. Horton


Clearwater, B.C.



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