Should duly trained and duly authorized officers be given the authority to impose some limited fines or other civil penalties at their discretion and with out any other cause?
Examine for a moment the advantages.
Let say, a citizen is doing something which is not actually against any law but it is obviously causing a some legitimate problem. Or a traffic stop results in a slightly uncooperative citizen. The officer would like to resolve the issue with out escalating the situation. If he had the authority to demand an immediate action on the part of the citizen and enforce that demand with the civil authority to impose a civil fine say limited to $100 should the citizen choose to ignore the officer, wouldn't that be a helpful tool in any officers bag of tricks?
First, this idea isn't really new. US laws are already written with in many ways to give law enforcement the advantage of discretionary enforcement. Severe penalties which are usually not enforced in full give the prosecutor latitude and a myriad of laws of which most people find they are in violation at nearly all times, are laws which an officer can threaten to enforce to encourage cooperation.
Second, Do we like that state of affairs? Do we want the sort of latitude? Or do we as a people feel that the protections of due process are important? I think we are confused.
If we feel that discretionary enforcement was valuable, we should simply pass the laws allowing authorized police officers to impose arbitrary fines against which there is no legal relief. But if we as a people feel that the protections of due process are important, we need to rewrite and perhaps eliminate many laws which constructively grant discretionary enforcement.
Which will we do? Probably the same thing that most who read this web page do, dismiss the information as unimportant, do nothing, and turn the game back on.