Policing function at the Local, State, and Federal Organization Levels

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In the present day, maintaining law and order in the society is a function of the police whereby different countries have established different law enforcement agencies that are actively involved in maintaining law and order in their respective countries. The various law enforcement agencies perform different functions depending on nature and frequency crimes as well as the size of a population. All the law enforcement departments in the United States fall into three functional levels, the local, state, and federal policing function. In the United States, the law enforcement officers include the federal police, for example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Criminal Investigation Agency (CIA) and US Marshalls, the State Police and many other local police departments such as the county and sheriff departments (Peak, 2010). At present, there are more than twenty-three thousand law enforcement agencies. Therefore since the law enforcement department is huge and diverse, it is important to understand how it functions, its structures in different levels and the management criteria that are used to ensure that the departments fulfill their role in the society. In this regard, this paper aims at identifying, comparing, and contrasting the policing function at the local, state, and federal organization levels. The paper will further carry out an analysis of the way organizational, management, operation, and administration functions are structured.

There is a difference in the size, organization and police functions whereby the local police department is the largest in the United States comprising of more than 23,000 policing departments whereby almost three-quarters of the agencies are in the local policing department that is, more than 80 percent of the officers are in the local police departments (Potter, 2017). The local police departments consist of the Municipal, the sheriffs, and the county law enforcement officers. In comparison to the Federal level,  there are sixty-five federal agencies and twenty-seven offices of inspector general that recruit permanent workers approved to make arrests and carry guns (Potter, 2017). The Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2008 the highest number of federal employees were found in U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the FBI, and United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In each of the various departments that have employed federal officers, there are more than fifteen thousand employees that have recruited (Potter, 2017). Although the numbers are high, the employee turnover in the federal department cannot be compared with that of the Local police, which employs more than 75 percent of all the officers in the policing department.

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Regarding the jurisdiction of the law enforcement officers, the local police normally have the minimum jurisdiction areas both concerning the boundary and level whereby the jurisdiction of the police in these areas is controlled by the local governing bodies (Potter, 2017). According to the outlined procedure on local police department as law enforcement officers, the police are required to mainly provide patrol and investigate local criminal activities within their jurisdiction (Cordner & Scarborough, 2010). The connection between the state police and the local police is normally cited whenever the State police assist the local law enforcement officers during major investigations or emergencies that sometimes require a lot of resources that may not be available for the local law enforcement officers. Also, some cases might be outside the jurisdiction of the local police, hence the need for the state police or federal police to intervene. 

In the policing functions, the federal officers have the highest number of roles for which they are responsible for police response and patrol, investigating criminal activities and enforcement of the law. The federal officers undertake investigations in the county, state, and national boundaries, thus providing security and protection to high prominent leaders, court processes, and corrections (Cordner & Scarborough, 2010). On the other hand, the State police are actively involved in executing functions that mainly include highway patrol and investigations within the boundaries of the States. In certain areas, states have been observed to have only highway patrol functions while the investigative tasks are handled by external or autonomous departments such as a bureau mandated to investigate criminal activities within the State. In the United States, these policing departments are responsible for the investigation of crime, referral of cases to the judiciary and temporary detaining or transportation of suspected criminals (Campbell, 2010). The officers in the local police departments undertake paramilitary tasks such as rescue operations during hostage situation across the country whereby the officers engage armed criminals. On the other hand, apart from managing crime, the local police departments such as the county police and the sheriff departments manage the affairs of the communities through the provision of social work services such as handling drug problems in the community or domestic violence. 

The nature of management of the three policing functions is highly similar to intermediate management that includes the service of captains and lieutenants that play the role of linking up the senior level of leadership in policing with the junior police offices (Cordner & Scarborough, 2010). These management levels are mainly found in the local and state police departments. However, the mode at which they are lead is similar to that at the federal level, which consists positions of middle management such the special agents and ASAC (Cordner & Scarborough, 2010). In the United States, the law enforcement departments are represented under the department of interior, and therefore the policy documents and regulation at the national level are managed by the head of interior affairs who reports to the senate. 

The three levels of organization that is; federal, state and local police perform operations in accordance with the rules and regulations stipulated by the governing law. Although all the policing functions are similar in following the law, there is a difference in the laws enacted in different regions (Potter, 2017). The laws governing different states slightly differ amongst the states, and hence a state or local police office will perform functions guided by the law of the state, unlike the federal officers who will perform operations based on the national law. Moreover, unlike other nations where the forces are sorted within the national premise, in the U.S  a function such as patrolling is divided into government, municipal or neighborhood ranks of association, i.e., the federal government (Peak, 2010). The justification for this fragmentation can be found in two convictions. To begin with, at the beginning of the Republic nationals feared a governmentally controlled police constraint. Second, there is an interestingly American conviction that neighborhood issues are best-taken care of at a nearby level, regardless of whether those issues include training, policing, squander administration or something like that (Peak, 2010). The fragmentation of the forces causes issues which meddle with the mission of legal authorization. For example, there are no uniform benchmarks for enrollment, administration or approaches crosswise over police offices. Second, there is an inefficient duplication of endeavors crosswise over purviews. Lastly, correspondence and data division among and amid organizations is perceived to be awkward with annulled success in promoting efficacy and effectiveness. 

Under native Rule Implementation, nine out of ten of the total population of police divisions in the U.S are nearby constabularies and sheriff’s specialties (Peak, 2010). In an extensive urban communities of two fifty thousand individuals or extra, constabularies office are to a great degree complex associations, exceptionally organized and subdivided into various divisions (Peak, 2010). For example, five urban areas have police offices made out of at least 5,000 sworn officers.  Therefore three out of four officers are full-time offices, therefore, balancing out the proportion of officers that are required for policing the citizens. 

For the National act Execution, there are sixty-six state-level law authorization offices in the U.S assigned as public constabularies, interstate watch, or state inspective offices (Peak, 2010). Also, most government constabularies associations were made within a 30-year spurn starting from 1900 and were fundamentally condescended to stifle the association of worker’s guilds whereby Hawaii is the main express that does not have an all-inclusive police suggestion (Peak, 2010). Large portions of these republic wide organizations have joint activity and illegitimate examination obligation whereby at the central level there is around one hundred thousand permanent ruling requirement staff (Peak, 2010). Sixty percent full period law requirement staff at the government level toil for the Settlement and Naturalization Facility, the Federal Agency of Jails, the Federal Bureau of Examination, and the U.S. Customs Service.

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In conclusion, the differences and similarities in the mode of operation, management, and function of the three policing levels are focused on ensuring law and order in the United States through the investigation of criminal activities and protection of the borders. Other difference that is seen through the discussion is based on the amount of workforce that is engaged in the various organizations of law enforcement therefore, it is appropriate that the management levels respond appropriately to consolidate the three organizations to enable them to work harmoniously. Lastly, the coordination and management of the policing role and responsibility throughout the various police department and levels that is the federal, state and local police department ensure that law and order are maintained throughout the United States society.

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  1. Campbell, D. (2010). Soldiers as Police Officers/ Police Officers as Soldiers: Role Evolution and Revolution in the United States. Armed Forces & Society36(2). http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0095327×09335945
  2. Cordner, G. & Scarborough, K. (2010). Information sharing: Exploring the intersection of policing with national and military intelligence. The Journal of the Naval Postgraduate School Centre for Homeland Defense and Security. 6 (1). 
  3. Peak, K. (2010). Justice Administration: Police, courts, and corrections management. Prentice Hall, Pearson Education.
  4. Potter, G. (2017). The Organization of PolicingPlsonline.eku.edu. http://plsonline.eku.edu/insidelook/organization-policing
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