The Policing Functions

Subject: ⚖️ Law
Type: Evaluation Essay
Pages: 5
Word count: 1480
Topics: Social Justice, Community, Law Enforcement, Police, 🔪 Crime
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In many countries, the police organizations are organized only on the national basis. The United States of America is the only country in the world that has fragmented policing bodies. Their law enforcement systems are organized into three categories, the local, federal and state police organizations. These establishments are over 18000, and their primary purpose is to maintain law and order. This fragmentation was however not necessary, and prior to the division of the police department, the state was controlled by the federal police force only. However, there was a belief that the republic citizens grew a particular fear over the federally controlled police and also, it is believed that the local problems are best solved at the local level. This, therefore, brought about the need for the local police (Lasky, Datnow, & Stringfield, 2014). Additionally, this fragmentation prompted certain inconveniences to the state. First, America lacks a uniform method of recruiting people into the police. A problem that has resulted in a lot of confusion in the law enforcement department. Secondly, this type of division has caused a lot of cumbersomeness and a wasteful duplication of effort across jurisdictions. Lastly, there is not a meaningful and productive communication and cooperation among the agencies across all the levels. In every level of the law enforcement agencies, there is a unique method of conducting matters. That is, each enforcement level has its own set of rules, responsibilities, and procedures where jurisdiction rules apply.

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The local policing organization

The local police department is comprised of other smaller bodies that work together to ensure law enforcement at the local level. These organizations include the county, municipal, regional and tribal police that derive authority and power from the governing body that created them. The primary responsibility of the local police is to investigate domestic crimes, uphold the laws of the jurisdiction, provide patrol, investigate local crimes and respond to specific service calls. However, most of the police in this department primarily spend their time responding to requests and performing patrol duties. Also, the local police is endorsed with the responsibility of traffic duties. The body also has the sheriff’s department in its system. All these organizations share in the responsibility of guarding societal grievances. They are also charged with the duty of explicitly enforcing only the law within their jurisdiction. Thus, the local police are limited by the court. They possess authority within their area of work. This is because all cities have a different set of rules and regulations. Nevertheless, the local police department is the smallest level of the law enforcement body that does explicit job at maintaining order at the local level.

The state policing organization

The state police also known as the highway patrol police is made up of66 agencies that work together and have employed over 56, 000 sworn police officers who are charged with performing specific duties to the country. The state law enforcement department has a statewide jurisdiction. Unlike, the local police, they are not limited by the particular authority. The primary responsibility of the state police is monitoring and patrolling the highway (Rushin, 2016). They help to prevent crime on the road, but unlike the other highway patrol departments, they also help in the criminal investigation and also receive service calls. Additionally, not all towns have local police. Several small towns and cities lack the local officers. Thus, the state police must ensure law enforcement and maintenance of peace in such cities. Additionally, they also extend help to the local police during emergencies that are beyond the jurisdiction of the local department. However, State officers have to prioritize their duties. First, they respond to service calls followed by investigative responsibilities, then the others follow. These others include administrative, technical, training and court-related duties. Unlike the United States of America, some countries have their state police performing only the highway patrol duty. The investigative task is left for the state bureau of investigation. The law enforcement body at the state level are located all over the country and is particular charged with traffic duties.

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The federal policing organization

The federal agency is composed of many departments including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Federal Bureau of Prison (BOP) and the U.S service unit. There are 65 federal agencies with 27 offices of inspector general. The company employs full-time personnel who possess the authority to own firearms and make the arrest. This is the only police department that has been charged with the duty of carrying guns. The department also has an extensive jurisdiction. They can work everywhere within the country unlike the local police but similar to the state or highway patrol officers. Their primary duties include criminal investigation and enforcement, police response and patrol, security and protection, inspections, court operations and correction-related responsibilities. This department is top-rated for their promising investigating work and their promptness in solving crimes especially homicide. One of the most popular agencies in the federal is the FBI. The FBI became most popular during the Second World War when they became more intense on counter-intelligence activities and intelligence gathering. They began to gather dirt from politicians and vital information. The information gathering, however, became controversial especially when they were called preempt by most people. Nevertheless, the federal police play a major role in investigative crimes.

The federal department has a lot of controversial issues and problems despite their brilliant performance of duty. Research has proven that the large cities that are highly bureaucratized inhibit the efficient operation of police organizations. It impedes development among the police organizations and their personal growth. The police department has also been accused of becoming more and more militarized. In other words, the police department is slowly tainting.

The United States of America has a fragmented police department including the local federal and state police. All these bodies, however, have a similar goal of maintaining law and order in the country. These are independent bodies with their own set of rules and regulations of how they perform their duties. However, they can also work together whenever necessary. They are charged with different duties and responsibilities to fulfill. Some of the responsibilities are also similar. For example, the state and the local police departments have almost the same functions which are the investigative and patrol duties. However, the local police are limited by jurisdiction (Rushin, 2016). They can only perform the function within their areas of responsibilities while the state police have a statewide authority. It is also important to note that not all towns have the local police. Such cities are typically monitored by the state police who enforce the law in those areas. On the other hand, the federal police department is the most extensive police department in the country and also with the most authority. They have the right to make the arrest and even carry firearms. Therefore, despite their differences in duty, they all have a similar purpose of law enforcement.

Additionally, all the three police departments have different and independent leadership bodies. In the local police departments, there is head of departments who give orders. One of the leaders in the local police is the sheriff. They have the right to dispatch duty and at times even fire those police officers who have been proven to be lawbreakers. When it comes to the Federal department, there are several heads including the lieutenants, the District Attorney, the Assistant District Attorney, the prison captains, who are charged with the duties of monitoring the officers in this department who are mostly detectives in the different fields of crime (Stewart, 2011). However, the entire law enforcement department is answerable to the president of the country who is usually the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The president has to witness and approve all the sworn police officers before they can be assigned duty.

In conclusion, the policing department is a vital body in a country. Without the police and no one to enforce the law and offer protection to the vulnerable, the world would be a chaotic place with bloodshed and crime every instance. The police provide guidance to the people and help to maintain law and order. Most people dislike the police officers, but it goes without saying that their primary mission is always to protect the people and offer peace in the country. The police department also helps to fight against terrorism to protect their people. They are the most patriotic citizens who are always more than willing to sacrifice their lives to protect the innocent people. A lot of police officers lose their lives during their line of duty, and these are the heroes and legends that would be remembered for eternity. Therefore, it does not matter the level or department of the police, they all work together and combine their duties to achieve their goal of maintaining law and order in the country.

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  1. Lasky, S., Datnow, A., & Stringfield, S. (2014.). Linkages between Federal, State and Local Levels in Law-Enforcement Reform. International Handbook of Educational Policy, 239-259. doi:10.1007/1-4020-3201-3_12
  2. Rushin, S. (2016). Moving Forward: Improving Oversight of Local Police. Federal Intervention in American Police Departments, 244-285. doi:10.1017/9781316226476.006
  3. Rushin, S. (2016). Introduction. Federal Intervention in American Police Departments, 1-25. doi:10.1017/9781316226476.001
  4. Stewart, D. M. (2011). Collaboration between Federal and Local Law Enforcement. Police Quarterly14(4), 407-430. doi:10.1177/109861111142374
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