Many of us have different perceptions concerning the police force in our respective countries. Past experiences have a significant impact on the attitudes we tend to show towards the police. Our social status also affects our attitude towards the police. In most cases, we consider the police as enemies of the locals. They are only concerned about fighting the enemy and are always in danger thus using violent forces to free themselves. Most of the views that the society hold concerning the police is as a result of mass media. Some even define the police as the most corrupt officials in the country. Relations between the police and the locals was not a vibrant one in the past until recently when people started appreciating their duty hence warming up to them.
All along I have grown up knowing that police spend most of their time fighting criminals and interrogating suspects. Most young people love watching Television series where the police are always in hot pursuit of criminals. In addition, they always engage in shootings that in some cases end up in favor of the criminals. Personally, I have thought of being a police officer all my life. Reading the book has, however, changed my perception regarding the police and their duties. The police officers have the duty of maintaining law and order in the society as their primary responsibility. The only way to control the social life of the people so as not to go beyond the limits is by having laws in place. It is the police who ensure that the laws are enforced by the people. Making arrests and interrogating suspects is one way of applying the law in society by the police (Kappeler & Gaines, 2014 pg. 13).
The police also play vital roles in the society more than what we see in the media. There are different departments of the police with each department accomplishing a different role in the country. Previously, I thought all police officers could control traffic on our roads. I knew any police would apprehend a drug user in the public, but that is not the case. The transport agency under the department of homeland security has different roles from the customs and border protection agency. The transportation security agency solely handles the entire transportation system of the country. They enforce the law in aviation, waterways, highways, and public transport to prevent restriction of the freedom of movement of the citizens (Kappeler & Gaines, 2014 pg. 41).
The Department of Justice plays different roles from those of the homeland security. Most of the laws concerning criminals fall under this department. One way of dispensing justice is by ensuring the suspect is guilty before getting judged in a court of law. Investigations help in stating whether one is guilty or not. The FBI, which is an agency in the Justice Department, carries out investigations regarding criminal activities in the country. They also offer training programs to state police officers in their academy (Kappeler & Gaines, 2014 pg. 32).
It is now clear that the police are not only supposed to shoot and arrest criminals, but they can perform other duties too. In addition, not every police officer can handle all activities in the society such as making arrests. There are departments in the police force with each department playing a different role from the other. Police are human beings just like we are hence there is no need to fear them, but rather respect and support their duties to make the society a safe place to live.
Kappeler, E. & Gaines, K. (2014). Policing in America. Abingdon: Routledge.