ORGANIZATIONS OFPOLICINGAND COMMUNITY
February 13, 2017
Humphrey, Truitt M.S
Society as a whole is blind to the facts and reasoning on the subject of law enforcement and its organizations. Most Americans are unaware to the reasons of why we have the different organizations within law enforcement nor the complete knowledge of why they are organized in the manner that they are. In many, if not most countries, theorganizational structure of policingisstructuredon a national level. But in the United States policing isbrokendown into fourcombinedbut separate entities. They arefederal, state, county, andlocal levels of law enforcement.
The justification for this separation can beunderstoodbecause of the two separate principles that Americabelieves in. First, in the early days ofpolicing citizenwere terrified of the thought that policing would be under the control of a centralized federal government. Second, there was a shared understanding and acceptance that as Americans, local problems should be dealt with and best managed atthe lowestlevelpossible, this means locally. No matter if those issues involved policing, education, or even waste management.
Despite the facts that, this divisionhascaused three exceptional problems still happening at this present time. It unquestionably,obstructs the primary mission of the concept of law enforcement.Fundamentally, there is a frugal duplication of effort or lack of any real attempts between the different commands.Additionally,there are a multitude of standards, sono one set standardized requirements for recruitment,initial training,policies, or management throughout all police departmentsor divisions.And conclusively, communication and information sharing between and among the different agencies seems to be burdensome and not very efficiently conducted.
When discussing any organization especially when it pertains to law enforcement, it is always essential to allocate positions of power or have some type of authoritarian figure. This is to insure order will at all times be maintained and there is a chain of command. Which meansthechain of commandhas thepowerof authority and responsible for which orders are passed.Local and state law enforcement agencies are comparable to military like based chains of command.
Although on the federal level they are more reliant on a director who is ultimately decide on by the United States President.Themost significant separation concerninga chief of police and a sheriff is how theyobtainedtheir individual titlesor positions.PoliceChiefs are appointed by a government person such as the mayor, city manager, etc. Sheriffs on the other hand are elected or appointed by the voters of their counties.Regardless of the means by which the leadership is chosen, most law enforcement organizations operate under the sameasmilitary model of delegation of authorityas well aschain of command.
At the local level, city police areassembledunder a police commissionerwhichis in command of the entire police organization. Depending on the size of the police force, there could be commanders of various police units who report directly to the commissioner and individual officers who report directly to those commanders. State police and state patrol will have similar structures. These structures will vary in size based on the mission of the state police and the size of the state and often requires multiple echelons of delegation, and lower levels of command effected to implement command and control over more officers in larger areas.
Federal law enforcement agencies are set up in a different way. Unlike the local law enforcement, federal agencies are not meant to deal with general crimes. Instead, the agency organization is designed to enforce policies and carry out a federal operations while using law enforcement procedures at times. Because these agencies are federal, their leaders answer to the President as part of a directed, national objective.
Police organizations adopt different structural configurations. Somepolice forceshave up totwelve levels of command, then there are some that could have a minimum of justfour. Some are centralized, with decisions flowing down from thetop, the police chiefoffice, while others are more decentralized, with decisions flowing up fromthe lowest level of the organization,patrol officers.
The head of the police force is ultimately responsible for the achievements also the failure of the law enforcement organization mission, although he or she cannot feasibly oversee all of the operations in a larger organization personally. For that reason, delegation and rank structure that is at least loosely based on a military modeling is used to suitably delegate responsibility and allow junior officers to report to senior officers in their perspective positions of leadership. This style of structure permits for simpler completion of tasks by officers and leaders and the ability to conduct operations to a higher degree. Inactuality, thisis thebest andonly way in which amassiveorganization like a police forceshould be operating also workingas a single, unified organization.
As times continue to change the community and policing has also changed as towhat the Community expects from the police. Also, what the police expect from the citizens in theircommunity.The modern-day law enforcement officers are underneath a remarkable amount of scrutiny by the populace that they gave an oath to serve and protect. Police are accountable for every decision they make or indecisions 24 hours a day 7 days a week without fail or break. Police officers normally do not have the option of turning a blind eye. When members in society see a police officer at an incident they have a belief that the officer will remain on the scene and handle the situation.
“Ultimately we must remember that we expect much more than just law enforcement and crime control from our police. We expect service and customer satisfaction and community involvement. We want the sort of policing where the fears of the elderly are attended to along with the fraud committed on the wealthy; where law enforcement officers are also peace officers and community leaders; where officers who make honest mistakes are congratulated for their initiative as well as being corrected, and where a police officer having a coffee in a shopping centre is not wasting time but in touch with her or his local community.”(Froyland& Bell 1996).
To reiterate on what Mrs. Truitt said while speaking to the class.A very important statement most people should truly think about.Police have more power than most give them credit for. Law enforcement officers have an abundance of discretion, all officers develop different styles of policing. Some are assertive, seeking out criminals, busy making arrests, and stopping vehiclesfor an unlimited amount of reasons. Others prefer a more relaxed approach, issuing out warnings rather than making arrests whenever possible, and even counseling juveniles. Maybe even when police departments try to limittheirdiplomacy by announcing “zero-tolerance” policies for offenses such as drug possession, underage drinking and otherthings, officers sometimes prefer not to make an arrest in certain situations. The concept that a police officer constructs his or her own working personality is an utter conflict to the notion of a police person as a robot, responding without bias to every situation fitting to the letter of the law.
Policing has changed extensively from the early years to the present.The understanding to policing and the various organizations can all be clarified when thinking of a big city.The organizational structures of a large metropolitan police department in the United States. Many of these changes are the cause and effect to new technologies, efforts to prevent corruption, andincreasing demand from the communities to extend the range of their services.It does not work the way most would like all the time. But it is still and always will be something,that is going to constantly evolve forthe betterment of the existingculture.
Undefined, U. U. (2003). Chapter 5 The Organization of policing . In D. H. Champion & M. Hooper (Authors), Introduction to American policing (pp. 163-195). New York: Glencoe McGraw-Hill.
Undefined, U. U. (2005). Chapter 2 Inside Police Agencies Understanding Mission and Culture. In L. S. Miller, K. M. Hess, & L. S. Miller (Authors), Community policing: partnerships for problem solving (7th ed., pp. 29-52). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
Maguire, E. R. (n.d.). Organizational Structure in American Police Agencies. Retrieved February 7, 2017, from www.sunypress.edu/organizational-structure-in-america.
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Froyland, I. D. & Bell, D. 1996, “Making police more efficient,”in D. Chappell & P. Wilson, Australian policing: contemporary issues, 2nd Ed, Butterworths, Sydney.
Truitt, J. P., Mrs. (2017, February 8). Substance Abuse and Policing. Lecture presented,Guess Speaker in Methodist University, Fayetteville, NC.
With so much that has transpired recently involving law enforcement and the citizens that they are sworn to protect and serve. There are many questions along with different contentiousviews on the roles of police. The roles of policing are very complex and at times can become very controversial depending on the laws and the different ways of thinking. In this paper, I will attempt to point out and discuss several roles of policing. Before talking about anything first, the understanding and clarity to what policing really means. By tradition, most people think of police usually as having the responsibility to responding to crimes after it has already taken place and, therefore are organized to support regular patrols, be speedy in answering to calls for assistance. Some are real emergencies and most are not, making arrests, and following-up with investigations. Although these are roles. Most fail to understand what the role of policing really entails or means.
Policing is one of the hardest careers a person can choose to embark into to. Inside of these roles, there are a couple roles that people do not take into account for like risking their own lives for the safety of the community daily. The title of being law enforcement puts them at risk, their families, and friends. This is a battle between what some would classify as good versus evil. For someone to be willing to make that type of sacrifice. Knowing that the small amount of pay they receive for their efforts, to try to keep society honest and free of crime is not nearly suitable for the sizeable amount of risk and apparent dangers they face being an officer of the law. Yet, they still wake up daily to put on their uniforms on to stand against crime.
The guest speaker for class Mr. Flemings, told the class that the roles of policing at times can become difficult in some ways, being an officer of the law because of some things they may see or hear. It may go against the officers own personal beliefs but an officer is charged with putting personal feeling on the back burner. This means they are only suppose to see things fromthe aspect of the black and white of the written law. They may have to take a person into custody even though they agree with the person but, they broke the law. He also said that if a person does not agree with a particular law there are steps citizens can take to making changes to the law. I find this also as a role of policing because the police officer must always put the law first with the concept they are trying to make the community safe and free from those that break the law.
Mr. Flemings put many things into perspective for the class some of the things could be undisputable and some things problematic. The responsibility and weight of preventing crimes, upholding civil order has fallen solely on the shoulders of the policemen in society. At the start of policing this was not the intensions of how policing should be carried out. The weight was meant to be placed on every citizen. Having the obligation to intervene when witnessing a law being broken. Upholding personal freedoms and the trust needed to support our communities depends on everyone. Being able to interact freely with no fear of violence, and as members of the community, we are morally bound to preserve peace and unity.
Having our law enforcement officers in each community is one of the main reason why there is order and constant harmony. The safety within the police persons’ patrol area, the enforcement of the law and crime prevention are the basics of the police roles. Crime prevention is one of the principal roles. Which is difficult but, a very important job that the police in the community must attempt to sustain each and every day. To maintain public protection, that is meant to protect the well-being of the people they serve by enforcing the law and guardianship of order. Crime prevention, nevertheless, also means all actions related to the improvements of safe keeping like the education to citizens on how to protect themselves, family, friends and evenincluded into that, their personal property. With having the responsibilities for the safety of the citizens’ law enforcement has a variety of roles which cover a wide range of interests, from traffic regulation, criminal investigation, and apprehension. In law, the police have the power given to them from our government to make laws necessary for the morality, health, and welfare of the general populace.
There is one role of policing that can possibly be debatable on the actual effectiveness within most crime stricken areas in America. This role is called Community Policing which arguably could be the new prevailing attitude of the law enforcement officials in the United States. It is becoming a progressively popular replacement to what many police and bureaucrats identify as the failure of traditional policing to deal successfully with street crime, particularly drug trafficking and crimes of violence. Although the concept is defined in various ways and its capability to meet its goals remains largely unproven, community policing has gained a broad acceptance in most communities throughout the United States.
Community policing objective is the promoting of mutual trust and teamwork between citizens and the police, at the same time, it puts in place some type of empowerment within neighborhoods that are in danger of being engulfed by drugs, crime, and the venomous mix of hopelessness and unrest. A lot of people that feel affected by this could make a case that the focus of neighborhood policing is a fantasy name for simple law enforcement problem-solving. This is an inaccurate way of thinking. In its place, community policing was designed to allow law enforcement to get back to their principles, which it was first initiated, to incorporate itself once again back into the structure of the community. So, the people can possibly feelcomfortable with approaching the police for support and help. Hopefully, before a serious offense or problem arises. In community policing, police carry out their duties by responding to all other calls and those classified as emergencies.
Nevertheless, many calls to the police are not police related and in actuality handled by a totally different agency other than a traditional police officer. So, as the quantity of calls for police decreases, police officers are able to spend more valuable time working with citizens in the neighborhoods to solve crimes and serious police department complaints. With having better police and citizen interaction, officers can more effectively share expertise with the public, officers who know both their communities’ problems and its residents on some type of personal level. Will be more likely to connect people with other known public and or private agencies that can help solve some of the communities shortcomings and fears.
What I could gathered from Mr. Flemings, also from the studying of traditional policing roles, is that the fundamental core of most departments of the police starts at the lowest level. Which means it begins at the Police Academy. Community policing calls for a significantly different frame of mind over all. A minor modification and new circumstance into perspective regarding traditional policing activities can make a significant contribution toward the advancement of the community policing beliefs and therefore increasing the capacity of police departments to render successful, competent, and unbiased law enforcement services.
Champion, D. H., ; Hooper, M. (2003). Chapter 4 The Police Role. In Introduction to American policing (pp. 119-157). New York: Glencoe McGraw-Hill.
Community Policing Defined – COPS. (n.d.). Retrieved January 19, 2017, from www.community policing Defined; U.S Department of justice
Flemings, Mr. (2017, January 18). Ethics in Policing and Community Policing. Lecture presented in Methodist University, Fayetteville, NC.
Truitt, H. M. (2017, January 18). Community Policing. Speech presented in Methodist University, Fayetteville, NC