Police organization paper

A police force is a major component of the criminal justice. The police serve to deter crime and arrest criminals who are required for persecution in court. There are different police kind of police force and officer at every level of administration.

Types of police agencies at the local, state, and federal level and their organization

At the local level

At the local level in America is the is the sheriff department at county level and municipal police in town and municipalities that may range from a single officer agency popularly known as the town marshal, to a police department with over 40, 000 officer  such as the new York police department. Municipalities have their names appearing before the phrase "Police Department" almost every city and town has a police department (Smith and Cole, 2007). In larger communities these departments are also large due to increased responsibility. Such large capacities also increase the departments' budget. In metropolitans there are metropolitan police departments covering several communities and municipalities. These are normally formed through joining the various local police and sheriff's departments within the areas under the cosmopolitan area (Gaines and Miller, 2009).  The organization of the local police units is varied. For instance the New York police department has 12 ranks, Chief of department, Bureau Chief, Assistant Chief, Deputy Chief, Inspector, Deputy Inspector, Captain, Lieutenant, Sergeant, Detective-Investigator, Detective-Specialist, and Police Officer. There is also the role of the Police commissioner, First Deputy Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner. The department has ten bureaus. Six of these bureaus are enforcement bureaus. The bureaus are subdivided in to unto, divisions, subsections, patrol boroughs, units detective squads and precincts. Each bureau is under the supervision of a Bureau Chief.  The police department also has special units that are not classified as departments and deal with specific issues.

Police agencies at the state level

At the state level there are several police agencies include highway patrol which has jurisdictions over the entire state but doe not take responsibility for the local cities and municipalities. According to Smith & Cole (2007) there is also Marine Patrol which under the Department of Natural Resources. The state police is referred to be different title in different state with 23 states referring to them as "State Police." other police agencies at the state level include State Bureaus of Investigation (SBI), Department of Public Safety (DPS), State Bureau of Narcotics, Motor Carrier Enforcement, Marine Patrol and State Park Police. There are other types of state police agencies that are unique to a single state or a few states such as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Police agencies at the federal level

At the federal level the police agencies can be classified into tow broad categories, Investigative agencies and uniformed security police departments. According (Gaines and Miller 2009) the investigative agencies consist of the United States Secret Service, United States Marshals Service, The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration. On the other hand uniformed security police agencies include Federal Protective Service, United States Park Police, U.S. Mint Police and United States Border Patrol. These agencies are at the highest level with quasi-police roles. Their jurisdiction of investigative agencies is nationwide but the uniformed agencies have territorial jurisdiction is quite limited. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the most powerful investigative agency but the other agencies are specialized in nature. However all federal agencies are only expected to deal with matters affecting the federal Government such as interstate commerce.

The principal roles and functions of police organizations

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The police perform roles revolving around the maintenance of law and order in the society (Vila & Morris, 1999). Traditionally the police roles and function as stipulated by the law included, prevention and control and mannerism widely acknowledged as life threatening or a threat to property; provide assistance to individuals who are at risk of physical harm, like victims of a violent attack, facilitate the movement of vehicles and people, assist people who are unable to help themselves such as the mentally ill, the intoxicated, old and young people, and those with physical disabilities, resolve conflicts between individuals or groups, indentify problems that have the capacity of becoming serious in future and creating and maintaining a secure atmosphere for the survival of the community. Current the roles and functions of the police have expanded and the now handle a wide range of issues related to security, and safety of people and property. Such roles include detective work to investigate crime and criminal activities, arrest criminals, keep criminals and prisoners in custody, fight against terrorism and narcotics, protect nature, wildlife and marine ecosystem, protect the country borders, and monitor cyber crimes. Sheriff departs have the responsibility of transporting criminals from one place to another.

Major organizational theories associated with policing

There are several organization theories that are relevant to policing. The theory of division of labor is a significant organizational theory for any policing department (Swanson, Leonard & Robert 2005). Division of labor is a theory is based on the idea of people concentrating on working in areas or positions in which they have expertise or can perform better. the police force perform various function such are, investigating crime, arresting criminals, providing security, and other. To perform such functions requires training and it is also very unproductive if every officer has to perform these functions. However if different officers are trained to perform specific function such that every activity has people who have the ability to work there, the police department will be efficient since the weakness of other officer in various function will be masked if they concentrate in doing what they can do best and leaving other task to those who can do them best.  According to Maguire (2003) and Swanson, Leonard & Robert (2005) bureaucracy is also a major feature of policing. The chain of command stipulated by the organization structure must be observed. For instance, it would be very wrong for a chief inspect to ignore the assistant inspector issues directives directly to junior officers. however, policing is dynamic and need to keep changing so as to keep up with the trend of time, in such a case contingency theory is very effective since it the theory whose application ensure that the management structure is flexible and dynamic to accommodate future changes and unexpected events. According to Stevens (2009:195) "the contingency states that the performance of a police department is a product of how properly it fits in the context within which it is embodied...structure, performance and processes of a police department will only be effective if the department remains dynamic and adoptive to changes in technology and the environment." Therefore, unless a police agency is compatible with the society within which it operates, it will have a difficult time exercising its mandate. The other theory is resources dependence theory; the efficiency of any police force is dependent on the available resources for the tasks available. Also Maguire (2003) observes that, police agencies depend much of on the availability of information and thus is influence by the information dependence theory. A police department as such will need resources and mean of accessing useful information.

The police agencies are of varied types at local, state, and federal level with different responsibilities. However, the mains of the police agencies include protection of people and property and maintain law and order in the society. Also a police agency needs to be organized properly in order to achieve its mandate. For proper organization of these agencies organization theories become very important with the most notable ones being division of labor, Contingency theory, resource dependence theory and information dependence theory.

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