Paper on the Internal and External Mechanisms That Control Police Discretion

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Police Department Roles and Functions Paper

University of Phoenix

Shannon Eldridge


December 4, 2012
Raymond Smith

Police Department Roles and Functions
Have you ever wondered what the purpose of having police patrol in every city is? They are here to help prevent and solve crimes as well as protect and serve the people within the community and their jurisdiction of law. All law enforcement agencies work together in various aspects of enforcing laws due to the overlapping of each agencies jurisdiction. There are three major types of law enforcement; these are local, state, and federal. All of these in which have basically the same goal but they all work in different ways. The objectives and duties range with each field of law enforcement as well as the wages vary with experience and rank within each of these levels. Each law enforcement agency has an array vast of subcategories that plays a role in the job details. Some categories focus more on specific details such as immigration while others focus mainly on community protection. Local law enforcement agencies are found in the cities and are typically small in size but not in all cases. Local law enforcement is trusted by the people of a community to protect them and enforce all laws. These laws also include traffic laws as well as criminal laws. The function of local police include to prevent and control widely recognized as threatening, aid individuals in danger of physical harm, facilitate the movement of people and vehicles, assistance to those who cannot care for themselves, resolve conflict, and create and maintain the feeling of security in communities (Goldstein, 1977). Local law enforcement agencies employ people to do clerical work, data entry, and a number of other things. Depending on the size of the city determines how many officers will be employed and maintain by that particular city. Many local law enforcement agencies are involved in program within school within each community such as D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and G.R.E.A.T (Gang Resistance Education and Training). These programs are put in place locally and nationally to educate the young people of the consequences and negativity of drugs and gangs and also the parents of these young people the warning signs of drug abuse and gang involvement and the ways to deal with the types of things. Community awareness plays a major role in the success of law enforcement. State law enforcement and local law enforcement agencies work together hand in hand. State law enforcement includes highway patrol and may also include investigations. In some cases the state may have a bureau of investigation. The state patrol agencies help local police with investigation and also emergencies that may be out of the local law enforcements jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of state police is spread throughout a state. They also assist in criminal investigation as well as highway patrol. State police along with local police have the right to arrest anyone who has broken a law. As well as working hand in hand with local police they have a large affiliation with federal agencies. They aid in homeland security and also immigration. A patrol officer play an important role in within law enforcement and their function vary in many ways. A patrol officer has specific duties and directives of law that must be followed. These directives include identifying criminal offenders as well as being aware of criminal activity. Along with all of the levels of law enforcement they also have to be involved in court proceedings. The major role of a patrol officer is to be involved in preventive patrol. Preventive patrol is simply preventing the opportunity of misconduct. They also are obligated to assist and aid people who are in harm’s way. A patrol officer is more active on the highways major roads and because of this they have to communicate the tour of his or her...
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