Instructor: Robert Ferrier
Police Department Organization Paper
Local police departments, including city and county agencies, represent a third level of law enforcement activity in the United States. The term local police encompass a wide variety of agencies. Municipal departments, rural sheriff’s departments, and specialized groups like campus police and transit police. There are approximately 12,700 municipal police departments and 3,100 sheriff’s departments in the United States. Every incorporated municipality in the country has the authority to create its own police force. Some very small communities hire only one officer, who fills the roles of chief, investigator, and night watch—as well as everything in between. (Frank Schmalleger 2007)
But on the other hand, there are state police agencies that have their own roles and functions state law enforcement agency whose principal functions usually include maintaining statewide police communications, aiding local police in criminal investigations, training police, and guarding state property. The state police may include the highway patrol. Most states have police agencies in addition to agencies within specific municipalities, townships or counties. The power of most state agencies includes the ability to arrest an individual for an offense committed in the presence of the officer, as well as the ability to execute a search warrant. In addition to the state police, some states have established a Highway Patrol with jurisdiction over traffic laws on interstate roads. These patrols have the authority to enforce traffic laws as well as investigate traffic accidents on highways and freeways. Hawaii is the only state without a state law enforcement agency. Furthermore, there are Federal agencies the first agency to be established by the U.S. government was the U.S. Marshall Service, which was founded in 1789. Since that time, the...