Police Department Roles and Functions

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Police Department Roles and Functions
Axia College of University of Phoenix

Police Department Roles and Functions
Law enforcement agencies range from local counties all the way up to state and federal levels. Communities are dependent of these agencies to conduct and perform many different roles and functions. All policing agencies perform the same basic duties and responsibilities, which are, maintain law and order, provide community assistance, and investigate crimes. There are agencies that function in a specific jurisdictions or provides a specialized function in a specific jurisdiction. All departments work together to protect citizens, prevent crime, and solve crimes within their community. * What are the principal roles and functions of police organizations and their role as it applies to the law? * Local law enforcement protects citizens and maintains law and order within their assigned jurisdiction. Local law enforcement patrols communities to deter crimes through their visual presence. Law enforcement officers investigate crimes, gather evidence, and make arrests of offenders (Gabor & Low, 1973). Local law enforcement can be broken down into two different agencies, city police and Sheriff Departments. City police are responsible for conducting their roles and functions within city limits or their assigned jurisdiction through their established departments. Department responsibilities can include specific patrolling to deter crime with a different department with specific responsibilities to investigate crimes. * Sheriff Departments are tasked with policing the whole county jurisdiction. The Sheriff Department conducts the same roles and function of local law enforcement departments. Sheriff Departments have what are called deputies that patrol county jurisdictions, investigators, and a coroner. Sheriff Departments are also responsible for operating county jails. * State police have the role of ensuring safety of people with the entire state. State police agencies include highway patrol officers and investigation personnel. State police officers known, as highway patrol is responsible for policing state highways and interstates. Their functions include making traffic stop violations to highway trafficking crimes (Scott, 2009). State police will investigate crimes across individual county lines where local jurisdiction is limited. The type of crime committed in the state will determine which agency within the state will take the lead. * Federal law enforcement agencies have authority and jurisdiction over the entire nation. Federal law enforcement is the responsibility of the Department of Justice with each agency responsibility for specific functions in order to keep the nation safe. For example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is tasked with investigation federal crimes, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is responsible for combatting drug related crimes, and U.S. Marshal are responsible for enforcing federal laws and security of federal courts (Department of Justice, 2012). Federal police typically do not patrol like local and state agencies do. * What are the various types of police agencies at the local, state, and federal level and the roles and functions of each? *

* There are many various types of police agencies at the local, state, and federal levels with their roles and functions being different. Each agency handles policing responsibilities within their jurisdiction. Federal levels of policing have authority to take action only on the federal level when federal laws are broken. State and local police agencies enforce the laws governed by the state within their jurisdiction. When crimes on the state level cross state lines, federal agencies get involved. Example, if crimes are committed within the state, state agencies investigate and attempt to make arrests because...
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