Policing Practices and Operations
Jean Pierre Lapre
Policing Practices and Operations
The primary goal of any law enforcement agency is to maintain public safety, primarily by reducing the number of occurrences of crime in their jurisdiction. Although this seems simplistic in nature, it takes many policing agencies working together in a successful working relationship to achieve this success. This paper will provide an assessment of each of these policing agencies and the relationships they possess. Communication patterns both within and outside the policing agency will be addressed, along with the current trends in the approach to the policing function. Lastly, the paper will identify any existing issues with the partnership between law enforcement and the community and recommend any necessary changes to improve these partnerships. Even before formal police agencies were established, communities still found ways to protect themselves and their property. It took many trials and errors to find a system that would work to protect citizens, mainly from one another. The first organized police department was established in 1829 in London. Sir Robert Peel founded this Metropolitan Police of London. “The force, also referred to as the New Police or the preventive police was seen as a civilizing instrument whose effort and example would make possible more harmonious relations among city people” (Albanese, 2013, p. 126). Even though the citizens did not immediately accept this newly formed police force, over time the police force was successful in reducing crime and maintaining order. In 1636, Boston and other eastern cities in the American colonies mimicked the British experience by implementing a group of night watchmen who were supervised by constables at the local levels and sheriffs at the county levels, Boston did not create a daytime police force to supplement their night watchmen until 1838. It was not until 1900 that nearly every United States city had established a full- time police force (Albanese, 2013). Fast-forwarding to the present day, unlike most other countries, instead of having a national police force, the United States utilizes many agencies on the local, state, and federal levels. Each of these agencies plays an important role in the enforcement of certain types of laws within their own jurisdictions (Albanese, 2013). Primarily, police services are delivered to the public through some type of public policing agency. The quality of that service depends on how well the department is organized and managed and if need be, what sort of working relationship the agencies have with each other. Albanese (2013) stated, “The vast majority of police agencies exist at the local level of government. Of the nearly 19,000 police agencies in the United States, more than 17,000 are operated by municipal and other local governments” (p. 131). Although the majority of these are local police departments, these numbers also include county sheriffs, park rangers, airport security, and university police (Albanese, 2013). The day-to-day duties of local police officers vary, however, their primary job functions are to enforce state laws, enforce local ordinances, investigate crimes, and maintain order within their municipality. Sheriffs generally have jurisdiction within an entire county rather than just a city or town and therefore, they have a very close working relationship with many of the smaller towns within their county. They generally maintain the county jail facility, serve subpoenas and other court documents, and many times serve as bailiffs in courtroom. State police work well with local law enforcement since their primary responsibility is to enforce traffic laws and investigate accidents. State police enforce state laws exclusively and are generally responsible for law enforcement on roads that pass between municipalities (Albanese,...
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