Policing in American Society

Topics: Police, Federal government of the United States, Hierarchy Pages: 2 (405 words) Published: October 31, 2011
Policing in American Society
The goal for both the U.S. government and law enforcement is to serve and protect civil rights and liberties for all individuals, protect life and to promote community safety. The government passes the laws and the police enforce them for the good of society. The U.S. government has a hierarchy within the three branches just as law enforcement agencies have a hierarchy within their organization. Within these hierarchies there is a chain of command to ensure professionalism and accountability in the different agencies. Law enforcement uses a quasi-military style. The chain of command helps with clear division of personnel into ranks which help these agencies use their resources efficiently and effectively and personnel are held accountable for their decisions. This helps with discipline within the department as well. All law enforcement agencies share information with the U.S. government or to the newly formed agency, Homeland Security. This is done through Immigration and Customs Enforcement which is done at all Border States. It is important to maintain consistency within the different agencies and the U.S. government. There are two types of structures that can be seen in both law enforcement and the U.S. government. The first is the organizational structure which reduces bureaucracy contained in the chain of command. There is always someone monitoring someone else. Shared information is also used in this type of structure. Second, is the matrix structure. This type of structure attempts team policing and produce a problem-solving environment. Personnel is assigned to specific areas such as counterterrorism and organized crime, just as the government specific area that certain federal agencies must stay in. A similarity between the police and U.S. Government is the Secret Service and the S.W.A.T. team in law enforcement. They are independent of one another, yet they work together. The impact of this relationship is that certain...

References: Grant, H. B., & Terry, K. J. (2008). Law Enforcement in the 21st Century (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson Educaiton, Inc..
Walker, S., & Katz, C. M. (2008). The Police in America: An Introduction (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
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