The Importance of Organization in a Police Department

Topics: Police, Constable, Detective Pages: 2 (786 words) Published: October 27, 2008
The organization of a police department plays a vital role in the effectiveness of the police department. There are three major concepts you should consider when organizing a police department. They are as follows: area, time, and purpose. I will briefly discuss each concept as it relates to the organization and effectiveness of the police department.

The area that any given police department is responsible for plays a huge part in it organization. For example, if a police department is responsible for patrolling twenty four square miles, then you might only have one precinct or division. A precinct, as stated in the text, is simply the entire collection of beats and sectors in a given geographic area (Dempsey & Forst, 2005). One precinct may work for a police department that is responsible for twenty four square miles, but it would not be effective it if had to cover a bigger city, such as New York or Los Angeles. It would be ineffective and cause strain on the police force if they were to have one precinct responsible for a huge city. It would mean that officers would possibly take longer respond to emergency calls and there would be a lack of organization. This is why it is vital to split up the police department into different precincts, divided up by geographical areas. It allows the police officers to become familiar with the area it is patrolling. They would also have a better chance of becoming acquainted with the business owners and residents of the area, which will allow for better communication between society and the police department.

Another major concept that one must think about when organizing a police department is time. This entails the scheduling of the officers, their days off, tour conditions, steady or fixed tours, and the common three tour system. The three tour system allows a police department to break up the twenty four hour day into three separate eight hour watches. It is the most common because the officers will only work eight...

References: 1. Dempsey, J. & Forst, L. (2005). An Introduction to Policing.
Ch. 3: Organizing a Police Department (pp. 72-81). Portland, OR:
Wadsworth Publishing.
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