Week 2

Good Essays
Police Functions
Kyra Kirkland
CJA/394
March 19, 2012
Dr. Hector Garcia

Police Functions
Over the years, police have been portrayed in the media, television shows, and the local newspaper as crime fighting heroes. This portrayal would make one think a police officer is always out doing a dangerous job, which may require shooting, beating up, or arrested the bad guy. The truth is, most officers will not make a felony arrest in a given year, and there are also many officers who have never fired their weapon. There are various perspectives of the policing functions. I will examine these perspectives from the local, state, and federal organizational levels. I will identify and address possible future changes in laws and the overall impact these changes will have on the field of policing.
Local Police
Police, usually called law enforcement officers, apprehend criminals and investigate crimes. There are several other functions that the police perform. Local police have three main functions: maintaining order, controlling crime, and providing basic social services. Local police maintain order in different activities, such as traffic control in power outages, crowd control outside of a local football game, resolving domestic disputes, and removing drunken patrons from the streets. Police officers serve and protect. The main focus of maintaining order is keeping the peace rather than enforcing the law, so to speak. In different situations, officers may have to make an arrest to ensure the peace, but the appropriate order-maintenance solution often consists of less formal actions, like clearing crowds after a big game. Controlling crime is basically patrol and criminal investigation. Basic social service is calling police in an emergency situation. The majority of phone calls to the police are in need of social service as opposed to those relating to crimes.
There are several factors that shape what police do. Police officers are available 24 hours a day



References: The Nature of Police Work. (2012) Retrieved from http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/topicArticleId-10065 Paul Soifer, Abraham Hoffman, D. Stephen Voss. American Government

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