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Police Department Roles and Functions Paper

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Autor:   •  March 26, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  2,068 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,332 Views

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Police Department Roles and Functions Paper


On my honor,

I will never betray my badge,

my integrity, my character,

or the public trust.

I will always have

the courage to hold myself

and others accountable for our actions.

I will always uphold the constitution,

my community3 and the agency I serve.

( IACP, 2013)

"Every police department, regardless of its size or location, will have an established set of policing goals that aim to provide that department with a sense of purpose and direction." (Grant & Terry, 2012)

There are many roles and functions within the police organizations in the United States. "The mission of law enforcement is to maintain public safety primarily by reducing the occurrence of crime in society." (CJi interactive) There are five responsibilities of the police. They are to enforce the law, arrest offenders, prevent crime, preserve the peace, and provide services. "By enforcing the law, police help preserve the peace. By providing service, they help prevent crime. By apprehending offenders, they enforce the law." (CJi interactive)

The goals of the police department can be accomplished by multiple strategies. These include preventive patrol, routine incident response, emergency response, criminal investigation, problem solving, and support services. All of these strategies serve a useful purpose in police work."Policing goals are significant because they help to shape the organizational culture of a police department." (Grant & Terry, 2012)

In the United States, there are many different police agencies within the local, state, and federal levels. There are just fewer than 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States. This includes 12,766 local police departments, 3,067 sheriff's departments, 49 state police agencies, 1,481 special police agencies, and 65 federal agencies. (Bureau of Justice Statistics)

For the most part local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies share the same directives as well as support and oversee the same laws of the land. The only differences that these agencies have are their jurisdictions, staffing, funding, support and operations. In today's society the roles and

duties that are assigned to this law enforcement will continue to change every day.

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, 2007). Local law enforcement officers patrol local areas within their jurisdiction to maintain order and investigate crimes. These agencies include municipal police, and county sheriffs.

Municipal or city police are the most important component of American law enforcement. In 2004, they represented 71 percent of all law enforcement agencies and employed 61 percent of all sworn officers. ( Walker & Katz, 2011) The municipal police departments are found in small towns. They usually deal with noncriminal events and minor disturbances. They also employ less than 10 sworn officers. 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. .

County sheriffs have a role in serving all three components of the criminal justice system which include law enforcement, courts, and corrections. 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. All sheriff departments perform the basic law enforcement functions of patrolling and investigating crimes. (Walker & Katz, 2011)

Local law enforcement agencies are in place to provide routine patrol of the


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