Posted: June 28th, 2022

The U.S Police Department


The U.S Police Department


The U.S Police Department
The policing department is very essential to the criminal justice system in that its structure determines how well a state or a country deal with crime and order. In the united states, the police department is highly decentralized unlike many other countries in the world. America has no one source of police authority but instead makes use of a combination of the oath of office, the police department, the community, the government, and the law.
In my opinion, the upward reporting system in the centralized police departments gives room for crime to mushroom while waiting for action from the government. Having special jurisdiction police agencies that cover specific areas also gives the police department room to keenly monitor the allocated area (Ekins & Emily, 7). Natural resources, public buildings or transport systems officers have a clearly defined line of duty which promotes competency and high maintenance of law and order.
The U.S county sheriff is does not work under the strenuous bureaucratic system found in the government managed police departments. The sheriff only has to report to the constituents who are the county residents. From my understanding, the American police officer has to take an oath of office for them to be given the warrant of arrest. There may be no known number of police departments in the U. S but there are about 49 police agencies. The U.S state level crimes and frauds are managed by the state police agencies which takes the burden off the local police.
The police, the government, and the people have intertwined duties. The police department gets its authority from the government, the government gets its authority from the people, however, police officers get much of their authority from the people.
Through administrative rule-making, the police department define the authority of the police officers using a well highlighted Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) manual. The SOP comprise of procedures, regulations, rules, and policies that govern the conduct of the police.
The community is responsible for authorizing the government which is a constitutional right of every citizen. By authorizing the government, the community therefore gives the authority to the police, (Brandl & Steven,63). A high public opinion translates to full support of the police department by the people while a low opinion means that the police department has lost legitimacy from the eyes of the community.
I understand that civil law, criminal law, and the constitutional law are differently structured. The criminal law outlines deviant behavior that is unacceptable to the people. The police enforce criminal law. Civil law defines the interaction and the relations between the police and the citizens. On the other hand, constitutional law is designed to govern the relationship between the police as agents of the government and the citizens as free individuals who are protects by sections of the constitution.
In conclusion, it was intriguing to learn from the coursework that police unions can be categorized as interest groups. The collective bargaining powers of the unions enable them to negotiate with the police management and air the grievances, views and opinions of the police officers. What I understand is that the police unions lobby on behalf of the police officers when there is an issue that need for change.

Brandl, Steven G. Police in America. SAGE Publications, Incorporated, 2019.
Ekins, Emily E. “Policing in America: Understanding public attitudes toward the police. Results from a national survey.” Results from a National Survey (December 7, 2016) (2016).

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