Police Functions Paper

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Policing functions Paper
John Kiser
CJA 394
September 26, 2011
Mr. Alan Hazen

Policing functions Paper
Policing in the United States is very unique and very confusing to other countries. As of 1999, there is approximately twenty thousand police agency’s locally and state wide here in the United States. As for other nations such as Canada they have 461, India has 22, Australia has 8, and England 43, (Bayley).
However, in the United States these agencies are have overlapping jurisdictions, are loosely connected and have different levels of government. This consist of small towns, large cities, county, state township’s, and the federal departments as well. Mostly the major part of these departments handle routine duty’s such as patrolling, investigations of crime and murder, and responding to citizens’ complaints. Small departments employ fewer than 25 full time officers which equates to 81 percent or 11,015, then you have departments that employ approximately 5 full time officers which is 7.5 percent or roughly 1, 022, and the remaining rely heavily on part time or reserve officer’s, (Reaves and Goldberg, 1999).
Then you have specialty departments that consist of airports, parks, agencies that enforce firearms, alcohol, and game or wildlife. Furthermore, you do have certain departments don’t fit into some of these categories such as county law enforcement (Sheriff). County law enforcement in some states only provide court house security, operate the county jails, serve papers for the courts, and assist other departments when called upon. Due to the different sizes and functions of these departments, it is to establish a standard organizational or management style to any one department.

Due to the varying degrees of how departments are structured, it is impossible to be effective or efficient. It was noted by the former police commissioner Patrick Murphy, that there are many untrained individuals and in fact nothing but guards. Furthermore, the smaller...

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