Roles and Functions of Police

To protect the civil rights and liberties of individuals The law determines what functions and roles police will have and dictates how they are to go about fulfilling these roles. The police have restrictions and guidelines to abide by. Levels of Law Enforcement “Police services are provided by four different levels of government: city, county, state, and federal(Walker & Katz, 2011, Chapter 3. ” The local level consists of municipal police, county police, and county sheriffs. The departments wealth the local level have jurisdiction over their respective counties or cities with limited jurisdiction outside those areas.At the state level there are state police such as the highway patrol.

State level departments have jurisdiction within their state only. The highway patrol only has Jurisdiction over the highways and interstates within their state. Federal level agencies have jurisdiction across the entire country. At the federal level there are 17 federal law enforcement agencies which include but are not limited to the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Immigration andCustoms Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Transportation Security Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U. S. Coast Guard, U.

S. Marshals Service, and the U. S. Secret Service. Also at the federal level Is Military law enforcement (Walker & Katz, Chapter 3, 2011). Military law enforcement only has jurisdiction on the base to The primary difference between Federal and state law enforcement agencies jurisdiction. Federal law enforcement enforces Federal law.

State and local Police enforce state and local laws.Federal agents cannot enforce state laws and state policing agencies have authority in their state only. Patrol A patrol is a group of personnel, such as police officers who are assigned to monitor a specific geographic area. Patrol is often referred to as the “backbone of policing. ” The patrol officer serves many functions, which include crime fighter, mediator, social worker, and service provider (Grant & Terry, Chapter 6, 2012). The objectives of patrol include: Protection and defense of lives and property Repression of criminal and delinquent behaviorIdentification, apprehension, and conviction of offenders Traffic flow and collision reduction Maintenance of order and public safety These objectives are broken down into three types of interactions: Information gathering, conflict resolution, and maintenance or restoration of control. Types of Patrol There are four different types of patrol.

These types are random or routine, directed, aggressive, and saturation. Each type of control has a different degree of effectiveness. Random, or Routine patrol occurs when officers assigned to an area move about in an unsystematic way.The goals of random patrol are to detect and deter crime through police presence. This type of patrol is also called preventative patrol. Officers engaged in random patrol are relied upon to respond to 911 calls to lessen response time. “Directed patrol focuses on targeted hot spots, crime problems, and or offenders” (Grant & Terry, Chapter 6, 2012).

This form of patrol is seen as proactive patrol. The downside to directed patrol is that it is expensive. Aggressive patrol is a form of directed patrol. Aggressive patrol focuses on crackdowns that will draw media attention. The media coverage is meant to be a deterrent. The results of the Kansas City Gun Experiment, in which intensive patrols targeted an 80-block, high-crime area with traffic stops and field interrogations, revealed that aggressive patrol can significantly reduce gun crimes, such as drive-by shootings and homicides (Grant & Terry, Chapter 6, 2012),” Saturation patrol occurs when a high level of patrol is placed within a small geographic area. It is often used to reduce drunk driving and gang activity in certain areas.

Patrol Methods There are many different patrol methods. The method used by police depends on the area that needs to be covered.The most common patrol methods are automobile helicopter. Automobile patrol is the most common patrol method because it offers the officer mobility and flexibility. With an automobile, police officers can cover a larger area in less time. Having a vehicle available allows for easier transport of suspects and quick response to incidents. Foot patrol is the second most common type of patrol.

On foot patrol, the area an officer can cover on his or her shift is limited. The benefit of foot patrol is that officers an monitor and identify crimes being committed in an areas can’t be seen from an automobile.Motorcycles are used in traffic enforcement. An officer on a motorcycle can travel through heavy traffic with ease. Motorcycles are also used as high-profile police escorts. They are often used in parades as well. Bicycles are used in tight areas where vehicles cannot go.

The bicycle lets the officer maintain high visibility and approachability while increasing mobility. Some police departments use Seaways. Horse patrol is not used often but horses give officers mobility in places that automobiles and motorcycles cannot access.Some of the places that a horse may be used are parks, areas with rough or wild terrain or even in large crowd settings such as a parade, protest or maybe even something like a state or county fair. The horse allows officers to sit up high, which provides officers visibility. Harbor or water patrol is needed where there are shorelines, beaches or lakes. The presence of water presents an opportunity for smuggling and other crimes.

To investigate crimes that take place on the water, a helicopter or boat is needed. There are numerous policing agencies in the United States.

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