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Local, state, and federal policing functions
Transcript of Local, state, and federal policing functions
Provide Public Services
Enforce the Law State Policing Functions Calls for Service
Controlling Crime on the Highway Federal Policing Functions Future Changes in Laws Immigration Reform
Legalizing Marijuana Walker and Katz (2008) assert, “Law enforcement in the United States is a large and extremely complex enterprise. There are almost 18,000 federal, state, and local agencies, along with a private security industry that employs over a million additional people” (p. 61). Law enforcement agencies perform many functions to protect society. Policing organizations are responsible for keeping order, crime prevention, public service, and law enforcement. Law enforcement agencies are broken down into local, state, and federal agencies, which operate together to perform many tasks in controlling, deterring, and fighting crime. Each agency may work independently from one another, but when necessary the agencies will combine resources to combat crime. Each level of enforcement has a set of rules, procedures, and responsibilities, where jurisdictional rules apply. This presentation will explain the basic policing functions of local, state, and federal agencies, and identify possible changes in laws and the impact these changes will have on policing. The local policing agencies are the first line of defense against crime. The sheriff’s department, local police, municipal, park, and campus police share in the responsibilities of protecting societal needs. Neafsey (n.d.) states, “The local law enforcement function includes traffic duty, patrol work, providing general public assistance, and responding to specific calls for service” (p. 563). However, most officers’ spend an enormous amount of time responding to calls and patrolling. The local police enforce city ordinances and the laws of the specific town or city but are limited by specific jurisdictions. Johnson and Olschansky (2010) assert, “Within the USA there are 49 state police or state highway patrol agencies which together employ more than 56,000 sworn officers…” (p. 119). The state highway patrol has statewide jurisdiction, but the main function is traffic enforcement and controlling crime on the highways. “Unlike highway patrol organizations, however, state police agencies operate criminal investigative units in addition to their uniformed patrol divisions. They also handle general calls for service in unincorporated areas, rather than focusing primarily on traffic enforcement” (Johnson & Olschansky, 2010, p. 120). Many small towns do not have local police departments. State agencies are responsible for providing law enforcement to towns without officers. Robinson (2009) asserts, "State officers are most frequently assigned to responding to calls for service, followed by investigative duties; administrative, technical, and training duties; and court-related duties" (p. 169). Federal agencies are comprised of many departments such as the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). "At the federal level, most officers have primary responsibility for investigations and enforcement, followed by corrections-related duties, police services, court operations, and security and protection" (Robinson, 2009, p. 169). Officers at the federal level perform similar task as both the local and state officers, but have a much greater jurisdiction. Walker and Katz (2008) state, “The role of each federal agency is specified by federal statute. In important respects, federal agencies have a far less complex role than that of municipal agencies” (p. 76). Federal agencies are composed of many departments, such as the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). "At the federal level, most officers have primary responsibility for investigations and enforcement, followed by corrections-related duties, police services, court operations, and security and protection" (Robinson, 2009, p. 169). Officers at the federal level perform similar task as both the local and state officers, but have a much greater jurisdiction. Walker and Katz (2008) state, “The role of each federal agency is specified by federal statute. In important respects, federal agencies have a far less complex role than that of municipal agencies” (p. 76). Enforcement
Security and Protection
Corrections-related Duties Predicting future changes in laws is a difficult endeavor; however, recent trends in the criminal justice system may be the key to unlock the mystery. Changing laws regarding immigration and legalizing drugs will alter drastically the procedures in law enforcement.
Future changes to immigration reform could impact the responsibilities of local, state, and federal policing functions. Campbell (2010) asserts, “Following the failure of comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level, states and municipalities have seen fit to take matters into their own hands and pass a patchwork of local ordinances, statutes, and ballot initiatives…” (p. 415). New statutes and ordinances would require officers to pursue actively illegal immigrants. These duties would be similar to the responsibilities of Immigration and Naturalization (INS). Therefore, increasing the workload of each department, which would require new training, increase in the force, and less time available to combat crime.
In 2012, two states, Colorado, and Washington, legalized the personal use of marijuana. There are 18 states that allow the use of medicinal marijuana. As laws change the responsibilities of local and state police will be directly affected. Local and state police will no longer have to focus on arresting individuals who possess a small amount of marijuana. Until the federal government changes the status of marijuana as an illegal drug federal agents who work for the DEA will still be required to enforce the drug laws on the federal level. Law enforcement agencies on the local, state, and federal level share common responsibilities in protecting the rights and safety of the American people. Enforcing laws, making arrests, protecting, and serving are accomplished by each of the three levels of policing. Jurisdictional rules govern the authority of each level of policing. Federal agencies have the largest jurisdiction, state agencies have complete authority throughout the state, and local agencies are restricted to the city or township. As laws continue to change and evolve the responsibilities of each level of policing must also grow and evolve. Melisa Fountain
November 26, 2012 References
Campbell, K. M. (2010). Imaging a more humane immigration policy in the age of Obama: The use of plenary power to halt the state balkanization of immigration regulation. St. Louis University Public Law Review, 30(1), 415-458.
Johnson, R. R., & Olschansky, E. L. (2010). The ecology theory of police response: A state police agency test. Criminal Justice Studies, 23(2), 119-131. doi:10.1080/1478601X.2010.485465
Neafsey, E. (n.d.). The role of local, county, and state police officers in New Jersey in environmental enforcement. Retrieved from http://www.inece.org/3rdvol1/pdf/neafsey.pdf
Robinson, M. B. (2009). Justice blind? Ideals and realities of American criminal justice (3rd ed.).
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Walker, S., & Katz, C. M. (2008). The police in America: An introduction (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.