It is not without doubt that the United States of America remains an icon for democracy and public participation through the federal system of government. That notwithstanding, the influences of democracy and federalism have had far reaching consequences in the governance structure of the nation. One such area where federalism has had its impact is policing. In the United States of America, the function of policing is the reserve of the state governments.
According to the tenth amendment, policing remains the core role of the state with the federal government only offering support services. However, in practice, the federal government has had to step in and provide more services. As it stands, the United States policing structure is three-tiered at the federal, state and county level. In addition, the police are guided by elaborate laws which impress certain obligations on them. For instance, the Constitution imposes obligations on searches and seizures as read together with privacy rights. Police must also act in the best interest of society including not acting negligently and duty to void injuries on persons.
All these show the effects of federalism and democracy on policing. However, the same has occasioned a few challenges. Some of the challenges relate to matters of jurisdiction. Given the complicated system and the tendency of overlapping situations, it has not been clear exactly who has jurisdiction over what matters and in what places. The same has occasioned inefficiencies and mistrust among law enforcement officers from different factions and departments. In addition, the structured nature of policing has occasioned delays and legal battles over jurisdiction and interpretation of the law. In some cases, the same battles affect the dispensation of justice has the legal process staggers over a longer time.
Be that as it may, the organization of the policing in the United States has been impressive. Given the tittering challenges, it is accurate to conclude that the police service has been impressive.
Stephens, D. (2011). Police Discipline: A Case for Change. Washington D.C.: National Institute of Justice.
Stone, C., & Travis, J. (2011). Toward a New Professionalism in Policing. Washington D.C.: National Institute of Justice.
Wells, E., & Falcone, D. (2005). Policing in the United States: Developing a Comprehensive Empirical Model. Washington D.C.: National Institute of Justice.