United States of America has a strong law enforcement system, divided into three levels which make it more effective than other states. The three levels established in US make citizens feel secured. The broad departments under police structure ensure timely delivery of security promises and thus keep the citizen’s trust alive.
Policing in American Society
One of the three major components of Criminal Justice System in United States involves, Law Enforcement or police, Courts and Correction System. Though each component works independently but there is an inherent interrelationship between each other.
Police maintains order in the society and performs service functions. Another purpose of police is to investigate the crime and present the suspect to the court for trial. Law enforcement agencies are also first to respond in case of emergency and thus protect public infrastructure, maintain order in public and also protect public officers and public from any danger.
Policing in US
There are different agencies that handle that Policing functions in USA at different level.
Following are the types of Police in US Society.
1. Federal Police: Again Federal Police can be divided into two broad departments: Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security. Department of Justice controls many important law enforcement agencies under it. First and most important one is Federal Bureau of Investigation or FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration or DEA, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or ATF also United States Marshall Service and Federal Bureau of Prisoners or BOP etc.
Another Major Federal Department is Department of Homeland Security or DHS which has following department to report to it US Customs and Border Protection or CBP, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE, also secret service organizations like United States Secret Service or USSS, United States Coast Guard or USCG and also Transportation Security Administration or TSA are the major agencies.
2. State Police: After Federal Police, comes State Police which are also called as State Patrol or Highway Patrol. This department comes under State Government. The functions that State Police administer are enforcing traffic laws on State Highways along with interstate expressways, security of state, protecting state government officials, maintaining law and order in the state etc.
3. County Police: This is the law enforcement unit that takes care of counties only, Although their jurisdiction is countrywide but they tend to exist in Metropolitan County only. In some areas, under County Police exists Sheriff’s office which mostly handles paperwork that constables tend to do in other areas or in some areas they offer entire bouquet of police services. County Police is divieded into three parts with respect to the service they provide: Full Service County is the one which provides all the services like a police department. Second is Limited Service Police Department, this type of County Police Department Provide only contractual police services in the county. Third one is Restricted Service Police Department, they offer policing services only to county owned and operated facilities or parks.
Police and American Society
Police are the service providers to the society. They infringe and impose laws to the good of the society and also on the freedom on people. Police is there to remind people that there is a limitation to there freedom, they can not disobey laws and rules of the society and also of the government. Though police also tend to maintain good relation with the society through their idea of Community Policing, through which the police try to build relationship between police and community as a bridge to the communication gap.
Police department are the Protectors of the Society and seen as a bridge of care between Government and Society. In United States the three levels of policing enforce a strict law enforcement and also provide a structured security to the society. Because of the levels, law issues and policing issues become easy to handle and thus decision making become faster.
1. Police Structure and Organization: A state by state guide to federal agencies, state/county/municipal (2004). 11 April 2004. Retrieved from web. http://faculty.ncwc.edu/mstevens/415/polstruct.htm
2. R. Maguire E. (2003). Organizational structure in american police agencies: Context, Complexity and Control. 8 August 2003. Retrieved from web. http://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/lpbr/subpages/reviews/Macguire03.htm