The United States has several arms and agencies that are solely concerned with law enforcement. These policing institutions are created and managed by several levels of management including the federal, state and local level. Each agency operates under different jurisdiction and report to the specific management level. For instance, federal agencies as the name suggests, have federal jurisdictions and report to the federal government. To appreciate concepts of criminal law in the United States, it is important to understand these differentiate law enforcement agencies and their organization structure.
Federal Law Enforcing Agencies
The United States Code (U.S.C) grants the federal government the powers to formulate a federal policing unit that will have jurisdiction in all states and territories under the United States. These policing units would have agencies that enforce specialized portions of the federal law. The Department of Justice remains to be the largest law enforcing body at the federal level. This department has several law enforcing bodies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Marshal Services (USMS), Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and more recently formed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) .
There are other federal policing agencies such as the United States Secret Service, Border Patrols, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. All these agencies are work under federal government and have a federal jurisdiction as well.
The Department of Justice is headed by the Attorney General who is nominated by the President and approved by Congress, who in turn directly reports to the President and Congress. The Attorney General is deputized by the Deputy Attorney General. The department is divided into two departments, the Solicitor General Office and the Associate Attorney General Offices. Agencies that work under the Attorney general are as earlier mentioned and their work is mainly investigative in nature. There are other divisions within the Department Of justice such as Antitrust Division, Civil rights division, Tax Division, Justice Management division, and environment and natural resources division.
The department is funded at the federal level in which the department forwards its budgetary proposal to congress for approval. For instance, for Fiscal Year 2010, congress approved $27.7 billion appropriated to the different arms of the department . In general however law enforcement takes nearly half of that budget.
Each state strives to have its own law enforcement agencies so that the state can have a department that enforces its own laws. State police agencies are mainly managed under the executive arm of the state government. This research will specifically analyze the Illinois State Police Department.
The Illinois Police State Department (IPD) is under the executive branch of the state government with four operational divisions. These are the Operations division, Forensic services divisions, Administration divisional and internal investigations division. The entire police force is led by Director of police together with a First Deputy of Police. Each division has a director who reports to the general director. This police department has jurisdiction only within the state of Illinois and investigates criminal offense carried out only within state borders .
The administration division of the IPD is concerned with providing administrative and technical assistance to its personnel in executing their duties. There are six bureaus that work under the administrative division including Firearms bureau, Logistics bureau, Administration services bureau, and Program Administration bureau, bureau of identification and information services bureau. Each of these divisions serves a specific purpose in the administration and running to the department.
The operations division ensures that the department performs its duties in executing its mandate according to state law. It is the duty of the IPD to ensure public safety and order. In this sense, the department has divided its operations into four basic units these are the criminal investigation unit, communication, safety education and highway patrol. Forensic services division provides a key component in criminal investigation to ensure proper analysis of evidence and scientifically proven criminal evidence. The department ensures that the forensic unit has proper personnel and equipment that incorporate science in criminal investigation.
Finally, the internal investigation unit ensures that the department is well behaved in the expected professional manner. It investigates financial crimes and misconduct mainly within the department.
The IPD is funded by the state through the state government after the approval of the state’s general assembly. Just like federal policing agency, state police departments forward budgetary suggestions to the state assembly and are approved the assembly. These departments also report to the assembly and the Governor.
Local Police Units
Several counties and local municipalities have their own police units. In United State small towns and villages are allowed to have policing units, however, they may not be very qualified personnel. Cities too have police units under a police chief who report to the Mayor and the council.
For instance, the Iowa City is one such police department operating with just 82 sworn police officers and other 30 non-sworn personnel. The Department has only two divisions, that is, the Administrative services division and field operations division. Field operation is involved with patrols and response to security distress calls. On the other hand administrative services provide basic support to personnel. Such police units have smaller areas of jurisdiction, less personnel and a smaller budget as well. However, they have been central to the American community as sheriffs and immediate security solution for families.
Organizational theories in Policing
There are two aspects of police organization that come up in police management in the US. These are complexity and control. Organizational complexity is the extent to which the police department is differentiated vertically, spatially and functionally. This in general referred to the manner in which the police unit is structured. The second aspect of organization theory is control. This theory bases police organization on the main aspect of controlling crime and public safety.
The United States has a vast security system with several agencies and organs. Some put these number agencies at 20,000 agencies ranging from federal agencies to local police departments. All these bodies play a key role in securing the safety of the American people and should be respected as so, no matter the level of operation.
Illinois State Police . (2012). Department Organization. Retrieved March 5, 2012, from isp.state.il.us: http://www.isp.state.il.us/aboutisp/deptorg.cfm
O’Connor, T. (2011, July 4). Police Structure of the United States. Retrieved March 5, 2012, from drtomoconnor.com: http://www.drtomoconnor.com/megapolice.htm