Perspectives of Police Functions

Introduction

Security has no alternative and must be provided to civilians at all levels. This includes protection of property and life against any form of abuse. There are various police departments that handle different security issues. This essay will address policing issues related to local, state and federal levels.

Background

Even though, human beings have a greater intelligence compared to animals they nonetheless must be governed by laws to ensure protection and justice are guaranteed. This leads to the formation of government systems that form policies and regulations that facilitate resource allocation and justice among the population. Governments cannot work in isolation from police officers to ensure various laws are respected and followed (Muraskin and Roberts 2009). This leads to the formation of different police departments to ensure there is a secure environment for all activities to take place.

Perspectives of the Policing Functions in Various Levels

Local

The local population consists of an identical population that shares similar traditions, beliefs and values. Members of this population know each other. The main policing functions at the local level include the following.

First, the police department plays a vital surveillance role in the local areas to ensure law and order is maintained. The presence of police patrol cars and motorbikes deters criminals from engaging in unlawful activities. In addition, the presence of police officers in local markets, avenues and streets assures the public that its welfare is safeguarded. On the other hand, the absence of police officers from public scenes propagates environment for criminal activities to thrive (Victor and Naughton 2010). There is no doubt that police patrols have reduced crimes in many towns and cities. Patrolling is a vital surveillance strategy that familiarizes police officers with their local environment.

In addition, this department ensures that there is a quick response to all complaints reported at their stations. There are hotline and emergency numbers through which members of the public can report suspicious activities (Walker and Katz 2008). Therefore, it is important that police officers know their area of jurisdiction and understand all roads, routes, streets, avenues and the location of major buildings. This allows them to react very fast to any complaint filed at their offices. Moreover, most nations have established community policing and police reservists to boost police services in the local areas.

Addressing crime initiators is another vital role played by the police in the local areas. It should be noted that all criminal activities originate from a small proportion of the community. This population is usually located within the local population and should be controlled before spilling over to other regions. It is believed that the origin of all criminal activities is an individual with a criminal intent (Waller 2009). Once this criminal interacts with other like-minded people they form criminal gangs that are bonded by common interests. Localized policing ensures these gangs are suffocated before their activities spread to other areas.

Lastly, local policing ensures there are follow ups for all reported cases. This is done through conducting investigations to establish the credibility of criminal accusations, identifying the suspects, arresting them and collecting enough evidence to present before a court of law. The police are the only people mandated to carry out criminal investigations, arrest criminals and present them for prosecution.

State

The state police perform fewer roles compared to local police officers. Most of their roles are confined to the management and control of traffic movement. It is important to note that there must be division and specialization of labor to ensure police officers perform their duties without interference caused by confusions.

The United States has the most efficient state police departments in charge of ensuring that traffic laws are observed. In addition, this department has a patrol unit that ensures all highway users observe traffic rules to ensure there is a smooth traffic movement to and from various destinations (Robinson 2009). In addition, this department ensures all motorists are protected against accidents caused by reckless drivers, bad weather and mechanical problems. The safety of motorists is a paramount aspect that ensures there is a smooth traffic flow and that all road users get to their destinations safely.

Federal

This department is in charge of protecting the state against external attacks and interference. Most developed nations like the United States of America and Australia have this department to protect their territorial boundaries (Walker and Katz 2008). On the other hand, developing nations used these police officers to perpetuate colonialism and protect foreign interests. However, after independence most of these officers were taken into various military camps.

To date, this department recruits members from the local community and trains them to protect their nation. Sometimes this department is used in various international peace keeping missions in countries experiencing civil strife (Waller 2009). In addition, it offers security advice to various government ministries like the ministry responsible for internal security, foreign affairs and defense.

Possible Future Changes

There are four significant changes taking place to transform the police department in the future. First, the establishment of community policing is an important policy strategy that will ensure the local population interacts with police officers (Muraskin and Roberts 2009). Most people believe that the presence of police men should be felt only when there is a crime. This has made people to link police men with criminal activities which should not be the case.

Secondly, technological advancements are vital policing issues that will ensure there is adequate surveillance. Criminal activities are taking a digital twist and thus require modern skills to handle them (Waller 2009). Most police departments are receiving funds to finance their activities. There is no doubt that modern forensic laboratories will facilitate completion of investigations within short period.

Thirdly, most people regard police officers as illiterate since they are recruited because of their physical fitness. However, recent security concerns demand that police officers be recruited on academic merit to ensure they are intellectuals and not just physical machines (Robinson 2009). In addition, police officers are undergoing career training in fields like nursing, management, administration, education and community health. This ensures they offer more than just security services to the local population.

Moreover, the police department is a stressful career due to the nature of work involved (Victor and Naughton 2010). Many nations are establishing mental hospitals and rehabilitation centers to counsel police officers to ensure they avoid stress and depression.

Conclusion

The presence of various police departments ensures police men offer timely and quality services to the population. Civilians expect police officers to offer protection and safeguard their property against destruction and losses. Nations should equip and fund their police forces with modern equipment that will enable them to react to distress calls as soon as possible. Police officers should be congratulated for maintaining law and order at the expense of their lives and families.

References

Muraskin, R., and Roberts. A. R. (2009). Visions for Change: Crime and Justice in the Twenty-First Century. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Robinson, M. B. (2009). Justice Blind? Ideals and Realities of American Criminal Justice. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Victor, J. L., and Naughton, J. (2010). Annual Editions: Criminal Justice. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Walker, S., and Katz, C. M. (2008). The Police in America: An Introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Waller, B. N. (2009). You Decide! Current Debates in Criminal Justice. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.