Police Department Organization

Subject: Law
Pages: 4
Words: 855
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College

Types of police agencies

There are different police agencies in the local, state, and federal levels. These agencies differ from one another with regards to their organization and responsibilities. The different police agencies are also different with regards to jurisdiction and operations. The local police force is made up of a number of agencies. Some of the police agencies under the local police include the municipal police, country police, regional police, and the tribal police. The police force agencies are governed by the local governing bodies. These governing bodies are also the course of authority for the local police. The responsibilities of the local police include basic patrols and investigation of local crimes. (Gaines & Worrall, 2012)

The state police are known as the highway patrol. Although the state police have a number of responsibilities, their main task is to ensure that highways are safe and that the laws of jurisdiction are upheld every time. Police agencies under the state police force include highway patrol, state patrols, highway police, state bureau of investigation (SBI), and the state bureau of narcotics. The SBI is charged with the same responsibilities as the FBI but in a state’s jurisdiction. They perform investigations within the state and they partner with the state bureau of narcotics to enforce ensure that drug matters are kept under constant check and within the state’s laws. The state patrol agencies ensure that the motor vehicle laws are observed at all time. The state patrols have full jurisdiction within the entire state. The state troopers can exercise their duties on a national level but within limited jurisdiction. Normally, this jurisdiction is usually set within any border state. (Swanson & Territo, 2012)

Federal level police officers are the agents working under the institutions such as the Federal Bureau of investigation. The Federal protective Service is also a police agency at the federal level. The United State Department of Homeland Security is also a police agency working at the federal level. The National Protection and Programs Directorate handle chief police operations on a national scale. These police agencies are responsible for tasks associated with natural disasters, national security events, terrorist threats, and terrorist attacks. (Cordner & Scarborough, 2010)

Principal roles and functions of police organizations

The police force has been charged with ensuring that law and order prevails. The functions of the police include preventing and controlling activities that are deems to be a threat to life and property. Police officers throughout the country ensure that there is law and order as well as ensuring that there is security for life and property. Another function of the police is to assist people who may be in danger of any form of physical harm and acts of violence. The police force has also been endorsed with the responsibility of ensuring that there is effective movement of vehicles and people. One of the functions of the police force is to assist people who cannot care for themselves. These may include the addicted, the intoxicated, the physically disabled, the mentally ill, and the aged in the community. The police force is supposed to create and help maintain the feeling of security within their jurisdictions. Police officers also identify and take charge of problems that possess the potential of generating into serious problems. The police force is also responsible for resolving conflicts that may arise between individuals and the government as well as the conflict between individuals and other individuals. The role of the police can be divided into the main categories. There roles are crime control, order maintenance, and service provision. The police are supposed to ensure that crimes are prevented as well as responding to incidents of crime. Investigation of crimes is the role of the police. The police also maintain law and order and ensure that public peace is not disturbed. It is the role of the police to provide service to the community when need arises. (Maguire, 2003)

Organizational theories associated with policing

The main theories associated with policing deal with the regulatory mandating, ethics, and the physical realm of law. The theories also outline the organizational structure of the police force. The community relations style is one of the principal policing styles in the community. This form of police organization deals with the issue of problem solving. Here, the police force partners up with the community to resolve the issues within the society. Other styles of policing include the legalistic style of policing and service style policing. In the legalistic style of policing, the law is followed to the letter and this is enforced in each task of the police force. Arrests in this type of policy are made during first encounters. The main aim of this type of policing is the control of officer behavior. The service style of policing is focused on the welfare of the community. Through this policing style, the police try to team up with the social services organizations in the community so as to help the community grow. In this form of policing, there are high levels of discretion with regards to solving the problems within the community. (Stevens, 2009)


Cordner, G. W., & Scarborough, K. E. (2010). Police administration. (7th ed.). Albany, New York: LexisNexis/Anderson Publishers.

Gaines, L. K., & Worrall, J. L. (2012). Police administration. (3rd ed.). Clifton Park, New York: Delmar Publishers.

Maguire, E. R. (2003). Organizational structure in American police agencies: context, complexity, and control. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Stevens, D. J. (2009). An introduction to American policing. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Swanson, C. R., & Territo, L. (2012). Police administration: structures, processes, and behavior. (8th ed.). Boston: Pearson Publishers.