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Police Department Roles and Functions Essay

There are many various functions of police agencies. Patron, traffic, juvenile services, intelligence and undercover, and special operations are just some of the various functions of police agencies. There are many differences between the functions of the police agencies and the federal, state, and the local levels. There are reasons of why you need to have various functions and roles of policing in any community. There are a few various functions of police agencies such as patrol, traffic, juvenile services, intelligence and undercover, and special functions. There are many functions of the patrol and consists of protecting the lives of people and their property, repression of criminal and delinquent behavior, identification, apprehension and conviction of offenders, traffic flow, collision reduction, maintenance of order and public safety. Patrol functions are a major part of policing agencies. Traffic functions consist of identifying potential traffic problems and hazards, arresting offenders, investigation property damage and personal injury automobile accidents, regulating parking on the streets and municipal buildings (Grant & Terry, 2008).

Traffic functions keep the roads safer and make things flow better for traffic. Juvenile services are there to help juvenile offenders go to counseling and counseling for the juvenile’s families. There are also programs that can help juveniles learn about drugs, alcohol, abuse and gangs. There is a program called (D.A.R.E) Drug Abuse Resistance Education. (GREAT) Gang Resistance Education and Training is another program that is used to inform the youth group about the negative impact of gangs. Intelligence and undercover is where officers go and use a different identification so that they can get closer to suspects or fugitive or get evidence (Grant & Terry, 2008). They may have to live in different places and dress as complete different people then who they are so that they can fit in to the environment they are trying to get close to.

The last function is the special operations that consist of S.W.A.T and the canine unit. The S.W.A.T stands for special weapons and tactics and they functions are dealing with high risk law enforcement such as hostage situations and arresting people that are armed and dangerous suspects. The canine unit is having a police dog that helps on searches. Searches could be consisting of drug investigations, tracking and searching for victims or suspects, vehicle searches, and searching of buildings (Grant & Terry, 2008). The police agency functions differ from the federal, state, and local level. The federal has two main functions that split into a few different functions. The Homeland Security and Department of Justice have many functions. The Homeland Security has the Bureau of Customs and Border protection (CBP) and this helps make sure that people and cargo are crossed borders legally and safely.

Bureau of Immigration and Custom Enforcement known as (ICE) works with the smuggling of drugs and weapons. It also helps remove illegal immigrants that should not be across the borders. ICE also helps protect and secure federal buildings. FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency and their goal is to help prevent man-made disasters from destroying cities. FEMA also helps after man-made disasters happen with providing food, water, and shelter to the people that have homes that are destroyed or have no stores that have food remaining for them to eat or drink. Department of Justice has a few functions as well that are to help protect on a higher level than the police agencies. Drug Enforcement Administrators (DEA) deal with enforcing laws that pertain to controlled substances. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has many functions. They protect against any kind of terrorist attack against the country, foreign intelligence operations, cyber based attacks, public corruption, and white collar crimes.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) deal with the investigations of the trafficking of illegal firearms. The ATF also enforces federal laws that pertain to federal taxes on alcohol and tobacco (Walker & Katz, 2011). The federal and the police agencies have many differences. The federal have more of a variety of different functions than the police agencies. The state does not have as many functions as the federal but still have functions that make a difference. The State has some functions that the police agencies also have. The State has different kind of officers. There are State police and Highway patrol officers that patrol the highways statewide. They also have power to give traffic violations, criminal investigations, and arrest non traffic violators (Walker & Katz, 2011). The police agencies also do a lot of patrol just like the state police. The local levels are a lot like the police agencies. They have municipal officers, county police and they have sheriffs that patrol city roads. They attend to more serious crimes that are committed in the city. The local level deals with order maintenance problems and emergency services (Walker & Katz, 2011). The county police have the same functions as the municipal officers but can operate countywide.

The sheriffs have more functions than the municipal officers and the county police. The sheriffs have to go to courts and deal with corrections. When it comes to the community all of the policing agencies are very important. There are many functions and roles that help keep a safe community. If there are limited policing agencies in the community it could raise the rate of crime, accidents, and deaths. With having the functions in the communities it helps make the people of the community feel safer knowing that the policing agencies are out patrolling the streets whether it is by foot, bike, car, or horse. Without having the functions of trafficking there would be more accidents on the roads or highways. If the juvenile services the younger generations may not have the resources to learn about awareness programs for drugs, alcohol, and abuse. They may not have the opportunity to change their lives by attending counseling to help better themselves.

Without having undercover officers it would be a little harder to catch suspects before they actually commit a crime. Even though not all cities have the canine unit, the canine unit helps search for things that the human nose cannot detect as well as a dog can. The canine unit is a very big help for searches when victims are missing or are searching for drugs. There are many functions and roles for all police agencies no matter how big or how small the agency is. There are many differences between the police agencies and the federal, state, and local level. But there are also some functions that are the same. Without having functions of all the police agencies there would be more crime and accidents within the cities and states. Having as many functions in all the policing agencies makes this place a safer place for everyone.

Walker, S., & Katz, C.M. (2011). The police in America: An introduction (7th ed). Grant, H.B., & Terry, K.J. (2008) Law Enforcement in the 21st Century(2nd ed).

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