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In the US, the role of the police is known by many as “to protect and preserve”. While this phrase is ideal for public relations purposes, it tends to greatly oversimplify the role played by the law enforcement officers. This is especially because they usually face numerous challenges and end up performing much more than law enforcement and by extension, order maintenance. However, when these challenges hamper the effectiveness of the police roles, the criticism is often directed at the law enforcement administrators. If I were a department head, although there are numerous problems that are faced by law enforcement administrators, I would regard increased crime rates as my number one concern.
Among the problems that law enforcement administrators have to deal with are the political aspects of their work. Here, it is important to note that even if it may not be obvious from far, these administrators, having been appointed by political leaders have to serve some political interests. The administrators thus have to combine several roles as the top law enforcement officer, part administrator, and part politician. The other problem is deviance and corruption among law enforcement officers. Although police corruption is not as high as it was in history, it is still a major hindrance in the attempts by administrators to ensure that their officers on the ground dispense their roles as required under their employment terms.
As I had already mentioned, as a department head, I would view increased crime rates as the major problem that law enforcement administrators have to address. In the US, although there have been relentless efforts to bring crime rates as down as possible, this has proved to be a hard task to accomplish. In fact, the relevant authorities have only managed to produce a wave of statistics where crime rates fall and rise almost in equal measures. Notably, at the helm of this major concern are law enforcement administrators who tend to receive all the blame despite the fact that the police officers at work could be the real failures. Additionally, the administrators not only have to deal with the concerned community, but also political leaders and interest groups such as NGOs. This explains why whenever there is a security crisis, calls are usually made demanding for the resignation of or increased responsibility on the part of the administrators and not the police officers. This in turn puts a lot of pressure on the administrators especially in cases where they are being failed by the police officers under them. Some of them even resort to resign as a measure to evade the numerous fingers pointed at them.
One of the measures that I would take to address increased crime rates would be to engage the community involved in what is known as community policing. I would seek to identify the root causes of increased crimes after which I would engage both individuals and groups in the community in establishing ideal solutions. I would also ensure open and constant communication with the police officers so that I can as well identify any issues that may be hindering them from attending to their duties properly. I am positive that these two measures would come in handy in either providing a solution or laying a foundation for development of viable solutions.
In conclusion, although law enforcement administrators have to keep in check various challenges, I view the major one as increase in crime rates. This problem puts the administrators on focus by diverse groups, which may place unbearable pressure on them. If I were a department head, I would practice effective community policing, as well as engage the police officers working under me to bring the crime rates down.