Police Department Organization
The organization of the police departments of various nations varies depending on the constitution and the government structure of the nation. For example in a tyrannical government, the president is the head of the government as well as the chief commander of the armed forces and whatever he/she says must be followed whereas for the federal government the police department is divided into different levels and each level has different organization structure. This essay will describe various types of police agencies at the local, state, and federal level and how each is organized identify the principal roles and functions of police organizations and their role as it applies to the law. It will also identify major organizational theories associated with policing.
According to O’Connor, the United States of America has about 60 federal police department and most of them fall under the Treasury or the Justice departments (O’Connor, 2010). In the Justice department, the federal police are responsible for enforcing laws passed by the US congress as well as dealing with crimes committed at the federal level. In the treasury department, the federal police department is responsible in the collection of taxes and revenue. It is important to note that the federal police falls direct under the jurisdiction of the president of the nation who is the chief commander of the armed forces and they oversee the activities of the state and local police organizations. At the local level, the police department is headed by chief of police with the support of two main divisions / departments, the administration and patrol division. For instance in the case of the Mooresville police department, the patrol department has four department and each of them is headed by a Captain. The department is responsible for responding to distress calls from the residents of the town. The administration department is responsible for administration activities like recruiting and training of their personnel as well as recording keeping (Mooresville, 2010).
At the state level, the case is a bit different, for instance in the case of Virginia State Department of Police, the department is headed by the state superintendent assisted by the deputy superintendent. The deputy superintendent oversees operations in the Bureau of Field Operations (BFO), Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and the Bureau of Administrative and Support Services (BASS) officer. This however does not mean that the superintendent has no role to play in the running of the operations of the forces; he/she is in charge of public relations office, internal audit and performance management and internal controls (VDSP, 2009). There are different organizational theories that organizations use to ensure smooth running of the organizations activities; some of these theories include, contingency theory, institutional theory, network theory, management theory among others.
According to Smith & McCullum, the above theories have also been used by various police departments in running of their activities (Smith & McCullum, 2008). For instance the management theory is used by the police in the administration of the department’s organization, from recruiting and training of their personnel as well as recording keeping. The network theory has helped the police in coming up with smaller units that are assigned different tasks that pertains the security of the region. Other importance’s that organizational theories has had on the police force is that they have helped in division of responsibilities among the various departments and also it has helped in fostering unity among the members of the force.
The role of the police is to protect the citizens of the region from thugs and other hooligans; however it is also the responsibility of the people to help the police in fighting crime in the area. They can achieve this by reporting any suspected criminals to the authorities. This will ensure that there is a good rapport between the police and the citizens. In some countries especially in Africa and third world countries, the police have been accused of being corrupt and greedy, this is a case that government officials need to address and weed out this corrupt officials. They can achieve this by using the help of the Anti Corrupt Agencies that are used to investigate corrupt activities in the country. By so doing, the society will be a good place to live in.