local police agencies at the local, agencies, local, state, and federal level organized to identify principal roles and functions of the police organization in the application of law.
Various Types of Police Agencies
Various levels and types of policing agencies exist including local, state, and federal policing agencies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its Occupational Outlook Handbook: Police and Detectives (2010-11 Ed.) individuals who are qualified are those most likely to have favorable job option. Competition for State and Federal agency jobs in State and Federal agencies is great. (U.S. Department of Labor, 2010-11)
Uniformed police officers are reported to be those with responsibility for enforcement of general law through maintaining regular patrols and providing response to calls and spending a great deal of time completing paperwork and responding to calls for assistance. Urban police are active in what 'community policing' stated to be a practice "in which an officer builds relationships with the citizens of local neighborhoods and mobilizes the public to help fight crime." (U.S. Department of Labor, 2010-11)
Organization of police agencies is generally through geographic district designations with assignment being made to uniformed officers in patrol specific areas." (U.S. Department of Labor, 2010-11) In areas that are more populated the officer will have a partner with whom they work. Some police officers are specialized in chemical and microscopic analysis, training and firearms instruction and handwriting analysis as well as fingerprint identification." (U.S. Department of Labor, 2010-11) Some uniformed officers are employed in special units stated to include (1 horseback; (2) bicycle; (3) motorcycle; (4) harbor patrol; (5) Canine corps; (6) special weapons and tactics (SWAT); or emergency response teams." (U.S. Department of Labor, 2010-11) According to the Department of Labor the employment levels for police and detectives is determined by "the level of government spending" therefore, job opportunities numbers experience variations from year to year and as well from place to place. (U.S. Department of Labor, 2010-11, paraphrased) According to reports there are 26 agencies called Highway Patrol and another 23 State Police agencies. The following table lists the occupational title employment levels for 2008 and as projected for 2018 by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Figure 1 Projections data from the National Employment Matrix
Police and detectives
First-line supervisors/managers of police and detectives
Detectives and criminal investigators
Fish and game wardens
Police and sheriff's patrol officers
Transit and railroad police
NOTE: Data in this table are rounded. See the discussion of the employment projections table in the Handbook introduct
Source: U.S. Department of Labor (2008)
II. Principal roles and functions of Police Agency in Application of Law
The authority of highway patrols is generally limited to patrolling state and federal highways. The State Police generally function much in the same manner as local agencies but have statewide jurisdiction. A Sheriff's department in most U.S. counties handles county law enforcement however; some counties have County Police Departments. In larger areas, there are both a Sheriff and County Police Department. There are more municipal police departments in the United States than any other type of police agency. Included in the municipal police department numbers are transit, school, and housing police. LaFrance and Lee report that…