Police Department Roles and Functions Paper

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principal mandate of the police departments relative to the enforcement of the law. In addition to these roles and functions, this study will also expound on the various types of police agencies in local, state, and federal levels, and their role in policing (Dantzker, 1999).

First, the police play a pivotal role as far as maintenance and enforcement of the law is concerned. Under this aspect, they are charged with the duty of upholding and enforcing the law impartially. This entails services such as protecting property, human rights and dignity, and the life of the public. Other services include prevention of crimes and opportunities for commission of the same through cooperation with relevant authorities and agencies. For instance, in a case where the state or federal role is violated, the police are expected to move speedily by identifying and apprehending the offender, as well as extend requisite assistance in the prosecution of such cases in a court of law (Stevens, 2011).

Maintenance of order mandates the police force to ensure stability and harmony, thus preventing behaviors, which would otherwise trigger disturbance or commotion. Police departments also offer services like guiding the disoriented, offering in assistance when administering first aid, and providing education on matters pertaining to crime, drug, and substance abuse. This implies that the services of the police are not only criminal oriented, but they are also for the general service to the law-abiding citizens.

The police force is also charged with the duty of tracking down stolen property and maintenance of order on the roads plied by automobiles. The Police agencies can be analyzed like any other organization with several key components where each level such as local, state or federal handles well-defined functions (Stevens, 2011). In order to understand this aspect properly, it is essential to understand how the functions of police agency differ at the local, state, and federal level. At the local level, municipal police is the majority. However, it also comprises of the county sheriffs, county police, tribal and regional police. All these police wings are under the umbrella of the local government, which is also responsible for their remunerations and salaries. Because of the nature of their service, they usually have restricted types of equipment with limited privileges compared to the state police. The principal purpose is to enforce the laws of the jurisdiction, investigate local crimes, and handle all patrols. They include regional, county, municipal, tribal police force that gets authority from the governing body at the local level (Palmiotto & Unnithan, 2010).

Second in that category is the state agency. As the name suggests, state agency also known as the state  troopers , solves issue relating to the state using the local levels within the state to counter the various concerns. In most cases, their duties revolve around statewide investigations, highway patrols, and enforcing other traffic laws. They usually work with the Bureau of criminal investigations in dealing with emergencies, training law enforcement official and social crime such sex offenders and illegal drug abuse and other investigations that go beyond the jurisdiction and resources of the local police (Dantzker, 1999).

On the other hand, the federal agency deals with not only statewide concerns, but also oversees the solving and tackling crimes that directly or by extension affect the entire state. This level requires high specialization, training, and knowledge on both the local and state laws as it covers the entire country. Some of the bodies in this category include the Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigations (F.B.I), the Border Patrol, and the United States Enforcement Administration (D.E.A) (Stevens, 2011).

The patrol unit is one of the most significant departments in police organization in mobilizing and managing resident s contribution regarding social control and prevention of crime. Consequently, there role is to receive and process sensitive information from volunteers that may pose a threat. They plan, coordinate, and execute appropriate counteractions. They majorly undertake precautionary patrols in a certain locality to protect the property of citizens and prevent any crime by conducting inspections and interviewing suspects. They are responsible to answer all emergency calls and act instantly on alarming issues. They also collect information and compile police reports including accident reports, offense, and arrests. Within their respective areas, they are responsible for enforcing traffic laws including directing and controlling accident scenes, parades and fires. They are expected to acquire any useful information or knowledge of all criminal laws thoroughly and refute any false claims posing unnecessary tension in their area of operation. All these require both the cooperation and volunteership of the residents. Therefore, it is the mandate of the patrol officer to be aware of every state of security (Palmiotto & Unnithan, 2010).

In conclusion, the roles and functions of the police force are diverse and indispensable for the internal security of any country. As already explained above, the various departments of the police are responsible for maintaining and enforcing the law. This is to mean that after the congress approves a given law, it is the duty of the police to ensure that the law is followed and respected to the latter. For instance, one of the laws passed and approved by the president illegalizes the use of hard drugs such as cocaine. It is at this point that the police needs to come in and apprehend any individual who participates in such an illegal trade. With the nature of the complexity and technicality of the job involved, it calls for proper coordination and clear distinction of roles as any conflict could compromise safety.


Dantzker, M L. (1999). Police Organization and Management: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. Boston, MA: Elsevier

Palmiotto, M. J & Unnithan, N. P. (2010). Policing & Society: A Global Approach. New York, NY: Cengage Learning

Stevens, D. J. (2011). An Introduction to American Policing. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Jones & Bartlett Publisher[continue]

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