Washington D C Police Department Washington D C Metropolitan Essay

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Washington D.C. Police Department

Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department

Washington D.C. is the nation's capital, and thus holds a special responsibility in terms of providing the ultimate image of safety and enforcement of American ideals. The Metropolitan Police Department of Washington D.C. is in charge of keeping that esteemed community safe. Today, the department is in the top ten largest police organizations throughout the country (Metropolitan Police Department 2012). Being "founded in 1861, the MPDC of today is on the forefront of technological crime fighting advances, from highly developed advances in evidence analysis to state-of-the-art-information technology" (Metropolitan Police Department 2012). Its organization is typical of local police agencies, having various departments under the control of the Chief of Police; yet, the Metropolitan Police Department also faces its own unique set of challenges and rewards based on the distinct communities within it.

The organizational structure of the department is typical of other local police agencies in large urban areas. Here, the research states that "Today, the Metropolitan Police Department includes more than 4,400 members -- approximately 3,800 sworn police officers and more than 600 civilian employees" (Metropolitan Police Department 2012). The department is split up into seven bureaus (Metropolitan Police Department 2011). The Chief of Police is head of all of these bureaus, with Assistant Chiefs serving as the heads of each department. The Chief of Police serves as the top in command within individual departments (Peak 2012). That individual is supported but the Executive Office of the Chief of Police. Currently, the serving Chief of Police is Cathy Lanier. The Chief of police must focus on being the liaison to the public and other government agencies, therefore serving essentially as the primary spokesperson for the department as an organization. The Chief of Police oversees department policies and practices. Also, the Chief of Police is responsible for promoting ranking officers. That individual is supported by assistants, including the Agency Chief Fiscal Officer directly under the Chief of Police and Assistant Chief Executive Offer.

One of the most crucial of the seven departments is the Patrol Services and School Security Bureau. Officers working in Washington D.C. face an uncertain world. The city is a large urban sprawl, with gang violence, corporate crime, and a number of other major issues. These are often typical of any large city. Yet, the Metropolitan Police Department also faces the additional hazard of protecting and serving important members of the federal government. Patrol Officers and detectives alike are forced to consider this extra hazard as they plan implementations of policies and procedures when faced with the untold number of dangers that await them. There are offices for the seven districts that compromise the Washington D.C. area, including an administrative office, vice, and various substations. Each of the seven districts within the area have an Administrative Office, 1D Vice, 1D Substation and seven PSA groups. The Community Services / Special Projects Division hold the Special Projects Branch, the School Safety Branch with the Youth Advisory Council, and the Boys & Girls Club. Finally, there is the Special Liaison Division, compromised by the Language Access Programs Branch providing fair policing standards, the Asian Liaison Unit, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Liaison Unite, the Gay and Lesbian Unit, and the Latino Liaison Unit.

Next, there is the department of the Homeland Security Bureau. Three main divisions make up the larger department. There are the Special Operations Division which governs of the Tactical Patrol Branch, Special Events Branch, Traffic Safety & Specialized Enforcement Branch, and Domestic Security Operations Branch. Then, there is the Tactical Information Division which is compromised of the Synchronized Operations Command Center Branch. Finally, there is the Intelligence Fusion Division, which is a series of task force teams working on intelligence gathering.

The Professional Development Bureau is essentially the back bone of the department. It is split into two primary groups, the Metropolitan Police Academy Division which handles police training and the Human Resource Management Division handles police recruitment and hiring. The Human Resource Management Division is also handling medical services and claims. This branch also holds the Disciplinary Review Branch, which assesses disciplinary needs and processes within the organization. Recently, there have been a number of issues confronting police recruitment and training. There is a heightened importance of effective recruitment and training measures (Peak 2012). The Washington D.C. department is trying its best to supply the appropriate number of police officers needed within the larger community. Yet, still, "there was -- and still is -- a need, both operational and political, to hire more police officers" (RAND 2009). This put the department under heavy pressure to hire police officers quickly to fill in the gaps. The department has been having trouble attracting enough competent people to fill the department's needs. However, the recession is proving to harbor some positive elements in terms of recruitment options for the department. Captain Josh Ederheimer has stated that "it's a good government job, aside from the mission and the goals, it's one of the few jobs left that has a guaranteed retirement and healthcare," (RAND 2009). The department is looking most within the younger demographics, which are more technologically savvy and up-to-date with some of the more complicated and innovative technologies the department is implementing within its policing practices. Captain Ederheimer suggested that "we've gone after the technologically astute demographic, which happens to be a lot of younger people," (RAND 2009). These individuals normally are between 20-25 years of age. Yet, the Captain also stresses how this demographic is just one of the department's targets, as it is still open to others outside of that age range looking to enter the police force.

Then, there is the Office of the Director is the head of the Administrative Unit, another major lifeline to the operations of the department in general. The Facilities Management Division is compromised of the Capital Construction & Property Management Branch and its own Administrative Branch. Next, the General Support Services Division governs the Equipment and Supply Branch which manages department supply needs, the fleet services branch which handles maintenance of department fleet vehicles, and the Reproduction Branch. Finally, there is the Police Business Services Division. The Security Officers Management Branch enforces the licensing and gun control of security officers in the region. The Records Branch manages public records and documents, while the Evidence Control Branch deals with holding evidence and impounding processes. These branches allow the public access to important department and legal records, essentially keeping the community informed about what is going on within its influence.

Another branch of the department is the Strategic Services Bureau. This is headed by the Executive Director, who also deals with the FOIA Office and the Marketing and Internet Unit. There is also the Reserve Corps Division that deals with reserve police officers. The Strategic Change Division deals with implementation and government relations. The Research and Analytical Services Division has a series of branches including: the Research and Analysis Branch, Crime Data Quality Branch, and the Tactical Analysis and Intelligence Branch. Finally, there is the Policy and Standards Division which is compromised of the Accreditation Branch, Testing and Assessment Branch, Police Officer Standards and Training Branch, and the Policy Development Branch.

Additionally, there is the Investigative Services Bureau. This has six major divisions govern over a series of investigative departments and holds all of the Metropolitan Police Department's detectives. The Criminal Investigations Division governs over Victim Services, sex offenses, and the District Investigations Branch. The Narcotics and Special Investigations Division -- Major Narcotics Branch, Narcotics Strike Force Branch, Gun Recovery Branch, and Vice Support & Technical Services Branch. Additionally, there is the Firearms & Tool Mark Examination Division with handles gun control measures and dissemination of guns into private hands and is comprised of the Serial Number Restoration Branch, Firearms Branch, Integrated Ballistic Identification Branch, and the Fingerprint Analysis Branch. Next, there is the Forensic Science Services Division which governs over crime scene investigations through the Crime Scene Search Section and the Crime Scene Examination (Mobile Crime) Section. The last two divisions within the context of this department are the Consolidated Forensic Laboratory and the Youth Investigations Division which is compromised of the Internet Crimes Against Children Branch, Physical & Sexual Abuse Branch, Missing Person Branch, Absconder Branch, Juvenile Processing Branch, and the Outreach Branch.

Finally, there is the Internal Affairs Bureau. This department deals with internally regulating the policies and procedures of the branch, which is another crucial element to allowing the department to run smoothly and meet its mission and goals (Peak 2012). There is the Internal Affairs Division with the Internal Investigations Branch, Force Investigations Branch, OPC Liaison Branch, and the OIG Liaison Branch.

MOA Compliance Monitoring Division. Then there is the Court Liaison Division which governs over the Court Services Branch. These branches of the department help align the mission of the police department's goals with that of the larger city, county, and state legal and legislative goals. This scope of the department helps serve as…

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