CJS 241 Police Organizations and Discretion

16 Oct No Comments

Police Organizations and Discretion

CJS/241August 1, 2017

What will be covered?

Local, State, and Federal Police AgenciesDescription of Agencies and Their FunctionsStructure of Agencies Roles and Functions of Patrol Work Utilization of Discretion in Policing

Local Level Police Agencies

Include municipal, county, tribal, and regional police organizations The primary purpose is to uphold the laws of the jurisdiction, provide patrol, and investigate local crimes.90% of all police departments in the United States are local police and sheriff’s departments.Sheriff’s offices are granted authority by the state to enforce state law at the local county level. Deputies commonly run the local jail, serve warrants and court summons, and respond to calls for service in areas outside local police jurisdictions.

(“Types of Law Enforcement Agencies,” n.d.)

(Potter, 2013)

Local Level Police AgenciesSpecial Jurisdiction

Officers for special jurisdictions provide police services for defined entities. These areas include: Parks, schools, transportation assets, hospitals, housing authorities, and government buildings.Special jurisdiction police are generally full-service departments, offering the same services as local police.

(“Types of Law Enforcement Agencies,” n.d.)

(Potter, 2013)

State Level Police Agencies

There are 66 state-level law enforcement agencies in the United States designated as state police, highway patrol, or state investigative departments.State police assist local police with investigations and emergencies that extend beyond the resources and jurisdictional boundaries of the local agency.Hawaii is the only state that does not have a state-wide police organization.

(“Types of Law Enforcement Agencies,” n.d.)

(Potter, 2013)

Federal Level Agencies

There are 65 federal agencies and 27 offices of inspector general that employ full time personnel authorized to make arrests and carry firearms.There about 100,000 full-time federal law enforcement personnel. The largest employers of Federal officers are U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.Federal officers’ duties include police response and patrol, criminal investigation and enforcement, inspections, security and protection, court operations, and corrections.

(“Types of Law Enforcement Agencies,” n.d.)

(Potter, 2013)

Roles and Responsibilities at the Local, State, and Federal Levels

At the local level, law enforcement functions includes traffic duty, patrol work, providing general public assistance, and responding to specific calls for service. The local police enforce city ordinances and the laws of the specific town or city but are limited by specific jurisdictions.At the state level, the state highway patrol has statewide jurisdiction, but the main function is traffic enforcement and controlling crime on the highways. Unlike highway patrol organizations, state police agencies operate criminal investigative units in addition to their uniformed patrol divisions.At the federal level, the responsibilities of a law enforcement officer with the FBI are focused on enforcing federal laws and investigating federal crimes. Some of the responsibilities of a law enforcement officer with the FBI includes investigating, prosecuting and preventing crimes of terrorism, intelligence, mail fraud, illegal gambling, sexual exploitation of minors, bank fraud, bank robberies and racketeering.

(“Law Enforcement Article – What are the responsibilities of a law enforcement officer?,” 2012)

(Neafsey, E., n.d.)


Law Enforcement Article – What are the responsibilities of a law enforcement officer? (2012, February 28). Retrieved from http://www.lawenforcement.com/article/5735937–What-are-the-responsibilities-of-a-law-enforcement-officer/Neafsey, E. (n.d.). The role of local, county, and state police officers in New Jersey in environmental enforcement. Retrieved from http://www.inece.org/3rdvol1/pdf/neafsey.pdfPolice: Organization and Management – Dictionary definition of Police: Organization and Management | Encyclopedia.com: FREE online dictionary. (2002). Retrieved from http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/legal-and-political-magazines/police-organization-and-managementPotter, G. (2013, May 28). The Organization of Policing | Police Studies Online. Retrieved from http://plsonline.eku.edu/insidelook/organization-policingTypes of Law Enforcement Agencies. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://discoverpolicing.org/whats_like/?fa=types_jobs

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