The Basics Behind Effective Police Operations
CRJ 430 – Advanced Law Enforcement
In explaining the basics behind effective Police operations, I will select at least two types of changes and examine how the selected changes have affected police operations, mission, and values, or goals and objectives in the 21st century in the United States. I will explain the various lines of communications present within any given local law enforcement agency and determine at least two challenges and concerns that law enforcement might encounter with communication and suggest my strategy to mitigate the problems. I will examine the importance of police patrol in modern policing and Identify at least two quality of life issues that permeate current law enforcement practices. I will propose a response to these issues, based on standard methods as outlined in the text. I will also compare police reactions as they relate to violence in schools, homes, and workplace and provide an example of each to support my response.
Changes and their Effect
I believe changes have affected police operations, mission, and values, or goals and objectives in the 21st century in the United States. The changes are continued and on a progressive and sometimes exponential scale. Technology and it’s ever-changing and developing pace continue to be at the center of the stage for people and with the recent heightened level of social media and its effect on society, police officers must have education and policy on dealing with the pros and cons of technology. Some benefits of technology would be the advancement of all police equipment from vehicles, to communication equipment to computers and cell phones and all their uses to aid in policing and community relations, response time, criminalistics and crime reconstruction. In the same breath, some of these pros could also be cons. The ease of access to cell phones and the widespread use and misuse of social media could be a best friend or worst enemy to the police force based on the opinion of the person posting a message, picture, or video to the world. Changes and ebb and flow of Social media with the public and society will always have a direct effect on police operations. Someone utilizing social media can reach out and affect the public quicker than a police force can respond. People have also used technology and “Computers are currently used to perform many traditional criminal acts, most prominently the production and distribution of child pornography, financial crimes, information and corporate espionage, exploitation, stalking, and identity theft. The openness of the Internet has expanded the scope of criminal opportunities and has spawned whole new categories of crimes and criminals, including “hackers,” who seek to invade our computer networks, and virus writers, who develop tools that can damage and destroy computer systems”. The understanding of that effect and the mitigation of it through proper policing, living ethically, and maintaining a good relationship with the community will aid and sometimes prevent issues that can escalate beyond an organizations ability to react and control. Good policing and utilization of Technology are essential tools for keeping up with changes to our society and environment.
Communication Challenges and Concerns
Communication is a mission-critical element in everything police officers deals with daily. From calling in a traffic stop to running a registration to calling for backup, to trying to coordinate a search or tactical entry. “Communication between officers in the field, officers and headquarters, and officers and local, state, and national data sources, as well as information sharing among agencies and between the police and the public, has been enhanced greatly through advancing technology. Law enforcement communications began with whistles and rattles and have advanced to handheld radios, laptop computers in patrol cars, photocell phones, and Enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1), whose geolocation feature allows law enforcement to trace where a wireless call is coming from quickly”.
Some of the challenges and concerns that law enforcement might encounter with communication would be the budget for communications, operability in infrastructure, and an effective strategic communications plan. Many police organizations are stuck with the budget they have and are constrained by budget and resources. One solution to mitigate, support, and assist with this area is to educate budget personnel in external sources for assistance such as grants and aid from city, state and federal organizations, governments and grants.
Operability in infrastructure refers to having the equipment and supporting infrastructure that works for hand in hand and maximizes operational readiness. The way to improve in this area is to buy and use equipment and infrastructure that work together from the power grid, to the internet, to cellular communications and rf communications.
You also must develop a concise plan that uses your resources to get you to plan to its highest level of operational performance. In a recent assignment from this class, we read an online book titled “Strategic Communication Practices: A Toolkit for Police Executives” and focused on reading Chapter 3 “Developing Strategic Communication Plans.” The seven (7) steps given which support the process of developing a strategic communication plan are: STEP 1: Research and Situation Analysis, STEP 2: Determining Goals and Objectives, STEP 3: Target Publics, STEP 4: Communication Strategies, STEP 5: Messages, STEP 6: Tactics and Implementation, STEP 7: Evaluation and Measurement .
Importance of Police Patrol in Modern Policing.
Police patrols are the core of daily operations and response for any police force. They are also the eyes and ears of the public while being the face of the police organization. You can’t underestimate the importance of ethical policing with a force that supports and understands its community through active guarding and community patrolling and involvement. Patrol units and patrolling are highly relevant and needed in modern policing and should continue to improve and develop for the future. “Patrol service has been described as the backbone of the police department. Officers on patrol serve many functions. Among the important patrol functions are deterring or preventing crime and disorder; responding to crime calls for service; responding to noncriminal calls for service; controlling traffic; assisting at the scene of a crime; conducting preliminary investigations; gathering intelligence; making arrests; patrolling public gatherings and special events; assisting at the scene of a fire and other medical calls; providing community service and general peacekeeping activities; and partnering with others to solve problems related to crime and disorder” Patrolling is the backbone of police operations.
Quality of Life Issues
Two quality of life that permeate modern law enforcement practices daily are prostitution and civil disobedience. Prostitution trading sex for money. It is also one of the oldest professions and one of the most recent crimes. People have fought for and against it since its start. With advancements in technology and the ease of making contact either online or on a cell phone, this quality of life issue seems to be growing and continues to be an issue needing resolution. In some locations, prostitution is legalized and controlled, and in other areas, it is illegal and runs underground. With the unlawful environment, there are no control measures, and there are rampant collocated crimes and criminal activities along with an increase in the susceptibility of disease. One solution to this problem since the demand is so high would be to legalize and control it to protect the prostitutes and their customers. Just like legalizing marijuana, it will be a long process with constant change and improvements. This would also cut down on the police involvement needed to mitigate and attempt to control its illegality.
Civil disobedience continues to fill and fuel social media, news, anger, and resentment among Americans. So many issues exist, but the most prevalent in recent history is the mistreatment of minorities which causes the motivation for civil disobedience. If officers are not respectful and ethical in practice, they will produce an uproar that usually develops in civil disobedience such as the Rodney King beating and following riots in Los Angeles in 1992.
This is an example when people feel mistreated and disrespected to the point that they want to fight back. Under these circumstances and a person is mistreated, abused or loses their life, the people are motivated to be disobedient to law enforcement agencies and hold demonstrations that escalate to violence toward, others, their community, their property, and the police. The mistreatment of minorities continues to be a topic of national interest and a natural cause for civil unrest. One solution to this situation is to educate and enforce ethical treatment and community policing and involvement. While rewarding and punishing good and bad behavior in this category.
Police Reactions Related to Violence
Every day police officers are charged to assist, protect and defend the people of their communities. Police are required to respond to violent situations and stop criminal mistreatment and violence while protecting all people involved to include innocent people affected in collateral damage. There are severe and differing reactions police have when the violence occurs in different settings such as in the home, at school and the workplace.
Police officers are trained to treat domestic violence calls as a high priority. Many times, there is an absolute danger of physical abuse and violence that can be deadly to all people involved including the responding officers. The approach from arriving with no lights or sirens, to parking your vehicle a couple of houses away, from approaching the house quietly to listening to what is transpiring inside to assess and respond is dangerous and of the utmost importance. The level of stress and the odds of violence are equally high. Upon contact, the police are to separate the victim and the offender while collecting testimony and criminal evidence to assist in resolving the situation or building a court case.
The situation can be equally heightened and stress full but very different when it comes to the case of the workplace and school violence. In domestic calls, there are usually one or two patrols. In a school shooting or office attack, multiple agencies are called, and hundreds of officers can respond from the state, federal, and even military organizations can be called dependent on the location and jurisdiction. Special Weapons and Tactics teams are called, Hostage Negotiators are called, and hospitals and fire and rescue are also put into heightened alert and readiness. Because of these ever-increasing incidents, many schools and businesses have developed emergency response plans and have employed and trained more responding security specialists or police officers at the location. This is a change and sign of our current operations concerning schools and business and the impending threat of violence.
In explaining the basics behind effective Police operations, I selected at least two types of changes and examined how the selected changes have affected police operations, mission, and values, or goals and objectives in the 21st century in the United States. I explained the various lines of communications present within any given local law enforcement agency and determined at least two challenges and concerns that law enforcement might encounter with communication and suggested my strategy to mitigate the problems. I examined the importance of police patrol in modern policing and identified at least two quality of life issues that permeate current law enforcement practices. I proposed a response to these issues, based on standard methods as outlined in the text. I also compared police reactions as they related to violence in schools, homes, and workplaces and provided one example of each to support my response.
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