The federalism includes federal, state and local levels of the law enforcement. The different level agencies have their unique organization and they carry out their operations independently. However, they combine forces when need arises. The police are one of the major law enforcement agencies in the United States of America. The police agencies have a responsibility of detection and prevention of crime, maintenance of public order and apprehension of criminals in America. The police officers also protect the citizens and properties. This essay describes the various types of police agencies in the US and how each is organized. It also identifies the principal roles of the police organizations as it applies to the law and identifies the major organizational theories that are associated with policing.
Federal police agencies
The federal police agencies have the responsibility of enforcing the federal laws that are found in the federal constitution of the United States of America. Some of their roles include the control of immigrations, investigation and prevention of crimes, counterfeiting investigations, airport policing, protecting the federal institutions and protecting the head of states. The US federal police agency has a Federal Bureau of Investigation which is a special division that carries out crime investigations at the national level. Also, the federal police agencies are organized such that they have divisions that focus on the enforcement of specific laws such as the import and export laws, immigration laws, drugs and substance laws, firearms laws and finance laws. The federal police roles are very complex hence requires the highly skilled police officers. For instance federal bureau of investigation officers are holders of degrees in various fields and they have undergone a comprehensive training at the law enforcement academy. Also, there is a more specialized federal police agency called the secret service which is charged with the responsibility of protecting the federal officials and their families such as the US president (wiseGEEK).
In the United States of America, there are about twenty three state police agencies. These agencies limit their authorities to statewide. These state agencies discharge their duties outside the county jurisdiction. They carry out functions such as protecting the governors, maintaining the security of the states, traffic laws enforcement and train the local police officers. Under the state's level, there is highway patrol which has a responsibility of patrolling the state highways. There are other agencies at the state level such as the department of criminal investigation, state bureau of investigation, department of motor vehicle, alcohol and beverage control state department of justice and department of public safety (Police structure of the united state).
Federal police agencies
On the local level, the roles and functions of the American law enforcement agencies are organized into municipalities and counties. The head officer of the county is called the county sheriff who stays in office for a term of four years. There are county police forces who are in who discharges their duties in the county governments and they are headed by the chief of the police. About 600000 officers are employed by the various municipalities. The local police agencies are the ones who carry out much ground work. For instance, they are responsible in investigating a large percentage of crimes in the country and they carry out patrol activities with the aim of deterring crime. The local police officers apprehend the criminal suspects and they participate in court proceedings. They are also given the responsibilities of peace keeping, traffic control and solving minor problems and disputes among the citizens. Sometimes, they provide social services to the society such as dealing with cases of child abuse and various forms of domestic violence (Gaines, K & Leroy R. 2008).
Organizational theories associated with policing
One of the theories that can be associated with policing is the classical organization theory. This is a scientific management theory that involves the optimization of the workers and their processes of work. It provides an appropriate framework of the organization structuring. The nature of the work that is done by any law enforcement agency/police agency is the main determinant of how to organize. The classical theory can be associated in policing because it facilitates political reforms in the hiring systems and also gives a way of controlling the police agencies and maintaining the political responsibility. Any organization that is run according to the classical organization theory would be in a position to achieve its competing goals. A good control would immerge from the careful design of the roles to be done and the performance manner. For instance, the hiring and promotion that is based on merit ensures that the highly qualified workers/officers are employed in the police agencies and this will enhance transparency and quality service provision. In addition, the classical theory uses the command model that is appropriate in the classical hierarchy and it strengthens the efforts to professionalize the law enforcement processes (Andrew J, Russell G & Paynich R. 2005).
The second theory is the contemporary management theory which assists in dealing with contemporary social problem crimes, shifting crime systems, terrorism threats and various demands from the society. This theory helps identifies the various factors in the agencies that are most appropriate and their respective impacts. Generally, the theory assists in the interpretation of the fast changing nature of today's law enforcement environments. (Andrew J, Russell, G & Paynich R. 2005).
The police agencies at federal, state and local levels follow the federal constitution laws and work independent of each other except during special situations. The organizational theories related to policing include classical organization theory and the contemporary management theory.