Law Enforcement Paper Essay

This Law Enforcement paper will describe some of the historic background of police agencies and their jurisdiction in regard to local, state, and federal law enforcement, all of which fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security. Also covered in this paper, is a brief overview of each department’s responsibilities with regard to their primary purposes. History and Development of Police The rise of police as an organized force throughout the Western world, took place the same time centralized governments came into existence.

Police forces have grown all around the world but growth of the English police is of particular interest to students of the criminal justice system in America. The reason for this is due, to a large extent because early American policing was formed on the British model. With the exception of military intervention, law enforcement was not well-organized until close to the year A. D. 1200 (Schmalleger, 2009). During this early period, law enforcement relied on the efforts of citizens to help with criminal apprehension.

In 1829, a man by the named Sir Robert Peel (who later became prime minister of England) organized what may have been recognized as the world’s first modern police force. That same year, the Metropolitan Police Act, allocated resources for Peel’s force of 1,000 handpicked men, and The London Metropolitan Police Force (also known as the new police, or Met,) became the model for polices forces all across the world (Schmalleger, 2009). American leaders paid close attention to Sir Robert Peel as he created London’s new police.

One year later, Stephen Girard, a well-to-do manufacturer, donated a large amount of money to the city of Philadelphia to create a capable police department. The city hired 120 men for the night watch, and 24 to take care of similar duties during the day shift (Schmalleger, 2009). Policing Today It has been said that America has the most complex law enforcement in the world. There are three major legislative and judicial jurisdictions that exist in the United States – federal, state, and local.

Each has created a wide variety of police agencies to enforce the laws. Local Agencies Local police agencies along with city and county agencies, represent a third level of law enforcement activity in the United States. The term “local” police make a wide variety of agencies that include municipal department, sheriff’s departments, and specialized groups like campus police. In the United States, the largest law enforcement agency is the New York Police (NYPD), and they have approximately 38,000 sworn police officers (Schmalleger, 2009).

Even though this number sounds impressive, small town and county sheriff’s departments have a much greater number of officers. For example, there are close to 12,700 municipal police departments and 3,100 sheriff’s departments throughout the United States (Schmalleger, 2009). Each incorporated municipality in the country has the authority to create its own police force. Of course there are very small communities that in some cases only hire one officer and if this is the case, that officer will fill the role of chief investigator as well as anything else needed. State Agencies

Generally speaking, state police agencies were formed in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century for the purpose of meeting specific needs. There are several state police agencies that exist today. For example, State Police, Weigh station operations, Highway Patrol, State park services, Port authorities, Fish and wildlife agencies, and State bureaus of investigations, to name a few State law enforcement agencies are most often organized after one of two models. The first model is a centralized model, where the task of major criminal investigations is also combined with patrolling state highways.

With the centralized type, state police agencies will assist local law enforcement with criminal investigations if asked. They will also patrol state highways, operate centralized identification bureaus, provide certain training for municipal and county officers, and maintain a centralized criminal records repository. The second state model is called the decentralized model or type of police organization and operates in the Southern United States, but there are also a few Western states, and it also can be found in the Midwest.

With this model, there is a clear difference between traffic enforcement on state highways, and other state-level enforcement activities. For example, some states use both highway patrol and state bureaus of investigation. Even though the names often vary from state to state, the basic functions do not change. Federal Agencies Numerous federal law enforcement agencies are dispersed through the 14 U. S. government departments and 28 non-departmental entities.

In 2007, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) came out with a report that federal agencies employ a total of 139,929 law enforcement officers also known as LEOs; people authorized to perform any of the four specific functions: conduct criminal investigations, execute search warrants, make arrests, and carry firearms (Schmalleger, 2009). Some of the federal agencies are the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Federal Protective Service, Bureau of Prisons, U. S. Marshal Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The history of the FBI covers about 100 years.

Started as the Bureau of Investigation in 1908, it was designed to serve as the investigative arm of the U. S. Department of Justice. Part of the reason behind this was because of the inability of other agencies to end corruption in the political and business world. Many would say that the FBI is the most famous law enforcement agency in the country or world. Most Americans hold the FBI in high regard because they believe the FBI stands for everything a law enforcement agency should stand for; that FBI agents are exceptional police officers. War on Terrorism

After September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, the FBI’s efforts at counterterrorism became, especially important to the welfare of this country. The FBI’s efforts in combating terrorism included collecting, analyzing, and sharing information and critical intelligence with other federal agencies and departments. Some of these departments are the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as well as other agencies across the country (Schmalleger, 2009).

Some changes were made by the FBI as a result of September, 11, 2001. For example, the FBI has made modernization of its information technology (IT) systems a top-level priority. This is a multi-phased program code-named Trilogy. With Trilogy, the FBI can do three important things: First, the FBI has deployed a secure high-speed network that enables people in the FBI offices around the country to share data, including audio, video, and image files.

Second, the FBI has given its agents and intelligence analysts more than 30,000 new computers that run several modern software applications. Third, the FBI has developed an IT infrastructure that enables secure communication with FBI intelligence partners (Grabosky, 2008). The FBI plays an important role in national security by defending against terrorist and by upholding and enforcing the criminal laws of the United States from federal all the way down to state levels. Conclusion Our nation relies on police agencies all across the country to enforce the statutes that were created by differing types and levels of legislative authority. By using federal, state, and local agencies effectively, this nation has the tools necessary, to continue in the American dream.

Reference:

Grabosky, P.. (2008). Community policing in an age of terrorism. Crime, Law and Social Change, 50(1-2), 1-5. Retrieved February 15, 2011, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1512273461). Schmallager, F. (2009). Criminal Justice Today, 10th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson/Prentice Hall