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CJ 335 (5)
Chapter 3

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Michigan State University
Criminal Justice
CJ 335
Roy Fenoff

Ch 3: The Contemporary Law Enforcement Industry I. Basic Features of American Law Enforcement a. 18,000 federal, state, and local agencies and private security industry with almost a million people. b. Tradition of local political control c. Protection rests with local governments; cities and counties d. Policing highly fragmented; no formal centralized system for coordinating or regulating all the different agencies. e. Police services provided by four different levels i. City, county, state, and federal ii. Each agency has very different roles and responsibilities f. Hard to generalize about policing; some have things in common but generalizing is risky. A. An “Industry” Perspective a. Industry perspective produces comprehensive picture of all different producers of police services in a particular area. b. People receive police services from all agencies on a daily basis. B. An International Perspective a. In England, all 43 agencies are administered by the home secretary who is equivalent to our attorney general. b. Secretary has the power to administrate regulations on personnel and police operations c. Also receive over half of their budget from secretary’s office d. Japan does the same thing II. Size and Scope of the Law Enforcement Industry A. The Number of Law Enforcement Agencies a. 12,766 local departments b. 3,067 sheriff’s departments c. 49 state police agencies d. 1,481 special police agencies e. 65 federal agencies B. The Myth of 40,000 Agencies a. Never have there been 40,000 agencies b. Most departments are small and only have about 9 sworn officers C. The Number of Law Enforcement Personnel a. In 2004, 731,903 full time sworn law enforcement officers employed by state and local agencies. b. 105,000 federal law enforcement officers D. Understanding Law Enforcement Personnel Data a. Total number of employees includes clerical staff and civilian specialists in computers and numbers. b. Number of sworn officers referes to employees who are legally recognized as police and have full power to arrest c. Authorized strength is the amount of sworn officers a department can have; most are below it due to retirements, resignations, and terminations E. Civilianization a. Process of replacing sworn officers with nonsworn personnel for certain positions. b. Nonsworn personnel are used as dispatchers, research and planning specialists, crime-data analysts, and computer technicians c. Civilians i. Free up officers for critical police work that a trained and experienced officer can do ii. Posse need expertise in computers and analysis iii. Less expensive than sworn officers F. The Police-Population Ratio a. Measure of police protection in a community b. Expressed as number of sworn officers per thousand residents c. National average: 2.5 officers per thousand d. No clear relationship between the police-population rato and the crime rate e. Higher crime rates lead to the employment of more police G. The Cost of Police Protection a. Extremely expensive enterprise b. Correction costs have increased immensely c. Labor intensive industry III. The Fragmentation Issue a. Lack of coordination among departments in the same geographic area b. Agencies might have info that can help one another but instead compete rather than cooperate with one another. c. Fragmentation can lead to crime displacement, especially with vice crimes i. Adaption of strict laws might drive a crime into a different area. d. Problem of duplication of services A. Alternatives to Fragmentation a. Consolidation i. Consolidate departments with 10 or less sworn officers ii. Has made very little progress iii. Practical problems with merging different entrance requirements, salary schedules, and pension systems b. Contracting i. Small agencies to contract with larger agencies for specific services ii. Jail and detention facilities and police-fire communication systems B. The Fragmentation Problem Reconsidered a. Some argue that fragmentation is not as serious as they once thought b. Police Services Study has found that there is almost no duplication of services and interagency assistance is common c. Coordinating, sharing, or alternating patrol showed that no areas were missed and none were patrolled by two or more agencies d. PSS showed that small departments had access to labs, training, and communication systems and were not any less effective than larger ones e. The less complex the community the more effective the police f. Smaller might be preferred over larger ones IV. Municipal Police a. Most important component of American policing b. Play a more complex role than any other type of law enforcement agency c. Cities are complex environments, especially with their diverse population i. City departments have heaviest responsibility for dealing with serious crime; disproportionately concentrated in cities ii. Responsible for order maintenance problems and are asked to provide wide range of emergency services d. Small towns have more calls for minor and nonemergency events A. County Police a. Operate on a countywide basis V. The County Sheriff a. 3,067 sherrif departments in the US b. Unique among law enforcement agencies c. Legal status: constitutional office whose responsibilities are defined in the state constitution d. Sherriff are elected in 48 states A. The Role of the Sherriff a. Serve law enforcement, courts and corrections b. Serve basic patrolling and investigating, deliver subpoenas and protection for the courts along with maintaining the county jail c. Models of sherrif’s departments i. Full service model sherrif’s departments carry out law enforcement, judicial, and correctional duties ii. Law enforcement model agencies carry out only law enforcement duties, with other responsibilities assumed by separate agencies iii. Civil-judicial model agencies handle only court-related duties iv. Correctional-judicial model agencies handle all responsibilities except law enforcement VI. Other Local Agencies A. The Constable a. Growth of city departments have stripped the constable’s office of most of its functions b. Can be elected or appointed and role is defined by state’s constitution c. Modern constables work for county court; serve warrants and subpoenas, transport prisoners, and provide security for district judges d. Post tax notices and assist with divorces B. The Coroner/Medical Examiner a. Has responsibility to investigate crimes b. Investigate deaths scenes, conduct autopsies, and determine the cause of violent or unexpected deaths c. Usually employed by the state, county, or city agency d. Coroners i. Not trained as physicians and have little to no training in the medical field ii. Typically elected to their position iii. Investigate deaths e. Medical examiners i. Receive special training in death investigation ii. Appointed by elected official iii. Rely heavily on their training to understand the cause of death f. Must investigate i. Homicide, suicide, accidental death ii. Sudden or suspicious death iii. Unattended death iv. Death caused by disease that is threat to public health v. Death at workplace vi. Death of people in custody or confinement vii. Deaths of people to be cremated C. Special District Police a. Serve particular government agencies b. School districts and transits have their own police c. Campus and university police D. Tribal Police a. Native American tribes have their own police on their reservations b. Tribes are separate nations and have some legal autonomy c. Tribes are not subject to state or federal law d. 200 police agenci
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