Essay: Different Levels of Law Enforcement

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Law Enforcement

The three levels of Law Enforcement in the United States are local, state and federal. There are some distinct differences between these different levels of law enforcement. In terms of jurisdiction, local law enforcement typically has these defined by geography. A local law enforcement agency works within whatever city or town is paying for it, and has sole local law enforcement authority within that area. A county sheriff would also be considered at the local level of government, and would other local police like campus police forces, or transit forces (GoLawEnforcement.com, 2015).

Law enforcement at the state and federal levels is more complicated. State law enforcement is geographically limited by their state, but federal law enforcement, such as the FBI, does not have such geographic boundaries. Where these types differ tends to be with what laws they enforce. The difference between state and local law enforcement is usually a matter of what legal code is being enforced -- either the city code or the state's code. For the most part, state law enforcement is focused on state-wide assets like highways, and enforces codes specific to those assets or areas.

There are greater differences with federal law enforcement. At the federal level, crimes are examined that cross state borders. At that point, the FBI or other state agency is brought in to work on things like coordinating the information and expertise of the different local and state agencies that have to that point been working on their cases independently. Thus, federal law enforcement can take over a case, and would do so when there are multiple local law enforcement agencies working on a case with a defined link, like a serial killer case that spans multiple jurisdictions.

These different agencies will all have different authoritative powers as well. Federal… [END OF PREVIEW]

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