Term Paper: Police in Society

Pages: 7 (1975 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Buy This Paper

Police in Society

Organizational Structure

Hiring Standards

Community-Based Policing Philosophy

Police in Society

The police department has immense responsibility in maintaining law and order and providing safety and security implies the need for the establishment of a strong police force based on a clear and sound organizational philosophy. Establishing and maintaining a police organization for the urban city of metropolis with its population of around 300000 people is a task that requires careful planning and execution right from the hiring process to the strategic deployment of force. It is envisioned that a well co-ordinated and cooperative police network, with four interconnected stations would be very effective in checking crimes in the city and allaying the fears of the public.

Introduction

Police department has a vital role in the society in ensuring the stability, peace and day-to-day functioning of the population. With increase in overall population density and the corresponding increase in crime rates, the task of the police force has become all the more complex requiring careful management. With more than 18,760 separate police agencies and around 940,275 employees, the U.S. police force represents one of the biggest law enforcement agencies. [NCWC] Today, in the U.S. The average police to people ratio is rated at 2.3 per 1000 people with the strength going up to 4 per 1000 in some densely populated cities. Starting from field officer to Chief, the U.S. police department represents a hierarchical structure with clearly assigned roles and functions for the various divisions within the force. Establishing and maintaining a police organization for the urban city of metropolis with its population of around 300000 people is a task that requires careful planning and execution starting from the hiring process to the strategic deployment of force. Let us have a brief overview of the organizational structure, the policing philosophy, the recruitment process and the effective distribution of the force and other such strategic issues that underlie the establishment of an effective police organization.

Organizational Structure

The effect of organizational culture and structure on the motivation and job satisfaction of the police force has been attested to by many research studies. Thus, it becomes pertinent that organizational culture and the implications of organizational hierarchy are properly considered prior to the establishment of the police force. Invariably complaints against the over handed functioning of police force can be related to the organizational behavioural characteristics. Thus, an analysis of the organizational structural and cultural components is key in forging good relationship with the public. For an organization in charge of maintaining law and order for a population of 300000 and more, a clear organizational structure and policy is paramount. The Metropolis police organisation will have a well-defined hierarchy comprising of Officers, Sergeants, lieutenant, captain, and the Chief in charge. The operations would be spread between four different police stations each responsible for a geographically defined locality that encompasses a part of the city.

Going by the standard police to people ratio of 2.3: 1000 (James T. Quinlivan) would imply that a total of at least around 600 police personnel would have to be inducted. This figure includes officials representing all different cadres within the organization. The force strength would be equally distributed among the four stations that are planned to be functional. These four stations together would be responsible for the law and order maintenance of the entire city of Metropolis. Since the city of Metropolis is diverse in terms of its population it is only appropriate that the police force should also be diverse in the demographic sense. So it is planned that the recruitment process must take into consideration that the different segments of the population are properly represented. Thus, of the 700 police task force around 250 people would be recruited from the minority population and women would also be well represented. Thus candidates from the African-American, Hispanic, Latin Asian communities would be duly represented. This goes well with the general plan of avoiding racial tensions, which frequently arises in policing situations.

The plan is to enlist at least 150 women into the force in due process. The Chief would retain overall control of the operations of the town with the Captains from each of the police stations reporting to him directly. Under the Captains, Lieutenants would be working supervising the sergeants who in turn would be the first level supervisors of the patrol officers. Each of the four police stations will have a total strength of 100 patrol officers, and these stations would be running round the clock with patrol officers working in shifts. There will be a total of 10 sergeants in each station with each of them having 10 patrol officers reporting to them. The sergeants in turn will report to 2 lieutenants who will be under the control of the Captain. Thus, the hierarchy of the organization is a top down one in which the command flows from the top to the bottom as in the case of the military.

Hiring Standards

Metropolis city will have very strict and standardised hiring procedure wherein the incumbents would be subjected to a variety of tests to evaluate their physical and mental fitness. Since there is considerable public concern about the 'outsider police force' it becomes imperative that more local people are recruited for the task force. This would be an important point in the recruitment drive. First and foremost of the requirements would be for the candidates to appear for and clear a written examination. Once the written examination is cleared, the candidates are qualified to appear for the next round of physical examination. This involves clearing the 'Cooper's physical fitness tests' which are a nationally accepted standard for evaluation of the physical ability of the candidate. This includes 1.5-mile run, sit ups, push-ups, flexibility tests and a 300-metre run. All applicants are required to obtain at least a minimum of 40% in these tests to be considered suitable for the police force. A second chance is provided for applicants who fail to clear the physical agility tests in the first attempt. [City of Phoenix]

Part of the recruitment process is the background check for the candidates who successfully clear the physical agility tests. Candidates are requested to fill a questionnaire prepared by the personnel department and the completed forms are submitted to the background investigator. This is followed by a chemical examination for substance abuse usually in the form of urinalysis followed by a polygraph test to check the integrity and the honesty of the candidate. The next step in the recruitment process would be written and oral skills tests to assess the communication skills of the candidate. Candidates would be asked to write essays on topics and interviewed by a panel to determine their written and verbal skills. The final step is the psychological evaluation of the candidate by a certified psychologist and a medical examination by a certified physician. [City of Phoenix] Thus, the recruitment process at Metropolis city police force would be modelled on the process followed across the nation and is completely standardised.

Community-Based Policing Philosophy

The policing philosophy at metropolis is one that is oriented towards better relationship with the public and aimed at dispelling the fear and the hatred that prevails among the public with regards to the police. This is achieved by encouraging the involvement of the general public, government and the youth members of the locality in assisting the police department in identifying crime and in devising long-term plans to such issues. In particular, the Metropolis police department would be very involved in building effective relationship with youths and in entailing their support in identifying problems related to the community. For many of the senior and experienced officers who were working in other regions before joining the metropolis police force, this would involve adapting to a new policing philosophy. Hence, change management is at the centre of the organizational policies. At metropolis, the organizational culture involves a creative, cooperative, preventive as well as reactive police force. Thus, the philosophy of community policing implies that policing is no longer restricted to law enforcement alone but also includes a much broader perspective of creating a safe and secure environment for the community. [Author not Available]

Patrolling undeniably constitutes the major portion of policing operations. It is the patrol force that responds to service calls and restores order and they are rightfully called the "backbone" of policing operations. At metropolis stations, automobile patrol is the main patrol force with field officers operating in teams of two. Asides this, bicycle and foot patrolling are also used around the city. [NCWC] Since there is an increasing fear among the public regarding the growth of drug culture it becomes necessary to formulate a strategy to curb this dangerous and addictive problem. The fact that Metropolis is a coastal city further increases the problem, as it is generally known that drug trafficking tends to be high in coastal areas. [B.R.Aune] in response to this situation, Metropolis police department would be well equipped with… [END OF PREVIEW]

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