Law Enforcement Agencies

Local law enforcement is made up of a city’s police department, a sheriffs department, and some small town police departments. The local city police have the job of patrolling the streets for law violators, traffic violations, criminal investigations, and also providing crowd control. Most counties have a sheriffs department that can handle its crimes. The sheriffs department has the responsibility of handling the local jails; they are bailiffs in the local court rooms, they are coroners, as well as law enforcement officers.

They can patrol neighborhoods along side the local law enforcement as well. Small town officers have the same responsibilities as the bigger town and city departments but with fewer officers. The downside is those are sometimes the places with the highest drug offenders because of the lack of officers to enforce such large areas. State officers are mostly highway patrol officers and some states have a separate state bureau of investigations. The highway patrol enforces the laws on the states highways with traffic violations and any other crimes that find their way into those highways.

They can also provide patrols for small towns. The state bureaus assist any local departments that need the help for their crimes. The differences between the two are that they handle specific crimes and areas. The state police have a wider range of areas they patrol while local law enforcement has to enforce the law within the city limits. Some of the federal law enforcement agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Their responsibilities include fingerprint examinations, crime lab analysis, and assisting local law enforcement if asked.

The FBI is not a national police force but they do assist in capturing criminals and have different divisions in most major cities. The Drug Enforcement Administration is also a federal agency. Their role in law enforcement is to capture drug dealers. They can conduct surveillance operations, go undercover in a drug ring, and arrest major narcotic dealers. The DEA is responsible for eliminating a majority of the drug problem in the United States. The Department of homeland Security was established after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

This department merged 22 agencies that were once separate from each other. The DHS major role is to protect the country from further terrorist acts. They are responsible for protecting the borders and allowing people into the country. They have officers that conduct inspections at borders and ports of entry to the United States. They have the Coast guard that patrol thousands of miles of sea to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the shores of America.