Police departments have always had their ups and downs. A majority of the time people seem to show a decent amount of respect to our police officers at any level of authority. In this paper we will discuss what some of these issues that police officers have to deal with; how our local, county, state, and federal officers work with the United States Department of Homeland Security; and what improvements can be made to this relationship with the United State Department of Homeland Security and our different policing agencies. First let us talk about common issues our police force is dealing with.
Respect, this is an important request that police officers are not getting from many people. This example is from personal experience. One day coming home an officer was driving his personal vehicle around his apartment complex after a long day at work. The officer forgot to cover up his uniform and therefore people outside could see he was a deputy sheriff. There were approximately eight children between the ages of eight thru thirteen playing in the area cars drive in to get around the apartment complex. This officer saw these children playing and slowed to a slow idle.
The children neglected to get out of the way staring at the officer’s car until the last minute. As the officer was passing the children he witness then throwing up signs with their hands and gave snarled looks with their faces. That story is just one example on what officers come into contact with. One other extreme is terrorism. Yes terrorism is not just for the Federal Bureau of Investigations anymore. Now all levels of law enforcement are involved with working not only with the Federal Bureau of Investigations but also the United State Department of Homeland Security.
Even though all levels of law enforcement share the same ultimate goal, to put “bad guys” away, it is not always a smooth partnership. Law Enforcement The USA PATRIOT Act was approved in 2001 after the attack on New York’s Twin Towers. This Act is designed to “deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement investigatory tools” (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, n. d. ). This has put a serious strain on our local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
According to Police Employment a “2004 survey reported that highway patrols in all 50 states found themselves with increased responsibilities” and “about 75 percent of all state police agencies reported significant leadership problems gathering and disseminating intelligence data in their state. ” In addition to those examples state and local agencies are over their heads in demands. They are experiencing financial stress due to needing more equipment and weapons for training purposes; financial stress on their crime labs; and their training facilities and over booked.
Local patrol officers are also feeling the burden of this Act. These officers must now keep a more suspicion eye on people and they are required to receive much extensive training on “biological, chemical, and radiological attacks” (Police Employment). These agencies are financially spread thin and this is impacting their jobs to prevent crime and drug operations. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to give reprieve to these over burdened law enforcement agencies so that they may operate smoothly and still be able to work with Homeland Security.
One suggestion would be to increase spending on our law enforcement departments. If money was not an issue the one thing these departments need is funding. This funding will provide more facilities for training. By increasing the amount of training facilities the stress and burden of scheduling will be reduced due to more chances of availability. More funds can also be used for equipment. Like most jobs everyone needs proper equipment to do their job in a safe and timely manner.
There are officers on the roads today that do not have the Law Enforcement simplest of required equipment in their squad cars. For example a local agency has its officers keep oxygen tanks in the trunks of their squad cars for use if needed in a medical situation. Due to inadequate funding not all the units have oxygen in them. Funding can also be used to increase specific training classes and to pay for more time of the instructors giving these classes. By doing this training classes will not be rushed and would be able to properly educate law enforcement officials on the information that is needed. As we can see we have our work cut out for us.
All of our agencies are extremely important to all of us and to our country. No one level of authority is more important than the other. They just all cover different things, but for them to all work together and on the same page, now that is progress. References Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. (n. d. ). USA PATRIOT Act. Retrieved from http://www. fincen. gov/statutes_regs/patriot/index. html Police Employment. (2011). Homeland Security and Law Enforcement. Retrieved from http://www. policeemployment. com/resources/articles/homeland-security-law.