Local State Federal Police

The United States uses police officers on three different levels to deal with citizens that violate the laws. The local, state, and federal agencies operate on different levels. Maintaining order and service functions, purpose of policing is to do investigation of suspected criminal activity and refer criminals to the American court. Police is needed to help maintain peace and order within the United States. Many critics feel that the policing is unorganized and nonfunctional. The police are able to do their job and help other agencies control the public.

The local, state, and federal are able to aid each one if they need the extra help. Local The local law enforcement agency it the first response to emergencies and other issues that relate to public safety. They are also involved with the protection of facilities and infrastructure. Local law enforcement agencies operate some correctional facilities on the local level. The police functions deal with order maintenance, law enforcement, and service. The order maintenance refers to keeping the peace or preventing people from disturbing others. This can involve someone throwing a party and the music is too loud.

The neighbors complain and call the local police to handle the situation. Law enforcement is when the law has been violated and suspects must be identified and this can be murder or robbery. Service is when the public needs information on where a street is located or even acting as educators. They may go out to schools or colleges to give them vital information on drugs. The “local police have long-term relationships with the communities under their jurisdiction” (Ford, 2004). The local police are present in the communities. State The state also has police, but they are called State police, state patrol, or highway patrol.

They do investigations as well as state patrolling. This law enforcement is part of the State Department of Public Safety. The state police statewide authority to conduct law enforcement activities and criminal investigations. They are allowed to perform functions outside the jurisdiction of the county sheriff. They are responsible for enforcing laws on state highways and interstates, protecting the governor, and providing technological and scientific support services. The state has the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and also the State Bureau of Narcotics (SBN) .

Some states changed the name of their state police agency like Michigan did, for the “Michigan State Troops at the time replaced the National Guard” (Olander, 1932). Federal The federal law enforcement has a wide range of agencies to help maintain law and public order that can affect the country. They are authorized to enforce various laws on the federal level. They can enforce laws on the state and local levels as well. The federal law enforcement have nationwide jurisdiction for enforcement, but specifically their power is geographical limited.

The United States Code helps limit the power of investigating matters within the power of the federal government. The USA Patriot Act have made it possible to broaden the federal agency investigation powers. Some agencies that are on the federal level involves the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The biggest federal agency is the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ is the most prominent, well known agency and handles most law enforcement duties at the federal level.

The newest law enforcement agency is the Department of Homeland Security. “The Homeland Security Act of 2002 created the Department of Homeland Security” (Brook, King, 2007). Each of the 50 states within the United States handles or retain their own police and domestic decision making. Jurisdiction On the local level, for the police are restricted to their jurisdictions. The county and city police do not have full legal jurisdiction. They may have to call on another county to help catch a suspect. There are laws that authorizes a police officer to go beyond the geographical boundary.

They can also be called on to assist officers of another jurisdiction if they are needed. On the state level, they perform functions outside the jurisdiction of the sheriff. They help to coordinate multi-jurisdiction task force activity in serious or complicated situations, but only in states that grant full power statewide. On the federal level, for the federal agency has power and jurisdiction over a stat as a whole. They rarely have limited jurisdiction. This could involve other countries that do or do not have ties with the United States. It can be hard to catch a suspect overseas.

The federal agency that is looking for the suspect can communicate with the country in order to capture the suspect. The country may be willing to give the suspect up if they give some type of aid that can help their country out. Organizations/Management On the local and state levels of policing, for they are similar in organization and management. The federal level of policing organization and management is different due to the different agency within the federal. The local, state, and federal organizations and management has changed due to the environment of policing.

The new technologies, new offenses and managerial innovations to help put focus on the organization structure on all three levels of policing. The local police organization are small and this is due to the amount of local police in the county. The state police organization is fairly medium sized. The federal police organization is fairly large and this is because they have more to deal with on a national level as well as the state level. Policing management is driven by a militaristic view of policing and management concepts from the private sector of businesses.

All three levels has a span of control, unambiguous hierarchy, and centralization of command. This is important because having a limited number of workers per supervisor or manager. All workers know whom to report too. The decisions come from the top and flow down to all workers. Each level of policing do not have the same duties. The local and state police do resemble each other from organization to management. The federal police has different duties and their duties are limited to the specific type of department. The departments include the SBI, DHS, DEA, and so on. Each department has its own function and operation. The department also have their own organization and management unlike the local and state levels of police.


  • Brook, D. A. , & King, C. L. (2007), Civil Service Reform as National Security: The Homeland Security Act of 2002. Public Administration Review, 67(3), 399-407.
  • Ford, R. T. (2004). Responses to “The Right Fight”: Police Don't Fight Wars. Boston Review 29(6), 19-20.
  • Olander, O. G. (1932). MICHIGAN STATE POLICE: Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology (08852731), 23(4), 718-722.