United States Police System

Maintaining law and order is part of the justice system together with the judiciary and the correctional facilities. Although the three arms work in tandem in ensuring justice through prevention of criminal activities, they are all independent from each other in their operation. However, the courts work to determine the operations of the police and the correctional bodies. The police work to maintain law and order as well as investigating suspected crimes and criminals (Cole & Smith, 2006). The result of the police operations are handed to the courts for determination.

In the United States, the police operations involve a number of agencies functioning at various levels. There are the federal police who are empowered by the U. S. C. to carry out operations in all levels of government as the circumstances my call for. There jurisdiction is to enforce laws of the federal government countrywide but only investigate issues concerned with the federal government (Fuld, 1909). The American police system is one of its kinds in the word. The total number of us police force is estimated to be about 20,000 both from state and municipal levels alone (Smith, 1960).

The number is divided into various agencies which are not very much independent in their jurisdiction. The functions of various agencies are found to be overlapping either at the local, states or federal levels. The bigger percentage of the police in US comprises the agencies concern with patrols and reacting to distress calls from residents. The agency sometimes called the general-purpose police, are also charged with investigation of crimes and most local governments employ the services of both full time and part time officers. Other groups of agencies comprise the special-purpose police.

They are charged with enforcing laws in particular territories for example, manning airports or parks. Other functions may also include enforcing laws on wildlife regulation or laws on drugs and trafficking. Then there are other branches that fall in neither of the two groups. The sheriff police is one such example, their major duty is to secure courtrooms, but sometimes provide undercover services and investigative roles to the municipal police agencies (Cole & Smith, 2006). The American police system is very large in size and varied in types as well as functions.

It is such diversity in number and roles of the agencies that makes it such a fragmented police force. Smith (1960) suggests that the loose coordination that exists between the agencies makes it hard to have better organization as well management that works well across all the agencies. France on the other hand has two main bodies that are charged with enforcing the law. France the National Police and the military. The former is the main law enforcement agency with functions duties raging from patrols, identity checks to conducting of criminal investigations.

The military arm has jurisdiction to patrol the smaller cities, rural areas as well as securing the borders. England has a police system is divided into four major agencies. The first one is mostly charged with watching over the public while the other three are involved in enforcing laws with local issues (Fuld, 1909). Conclusion Of the three countries, France has the best police system. There is much coordination and efficiency because it comprises two larger professional bodies with clear jurisdiction something that cannot be said of England and US.

The two countries has larger agencies with overlapping roles, as well as untrained forces who are licensed to keep law and order making them inefficient in their operations.


Cole, G. F. & Smith, C. (2006). The American System of Criminal Justice. New York: Cengage Learning. Fuld, L. F. (1909). Police administration: a critical study of police organizations in the United States and abroad Police administration: a critical study of police organizations in the United States and abroad. G. P. Putnam’ sons: Harvard University Smith, B. (1960). Police systems in the United States. 2nd Edition, Harper: the University of California