Policing Functions

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Policing Functions
Mathew Scherer
February 10, 2014
Mr. David Kurylowicz
Policing Functions
Law enforcement in the United States consists of local municipal, county, state, and federal agencies. These agencies make up a very large and very complex enterprise. Throughout the United States, there are almost 18,000 different law enforcement agencies at the local, county, state, and federal levels. Along with the law enforcement agencies also comes private security industry that is made up of over a million people. Each of these agencies have some similar characteristics in common with each other, however to completely generalize a typical police department is very risky.
Local organization level.
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There are two agencies that come to mind when a person is thinking about the state levels of law enforcement. These two agencies are either the State Police or the Highway Patrol. The State Police have statewide policing powers for both traffic regulations and criminal investigations. The Highway Patrol also has statewide authority, but they concentrate more on the traffic regulations and non-traffic violations in their jurisdictions (Walker & Katz, 2008).

Federal organizational level.
The federal component of the law enforcement industry is relatively small but more complex than generally recognized. In 2004 there were an estimated 105,000 full-time federal law enforcement employees. This figure includes all personnel “authorized to carry firearms and make arrests.” It does not include military police, however (Walker & Katz, 2008).
Federal organizations consist of federal law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Another federal organization is our military law enforcement (Walker & Katz, 2008).
Seventeen federal law enforcement agencies employ 500 or more sworn officers. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the largest with 27,705 full-time officers, followed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons with 15,214 officers, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations with 12,242
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