Discussion Questions about Police Organization

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1. Discuss police agencies as organizations, including the reasons why police agencies fit the definition of an organization.

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Police agencies are organizations since the agencies include specialized units such as the patrol, traffic, and investigation. These units can be likened to departments in organizations that have various different objectives. The various agencies have goals like the organizations have, and leaders in the agencies help other police officers achieve set goals.

2. Discuss division of labor in a police agency or organization

The police officers work in certain units, where they are expected to perform different duties. Once the police are recruited, they are trained based on the tasks that they are to handle in real life situation, and this marks the beginning of specialization. Some police officers control traffic, others keep security in buildings and others protect prominent people, and this is what can be said to be a division of labor, influenced by training one is given.

3. Define organizational structure. And list and discuss the elements of police organizational structure

Organizational structure refers to how an organization achieves coordination through the division of its labor into distinct tasks. There are seven elements of police organizational guidelines. These elements are functional, occupational, spatial, vertical differentiation, centralization, formalization and administrative intensity. The first four are the methods of dividing the labor. Functional differentiation breaks down tasks into separate units. Occupationally, trained workers are subdivided into occupational groups. Spatial differentiation is the division according to the geographical regions. Vertical differentiation explains on the hierarchical nature of an organizations command structure. Centralization describes how the decision-making capacity is concentrated on a single individual or a select group. Formalization outline the extent the employees are governed by specific rules and policies while the administrative intensity is the proportion of resources used in the administration.

4. Discuss the quasi-military style of policing.

The quasi-military style of policing is a military model where, for example, police and correctional officers wear uniforms, use rank designations, and have a hierarchical command structure much as the military services. Like the military officers, they carry weapons, wear uniforms that make it easy to recognize them and at the same time are allowed to use force just like the military.

5. Discuss the elements of police organizational guidelines.

The elements of police organizational guidelines are to define the role expectations for all police officers. They describe the policies, procedures, rules and regulations to ensure that all the officers work and conform to behavior that enhances public protection. Te guidelines tell the method of communication in a codified way and the support that can be received from other lower level employees such as clerks. It also tells the centralization of decision making where officers are answerable to their seniors and the seniors give instructions to their juniors.

6. Discuss the S.A.R.A. Process

The scanning, analysis, response, and assessment (SARA) is a process that provides officers with a logical, step by step framework in which to identify, analyze, respond to, and evaluate crime and its fear and the neighborhood disorder. Scanning helps the officers understand the problem at hand, which is the first step. Next, analysis involves understanding the affected individuals and the social context as well as the cause of the problem at hand. Responding involves offering a solution to the problem identified in the second step. Finally, assessment helps tell whether the problem has been well handled and the lessons learned from the process.

7. Discuss the changes that have taken place regarding police organization and operation since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001

The changes that took place as a result of the 2001 the terrorist attack include the following; There was a shift in emphasis from community policing to homeland security. The economic downturn has led to changes in personnel recruitment and hiring. Greater collaboration and multijurisdictional sharing of resources have taken place, and there has been less face-to-face contact with the public.

8. Discuss the issue of too much federalization and militarization of the police in the post-9/11 era.

Too much federalization and militarization of the police has led to the concentration of police power at the national level which is democratically unhealthy as it undermines the most fundamental principles under which the nation was found. It leaves the state governments with less military power to deal with the specific problems that affect the states. As a result, the state problems are not prioritized.

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