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Does Crime Influence The Size And Structure Of A Police Force? (Term Paper Sample)

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This paper explores in detail how crime influences the size and structure of a police force.

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Content:
DOES CRIME INFLUENCE THE SIZE AND STRUCTURE OF A POLICE FORCE?
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Executive Summary
Law enforcement agencies at various levels of the government execute various formal roles as prescribed by the law. As a result, they are involved in various kinds of activities. For instance, the local police maintain order, enforce criminal laws, and provide the public with various services on daily basis. The ostensible role of any organization is to structure all its activities in such a way that all the set goals are achieved successfully. Like any other agency, police agencies delegate authority in order to have an effective chain of command. At a local level, a police commissioner commands all the city police officers. Commanders are also appointed to take charge of various police entities and they submit their reports to commissioners. State police/patrol has the same structure. These structures differ from one country to another depending on the types of crimes committed. Additionally, true professionalism should emphasis on delegation of powers to professionals who can handle a given problem in the most appropriate way. Due to non-uniformity in the crimes committed, it will therefore be necessary to restructure the police force in such a way that police at local level are given a substantial degree of leeway to exercise their judgment in some crime cases.
Introduction
The effect of police force size and structure on the ability to deliver efficient police services, has always been a critical question to many policy makers as they set various strategies, geared at ensuring that citizens receive efficient services from the police. Over the years, different countries have been having debates on the role of police force size and its influence on agency efficiency. When crime increases in a particular country, citizens may be more apt to increase police force funding so that the government can be in a position to hire more officers. Similarly, if crimes committed reduce, citizens would prefer spending their tax money on other needs. Research has revealed that the size of police force is usually positively correlated with the number of crimes reported by citizens. This is because victims of crime cases are normally motivated to report their cases only if there is a police officer available and ready to listen to them. Therefore, it can be concluded that the size of police force is dependent on the crime level. In addition, increase in crime will also call for restructuring of police force by either increasing the available ranks or decentralizing authority. This paper explores in detail how crime influences the size and structure of a police force.
How crime influences the size of police force.
Does the size of police force influence its ability to execute its duties? Are larger police forces more advantageous than small ones? If size matter, should various communities initiate community policing? These are some of the questions, which have remained unanswered to both administrators and researchers. Size of police force refers to the number of police officers employed in a particular country to fight crime. In normal situations, when crimes committed in a country increases, there will be too many victims willing to report crime cases. As a result, more police officers will be needed in various police stations to address these cases. This clearly depicts that more police officers will be needed on the streets when the crime rate increases.
However, substantial social research science tends to challenge this proposition. The skeptics about the efficiency of police in addressing crime cases points out that in normal circumstances, police rarely arrest those involved in committing crimes and increasing police size will not help to fight crime. Even the best-known police departments may take several minutes to respond to an emergency call, which is normally enough time for criminals to flee the scene. In addition, it is also argued that victims of different crimes report the crime after it has taken place. Some criminologists support these skeptical views because crime perpetrators may be unaware of increased numbers in the police force or even if they are aware, they may tend to be undeterred because they are destitute, drunk or enraged.
Economists respond to these views by arguing that it is advisable to increase police spending in order to reduce crime rate. In other words, if crime in a given country increases, the size of police force should be increased. Increased crime rate requires that measures be initiated in order to pave way for easy and less time-consuming investigations. To ensure this, it will be imperative that the size of the police force is increased. Additionally, when the amount of crimes committed in a country increases, more resources will be needed in the police force and many institutions such as banks will demand more police officers in order to ensure maximum security.
Due to the unproductive state of the traditional forms of policing such as preventive patrolling, policy makers and administrators in the police force are advocating that in order to counter crime effectively, more innovative patrolling strategies should be adopted. These strategies include increasing the size of the police force and then dividing the police officers into groups. Each group will be supposed to handle a particular type of crime. In addition, the fear of crime in many countries has contributed greatly in the increased sizes of various police forces. For instance, current terrorist threats on attacking certain countries have resulted to more funding of police force in order to train and hire more police officers. These threats have also led to employment of more undercover police officers, who specifically conduct investigations on specific suspected individuals. 
Many countries associate large police agencies with more arrests of suspected criminals and as a result, less crime cases will occur. This is the case with the American Police Industry, which is overwhelmingly populated by small agencies, but a large number of its citizens are served by large police agencies. Although, the consolidation movement proposed changes in this industry, the structure of the police force was not altered due to the ideology that large agencies can counter crime more effectively than small ones.
Normally, the arrest rate is positively correlated with crime rate and the number of police officers. In a situation where the amount of crimes committed are high, one of the measures that the police force will initiate will be making more arrests in order to reduce criminals on the streets. For this to work in the best way possible, the government will be compelled to increase the size of the police force. On the other hand, when the crimes committed are minimal, there will be less arrest and as a result, fewer police officers will be required in the police force. In addition, research has revealed the number of victims of crime who report their case can increase only if the availability of police officers is not in question. In other words, more people will report their cases when we have sufficient number of police offers in a given location. This is because citizens are usually get motivated to report their cases when there is a police officer available and ready to listen to them. Therefore, to ensure that all crime cases are reported and those concerned apprehended, the number of police officers ought to be increased.
Crime has also influenced the size of the police force in different countries in the sense that due to rate of police arrests, more police officers are needed in various correctional institutions. This has compelled the government to set aside more funds for training and hiring more police officers in order to counter the shortages in the different correctional facilities.
Nearly all communities across the globe have an access to police services. Regional departments such as sheriff’s office or county police departments serve many small communities. The missions of these police departments are too complex and evolving. In different communities, demands for both crime prevention/fighting are dynamic, and are rarely similar across the communities. As a result, the task of conducting an effective evaluation of these departments has been quite difficult especially when deciding on the most appropriate size of the various departments. Advocates of larger police agencies argue that when combating crime, larger agencies have a variety of benefits such as lower response time, higher quality of police service, and lower operating costs since there will be reduced overtime and overhead costs.
How crime influences structure of a police force.
The ostensible role of any organization is to structure all its activities in such a way that all the set goals are achieved successfully. Like any other agency, police agencies delegate authority in order to have an effective chain of command. At a local level, a police commissioner commands all the city police officers. With regard to the size of the police force, commanders are appointed to take charge of various police entities and they report directly to the commissioner. State police/patrol has the same structure. These structures normally vary in size depending on the size and mission of the state police. When the size of the police is large, there will be more levels of delegation in order to implement command over more officers. Currently, police forces have three duties, both at state and local levels. They must maintain order, serve the public interest and enforce the law. Law enforcement entails prevention of crime and apprehension of suspected perpetrators.
Administers and policy makers keep on manipulating different features of police organizations in order t...
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