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Cja/394 Local, State And Federal Police Organization Management Issue Trends

1773 words - 8 pages

Local, State and Federal Police Organization Management Issue Trends


Local, State and Federal Police Organization Management Issue Trends
As Robinson (2009) reveals, policing has dramatically changed within the last three decades. While the majority of departments and officers (Robinson, 2009), reportedly 75% serve local towns and cities and thereby comprise a tier of the local government, these departments have been increasingly challenged to meet the changing needs of the community, the political directives and do so in ways that serve all the stakeholders. Understandably, differences exist among departments relative to their size, their organizational ...view middle of the document...

Even though Robinson (2009) elucidates how in 2005 “the number of police officers employed by cities grew to 969,700” including sworn civilians, Robinson (2009) alternately states that most police departments are small. In fact, a little less than half of them employ less than 10 sworn officers to serve jurisdictions with less than 10,000 people (p. 39). Therefore, communication and culture in these organizations differs significantly from their city counterparts.
Whereas, vertical or horizontal management structures could easily and flexibly be engaged in smaller departments, larger city departments need to employ the synthesis of both (Shevory, 2003). Yet, most city departments do not. Rather, their structures are vertical in nature and bureaucratic.
Even though the management and administration of these departments in many cases reflects that of local government branches and their legal counterparts, such structure ultimately delimits both efficiency and efficacy (Roberg, 2003; Mastrofski, 2007). After all, internal communications must pass through channels before reaching the intended party or parties. Messages can get “lost” in translation or backlogged somewhere in the process. All of these occurrences induce lesser efficacy and efficiency and thereby lead to perceptions of lesser quality performance in the public sphere (Mastrofski, 2007; Shevory, 2003).
When large departments use a framework for such communications and duty delegations, the department can realize greater efficiency and efficacy. This is why certain branches of the city departments were established. Developed with target crimes in mind, the police administrators believed they could increase arrest and prosecution rates (Robinson, 2009). Since these branches focused on particular crimes, the response times would be shortened. However, most times, Robinson (2009) states that these officers are utilized in reactionary fashion. Even as calls to officers all too often occur after the crime has been committed and the perpetrators have left and these calls represent a very small portion (reportedly less than 10%) of all police communications, the public perception of police efficacy is still shaped by these events (Robinson, 2009). Because the officers called to the scene most often enter cold crimes, this, too, informs public perception. It also coauthors media perception, as well (Mastrofski, 2007).
Since these spheres are tied, political actors can and do get involved and alter the structures of the departments or their normative operations. While this is most certainly evidenced by the creation of branches with officers dedicated to special crimes, other modifications demonstrate this as well. The rise of community policing, for example, during the Clinton Administration most certainly necessitated additional officers. In small departments, of course, the additions were often impossible. This did not mean that they did not add community...

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