Good ‘briefly Discuss The Limitations Of Authority On US Federal Enforcement Today And Its Origins’ Research Paper Example

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Government, Law, Criminal Justice, Police, Crime, Law Enforcement, Enforcement, System

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/10/25

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The US law enforcement model is best described as a fragmented system. The absence of a national police force in the US results in a system where law enforcement exists at all levels: federal, state, and local levels. As of 2009, about 16,224 law enforcement agencies exist in the state and local levels and about 34 major law enforcement agencies in the federal level (Conser et al 2011, pp. 80, 90). The distribution of police in the different levels is as follows: 82% in the local level, 10% in the state level and 8% in the federal level (Albrecht and Klip 2013, p. 497). The result is that limitations are imposed on the jurisdictions and authority of US federal agencies. The fragmented system of US federal agencies is attributed to tradition and federalism.
Federal law enforcement is limited to the authority granted to them by the US Congress. Congress grants, and therefore limits, law enforcement two types of authority – jurisdiction and authority. Under the first, federal law enforcement is assigned the types of laws it is obligated to enforce, and under the second, it is conferred the specific powers it has authority to enforce (Nelson 2012, p.675). From the federal law enforcement point-of-view, jurisdiction can refer to territory or subject matter. Territorial jurisdiction may result from the concurrent jurisdiction of federal and state over a portion of land, the exclusive jurisdiction of federal government over a portion of land, or the proprietary ownership by the federal government of the land in issue. Subject matter jurisdiction of federal law enforcement may be authorized by statutes of general application or by statutes applicable to the land in issue. Examples of the first type are the following: conspiracy, under 18 USC §371; bribery of public officials and witnesses, under 18 USC §201, and; embezzlement and theft of public money, property or records, under 18 USC §641. Examples under the second type are the following statutes: Cutting or Removing or Transporting Timber on Public Lands of the US, and; Hunting, Fishing, Trapping, Disturbance or Injury on Wildlife Refuges (FLETC 2011, p. 6).
US policing is rooted in the English system and contemporary policing has retained its English influences. There are English policing traditions that have been to American policing and these are limited authority, local control and organizational fragmentation. These characteristics are evident from such systems as the frankpledge system, which developed in England during its early history. In the frankpledge system, families in groups of ten voluntarily committed themselves to take responsibility over their peace and order and any violation by any member obligated all members of the tythe to produce the suspect (Cole 2013, p. 66). The elements of the English system suited well the US because the various colonies during the colonial era were free to pursue their respective systems for enforcing peace and order. This system was strengthened during the political era of policing because police became dependent on the patronage of local political leaders who had a hold on them (Cole 2013, p. 67).
Federalism also contributed to, and even dictated, the fragmentation of US policing. The US Constitution, which was ratified by the 13 colonies created a dual system of government in which 2 systems of governance operate at the same time. The Constitution defined the limitations, authority and powers of the federal government and by implication, federal law enforcement. In addition, the 10th Amendment provides for the reservation of powers where powers not expressly granted to the federal government and not contrary to them, are exercisable by the states (Conser et al 2011, p. 78).
US federal law enforcement is limited by jurisdiction, authority and subject matter. One of the reasons for this state is that US policing is deeply rooted in the old English policing system, which were characterized by local control, limited authority and fragmentation. Moreover, federalism necessitates this fragmentation. The overall effect is to limit federal law enforcement to purely federal concerns and away from state matters.

References

Albrecht, H and Klip, A. (2013). Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice in Europe: A Collection in Honour of Prof. em. dr. dr. h.c. Cyrille Fijnaut. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
Cole, G. (2013). Study Guide for Cole/Smith/DeJong's Criminal Justice in America, 7th ed. Cengage Learning.
Conser, J.A., Paynich, R. and Gingerich, T. (2011). Law Enforcement in the United States. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
FLETC (2011). Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Glynco, Georgia Legal Division Handbook 2010. Government Printing Office.
Nelson, M. (2012). Guide to the Presidency and the Executive Branch. CQ Press.

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WePapers. (2020, October, 25) Good ‘briefly Discuss The Limitations Of Authority On US Federal Enforcement Today And Its Origins’ Research Paper Example. Retrieved April 21, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-briefly-discuss-the-limitations-of-authority-on-us-federal-enforcement-today-and-its-origins-research-paper-example/
"Good ‘briefly Discuss The Limitations Of Authority On US Federal Enforcement Today And Its Origins’ Research Paper Example." WePapers, 25 Oct. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-briefly-discuss-the-limitations-of-authority-on-us-federal-enforcement-today-and-its-origins-research-paper-example/. Accessed 21 April 2021.
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Good ‘briefly Discuss The Limitations Of Authority On US Federal Enforcement Today And Its Origins’ Research Paper Example. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-briefly-discuss-the-limitations-of-authority-on-us-federal-enforcement-today-and-its-origins-research-paper-example/. Published Oct 25, 2020. Accessed April 21, 2021.
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