The Multilayered And Decentralized System Of US Law Enforcement Essays Examples
The public security industry in the United States is operational in different levels of the government. It is huge in scope and size. Every decade, it is seen to witness growth of up to 200%. The criminal justice department uses 45% of the justice system budget. The United States Police department has always been multilayered and decentralized whereby all the branches work as a single entity and they have their own laws that govern them (Perino, 2006).
Different states are on the verge of ensuring that their police forces merge and work together. The states that need this type of consolidation of police merging to one single entity include New Jersey, Bergen, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, Missouri and Utah. Numerous cities and towns who believe that the move will be beneficial to the citizens support this ideology. According to the statistic offered by the government, there are 18,000 local and state law enforcement agencies operating in America.
Some of the debates related to the push for consolidation of the forces of the police into a centralized system cite the budget shortfalls as the biggest reason behind the closing down of the local forces. They claim that consolidation of the forces would assist in combining resources and thus lower budgets (Kessler, 2007). However, the counter arguments for these measures imply that different towns and regions spend money differently when it comes to security. For instance, it would not be practical offering the same town the same amount of money if one town uses $1 million while others spend higher than that.
The ideology might be practical hypothetically but in some regions, it might not work. For example, Louisville, Kentucky tried to put this into perspective by having a referendum in 2000. By 2006, the region had changed its police force and the city police merged in Jefferson County. The county managed to reduce their divisions from 10 to eight and the beats fell to 44 from 51 (Perino, 2006). In addition, the main management positions in the departments were given to the civilians. From the look of things, one might think that the ideology was money saving but the ledgers had a different story to implicate. The system led to hiring of more people than they had anticipated as different forms of leadership are required for this type of system.
The consolidation of the police force turned out to be a budget disaster when it comes to its implementation. It is estimated that Louisville used $85 for buying new equipments and $10 million for allowances and healthcare plans for the civilians incorporated into the system. On the surface, one might not see the concept related to consolidation to be costly but the repercussions would be felt years after it has been incorporated (Kessler, 2007). However, the downfall for consolidation in Louisville might be an exceptional case. There are regions that have consolidated the police force and saved money on the long run.
However, the supporters of consolidation would always point out small towns to push their point of consolidation. These towns are seen to have small budget when it comes to staffing the police force, as they would not require services of special units such as K-9 or SWAT team (Kessler, 2007). This is practical, as these towns do not have criminal activities, which might require the attention of the Special Forces.
Kessler, G. M. (2007). Law and law enforcement issues. New York: Nova Science Pub.
Perino, J. C. (2006). Citizen oversight of law enforcement. Chicago: American Bar Association.
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