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Improving Law Enforcement Agencies
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Police agencies remain as the principal players in the maintaining of law and order. Unfortunately, they are faced with many challenges that affect the quality of service delivery. Addressing their problems is critical to prevent compromise in carrying out their mandate. The inability of countries to meet these challenges gets usually accompanied by public dissatisfaction as well as the miscarriage of justice. The paper will look at the challenges that can be addressed to make this agency perform better as an agency of the criminal justice system.
The police as a law enforcement agency continue to be susceptible to means over the ends syndrome. This situation continues to place emphasis on the improvement efforts on the organization and methods of operation rather than the substantive outcome of police work. Such conditions are usually fed by professional dynamics in the police field, with emphasis on staffing, management as well as structuring of the police agencies. Many people continue to question the assumption that improving the internal police management helps the police to handle effectively the challenges they are called upon to handle. If the police as an agency want to realize the high return in their service delivery, they are left to concentrate directly on the outcomes of their responsibilities. In any part of the world, police face myriads of challenges. Inadequate resources, mistrust between the agency and the public, confrontations from criminal groups, interference from political leaders and personal interest in carrying out duties that lead to corruption. Meeting quality, therefore, requires the police to develop a systematic process of examining as well as addressing the setbacks that the society expects them to handle (Fortenbery, 2015). They should, therefore, identify problems in a precise way, investigate with them, document their response, assess their adequacy, explore alternatives weight the alternatives and choose best for the responsibility presented to them. Improving sectors like staffing, management and organization remain paramount, but they must get achieved in more achievable in the context of direct concern with the results of policing.
Making the Police Force Perform Better
Though police force plays a critical role in keeping law and order, it is always faced with interference from the political leaders who usually come and go due to the political power muscles. This situation often undermines the perfect work of the police in that the politics hinder the administration and exercise of their responsibilities. Many political leaders go to the extent of threatening the police while carrying out their duties. This process undermines the police work with the fear of losing jobs (Fortenbery, 2015). In the case of power struggle, the police may get used in gaining the political advantage. Therefore to improve the work of the police, there is a need to eliminate political interference from the responsibilities of policing. This intervention will help the cops uphold justice and fairness in exercising their duties. It is critical to developing a structure that cuts down the political interference. Therefore to promote their service delivery, there is a need for promised independence to ensure quality and uninfluenced work. It is critical for the political leaders together with the police force to possess shared goals that are a mechanism for promoting participation from political sector, police, public as well as stakeholders. Plans of action involving the political sector need to have clear objectives, guidelines as well as time frames to avoid deviating from actual police responsibilities.
The police force is also supposed to make an effort and continue building a partnership with communities as well as the administrative bodies and get better prepared to handle criminals. In many cases, Community policing is misunderstood and abused theme in the police management in this contemporary times. Community policing continues to be a value-laden system that permeates the police department. The primary organizational objective is to work cooperatively with citizens, groups, public as well as private institutions in identifying and resolving problems that potentially affect the livability of particular areas (Cohn, 1996). The Community-based police sectors need to recognize the fact that police cannot perfectly deal with issues alone, and they must liaise with significant others sharing mutual responsibility in resolving problems. Community policing helps in prevention, quick identification as well as timely intervention in dealing with problems before they develop into massive problems. Officers tend to work as multipurpose practitioners to bring both the government and the private resources to get results. Officers are therefore supposed to get encouraged to use considerable time as well as efforts to promoting and maintaining objective relationships with communities, businesses, learning institutions and organizations.
Human resource is other main problem facing the police force. In any country, human resource management in the police force is supposed to be decentralized to boost the agency effectiveness. In many countries, it is so alarming in that the police-civilian ratio is so wanting. There is a need to regulate the civilian police ration to ensure that the available force is sufficient to the whole community. Lack of enough personnel in many cases makes service delivery poor. The police have so many issues to handle in same time. Therefore, governments need to invest in the police force to ensure recruitment aims at promoting sufficiency of the strength to the public. Providing enough personnel in the police force prevent the cops from getting overpowered by the issues they handle (Steinkopf, Hakala & Van Hasselt, 2015).
There is also need to conduct regular reviews of the police agencies. This process helps in reducing redundancy. This intervention also makes the police responsible and accountable for the work presented to them. Lack of reviews in the police force usually promotes laxity among the police officers. They can also get used to each other to the extent of affecting service delivery (McInnes & Meaklim, 2012). Therefore, regular reviews and vetting of individual police performance can keep the officer knit to their responsibilities and in the end promote their functioning. Incompetence among the police can also get addressed if continuous and objective reviews are carried out. Removing of interference in the police human-resource management is critical especially in the top positions. Power-check system is also necessary for Offices of police commissioning.
The police force can also perform better if there is a transparent administration system. The administrative management gives little-ranking police officers the freedom in carrying out their work. This approach helps them to become more responsible to the local communities. Police are supposed to get credit basing on the performance. Many police departments always characterize by the concentration of police officer from distinct groups. In many cases, promotions are done in a biased manner. Such kind of trend in the police force kills the morale of the police officers. The reason is that there is no need to be committed to the work when somebody lazing around will get promoted (Cohn, 1996). Therefore to make the police agencies give best results in their work, promotions and ranks should be paid basing on the commitment and good work done by the officers. Police officers need to receive formal recognition for their initiatives, innovations as well as planning. The agencies need to acknowledge systematically problem-oriented police projects that achieve real results. There is a need for professional field officers to get valued for the skills and knowledge and make them feel less pressure in competing for promotion and advancing their careers. Commendations, as well as awards to officers for their great police responsibilities of all kind, are essential not just for crime control. Officers usually receive respect and admiration of colleagues for empathy, concern for quality as well as responsiveness for skills in investigation, interrogation as well as zeal for law enforcement.
The police force can also do better if the individual police officers get posted in areas where they are not socially so familiar. Working as a policeman in one's locality affects objective police performance. These situations attribute to the fact that one cannot make arrests on his relatives and friends. The staffing in the police force needs to ensure that the police officers work in places where they do not personally get attached. There is also a need for periodicity transfers of police officers to avoid the effect of police officers getting used to the specific place. Staying at one station leads to making friends and getting accustomed to the people who in most cases result in compromising on service delivery. Regular training for police officers is also critical in improving the functionality of the police force (Corcoran, 2014). The needs of the public are dynamic and, therefore, police interventions should also get devised to suit the demands of the society. There is a need for regular training on capacity building for police officers is critical in making the updated to the ever-changing trend in the world of technology. Recruitment in the police should also be objective. The police force should recruit individuals with passion in the agency and not giving opportunities to people because of affiliations and corrupt deals.
Good pay for police officer can also be the primary factor that can promote the functioning of the police force. Giving good pay to police officers is vital to help to compromise with their responsibilities by taking bribes (McInnes & Meaklim, 2012). Many countries that face poor services from police force give poor to pay for their police officers. Therefore, reasonable compensation can promote the police service delivery. Enough resources to investigations and to facilitate police movement and other duties must be availed to ensure timely handling of problems. Finally, diversity in the police force in any given country is very critical. This process eliminates chances of discrimination, and the whole force will end up presenting a national outlook.
To conclude, police force faces a lot of problems that end up hindering their quality service delivery. From the literature above the interventions are proposed to help address this issue. There is a need to eliminate political interference in the agency, good pay for the police, finances for police duties, collaboration with the community, proper administration and adequate human resource. Regular reviews, continuous training, and motivation also prove to make police functioning better. It is important for all countries to impress the above initiatives to make the cops force objective in carrying out their mandated.
Cohn, E. G. (1996): The Citizen Police Academy: A recipe for improving police-community relations. Journal of Criminal Justice, 24(3), 265
Corcoran, D. P. (2014): How useful is a problem-solving approach to police station conflict management: keeping the peace among police officers. International Journal Of Police Science & Management, 16(2), 113-123. doi:10.1350/ijps.2014.16.2.332
Fortenbery, J. (2015): Improving Motivation and Productivity of Police Officers. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 1-5.
McInnes, A., & Meaklim, T. (2012): Leading the Police Service of Northern Ireland -- ten years and beyond. International Journal of Leadership in Public Services, 8(1), 39-58. Doi: 10.1108/17479881211230664
Steinkopf, B. L., Hakala, K. A., & Van Hasselt, V. B. (2015): Motivational Interviewing: Improving the Delivery of Psychological Services to Law Enforcement. Professional Psychology: Research & Practice, 46(5), 348-354. Doi: 10.1037/pro0000042
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