If you have ever been in a troublesome situation or been witness to a crime, chances are you’ve made a call to your local police department. There are a hierarchy and divisions of law enforcement including county police, state police/ troopers and a ton of federal agencies. Your local police department usually watches over a smaller area of your county, such as a borough or township. They are the ones you usually see patrolling around your neighborhood. Due to our current American economy status, there have in fact been talks of getting rid of most local police departments to free up some funds. This article expresses the reasons why we need to keep the local police departments.
The duties of a local law enforcement are very straightforward. Their first main duty is to patrol. This is why you see them driving around your neighborhood or sitting in a local store parking lot. They are searching for violations of the law and strange behavior. They can conduct traffic stops, stop citizens suspected of a crime, monitor suspicious activity, etc. Their second duty is a response. While patrolling around the area, they are responsible to respond to emergencies and calls.
One or two police officers usually show up to a situation first and then the other local officers arrive shortly after. These two steps put the local police department on the front lines of duty. Their third duty is called procedure. This is the paperwork part. Officers interview eyewitnesses, make calls to potential suspects, write files, record observations, show up in court, etc. Procedure is what officers do behind the scenes.
The local police department may not be the only type of local law enforcement you have in your area. Detectives and Sheriffs also count as local law enforcement. Sheriffs usually enforce county laws. They may also handle patrol duties and assignments like city officers do. Sheriffs also are responsible for running county jails and providing security services in courts.
Detectives are simply police officers in everyday clothes that investigate local crimes. Detectives collect evidence, survey the scene and interview eyewitnesses. They also keep a close eye on suspects. After all of the investigating is finished, they write reports and may testify in court.
All of these responsibilities are specifically for smaller neighborhoods and towns. The local law enforcement is the reason why your neighborhood is safe. The problem with getting rid of local police departments, Sheriffs and Detectives would be that the state law enforcement wouldn’t be able to cover the scoop of the smaller areas needs. If there was a disturbance and you needed a police officer quickly, you may have to wait an extended period of time to get an officer because they would be covering the scope of the entire state. It would be too late once they arrived. Local police departments generally would have someone to you within ten minutes or less.
Also, if local police departments are disbanded, state police would not have enough resources to deal with all of the local crime that would take place, while handling the larger scale issues that they deal with on an everyday basis.
The point is, the local police department serves as the first line of defense against local crime. They are available in the community to help the locals and also serve the area. There is no way it would be beneficial to get rid of local police departments.