of Large Police Departments
Write a response to the following prompt:
- Identify and explain the three main operational
units existing within large police departments and the
primary function(s) of each type of unit.
- How does a supervisor or manager manage each of the
three main types of units in a large police department, and what is the
manager’s primary function/responsibility in each?
The three main operational units existing within large police departments
and the primary function are patrol, criminal investigation and traffic
enforcement. According to Peak, Gaines, & Glensor, “the patrol officers
patrol the street, answer calls for service, make arrests and deal with public
problems and crimes. Criminal investigations or detectives are involved in the
investigation of crimes. They solve cases, arrest perpetrators, and recover
stolen property. Traffic enforcement is responsible for ensuring that citizens
abide by traffic laws and investigate traffic crashes”(Peak, Gaines, &
Glensor, 2010). There are numerous responsibilities for each of these positions
that a manager or a supervisor had to have in order for each department to
effectively run smoothly.
There are five types of patrols which are automobile, foot, bicycle,
horse, marine, and air. Depending on the type of patrol that an officer has,
there are many responsibilities. The patrol officer supervisors “are to back
officers on calls, which represent the bulk of calls, especially priority one
calls. The supervisor also makes sure that the safety is enhanced and provides
advice and training for newcomers they also they make sure that their officer
do not negligent their responsibilities” (Peak, Gaines, & Glensor, 2010).
Criminal investigations on the other hand, compared to the smaller
departments, larger departments have many investigative units. According to
Peak, Gaines, & Glensor, “detectives are seen as individuals who collect
evidence, interrogate suspect, and make arrest once they have enough evidence
to establish probable cause” ( Peak, Gaines, Glensor, 2010). Within the
traffic unit the supervisor responsibility “is to ensure that traffic officers
are writing citations that contribute to safety, locations with high numbers of
accidents, and that contribute to most traffic crashes”(Peak, Gaines, &
Glensor, 2010). However, the supervisor as well manager responsibility is to
make sure that all tasks are done in a proper manner and that the policies,
procedures as well as the rule are effective as well.
Peak, K., Gaines, L. & Glensor, R. (2010). Police supervision and
management in an era of community policing (3rd ed.) Upper saddle, NJ:
Pearson Education, Inc.
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