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  • Benefit of multiple agencies?

    So visiting this forum and being turned on to the myriad of agencies out there has me wondering - how do you feel about there being so many agencies?

    Federal, State, County, City - I can understand these, as it delineates areas of duty, allows for local control, ensures that agencies don't overlap in duties...

    But I was reading a thread about the L.A park police, then there's one for the school district, one for the ports, one for the railroads, one for city property, one for the airport...

    Does it really work out to have a separate agency? I suppose it allows for the officers to specialize in what they're going to be doing most often, I just wonder if it results in confusion, redundancy - do you ever feel it makes sense?

    I've read threads about officers complaining that their available backup is from another agency, and is sometimes spotty - or they'll show up to a call and have the responsibility dumped onto them...

    Just wondering how you guys feel this compares to a country like France, that has a national police force?

    -

  • #2
    Having local, regional and specialized law enforcement agencies allows for departments which are more in tune with and responsive to the communities and people they service. This country is extremely diverse and to expect a "one sized fits all" organization to provide the wide range of services our "customers" expect is simply not realistic. The flexibility offered by the variety of organizations is a huge benefit that our system of law enforcement offers that few other countries enjoy and (IMO) is directly related to the wider range of freedoms our citizens enjoy and are accustomed to.
    "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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    • #3
      Without doing any research whatsoever, I'm going out on a limb and taking the stance that our way has GOT to be better than the French!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by LawDog99 View Post
        Without doing any research whatsoever, I'm going out on a limb and taking the stance that our way has GOT to be better than the French!
        How would you quantify that? I mean, France does have a lower crime rate, so far as I'm aware...

        I just wonder, because with their system, they can mobilize and distribute forces far more easily... But then again, their benefit may come from the Napoleonic code...

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        • #5
          The American revolution and the formation of this country was based (among other things) on the desire for home or local rule. Back then, the King would decree laws, formulate governmental policies and provide (or fail to provide) services based solely on his impression of what was appropriate. Needless to say, this didn't meet the unique interests, needs and desires of the people, which would literally vary from community to community. Hence, the revolution. This principle has been a basic part of our governmental system ever since.

          As an example of different community interests, I live in Orange County, California, an area that is strongly shaped by conservative political, social and religious values. Four hundred miles to the north is San Francisco, an area that is strongly shaped by liberal political, social and religious values. If the Chief of Police in San Francisco allowed her department to enforce the law in keeping with Orange County priorities, she would be out of her job in a heartbeat. Similarly, if the Chief of Police in Newport Beach allowed his department to enforce the law in keeping with San Francisco priorities, he would be out on his *** as well. It's not that either standard is wrong - it's just that in this situation, neither would reflect the interests and needs of their respective communities. One size does not fit all. That's why each community has its own law enforcement agency - to ensure things are done in keeping with the priorities and needs of the communities they serve.

          In addition to wanting a degree of control over how police services are delivered, specialized agencies such as schools, airports, parks, etc, often form their own police because the volume of people on their properties and the resulting need for police services often places an undue financial burden on local law enforcement. For example, the State is the second largest land owner in California and all of its property is tax exempt, so not a cent is paid to local government for police services. As a result, California maintained a State Police for 108 years to provide this service, The CSP later merged with the Highway Patrol and CHP now responds to call for service on state property. In addition, unique laws often apply to airports, schools, state facilities, parks, etc, that are known to specialized police but usually unknown to city PD and county SO personnel. Without specialized officers who are knowledgeable in these obscure laws, some government agencies simply don't get the protection they are entitled to.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            I strongly beleive in local agencies wherever a city can afford it. I think its always best when the police are connected to the community. The problem with larger agencies is that its officers are always being transfered to new areas whenever they get promoted or sent to a specialty. The officers in a local agency stay in your city no matter where their carear goes.

            As for the many specialty PD's I am for them but only if they comply with state standards. Many of these aganencies (including one I used to work for) started off as city security and that is how their bosses want to pay and train them, but then the bosses want police type services from them. Security officers are armed for self protection only and should only be required to observe and report crime to the police, but if I had done that at my city security job I would have been fired. We booked all of our own arrestees handled calls for service and acted completely independant of the city PD. We never called a cop to clean up our mess. We caught it and cleaned it doing all the paper. In 1992, when the riots hit the city, I was deputized by the local PD and sent out just like any other cop. But when negotiations came around it was always "What? your just security guards?" Thats why I had to get out of there....sorry 13 years later and still bitter.
            Originally posted by FJDave
            GM, you have just set the bar that much higher for the rest of us in our witty, sarcastic responses. I yield to you! Good job, kind Sir!

            District B13
            "We are not cops nor Feds." yet he still poses as an officer Hmmmm


            Grant us grace, fearlessly, to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression.--WWII memorial

            "I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile."

            Pope Gregory V II

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            • #7
              California by itself is close to the same size as the entire country of France. A national police force to cover the entire united states would be a disaster because of bueracracy and a lack of understanding of local areas. On top of that I dont think many people would want a "national police" based on our history, fear of government,etc. In San Diego County the agencies usually work very well together because of similar training, policies, etc. There is a countywide composite platoon established that can be called out for riots, protests, etc and it is comprised of officers from almost all of the agencies. At least in this area the mutual aid agreements and interaction between agencies works pretty well.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by zombo View Post
                How would you quantify that? I mean, France does have a lower crime rate, so far as I'm aware...

                I just wonder, because with their system, they can mobilize and distribute forces far more easily... But then again, their benefit may come from the Napoleonic code...
                I was in France two years ago and believe me, they're becoming more and more like American police. Same problems and answering them with many of the same solutions.
                "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by zombo View Post
                  Just wondering how you guys feel this compares to a country like France, that has a national police force?
                  France does indeed have a National Police force - but it also has a Gendarmerie and Municipal Police. Their roles over-lap and has lead to criticism in the French press on occasion. So things aren't perfect over there either. Or anywhere one suspects.
                  I'm a little bit waayy, a little bit wooah, a little bit woosh, I'm a geezer.

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                  • #10
                    OK, have we answered your essay question for you?
                    "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                    John Stuart Mill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by zombo View Post
                      How would you quantify that? I mean, France does have a lower crime rate, so far as I'm aware...

                      I just wonder, because with their system, they can mobilize and distribute forces far more easily... But then again, their benefit may come from the Napoleonic code...


                      France also has a better border patrol standards..... Welcome to the US OF Mexico
                      sigpic

                      No, maybe I can't win, maybe the only thing I can do is just take everything he's got. But to beat me, he's gonna have to kill me, and to kill me, he's gonna have to have the heart to stand in front of me, and to do that, he's gotta be willing to die himself and I don't know if he's ready to do that. I don't know, I don't know.
                      Rocky Balboa
                      Rocky IV (1985)

                      Id rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6

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                      • #12
                        Can you California, Dude??

                        Originally posted by zombo View Post
                        How would you quantify that? I mean, France does have a lower crime rate, so far as I'm aware...

                        I just wonder, because with their system, they can mobilize and distribute forces far more easily... But then again, their benefit may come from the Napoleonic code...
                        I am so tired of the "Left Coast"
                        "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm" -George Orwell

                        "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing diapers." - Blues Brothers

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by zombo View Post
                          How would you quantify that? I mean, France does have a lower crime rate, so far as I'm aware...
                          Now you have me curious as to how you are quantifying. How does France's crime rate per 100,000 persons compare to the Part I and Part II crime rates here in the US?

                          Originally posted by zombo View Post
                          I just wonder, because with their system, they can mobilize and distribute forces far more easily... But then again, their benefit may come from the Napoleonic code...
                          Again I'm confused. How does their mobilization program compare with our mutual aid and incident command systems in the US and how are these issues effected by differences in justice systems?
                          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                          • #14
                            Ah, as part of the European Union, France basically has no border controls. And they are having terrific riots with their Muslum minorities.

                            And the Napoleonic code is not what I want to live under. You are guilty until proven innocent; pre-trail detention without a hearing; secret courts - NO THANKS. Plus every country (and that part of the U.S. that had the code) has severe corruption in government.

                            A single police force? Which laws would apply? NY City, rural Arizona, suburban NJ? And if you have a major problem in one place, do you strip another place of their police ?
                            "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                            John Stuart Mill

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What is it? About 60-70,000 different police agencies in the USA? More? It is the most feasible way to enforce law and order given a country of this size. With all the diversity mentioned, local regulations, needs, and public desires of the respective communities, it is best to keep law enforcement (along with government itself) to the lowest level of local control possible.

                              There is one constant regulating instrument that all agencies must adhere to. The US Constitution. When that is violated by any local agency, the Federal government will intervene (in the form of the FBI).
                              sigpic
                              Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun.
                              And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son.

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