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Police Department Roles and Functions


Police Department Roles and Functions Within any organization, it is important for the chief to delegate roles and functions to each department as applicable. As a result of effective administration, the departments come together to achieve a particular goal. An analogy of this method would be that of the mechanisms of a clock which has plenty of unique working parts that, when put together, will tell the time. As such, the roles and functions of police organizations will be identified along with their role as it applies to the law. There are various types of police agencies ranging from the local to federal level which will also be described. Finally, the specific role and function of patrol work will be explained.
Roles and Functions of Police Organizations Roles and functions begin within an organizational chart that assigns tasks and authority for achieving goals. There are two basic classifications of police functions which are either operational or administrative (Grant and Terry, 2012). One role in a police department is in administrative services. The units that provide these services are sometimes referred to as support units. Their functions are usually in hiring and training of police officers, record keeping, planning and research as well as internal affairs. These units are co-staffed by sworn officers and civilian employees. Operational units or line personnel are in direct assistance to the community. They patrol on foot for community building and in vehicles to patrol traffic. These are the men and women in uniform that the public identifies as law enforcement officers who are sworn into office. In addition to administrative and operational units, there are special functions or units within a police force. Several examples are S.W.A.T., K9 and covert

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