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Police Roles and Functions

CJS/210
2-26-12

Police Roles and Functions
Police officers have many roles and functions. Society sees police officers as problem solvers of last resort. Police officers themselves see themselves as keepers of the law and protectors of the community. Whatever role or function of police officer, police officers ensure the safety of America’s communities. The main objective of police officers is to ensure preservation of peace and public safety through the enforcement of local, state, and Federal laws, and by providing support and assistance during emergency or crisis situations (Duluthmn). The police officer has three major functions that it does: social service, order maintenance, and crime control. Social service is the area where the police help people who need emergency assistance, whether it is giving first aid or finding lost children. Typically, over 50 percent of the telephone calls to the police requesting assistance involve social service as compared with less than 20 percent relating to crime. The police presence in society is also intended to preserve order by serving as a deterrent to misconduct and by providing a quick-response mechanism for potential or low-level problems (Katz, 2011). Order maintenance is the activities which involve: traffic control, crowd control, resolving domestic disputes, and moving prostitutes from the streets. The focus of order maintenance is on handling situations to preserve the peace rather than enforcing the letter of the law (CliffsNotes, 2012). The role of crime control is investigation and patrol to reduce, prevent and solve criminal behavior. Major police roles are: identify criminal offenders and criminal activity and, when appropriate, apprehend offenders and participate in subsequent court proceedings; reduce the opportunities for the commission of some crimes through

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