“Law Enforcement – Time to Educate the Public and other Agencies”

“Law Enforcement – Time to Educate the Public and other Agencies”

 

Published ©2014 Research Solutions, Inc. / Dr. Mark D. Lurie (all rights reserved)

Published ©2010-2014 RSI / Dr. Mark D. Lurie (all rights reserved)

“Law Enforcement – Time to Educate the Public and other Agencies”

The responsibilities and roles of law enforcement today has become a nightmare to implement, let alone understand the limitations which are in a constant state of flux.

On one end, law enforcement is considered a first responder, but then in specific situations it is not allowed to be a first responder. Interaction between agencies is still exceptionally competitive in that who will get the credit or acknowledgement for the work performed so in turn agencies are not transparent as what they are supposed to be.

Financial limitations have hobbled many of the police departments in that they are not able to handle the workloads that communities (depending upon size and degree of violent/illegal activities exists) require, are then blamed for “NOT” responding.

Technological equipment advances have helped a great deal, but funding has limited a large number of local law enforcement agencies to be able to keep up with the demand of processing evidence, or being able to perform analysis and research to determine who, or the number of potential suspects may be involved in crimes.

Crimes are broken down into numerous categories; however those that even get remotely close to a potential terrorist threat, effect national security and the like allow other agencies not only to withhold information from the local agencies, but to take control of cases where the local authorities could have performed a better, faster job, or at a minimum assisted the agencies that took over specific cases.

This is not the case.

There is a deep frustration in the non-transparency which exists between local law enforcement and government agencies (e.g. FBI, CIA, Homeland Security). There is the issue of responsibility and who takes control of cases where the line is crossed into cases which are deemed terrorist threats or threats to national security.

More important, once a case is taken, the local law enforcement agencies are literally in the dark of their continued role in what they are supposed to do, or what is over-ridden where they no longer are to be involved. It is an exceptionally-grey area, and a dangerous one.

The lack of consistent and necessary funding for law enforcement, from the local viewpoint, is a major concern. These are truly first responders, and yet many departments are ill-equipped or lack the manpower necessary to deal with the degree and sophistication of present day criminals.

Let it not go unsaid that law enforcement is also one of the most dangerous, stressful and frustrating areas that exist in our infrastructure and for the protection/safety of our citizens.

Obviously the population has grown in numbers, and it would be common sense to say the number of crimes would increase based upon increases in population. Yet, most of the public does not view it in that manner and just sees law enforcement not doing its job.

Many of the criminal elements have more sophisticated equipment and weapons, even in many cases where the local law enforcement agencies (e.g. police departments). The more advance criminal elements carry firepower that is found in the military where the police are limited to “regulation” based firearms.

The entire description of “engagement” against criminals or crimes in progress (CIP) is like trying to describe a color to a blind person. In simple terms, the legal system, and the infrastructure that sets many of the rules and regulations that the local law enforcement agencies must follow is out of touch with the reality of the streets.

Without continuity and transparency, coupled with unacceptable laws and regulations allowing local law enforcement to do its job promptly, with the right equipment and understanding of “how” they can pursue criminal activities makes it almost impossible to function on a day-to-day basis.

When we think of law enforcement, most people associate the first thought the typical police officer who drives around in a police car, giving out tickets, or they associate the police officers who are in the news as the result of “alleged” corruption, abuse or some other highly-visible issue that the news focuses.

This couldn’t be more shallow and wrong, but there is a legitimate excuse “why” the public views it in this perspective – The public does NOT receive any information on exactly what law enforcement does.

Yes, there are out-reach programs for teen awareness against drugs, drinking, etc., but as far as programs that address what law enforcement really does, it just doesn’t exist. When was the last program that your favorite news station, newspaper or magazine did an article, ANY article on exactly what the local law enforcement agencies actually provide, how they work and what their responsibilities are (especially to the “number” of people they are responsible to oversee)?

No, I am not talking about the nice, doctored “K-9” shows, and the ride-along-cop shows. I am talk about the real, day-to-day local agencies, what their responsibilities are, to how many civilians and how they go about attempting to keep up with an overwhelming number of crimes with limited, outdate or NO resources at their disposal.

We watch CSI on TV. We see crime shows all the time, but that is NOT reality. Crimes are not solved in forty-five (45) minutes. The public receives so much propaganda from shows, movies and the like to where the public’s understanding of local law enforcement is dead-wrong, misleading and expects that law enforcement is made up of cutting-edge labs, technology and highly-trained personnel and detectives.

How many law and order shows are running on TV alone right now? Try 9. NINE programs that are the “teachers” of how law enforcement works. It is a comic book education to a public that accepts that as “fact” and truth. That cases are settled in an hour (minus the ads – unless it is a two-part episode…).

How much more wrong can that be?

The articles that will be in this section will not be your typical run-of-the-mill descriptions of interesting high-tech equipment and forensic science.

We believe that it is time for a research and development firm, such as ours, starts to really address and focus on what law enforcement is all about.

How it runs.

Its problems.

Its needs.

Most important, to “educate” the public, and hopefully get the attention of agencies at ALL levels, at really re-assessing the entire picture (and objectives) of what law enforcement truly is and needs to be.

A cursory description of the categories we will be focusing on:

  • What truly is law enforcement, defined in detail
  • What is the organizational make-up of local law enforcement, and then the higher levels of agencies which fall under law enforcement
  • What are the responsibilities and duties of law enforcement personal, from a single officers description, to forensics specialists to task forces
  • What is the real relationship between law enforcement and the court systems
  • What is the real relationship between law enforcement and special government agencies (both on a local, state, federal and international level) and how it is defined to work
  • What are the limitations of law enforcement – how far can they go – what their limitations are in relation to their defined duties
  • What equipment and technology does law enforcement use, from ancient-outdated equipment to cutting edge technology
  • What is the relationship between local law enforcement and the United State military agencies/branches
  • What law enforcement cannot do or is mandated NOT to do
  • How are the budgets for law enforcement created and who are those who defined “what” the budget will be
  • The problems and issues that exist with our law enforcement agencies, from local levels and up
  • How does law enforcement agencies self-govern and self-assess themselves
  • What are the auditing committees and departments of law enforcement agencies
  • What are the future problems facing law enforcement and what we can do to circumvent them as effectively as possible
  • What educational programs are set up by non-law enforcement entities to explain/educate the public in law enforcement purposes, responsibilities and job descriptions truly are, as well as how they are designed to reach specific civilian public targeted groups and ages
  • What educational programs are designed by law enforcement to teach the public and what their objectives are including the targeted civilian groups, ages, races, sexes and ages
  • Fact and fiction issues of law enforcement
  • What law enforcement is NOT
  • How the legal system governs what law enforcement can or cannot do
  • How the legal system takes over a law enforcement case and what the requirements are that law enforcement must meet for the legal system to prosecute or take legal action against individuals, groups, companies, etc. for alleged criminal actions
  • What is the Internal Affairs department of law enforcement agencies, what their responsibilities are, who governs them and who audits them
  • What are the statistics of crime, as we know it, versus the reality of the real statistics of crime on all levels in relation to law enforcement
  • What is truly defined a “first responder” in law enforcement
  • What is a first responder in relation to law enforcement personnel or the law enforcement agencies that are considered first responders

The list goes on and on, but this is just a sample of the areas we will address, in detail.

Answers and understanding of what law enforcement is all about needs to be explained, not on the level of a “45-minute TV show”, but that as an educational level without commercials selling medications, kitchen utensils or dog food.

It is a sad fact the public will hear and be subjected to the words “McDonalds®” a minimum of eleven (11) times a day (minimum), but don’t have a real clue of what law enforcement is responsible for.

Then again, law enforcement truly doesn’t have powerhouse public relations departments with budgets in the millions of dollars.

Let there be no illusion that there is a public relations department that DOES exist for law enforcement, but it is highly constrained, highly limited and under-funded.

We look forward to your thoughts and opinions to the articles that will follow. Our objective is simple – to objectively and proactively educate the public and our readers in what law enforcement truly is, in as many of the activities and areas which it is responsible for, governed by and how it functions. More important, to bring the reality into the picture – not a 45-minute TV show to babysit viewers in something that is made to “look interesting and honest” which it is not.

Research Solutions, Inc.
www.rsi4u.org

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