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Misconduct and Integrity Testing Law Enforcement Officers

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Challenges facing the organization

There are several administrative and operational challenges facing the police force as an organization. Some of these challenges have been caused by changes in technology and forms of crimes, while others have been in existence over a long time and have simply been ignored. The biggest operational obstacle is governance and system overlap. This causes confusion such that there is no clear cut, as to which department should strike, where and when a certain form of crime occurs. Different command posts make the situation even worse, when each gives its own instructions as to the course of action. Another challenge is the evolvement of crime. These range from cyber crime to terrorist attacks and protection of intellectual property. All these are new forms of crime that require the police to have new training in order to enable them to detect and combat these crimes before they occur (Dempsey and Forst, 2013). Another main challenge is improper planning of human resources. Larger proportion of police human resources has been allocated to back office duties rather than field work. This leaves large amount of actual police work, which is to go out, detect and prevent crimes, to the smaller proportion of human resources. This misappropriation also occurs in the allocation of ranks, whereby more officers are allocated higher ranks, while few remain doing the real police work, which is the field work.

Background

According to the UN report (2007), in 2002, a shooting incident was reported at LAX airport, where a radicalized convert killed and injured several civilians. Seven years later another shooting incident was also reported, whereby an army officer killed his colleagues at Arkansas. In September 2011, the country was hit by one of the worst terrorist attacks to ever be witnessed. This paved the way for a totally new form of crime wave that was characterized by killing of citizens by mainly recruits of terrorist groups. Throughout these years more than 40 plotted attacks have been detected and stopped before being executed. Several arrests of radicalized groups planning attacks in major cities and highly populated areas, such as transport networks, have also been executed. This move by the police prompted change of tactics by criminals. New forms of attacks, such as the one-man planned attacks with the use of grenades and small arms, have been reported. This begs collaboration between federal and state police departments so as to detect and combat these disguised acts. On the other hand, hacking of government websites and leaking of confidential information has also become a rising form of crime. Exposure of such information causes tension in the public and thus, it is the work of police to prevent such leakage.

Discussion and critical analysis

The large size of police force as a whole, and division of the system in various levels, came with creation of different forces to tackle different geographical areas and different forms of crime. For instance, the formation of local, state, and federal departments has hindered communication between them giving criminals a niche to get away with crimes. Bureaucracy has also set in such that it takes a long chain of command for the local officer to take proper action. Crime has also evolved drastically with the changes in technology. Criminal groups, such as terrorists, have taken an advantage of this to the extent of recruiting new members online. The challenge here dates back to the lack of collaboration between the state and federal agents, as well as locals to detect terrorists’ intentions before they happen. The police force has also been a step behind criminals when it comes to cyberspace activities. The issue of improper human resources planning has evolved from creation of similar departments in different police forces leading to the unnecessary costs as these roles can support all the different units. Creation of different forces also came with the ranking menace whereby there are more higher-ranking officers as compared to the lower-rannking officers on the streets at one particular time (Ross, 2010).  

Recommendations

Both human and support resources should be well organized so as to meet the current needs of combating local terrorism. Currently the police undergo the traditional training and this needs to be improved to include counter terrorism and detecting crime that is highly technology-related. There is also the need to train officers on the cyber- and internet-related crimes. This is because part of police work is to protect property and such government information is of high sensitivity. Other emerging needs include suspicious intended activities, analysis of crime organizations, and disaster awareness (Maguire, 2003). There is also the need for formation of a committee to represent the state and local departments at high level intelligence meetings. This committee will work together with the Federal and Security Council and its main duty will be to table all domestic terror threats at the local level. This way, the incidences, such as the shoot-outs by radicalized individuals, will be attended as a matter of national security. The ranking and organization of human resources should also be done keenly to ensure imbalances, such as having very few officers doing fieldwork and more of them doing back office work. This will ensure that the main work of protecting public and their property is well attended and distractions are minimal. Homogenization of various departments will ensure sharing of common roles and in this way a lot of repeated costs will be cut off. For example, the federal police can make use of local departments for collection of intelligence related to domestic terrorism. This will prevent the use of federal extra resources at the local level while the state police will be assisted in their fight against technology based crimes at the state levels. This move will also remove command confusion and effective fighting of such disasters when they occur since at the moment all the departments rush and meet at such scenes without clear duties (Kelly, 2009).

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