Police officers have an importantrole in our communities. They serve and protect our communities. They serve byhelping in times of crisis and emergencies, and they protect our communities onthe road by giving tickets. The police are always the first ones to be informedin time of need to deter illegal behavior. The three functions of police patrol are crime control, ordermaintenance, and service provision. One function of police patrol iscrime control.
It is said by both police officers and citizens that crimecontrol is the primary function of police patrol. It involves situations wherethe law has been violated and the suspect needs to be identified, located, andapprehended. While it is said that crime control is the primary function it ishowever a large myth. Observational studies of the police have repeatedlyrevealed that police actually spend very little time on crime-relatedactivities, typically less than 30% (qtd in Alpert, Durham, and Stroshine 173).It relies on three primary tactics: 1) motorized patrol, 2) rapid response tocalls for service and 3) criminal investigation which has also beenquestionable of the effectiveness of the tactics. Preventative patrol is theprimary control tactic of the police and it is based on the belief thatcriminals can be deterred from engaging in illegal activities if they hadconstant encounters with them.
A set ofreason’s for rapid response is it improves the ability of police to apprehendsuspects. Many people postpone reporting the crime which diminishes thelikelihood to apprehend the suspect. While rapid response is not one of themost important it does have a great impact on citizens. If the officer respondsto the scene faster than expected the citizen is likely to be more satisfiedwith them. Criminal investigation isreflected in the job of a detective. They are viewed as “super” crime fightersthat play an instrumental role in the crime control function of the police.
One; detectives spend little time of their time on activities that lead tosolving a crime. They mainly spend little of their time on cases that havealready been solved. Two; solving crimes has little to do with any specialactivities conducted by investigators. Another function of police patrol isorder maintenance. It comes into play when individuals clash or in situationsthat threaten to disturb the peace.
Many say crime fighting is the primary roleof the police but scholars argue that order maintenance is the primary role. Itinvolves a range of situations including domestic quarrels, bar fights, loudmusic, traffic enforcement and vagrancy. They determine how to resolve matters peacefully which sometimes itisn’t an easy task. Sometime it is difficult to determine the cause of theproblem, what occurred, and what needs to be done to correct it. Due to theunclear situation the people are resented and held in low esteem by the police.
The last purpose of police control isservice provision. There are officers available twenty-four seven to provide avariety of public services: emergency aid, information, safety services, animalcontrol and referrals to other social services which they also spend a lot timeproviding it. While it does take away time from them to fight crime or ordermaintenance functions it does help the service function in preventing crime anddisorder.
It also helps them control crime and it gives officers theopportunity to gain knowledge about the community and helps citizens trust thepolice. While many say crime fighting is themost important; studies say they spend most of their time on order maintenanceand service functions. The threefunctions of police patrol are crime control, order maintenance, and service provision.
Officers are an important part of our communities and without them this worldwould be chaotic.