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Essay on Police Organizations

Police departments are organized based on jurisdiction. According to Maguire and King (2020), each jurisdiction could be divided by geography into districts or regions, usually known as a division. The division is then organized into smaller subdivisions with police responsibilities within that district or region. Within a precinct, there will be officer commands known as divisions. Each division has an officer in charge, some support staff working with them, and a dispatcher/dispatcher supervisor.

On the other hand, police officers are assigned to a police department based on their particular areas of expertise, such as patrol or detective work. They may also be assigned to speciality units, such as bomb squads or canine units (Albrecht, 2019). Some individuals become police officers as part of a college or university degree program, whether undergraduate or graduate. Other candidates apply directly through civil service tests for positions in law enforcement agencies.

Community policing is a paradigm shift for police departments. It is based on the premise that the relationship between the police and the community is the most critical element in crime prevention. Community policing rests on three fundamental principles: treat everyone as a potential criminal, identify what’s going on in your neighbourhood, and involve your neighbours in solving community problems (Maguire & King, 2020). It helps organize police departments by increasing transparency between the police department and its community. This is accomplished by increasing education, training and awareness for all parties involved in the organization and execution of police work. Community Policing also calls for officers to establish positive relationships with members of the communities that they serve. This results in fewer crimes and comes without the dramatic increases in violent crime seen elsewhere.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs is a theory that describes the purpose of different types of individuals and how they get their psychological, social, and material needs to be met. According to Maguire and King (2020), it is an organized model that describes human motivation and needs in a particular order to help us choose what we want, how much to work at achieving it, and why. On the other hand, theory X and Theory Y refer to two different ways students can approach learning. The two theories explain different ways to get rewards and self-actualization. Theory X refers to behaviours considered instinctual or innate in all people – one such behaviour would be a fear of failure and how focusing on this fear may prevent the department from becoming successful. Theory Y, on the other hand, focuses on rewards from success.

Police leadership is an essential factor in a police department. Even if department policies are followed, many problems can arise from not having good leadership within the police department. These include a lack of communication and trust within the police department and understaffing resulting in fewer officers on duty (Albrecht, 2019). An excellent place to start is monitoring the following factors: First, communication. All police officers in positions of power should be able to communicate clearly with public members. Besides, the accountability of police officers is recommendable. Citizens, community members and internal affairs should give credit to officers’ services with no complaints. Lastly, discipline. All officers in positions of power should uphold the values of their department by upholding ethical standards.


Albrecht, J. F. (2019). Evaluating Police-Community Relations Globally. In Policing and Minority Communities (Pp. 3-10). Springer, Cham.

Maguire, E. R., & King, W. R. (2020). The Changing Landscape of American Police Organizations. Policing, 337-371.


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