POLICE AGENCIES are Organizations

"groups of people working together to accomplish a desired goal.

Police agencies may be divided into:

Special Units
Planning & Research

Depending on the size of the agency, the above divisions
may be further divided to handle specific specialized tasks.
Check the following police department organizational charts for examples:

Craig, CO
off line
Bakersfield, CA
Alameda, CA Washington D.C.
Nashville, TN  

Other commonly used terms to describe sections or divisions
within police agencies:

Any combination of the above or other terms not listed.

An Internal Affairs Unit or Special Investigations Unit
responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct
or criminal offenses committed by police department
employees generally exists in large agencies and the
head of that unit typically reports directly to the Chief
of Police.

Theoretically each unit/group works together to reach
common goal of organization

The organizational structure must, at times, undergo modifications
to allow the organization to meet its needs and fulfill its mission.

Specialization-is a basic feature of organizations reflecting
the principles of traditional organizational theory.
As such, specialization:

But allows for: The Traditional Bureaucratic Model-
common to police agencies and typical of
military organizations with:

Close supervision

Strong internal discipline

Virtually all large organizations today are Bureaucracies

Any differences in the nature of the Bureaucracy, such as
listed below, are due to size:

There is disillusionment with the Bureaucratic Model for the
following reasons:

The best way to describe the dissillusionment with the typical Buraucracy
is found in one of the pages of CONDORITO magazine. In the magazine
Coné asks Yuyito "how can you tell when you are dealing with a

Yuyito: "When every solution is turned into a problem"

Strict adherence to rules stressed by management can
manifest itself in the following outcome:


Some police agencies have recognized the problems
caused by the rigidity of the Bureaucratic Model.
The typical Rank Structure impedes ability to offer adequate
incentives for street officers, and officers with high education
and specialized knowledge can be overruled in their decisions
by supervisors with little education and less expertise simply
based on rank.

Attempts at changing the rank limitations include:


Policies, Procedures and Rules

Policies: general guidelines to organizational philosophy and
mission-should be written and changed as circumstances

Procedures-more specific, serve as guides to action but less restrictive
than a rule. Method of operation with some flexibility

Rules and Regulations: specific managerial guidelines-little or no
latitude for discretion
· Need for flexibility: discretionary nature of duties
Common complaint: Abuse of discretion

· Total standardization not possible-ambiguous role

· Role too serious for everything to be left up to the discretion of individual

Nature and Source of procedures:
· Some dictated by US Supreme Court: Garner v. Tennessee

· Some administrators use: flurry of memos as procedure manual

· Too many standardized procedures stifle imagination and initiative
· It is impossible to cover all possible exigencies
· Areas not covered, exploited by officers

Influence of Research on Police:

BEST KNOWN study-Kansas City MO patrol study.
In this study, the police varied the Patrol techniques in three
different matched beats as follows:

No preventive patrol
2-3X amount of preventive patrol
Normal/usual level of patrol

The findings of the study countered commonly held beliefs
about the impact of different styles of patrol. A comparison
of crime statistics and citizen satisfaction in areas experiencing
different levels of patrol showed that:


Another study involved Police Response Time and its relationship to
an arrest of the offender and to citizen satisfaction.


Detective study:

DO POLICE MATTER by the Manhattan Institute
An Analysis of the Impact of New York City's Police Reforms.

Click here for Community Oriented Policing Information not provided
in the Textbook.

Also review information at: Community Policing

Below is your professor looking for a sinus/headache pill:

The traditional remedy is not working!

Important Concepts, Key Terms, and Information

Different organizational structures of police agencies

Typical terms used: Line and Staff, Operations and Support, etc.

Typical location of Internal Affairs in organizational hierarchy
(Who does the IA commander usually report to?)

Examples of specialization within police agencies

Advantages and Disadvantages of Specialization?

Problems or disillusionment with the Beaucracy

Nearly all large organizations are Bureaucracies

Problem with excessive rules in police work

Responses to rank or promotional limitations

Findings of the Kansas City Patrol Study

Findings of the Response Time Study

Findings of the Detective Study

Instructor's perspective on higher solve rate by patrol officers

Email comments to the instructor