Management of the Scientific Police

The Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) represented the federal government’s contribution to the “War on Crime.” Established as a division of the Federal Department of Justice, the organization administered funds to the various state and local enforcement agencies focused on educational, research, and planning initiatives. Through an act of the 1968 Crime Control Omnibus Act, the LEAA began its life of assisting local law enforcement agencies and finally ended its existence in 1982. The organization was the middle child of the law enforcement organizations it served. it was preceded by the Office of Law Enforcement Assistance and followed by the Office of Justice Assistance, Research and Statistics.

LEAA went on to become the predominant nonprofit alliance for police professionals in the nation. A display of its power to effect change was evident when its enactment required all Police Department agencies receiving government funding to eliminate the minimum height requirement policy for officers. This resulted in an increase in women employed in the force.

Actions in one place can affect all legal agencies, regardless of where they are located. For example, Delaware may not have jurisdiction over the OJ Simpson trial or the Rodney King case, but allegations related to the trials or the final results will affect police actions everywhere, including Delaware. These are not events that occur in just one place, but could occur in any jurisdiction in the United States. Distant events therefore often create what is known as a legacy for law enforcement as a whole.

The Arizona immigration bill has that kind of potential to become a legacy. Let me explain in detail. The results of actions elsewhere may start demonstrations in your hometown in support of the original initiative. There is a potential for these demonstrations to escalate into violence that may force local law enforcement agencies to interact.

As you can clearly see from the example above, it would be beneficial for all levels of law enforcement to use data from empirical research. By reviewing information related to the above issues, data could have been previously collected and be easily used to assess whether the proposed actions would impact multiple locations. The results could assess the effectiveness of the law enforcement agencies’ approach to solving the problems at hand.

Increased provisions for the funding needed to support the project should definitely be supported. Times have changed and the lessons to be learned are not the same as in the last two decades. Terrorist activities are continually increasing and require different actions than those used before 9/11. The value and benefits achieved with our investment are well worth the cost. Ending funding for this issue would simply leave the United States more vulnerable at some point in the future.

Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish

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