The structure of modern-day American policing is very complex, with agencies functioning at the federal, state, and local levels. What kinds of problems arise as a consequence of this complex structure? How might these problems be reduced or eliminated?
There are a significant number of different types of police forces and policing organizations, including federal, state, and local organizations. Each of these organizations is responsible for different enforcement tasks, and in some cases their jurisdictional responsibilities can overlap. In the contemporary world it is often necessary for law enforcement agencies of different types to coordinate their efforts and to communicate with each other. Such responsibilities, jurisdictional overlaps, and needs for communication and cooperation can pose enormous challenges. At the heart of the matter is the need for communication among different agencies and organizations, to ensure the least amount of redundant and wasteful efforts, and to ensure that all organizations function as efficiently and effectively as possible.
The role of private security continues to expand. What problems and opportunities do you think this continued growth might entail for both the private and public sectors? How might cooperation between private and public police agencies be enhanced? Has private security grown because public police have been inadequate, or are there other reasons for the growth in these services?
The private security industry has grown both in the civilian and in the military spheres. Private security contractors have been responsible for significant duties in military operations, for example. This approach to outsourcing or contracting security services does not necessarily mean that regular policing is inadequate; it is simply a different approach. Additionally, private organizations, such as private companies and corporations, may wish to have their own private security. It is possible that the responsibilities of private security companies will conflict with police forces and other such law enforcement agencies, in which case the law enforcement organizations likely have jurisdiction. Just as different law enforcement organizations can have overlapping jurisdictions or responsibilities, the same is true for private and public organizations. In each case, the most vital action is that organizations communicate effectively with each other.