In my opinion the Para-military style organization, held by most law enforcement agencies, does have its differences of pros and cons. “Wearing uniforms, using rank designations, adopting a hierarchical structure, and acquiring legal authority (use of weapons and force),” define the Para-military style organization (Peak, K., 2010, p. 67). While not the original characteristics of our law enforcement, majority of our current local law enforcement agencies, as well as executive agencies, such as the CIA and FBI, have turned to a Para-military style organization.
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With the change in time, has come change in need for law enforcement. Law enforcement agencies have become larger, more important in means of protecting the community, and bigger decision makers. With such large numbers of law enforcement officers, using rank designations and adopting a hierarchical structure, is a must. If there were no “chief,” and all the men of a squad had different opinions on how a situation should be handled, imagine the chaos that could result with no “sure,” decision maker. Every officer, with different views and personal standards, would assume that his or her way is the correct way, and immediately choose their personal desired action.
While a non-existence of rank designations and a hierarchical structure could result in total chaos, the designation of a “decision maker,” may also have undesired results for a community. In most law enforcement agencies, the commands sent down from the highest of rankings are the final word. Also, most decisions must come down from the highest of rankings. When an unexpected event occurs, and there is no time for reaching higher authority, does the law enforcement officer have the right to choose best course of action? What if there was time to contact the highest of rankings, but the law enforcement officer sees the situation differently, and disagrees with his or her command?
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