Law enforcement agencies are bodies that carry out law enforcement activities through the application of legal measures of influence in order to protect and protect citizens. Essentially, state law enforcement agencies are municipal and county police departments, highway patrol, and deputy sheriffs (Hyland, 2018). For example, the Highway Patrol is responsible for statewide investigations and road patrols, and decisions are considered by one authority. Although, in emergencies, the federal police can intervene in the investigation. Without a doubt, the law enforcement function of the state ensures and provides its external and internal sovereignty.
The centralized model is a system in which the responsibility for making decisions is assigned to one person or a small group of people. For instance, the centralized model of state law enforcement associates with the decision-making of one unit. The decentralized model is associated with the delegation of decision-making responsibilities to different departments. To decide whether the state law enforcement agency is centralized or decentralized it is necessary to consider the level of the police hierarchy and the division of the units. The decentralized law enforcement system is seen as fragmented and somehow inefficient (Banks et al., 2016).
The main differences between the centralized and decentralized models are that law enforcement agencies, when centralizing, take into account external factors in order to make the right decision, while in decentralization, inter-jurisdictional external factors are not crucial. The centralized police system is controlled by a centralized one and has unlimited jurisdiction throughout the country. A decentralized system means the intervention of state governments in the operational control and management of agencies.
The United States is one of those countries that use a decentralized law enforcement system. Therefore, federal officials have every right to conduct their crime research on an equal footing in the police departments.
Hyland, S. (2018). Full-time employees in law enforcement agencies, 1997-2016. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Banks, D., Hendrix, J., Hickman, M. (2016). National sources of law enforcement employment data. Bureau of Justice Statistics. 1-16.