Police is one of the major areas of criminal justice administration. The Los Angeles Police Department Gang and Narcotics Division falls squarely on the police department, bringing to justice offenders and those who break the law and cleaning up the streets of Los Angeles from all the gangs dealing with drugs in the community. One of the main responsibilities of Gang and Narcotics Division is to disrupt the criminal ties, their manufacture, sales connections, etc. (Los Angeles Police Department, 2011). Only working undercover, the police can cope with the problem and help citizens of Los Angeles resolve the problem of street sales and drugs distribution in the city.
Narcotic and gangs operating in different states is one of the most problematic issues for police which aims at combating the problem as effectively as possible. According to Allen and Sawhney (2009), the issue of narcotics is exacerbated in the United States of America by the presence of major drug traffickers who operate from the neighboring countries such as Mexico. Although the police have intensified crackdowns on narcotics through intensive border patrols, drugs do find their way to the streets. The cause of this has been complicated by the fact that the United States of America has a lot of immigrants from Mexico and from the rest of the world (Benda & Pallone, 2005). This has made it almost impossible for the authority to crack down. The inability to crack the drug threat has also been increased by the fact that the drug menace has become a large network that has now included multinational cartels that have strong political backing due to their influence.
One of the major challenges the Gang and Narcotics Division faces is the high cost of operations. Such high expenses are explained by training options for police employees. Moreover, if operating meth lab is identified, it is necessary to neutralize its products and materials safely, without contaminating environment. According to Peak (2010) “the average cost of cleaning up these materials ranges from $2,500 to $10,000” (p. 390). However, the identification of the labs is not an easy affair. Much money is spent on searching the homes of those who are on probation with the purpose to check whether they returned to illegal actions or not. Monitoring and controlling on the chemicals is one more action the Gang and Narcotics Division is responsible for and spends money on (Peak, 2010).
Time is also the issue which should be considered. Mush time is spent on search for one meth lab. Working force is also a challenge as before a drug band or a meth lab is identified, much work should be done. Lack of time and a limited workforce are the problems Los Angeles Police Department faces. A person should be penetrated into the criminal sphere, however, the police department should be aware of the main principles of gang operation and be informed about the places of their residence. Only in this case a person can be sent for informant position. Months and even years may pass when a huge band is captured as one of the main missions of the Gang and Narcotics Division of the Los Angeles Police Department is to destroy the masterminds, connections and manufacture of the business, not to capture those who appear at the dealer positions (Los Angeles Police Department, 2011).
Danger is also a central challenge for police employees. Working undercover or searching for drug dealers openly one may be injured or even killed. The work in police is not safe, even taken into consideration the fact that all employees come through specific training whether they are taught to act securely and protect themselves. Those who are involved into combating drug criminal structures appear in constant danger of being identified and killed. Drug business is very profitable and unfortunately prosperous. Those who are involved in this business don’t want to be captured and they have the opportunity to control many police structures. The fear of being captured pushes them for murders for personal sake. Police officers have to take hazards, as this is the only way to combat criminal structures and capture drug organization. Moreover, the desire to destroy the manufacture of drugs, their delivery and sale makes police officers work in the den of enemy that increases the factors of danger in many times.
However, with all this setbacks, the police department, together with other security agencies has been able to clean the cities of narcotics by setting up special narcotics divisions that are tasked with the mandate of cracking down the drug barons that operate in states. To win the war on narcotic the department of police through the federal bureau of investigation has come up with a policy of targeting the supplies and those who own the various underground labs that manufacture synthetic narcotics.
It should be stated that modern technologies have managed to help police officers to search for drug dealers and gang leaders. The use of specific technologies in the future may increase the rate of found meth labs and arrested criminals involved in drugs business. Some of these innovative facilities may include a low-dose X-ray imager which manages to see drugs hidden under clothes. Overlaid maps of crime activity, high poverty, and other regions which may become the reasons of increased rate of drugs consumption may help search for street sellers, who, in their turn, can bring police workers to gang leaders. Wastewater testing is also one of the innovative methods for identifying the consumers of drugs and their further arrest. Peak (2010) also points at the following future methods which are at the early development now, but which can be used for faster and more secure identification of drugs, such as augmented reality, mind reading and unmanned aerial vehicle.
In conclusion, the criminal justice department and all the departments that fall under it face similar problems that include funding, a limited workforce and dangerous working conditions without proper and steady safety requirement like a comprehensive insurance policy and support from all the stakeholders. However, the major improvements that have been realized in the police force are beacons of hope for the department. The desire to work in the Los Angeles Police Department Gang and Narcotics Division applies much responsibility and danger. Work in police dictates many rules and the inability to follow them may lead to irreversible consequences. However, more people in the department may help solve such problems and lack of time and workforce. Life without drugs is possible, it is just necessary to unite many police departments directed at crime solving and involve community into combat with dangerous business at least on the street sales level.
Allen, J. M., & Sawhney, R. (2009). Administration and Management in Criminal Justice: A Service Quality Approach. New York: Sage.
Benda, B. B., & Pallone, N. J. (2005). Rehabilitation Issues, Problems, and Prospects in Boot Camp. New York: Sage.
Los Angeles Police Department. (2011). Gang and Narcotics Division. Web.
Peak, K. J. (2010). Justice Administration: Police, Courts, and Corrections. New York: Sage.