Departmental Policing Styles Vs Individual Policing Styles

#Different policing styles law enforcement agencies use

The police face lot of challenges when dealing with different cases and deciding the best way to handle issues and how to be involved in them. Some of the situations they face demand direct responses while others vary in their responses. They are neither correct nor incorrect. Based on this situation, the police thus need to device several ways or styles of handling these situations and guide them on their decision making. Policing styles or personalities are basically informal and define ways in which the police handle their day to day activities in their line of duty(Dunham & Alpert, 2015). There are two policing styles used by the police. These include; Departmental Policing Styles And Individual Policing Styles.

  1. Departmental policing styles

These policies are influenced by a department’s goals and missions. It influences promotional decisions hiring, budget decisions, identification of crime and also the day to day police-community interactions. According to Dunham & Alpert (2015), there are three departmental policing styles. These include; service legalistic and watchman. The watchman style is based on ensuring law and order. It does not examine the legal status but rather the consequence resulting from the offense. The legalistic style focuses on the strictness of the law. The service style of policing focuses on all types of assistance without putting any focus on law and enforcement or maintenance of order.

  1. Individual policing styles

These individual styles provide the police officers with an opportunity to make their own decisions regarding different situations. These reflect the officer’s moral values personal beliefs and attitudes. There are four individual policing styles. These include; professionals. These are the ones who evaluate critically every situation before taking action and input the use of force only when deemed necessary. Another type is the enforcers. These see the policing work as being typically enforcing law and are thus task oriented. Reciprocators are another type of individual policing styles. These are basically oriented in helping people and are totally afraid of using any type of force. They believe that everyone has a positive side of them and thus need to be given another opportunity. The last individual policing style is the avoiders. These are only interested in employment and have minimal job performance. (Mastrofski, Worden & Snipes, 1995)

Differences between individual and departmental policing

  1. Departmental policies are influenced by a department’s goals and missions while individual policies are influenced by a person’s personal beliefs.
  2. The departmental policies are formulated by an organization and are to be followed to the latter while individual policing depends on what a person thinks he/she should do as per a certain situation. They are given a chance of doing what they feel is right.(Mastrofski et al, 1995)

Similarity between individual and departmental policing

Both the two styles of policing have some aspect of law and enforcement.(Mastrofski et al, 1995)

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