Adapting Traditional Police Organizational Structu

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Master's February 2008

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Adapting Traditional Police Organizational Structure to Accommodate Community Oriented Policing The changing face of society is forcing many police organizations to make many changes in the way they run, organize and structure their departments. As public expectations of police change from crime fighters to public safety problem solvers, police administrators must modify their organizational structure in order to meet broader mission statements and carry out new tasks. This structural modification is not simply a matter of changes boxes on organizational charts.

To study police organization, it is necessary to first study the way in which law enforcement agencies are organized. An organizational pattern must be looked upon as a structure of authority headed by an executive possessing formal power to fulfill the department?s mission and to delegate portions of his power to his subordinates. An organization is a formal structure to facilitate tasks. When we consider the formal structure of an organization, we typically focus on two areas.

The first, is the formal relationship and duties of personnel in the organization, which include the organizational chart and job descriptions. The other area is the set of formal rules, policies, or procedures, and controls that serve to guide behavior of organizational members within the framework of the formal relationships and duties (Tansik & Elliot, 1981).

The challenge for professional police managers is to devise an integrated model of organization that takes into account both traditional organization theory and more contemporary organization theories (Trojanowicz & Bucqueroux, 1990). This paper looks at this challenge as police organizations make the transition from traditional to community policing strategies.

Traditional Organizational Theory Fundamentally, classical or traditional organization theory seeks to control from the top down ( Maris, 1997). In Weber?s bureaucratic model, the organization of officers follows the principle of hierarchy, each member is specified with...