History UsefulNotes / AmericanLawEnforcement

19th May '18 8:36:43 PM DocWildNole
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Alternately, in many rural counties, especially in the south, the Sheriff's Department may be the most powerful local agency. This may be the case because the county has numerous towns too small to justify having their own police department, or one town that does support a police department but also a large county with a significant but widely dispersed population. In such counties, deputies may fulfill most or all of the roles local police are typically responsible for. Finally, many American urban areas are made up of cities surrounded by sprawling urban and suburban areas that may span one or more counties, which may have both significant city police departments with jurisdiction over the former as well as large county sheriff's departments with jurisdiction over the latter (Los Angeles is a prime example of this, as are most urban areas in Florida).

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Alternately, in many rural counties, especially in the south, the Sheriff's Department may be the most powerful local agency. This may be the case because the county has numerous towns too small to justify having their own police department, or one town that does support a police department but also a large county with a significant but widely dispersed population. In such counties, deputies may fulfill most or all of the roles local police are typically responsible for. Finally, many American urban areas are made up of cities surrounded by sprawling urban and suburban areas that may span one or more counties, which may have both significant city police departments with jurisdiction over the former as well as large county sheriff's departments with jurisdiction over the latter (Los Angeles is a prime example of this, as are most urban areas in Florida).



State police agencies are responsible for apprehending criminals on State highways or across county lines, and also for investigating crimes involving state property and protecting state-owned facilities. (Hawaii is the only state without its own state police agency.) In most of the States, they are also (and primarily) responsible for patrol of the highways, including Interstate highways passing through the state, and enforcement of traffic laws thereon. This also means they usually have the responsibility for managing the response to hazardous conditions that impact the highways, such as automobile accidents, inclement weather conditions, or hazardous materials incidents. They also usually maintain statewide criminal justice and investigatory resources that are usable by smaller agencies in their particular state, such as crime labs, search and rescue, and criminal records databases, as well as commonly serving as a points of contact for federal or other states' agencies involved in investigations across state lines. The State Police can also be called in if there is a conflict of interest with the local police force or accusations of corruption. They are variously called the State Police, the State Troopers, the State Patrol, the Highway Patrol, or the State Highway Patrol. Traditionally, many of these state police agencies were set up along paramilitary lines, especially in the Northeastern United States, and often use military-style uniforms, ranks, and organization (e.g., the use of the title and rank "Trooper," and commonly a "Smokey Bear"-style campaign hat as part of the uniform).

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State police agencies are responsible for apprehending criminals on State highways or across county lines, and also for investigating crimes involving state property and protecting state-owned facilities. (Hawaii is the only state without its own state police agency.) Traditionally, many of these state police agencies were set up along paramilitary lines, especially in the Northeastern United States, and often use military-style uniforms, ranks, and organization (e.g., the use of the title and rank "Trooper," and commonly a "Smokey Bear"-style campaign hat as part of the uniform).

In most of the States, they are also (and primarily) responsible for patrol of the highways, including Interstate highways passing through the state, and enforcement of traffic laws thereon. This also means they usually have the responsibility for managing the response to hazardous conditions that impact the highways, such as automobile accidents, inclement weather conditions, or hazardous materials incidents. They also usually maintain statewide criminal justice and investigatory resources that are usable by smaller agencies in their particular state, such as crime labs, search and rescue, and criminal records databases, as well as commonly serving as a points point of contact for federal or other states' agencies involved in investigations across state lines. The State Police can also be called in if there is a conflict of interest with the local police force or accusations of corruption. They are variously called the State Police, the State Troopers, the State Patrol, the Highway Patrol, or the State Highway Patrol. Traditionally, many of these state police agencies were set up along paramilitary lines, especially in the Northeastern United States, and often use military-style uniforms, ranks, and organization (e.g., the use of the title and rank "Trooper," and commonly a "Smokey Bear"-style campaign hat as part of the uniform).\n



** And speaking of mailboxes, most people don't realize that the Post Office has its own police force (See "Other police forces, below) so chances are, they handle it first before passing it on to the FBI.

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** And speaking of mailboxes, most people don't realize that the Post Office has its own police force (See "Other police forces, forces," below) so chances are, they handle it first before passing it on to the FBI.



* Since copyright falls under federal law, the FBI puts warnings that they will raid copyright infringers and slap them with heavy fines and prison sentences on every videotape and DVD sold in America. How much they actually do this depends upon the film industry's generous bribes, er, ''campaign contributions'' to members of Congress this term, and, also, the scale of the violation-- basically, if you make a business out of counterfeiting Blu-Rays, sooner or later the G-Men will show up.

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* Since copyright falls under federal law, the FBI puts warnings that they will raid copyright infringers and slap them with heavy fines and prison sentences on every videotape and DVD sold in America. How much they actually do this depends upon the film entertainment industry's generous bribes, generous, er, ''campaign contributions'' to members of Congress this term, and, also, the scale of the violation-- basically, if you make a business out of counterfeiting Blu-Rays, sooner or later the G-Men will show up.



** During WWII, G-Men operated undercover in Latin America keeping tabs on the Germans; probably the most famous fictional example is Cary Grant's character in ''Film/{{Notorious}}''. The CIA took over this function after 1947 (but probably became less focused on the Germans).

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** During WWII, G-Men operated undercover in Latin America keeping tabs on the Germans; probably the most famous fictional example is Cary Grant's Creator/CaryGrant's character in ''Film/{{Notorious}}''. The CIA took over this function after 1947 (but probably became less focused on the Germans).



The National Guard is run by state and is under the authority of the Governor of that state. The President can, however, "federalize" a state National Guard, placing them under his or her control. The most notable case (other than wartime mobilizations) was in 1957, where Arkansas National Guard troopers were taken into federal command to enforce racial desegregation in Little Rock schools.

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The National Guard is run by state the individual states and is under the authority of the Governor of that each state. The President can, however, "federalize" a state National Guard, placing them under his or her control. The most notable case (other than wartime mobilizations) was in 1957, where Arkansas National Guard troopers were taken into federal command to enforce racial desegregation in Little Rock schools.



While nearly every Western democracy's police forces have InternalAffairs departments, none of them are featured as prominently in popular culture as Internal Affairs for American law enforcement. This is most likely because American citizens are generally not as deferring to police authority as other societies, and have an innate need to see even police authority kept in check. Therefore most, if not all American law enforcers have some agency or other acting as watchdogs to ensure they don't go too far. However, not every police force has an Internal Affairs Bureau - many small town local police forces and sheriff's deputies just don't have the funds to hire dedicated IA cops. Such forces will therefore be "policed" by the State Police's IA division. Another misconception is that only IA cops can investigate ''all'' bad acts committed by cops. In actuality, outright felonies such as murder, rape, larceny etc committed by cops are still investigated by detectives whose job is to investigate such crimes. Internal Affairs only deals with ''abuse of power''. Therefore, a cop planting evidence, taking bribes, harassing civilians, beating up suspects etc, would be investigated by IA, but a cop who commits a rape will be investigated by rape investigators. IA can get a cop suspended or fired, but only other regular cops and prosecutors can get a cop incarcerated. Of course, a ''really'' DirtyCop can be investigated by both.

Although some larger well funded police departments have IA divisions, large scale corruption cases can sometimes only be investigated by State Police, or in some egregious cases, the FBI. When systematic civil rights violations are involved, such as what is alleged to have [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement happened in Ferguson Missouri]], the IA work is done by the Federal Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. This division can go after policemen who have been cleared of wrongdoing by state or local IA divisions, because civil rights violations are a federal matter.

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While nearly every Western democracy's police forces have InternalAffairs departments, none of them are featured as prominently in popular culture as Internal Affairs for American law enforcement. This is most likely because American citizens are generally not as deferring to police authority as other societies, and have an innate a strong historical/cultural need to see even police authority kept in check. Therefore most, if not all American law enforcers have some agency or other acting as watchdogs to ensure they don't go too far. However, not every police force has an Internal Affairs Bureau - many small town local police forces and sheriff's deputies just don't have the funds to hire dedicated IA cops. Such forces will therefore be "policed" by the State Police's IA division. Another misconception is that only IA cops can investigate ''all'' bad acts committed by cops. In actuality, outright felonies such as murder, rape, larceny etc committed by cops are still investigated by detectives whose job is to investigate such crimes. Internal Affairs only deals with ''abuse of power''. Therefore, a cop planting evidence, taking bribes, harassing civilians, beating up suspects etc, would be investigated by IA, but a cop who commits a rape will be investigated by rape investigators. IA can get a cop suspended or fired, but only other regular cops and prosecutors can get a cop incarcerated. Of course, a ''really'' DirtyCop can be investigated by both.

Although some most larger well funded police departments have IA divisions, large scale corruption cases can sometimes only be investigated by State Police, or in some egregious cases, the FBI. When systematic civil rights violations are involved, such as what is alleged to have [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement happened in Ferguson Missouri]], the IA work is done by the Federal Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. This division can go after policemen who have been cleared of wrongdoing by state or local IA divisions, because civil rights violations are a federal matter.
17th Apr '18 7:28:20 PM nombretomado
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** Some departments assign a patrol officer her or his own particular car; an officer can drive such a car home and add a certain amount of individual accessories, as long as said gear does not detract from the uniform appearance of the vehicle. Other agencies have car pools, [[IThoughtItMeant which does not refer to officers riding to work together]]. Rather, it means the department keeps the marked vehicles at the station, and as officers come onto and off shift they are assigned in and out of one of the pool of cars. Less individual choices, but the officer bears less of the responsibility also.

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** Some departments assign a patrol officer her or his own particular car; an officer can drive such a car home and add a certain amount of individual accessories, as long as said gear does not detract from the uniform appearance of the vehicle. Other agencies have car pools, [[IThoughtItMeant [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant which does not refer to officers riding to work together]]. Rather, it means the department keeps the marked vehicles at the station, and as officers come onto and off shift they are assigned in and out of one of the pool of cars. Less individual choices, but the officer bears less of the responsibility also.
9th Apr '18 7:45:19 PM Comrade_Kenneth
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* Second, the sheer size of the United States (for quick comparison, Texas, the 2nd largest state, is roughly the same size as the nation of France; Rhode Island, the smallest, is almost twice the size of Luxembourg) has made the automobile an equally indispensable part of police life. Police cars in the U.S. may be either marked or unmarked. While marked police cars in most countries run the gamut from minicars to near-exotic sports models, American cops favor big, preferably rear-drive and V8-powered sedans. For many years more than ''ninety percent'' have been Ford Crown Victorias (Police Interceptor model)- EverybodyOwnsAFord as almost literal TruthInTelevision. The Crown Victoria was phased out after the 2012 model year, however, and replaced by a new-model Ford Taurus. As the Crown Vics age out of service, other models have risen in popularity.

** Ford itself clams that its Taurus police model and its "Interceptor" brand of the Ford Explorer together sold almost 25,000 units in 2014. Other manufacturers angle for their share of the police market in different ways. The Dodge Charger was already a real competitor to the Crown Vic, due to it being more powerful, maneuverable, comfortable, and notably, not a 30-year-old design. Also, in many northern states, the Chevy Impala had become a common sight, due to the fact that it has front-wheel drive - not as badass as rear-wheel drive, but much more useful for driving in six inches or more of snow. Oh, and it's also more fuel efficient than the heavy Crown Vic and the big-engined Charger. Most departments, insofar as budgets allow, consistently choose either one or the other; not out of brand loyalty, but because police pursuit/emergency/high-speed driving requires different techniques with rear-wheel drive than with front-wheel. An increasing number of police departments are using [=SUV=]s as full-time patrol vehicles as well.

** Some departments assign a patrol officer her or his own particular car; an officer can drive such a car home and add a certain amount of individual accessories, as long as said gear does not detract from the uniform appearance of the vehicle. Other agencies have car pools, which does not refer to officers riding to work together. Rather, it means the department keeps the marked vehicles at the station, and as officers come onto and off shift they are assigned in and out of one of the pool of cars. Less individual choices, but the officer bears less of the responsibility also.

to:

* Second, the sheer size of the United States (for quick comparison, Texas, the 2nd largest state, is roughly the same size as the nation of France; Rhode Island, the smallest, is almost twice the size of Luxembourg) has made the automobile an equally indispensable part of police life. Police cars in the U.S. may be either marked or unmarked. While marked police cars in most countries run the gamut from minicars to near-exotic sports models, American cops favor big, big (and we mean big), preferably rear-drive and V8-powered sedans. sedans (though muscle cars like the Ford Mustang were historically used in high-speed pursuit/intercept and highway patrol roles). For many years more than ''ninety percent'' have been of cop cars were the mighty Ford Crown Victorias (Police Victoria (preferably in pursuit-ready P71 Police Interceptor model)- specification) - EverybodyOwnsAFord as almost literal TruthInTelevision. The other ten percent were traditionally either the now-phased-out 1991-1996 Chevrolet Caprice, [=GM=]s last domestic full-sized sedan and a platform that makes the Crown Vic look modern, or the Dodge Charger, a smaller, lighter RWD V8 sedan that's more sports saloon than land barge. The Crown Victoria was phased out discontinued after the 2012 model year, however, and replaced by a new-model police-spec versions of the Ford Taurus. Taurus and Fusion. As the Crown Vics age out of service, other models have risen in popularity.

popularity.

** Ford itself clams claims that its Taurus police model and its "Interceptor" brand of the Ford Explorer together sold almost 25,000 units in 2014. Other manufacturers angle for their share of the police market in different ways. The Dodge Charger was already a real competitor to the Crown Vic, due to it being more powerful, maneuverable, comfortable, and notably, not a 30-year-old design. And from 2012 to 2017 General Motors imported a police package version of the WM-series Holden Statesman as the next-gen Chevrolet Caprice, which was praised by officers for combining the interior space and power of the Crown Victoria with the handling prowess and slow-speed maneuverability of the Charger, but failed to catch on due to its high asking price and the "Buy American" (or at least, "Buy NAFTA") rules in place in many jurisdictions. Also, in many northern states, the Chevy Impala had has become a common sight, due to the fact that it has front-wheel drive - not as badass as rear-wheel drive, but much more useful for driving in six inches or more of snow. Oh, and it's also more fuel efficient than the heavy Crown Vic and the big-engined Charger. Most departments, insofar as budgets allow, consistently choose either one or the other; not out of brand loyalty, but because police pursuit/emergency/high-speed driving requires different techniques with rear-wheel drive than with front-wheel. An Recently, an increasing number of police departments are using [=SUV=]s (usually the Ford Explorer and Chevy Tahoe) and pickup trucks (Dodge Ram and Ford Super Duty being the most common) as full-time patrol vehicles as well.

** Some departments assign a patrol officer her or his own particular car; an officer can drive such a car home and add a certain amount of individual accessories, as long as said gear does not detract from the uniform appearance of the vehicle. Other agencies have car pools, [[IThoughtItMeant which does not refer to officers riding to work together.together]]. Rather, it means the department keeps the marked vehicles at the station, and as officers come onto and off shift they are assigned in and out of one of the pool of cars. Less individual choices, but the officer bears less of the responsibility also.



** Jurisdictions that have K9 units (not [[Series/DoctorWho that one]]) have special transportation needs; since a K9 team is one human officer and one trained police dog, they need a little more legroom. Therefore, many use [=SUV=]s instead. Those vehicles usually have special markings in addition to the standard departmental paint job, such as an added silhouette of a dog's head and/or a large ''K-9'' emblazon. Departments with horse-mounted officers use pickup trucks and trailers to transport their mounts from stables to deployment areas, which means they are using one form of transport to haul another. However, these horses and dogs are ''not'' considered mere tools by their human partners; for the vast majority, the animal very nearly becomes a NonHumanSidekick. Further, most states consider an assault against a police dog or horse a felony, and federal law enforcement animals are also protected by the Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection Act.

** There are also other vehicle types for specialized purposes, such as large [=SUV=]s for rural departments, Priuses or electric cars for parking enforcement and city patrols, vans for evidence techs (and SWAT teams), and so forth. Jurisdictions with extensive waterfronts will have police boats of various kinds; agencies with lots of square miles to cover will have helicopters and possibly fixed-wing aircraft; and police motorcycle units are almost as common as Crown Vics. Some departments have bicycles as well; the belief is they provide as much community contact as old-fashioned walking the beat, but give the officer both more speed and the ability to cover a greater area. And, yes, the Segway is also in use by "real" police departments, not just mall cops.

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** Jurisdictions that have K9 units (not [[Series/DoctorWho that one]]) have special transportation needs; since a K9 team is one human officer and one trained police dog, they need a little more legroom. Therefore, many use [=SUV=]s and station wagons instead. Those vehicles usually have special markings in addition to the standard departmental paint job, such as an added silhouette of a dog's head and/or a large ''K-9'' emblazon. Departments with horse-mounted officers use pickup trucks and trailers to transport their mounts from stables to deployment areas, which means they are using one form of transport to haul another. However, these horses and dogs are ''not'' considered mere tools by their human partners; for the vast majority, the animal very nearly becomes a NonHumanSidekick. Further, most states consider an assault against a police dog or horse a felony, and federal law enforcement animals are also protected by the Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection Act.

** There are also other vehicle types for specialized purposes, such as large [=SUV=]s for rural departments, Priuses hybrids or electric cars for parking enforcement and city patrols, vans for evidence techs (and and SWAT teams), teams , and so forth. Jurisdictions with extensive waterfronts will have police boats of various kinds; agencies with lots of square miles to cover will have helicopters and possibly fixed-wing aircraft; and police motorcycle units are almost as common as Crown Vics. commonplace. Some departments departments, especially in urban areas, have bicycles as well; the belief is they provide as much community contact as old-fashioned walking the beat, but give the officer both more speed and the ability to cover a greater area. And, yes, the Segway is also in use by "real" police departments, not just mall cops.
31st Mar '18 3:10:16 AM MacronNotes
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The hard part is, the theory has been complicated by 2+ centuries of judicial precedents. Simply put, these are legal cases in which the decision by the court establishes a new rule or principle that other courts follow from that time on. Of particular importance to criminal law, as well as to may other areas of law, is the broad reading that courts have given to "Commerce ... among the several States," which now means just about anything that could at least theoretically affect such commerce. There have also been Constitutional Amendments that affect the original concept (notably the 14th Amendment). Finally, [[RealityEnsues the practical application]] was [[{{Understatement}} somewhat complicated]] by what some Americans of Southern heritage still refer to as [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar "The Late Unpleasantness"]]. All of this has granted all American police agencies a huge amount of power, far beyond anything imagined by the folks who drafted the [[UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates Constitution]]. And as we will see, there is an astounding array of US police agencies. While there are significant differences amongst them, all have several things in common.

to:

The hard part is, the theory has been complicated by 2+ centuries of judicial precedents. Simply put, these are legal cases in which the decision by the court establishes a new rule or principle that other courts follow from that time on. Of particular importance to criminal law, as well as to may other areas of law, is the broad reading that courts have given to "Commerce ... among the several States," which now means just about anything that could at least theoretically affect such commerce. There have also been Constitutional Amendments that affect the original concept (notably the 14th Amendment). Finally, [[RealityEnsues the practical application]] was [[{{Understatement}} somewhat complicated]] complicated by what some Americans of Southern heritage still refer to as [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar "The Late Unpleasantness"]]. All of this has granted all American police agencies a huge amount of power, far beyond anything imagined by the folks who drafted the [[UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates Constitution]]. And as we will see, there is an astounding array of US police agencies. While there are significant differences amongst them, all have several things in common.
22nd Mar '18 5:07:36 PM borgjones
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* Third, Post 9/11, one trend police forces in general seem to be following is equipping themselves with secondhand military grade gear. Due to a number of anti-terrorism policies set forth by Congress, police departments may request to be equipped with surplus military gear such as body armor, assault rifles, and armored vehicles, to the point where some police departments have become virtually indistinguishable from a military unit, at least in terms of hardware. Any local police department can take advantage of this, regardless of location or size. Police agencies also increasingly cross-train, certifying officers as SWAT or other specialized "operators," and are heavily marketed to by weapons and tactical gear manufacturers and trainers to spend tax dollars on specialized equipment and training. While some people won't question the LAPD or NYPD getting better gear to protect their respective cities, they do question whether it's really necessary for a small town police department in the middle of Alabama, or a small campus or public transit police department, to be packing assault rifles and MRAP vehicles designed to survive [=IEDs=] in Iraq[[note]]MRAP vehicles are hardened against IED blasts (which also makes them bulletproof), and [[CripplingOverspecialization are good for very little else]]. They are notoriously top-heavy and prone to rollovers, leading to many noncombat injuries of passengers and crew, and are considered essentially worthless in conventional warfare. They also cost a lot of money. In short, they were tailored specifically for the Iraq War, and with that war over, the federal government has been only too happy to sell them cheap to local jurisdictions, thus recovering at least a little bit of the money spent on them. Just how suited they are for police work, or how competent a given police department is in operating these accident-prone vehicles, is another matter[[/note]], ''especially'' when they start using said gear to carry out arrests or serve warrants for relatively small offenses. This "militarization of the police" has been controversial, and [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment that's all we'll say on the matter.]]

to:

* Third, Post 9/11, one trend police forces in general seem to be following is equipping themselves with secondhand military grade gear. Due to a number of anti-terrorism policies set forth by Congress, police departments may request to be equipped with surplus military gear such as body armor, assault rifles, and armored vehicles, to the point where some police departments have become virtually indistinguishable from a military unit, at least in terms of hardware. Any local police department can take advantage of this, regardless of location or size. Police agencies also increasingly cross-train, certifying officers as SWAT or other specialized "operators," and are heavily marketed to by weapons and tactical gear manufacturers and trainers to spend tax dollars on specialized equipment and training. While some people won't question the LAPD or NYPD getting better gear to protect their respective cities, they do question whether it's really necessary for a small town police department in the middle of Alabama, or a small campus or public transit police department, to be packing assault rifles and MRAP vehicles designed to survive [=IEDs=] in Iraq[[note]]MRAP vehicles are hardened against IED blasts (which also makes them bulletproof), and [[CripplingOverspecialization are good for very little else]]. They are notoriously top-heavy and prone to rollovers, leading to many noncombat injuries of passengers and crew, and are considered essentially worthless in conventional warfare.crew. They also cost a lot of money. In short, they were tailored specifically for the Iraq War, and with that war over, the federal government has been only too happy to sell them cheap to local jurisdictions, thus recovering at least a little bit of the money spent on them. Just how suited they are for police work, or how competent a given police department is in operating these accident-prone vehicles, is another matter[[/note]], ''especially'' when they start using said gear to carry out arrests or serve warrants for relatively small offenses. This "militarization of the police" has been controversial, and [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment that's all we'll say on the matter.]]
19th Mar '18 9:21:05 PM YT45
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** Finally, contrary to some urban legends, citizens are not automatically at fault in the event of a motor vehicle accident involving a police vehicle or even an officer. However, if you ''are'' involved in such a crash, virtually every department has rules in place that prohibit the officers from working an accident involving "one of their own." In other words, a city cop would have to wait for a county deputy or state patrolman, and vice versa. In overworked departments (most of them) and large jurisdictions (almost as common), this can involve a long wait -- although other first responders don't have to wait for the police.

* Third, Post 9/11, one trend police forces in general seem to be following is equipping themselves with secondhand military grade gear. Due to a number of anti-terrorism policies set forth by Congress, police departments may request to be equipped with surplus military gear such as body armor, assault rifles, and armored vehicles, to the point where some police departments have become virtually indistinguishable from a military unit. Any local police department can take advantage of this, regardless of location or size. Police agencies also increasingly cross-train, certifying officers as SWAT or other specialized "operators," and are heavily marketed to by weapons and tactical gear manufacturers and trainers to spend tax dollars on specialized equipment and training. While some people won't question the LAPD or NYPD getting better gear to protect their respective cities, they do question whether it's really necessary for a small town police department in the middle of Alabama, or a small campus or public transit police department, to be packing assault rifles and MRAP vehicles designed to survive [=IEDs=] in Iraq, ''especially'' when they start using said gear to carry out arrests or serve warrants for relatively small offenses. This "militarization of the police" has been controversial, and [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment that's all we'll say on the matter.]]

to:

** Finally, contrary to some urban legends, citizens are not automatically at fault in the event of a motor vehicle accident involving a police vehicle or even an officer.officer—in fact, many jurisdictions automatically assume the police officer to be at fault unless proven otherwise. However, if you ''are'' involved in such a crash, virtually every department has rules in place that prohibit the officers from working an accident involving "one of their own." In other words, a city cop would have to wait for a county deputy or state patrolman, and vice versa. In overworked departments (most of them) and large jurisdictions (almost as common), this can involve a long wait -- although other first responders don't have to wait for the police.

* Third, Post 9/11, one trend police forces in general seem to be following is equipping themselves with secondhand military grade gear. Due to a number of anti-terrorism policies set forth by Congress, police departments may request to be equipped with surplus military gear such as body armor, assault rifles, and armored vehicles, to the point where some police departments have become virtually indistinguishable from a military unit.unit, at least in terms of hardware. Any local police department can take advantage of this, regardless of location or size. Police agencies also increasingly cross-train, certifying officers as SWAT or other specialized "operators," and are heavily marketed to by weapons and tactical gear manufacturers and trainers to spend tax dollars on specialized equipment and training. While some people won't question the LAPD or NYPD getting better gear to protect their respective cities, they do question whether it's really necessary for a small town police department in the middle of Alabama, or a small campus or public transit police department, to be packing assault rifles and MRAP vehicles designed to survive [=IEDs=] in Iraq, Iraq[[note]]MRAP vehicles are hardened against IED blasts (which also makes them bulletproof), and [[CripplingOverspecialization are good for very little else]]. They are notoriously top-heavy and prone to rollovers, leading to many noncombat injuries of passengers and crew, and are considered essentially worthless in conventional warfare. They also cost a lot of money. In short, they were tailored specifically for the Iraq War, and with that war over, the federal government has been only too happy to sell them cheap to local jurisdictions, thus recovering at least a little bit of the money spent on them. Just how suited they are for police work, or how competent a given police department is in operating these accident-prone vehicles, is another matter[[/note]], ''especially'' when they start using said gear to carry out arrests or serve warrants for relatively small offenses. This "militarization of the police" has been controversial, and [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment that's all we'll say on the matter.]]
4th Jan '18 8:49:11 PM costanton11
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Who gets Secret Service protection is controlled by Congress. In addition to the US officials named above, the Service also guards heads of state from other countries when they visit the United States. Former Presidents and their spouses receive protection for the remainder of their lives [[note]]A 1994 law limited this to 10 years. However, because Bill Clinton was exempted, George W. Bush left office in 2008, and Barack Obama signed a law restoring the lifetime protection in 2013, it never applied to any former President.[[/note]] --although they can voluntarily surrender such; RichardNixon was the first to do so -- and children of former Presidents receive it until they are 16 years old. Major Presidential candidates can get it fairly early on in the US primary process. There are no hard rules for when candidates are given protection; the metric is a very fuzzy "how good are their chances of winning the election and how many cranks have started threatening them". Barack Obama held the record for being granted Secret Service protection the earliest of any Democrat candidate for President with no prior protection [[note]]Hilary Clinton, as former First Lady, has been receiving Secret Service protection since 1992[[/note]], while Ben Carson and Donald Trump currently co-hold the record for Republicans.

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Who gets Secret Service protection is controlled by Congress. In addition to the US officials named above, the Service also guards heads of state from other countries when they visit the United States. Former Presidents and their spouses receive protection for the remainder of their lives [[note]]A 1994 law limited this to 10 years. However, because Bill Clinton was exempted, George W. Bush left office in 2008, and Barack Obama signed a law restoring the lifetime protection in 2013, it never applied to any former President.[[/note]] --although they can voluntarily surrender such; RichardNixon UsefulNotes/RichardNixon was the first to do so -- and children of former Presidents receive it until they are 16 years old. Major Presidential candidates can get it fairly early on in the US primary process. There are no hard rules for when candidates are given protection; the metric is a very fuzzy "how good are their chances of winning the election and how many cranks have started threatening them". Barack Obama held the record for being granted Secret Service protection the earliest of any Democrat candidate for President with no prior protection [[note]]Hilary Clinton, as former First Lady, has been receiving Secret Service protection since 1992[[/note]], while Ben Carson and Donald Trump currently co-hold the record for Republicans.
23rd Dec '17 11:18:47 AM nombretomado
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The hard part is, the theory has been complicated by 2+ centuries of judicial precedents. Simply put, these are legal cases in which the decision by the court establishes a new rule or principle that other courts follow from that time on. Of particular importance to criminal law, as well as to may other areas of law, is the broad reading that courts have given to "Commerce ... among the several States," which now means just about anything that could at least theoretically affect such commerce. There have also been Constitutional Amendments that affect the original concept (notably the 14th Amendment). Finally, [[RealityEnsues the practical application]] was [[{{Understatement}} somewhat complicated]] by what some Americans of Southern heritage still refer to as [[TheAmericanCivilWar "The Late Unpleasantness"]]. All of this has granted all American police agencies a huge amount of power, far beyond anything imagined by the folks who drafted the [[UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates Constitution]]. And as we will see, there is an astounding array of US police agencies. While there are significant differences amongst them, all have several things in common.

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The hard part is, the theory has been complicated by 2+ centuries of judicial precedents. Simply put, these are legal cases in which the decision by the court establishes a new rule or principle that other courts follow from that time on. Of particular importance to criminal law, as well as to may other areas of law, is the broad reading that courts have given to "Commerce ... among the several States," which now means just about anything that could at least theoretically affect such commerce. There have also been Constitutional Amendments that affect the original concept (notably the 14th Amendment). Finally, [[RealityEnsues the practical application]] was [[{{Understatement}} somewhat complicated]] by what some Americans of Southern heritage still refer to as [[TheAmericanCivilWar [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar "The Late Unpleasantness"]]. All of this has granted all American police agencies a huge amount of power, far beyond anything imagined by the folks who drafted the [[UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates Constitution]]. And as we will see, there is an astounding array of US police agencies. While there are significant differences amongst them, all have several things in common.
14th Dec '17 3:03:23 PM tommythegun
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** Ford itself clams that its Taurus police model and its "Interceptor" brand of the Ford Explorer together sold almost 25,000 units in 2014. Other manufacturers angle for their share of the police market in different ways. The Dodge Charger was already a real competitor to the Crown Vic, due to it being more powerful, maneuverable, comfortable, and notably, not a 30-year-old design. Also, in many northern states, the Chevy Impala had become a common sight, due to the fact that it has front-wheel drive - not as badass as rear-wheel drive, but much more useful for driving in six inches or more of snow. Oh, and it's also more fuel efficient than the heavy Crown Vic and the big-engined Charger. Most departments, insofar as budgets allow, consistently choose either one or the other; not out of brand loyalty, but because police pursuit/emergency/high-speed driving requires different techniques with rear-wheel drive than with front-wheel. An increasing number of police departments are using SUVs as full-time patrol vehicles as well.

to:

** Ford itself clams that its Taurus police model and its "Interceptor" brand of the Ford Explorer together sold almost 25,000 units in 2014. Other manufacturers angle for their share of the police market in different ways. The Dodge Charger was already a real competitor to the Crown Vic, due to it being more powerful, maneuverable, comfortable, and notably, not a 30-year-old design. Also, in many northern states, the Chevy Impala had become a common sight, due to the fact that it has front-wheel drive - not as badass as rear-wheel drive, but much more useful for driving in six inches or more of snow. Oh, and it's also more fuel efficient than the heavy Crown Vic and the big-engined Charger. Most departments, insofar as budgets allow, consistently choose either one or the other; not out of brand loyalty, but because police pursuit/emergency/high-speed driving requires different techniques with rear-wheel drive than with front-wheel. An increasing number of police departments are using SUVs [=SUV=]s as full-time patrol vehicles as well.
14th Dec '17 2:54:36 PM tommythegun
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** More or less concurrently with the "War on Drugs," departments across the country began switching to semi-automatic handguns with 10, 12 or even 16 round magazines, chambered in 9mm or .40 caliber; Glock, Beretta, Sig Sauer seem to be the most popular brands. Almost all jurisdictions also require [[ShotgunsAreJustBetter 12 gauge shotguns]] as standard equipment in patrol cars. [[SWATTeam Special Weapons And Tactics teams]], as you might expect, use even more specialized lethal weaponry, including {{SniperRifle}}s, so-called "assault weapons" (semi-automatic rifles, usually based on the Armalite AR-15 design), and even [[MoreDakka submachine guns]]. And undercover officers may use almost anything that's easily concealable.

** Sworn, uniformed officers also carry one or more of a selection of non-lethal weapons. The [[LawmanBaton old-fashioned nightstick]] is still around, but many departments have replaced it with the [[DualTonfas single tonfa]]. Chemical ('pepper') spray and [[StunGun tasers]] are also becoming more common. Nevertheless, since these weapons are only ''designed'' to be non-lethal, and have in fact killed people who suffered from certain medical conditions, their use is controversial as well. Further, because these weapons -- except chemical sprays -- are not easily concealable, most plainclothes and all undercover officers only use firearms.

to:

** More or less concurrently with the "War on Drugs," departments across the country began switching to semi-automatic handguns with 10, 12 or even 16 round magazines, usually chambered in 9mm or .40 caliber; Glock, Beretta, Sig Sauer seem to be the most popular brands. Almost all jurisdictions also require traditionally provided [[ShotgunsAreJustBetter 12 gauge shotguns]] pump-action shotguns]], usually in 12- or 20-gauge as standard equipment in patrol cars. cars, and since the late 1990s, the increasing trend has been to train and equip more and more officers with AR-15-pattern semi-automatic rifles or carbines as standard equipment on patrol. [[SWATTeam Special Weapons And Tactics teams]], as you might expect, use even more specialized lethal weaponry, including {{SniperRifle}}s, so-called "assault weapons" (semi-automatic rifles, usually based on the Armalite AR-15 design), {{SniperRifle}}s and even [[MoreDakka submachine guns]].guns and assault rifles]]. And undercover officers may use almost anything that's easily concealable.

** Sworn, uniformed officers also carry one or more of a selection of non-lethal weapons. The [[LawmanBaton old-fashioned nightstick]] is still around, but many departments have replaced it with the [[DualTonfas single tonfa]].tonfa]] or collapsible "Asp"-type batons. Chemical ('pepper') spray and [[StunGun tasers]] are also becoming more common. Nevertheless, since these weapons are only ''designed'' to be non-lethal, and have in fact killed people who suffered from certain medical conditions, their use is controversial as well. Further, because these weapons -- except chemical sprays -- are not easily concealable, most plainclothes and all undercover officers only use firearms. \n Riot-control and SWAT teams also readily use specialized equipment such as flashbang grenades, tear gas, rubber bullets, riot shields, and have been experimenting in recent years with sonic or microwave weapons.



** Ford itself clams that its Taurus police model and its "Interceptor" brand of the Ford Explorer together sold almost 25,000 units in 2014. Other manufacturers angle for their share of the police market in different ways. The Dodge Charger was already a real competitor to the Crown Vic, due to it being more powerful, maneuverable, comfortable, and notably, not a 30-year-old design. Also, in many northern states, the Chevy Impala had become a common sight, due to the fact that it has front-wheel drive - not as badass as rear-wheel drive, but much more useful for driving in six inches or more of snow. Oh, and it's also more fuel efficient than the heavy Crown Vic and the big-engined Charger. Most departments, insofar as budgets allow, consistently choose either one or the other; not out of brand loyalty, but because police pursuit/emergency/high-speed driving requires different techniques with rear-wheel drive than with front-wheel.

to:

** Ford itself clams that its Taurus police model and its "Interceptor" brand of the Ford Explorer together sold almost 25,000 units in 2014. Other manufacturers angle for their share of the police market in different ways. The Dodge Charger was already a real competitor to the Crown Vic, due to it being more powerful, maneuverable, comfortable, and notably, not a 30-year-old design. Also, in many northern states, the Chevy Impala had become a common sight, due to the fact that it has front-wheel drive - not as badass as rear-wheel drive, but much more useful for driving in six inches or more of snow. Oh, and it's also more fuel efficient than the heavy Crown Vic and the big-engined Charger. Most departments, insofar as budgets allow, consistently choose either one or the other; not out of brand loyalty, but because police pursuit/emergency/high-speed driving requires different techniques with rear-wheel drive than with front-wheel.
front-wheel. An increasing number of police departments are using SUVs as full-time patrol vehicles as well.



In some cases multiple cities may form metropolitan police departments that merge city- and county-level agencies into a single department with county-wide jurisdiction (the UsefulNotes/LasVegas Metropolitan Police Department is an example, having been created by a merger of the Clark County Sheriff's Office and most of the local police departments in the Vegas metropolitan area, with the elected Sheriff of Clark County serving as the head of the department), or smaller cities may contract-out police services to larger neighbors including the Sheriff. In rural areas not large enough for their own police force and for crimes taking place on state highways, the state police or highway patrol has jurisdiction.

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In some cases multiple cities may form metropolitan police departments that merge city- and county-level agencies into a single department with county-wide jurisdiction (the UsefulNotes/LasVegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD, or "Metro") is an example, having been created by a merger of the Clark County Sheriff's Office and most of the local police departments in the Vegas metropolitan area, area (including the former Las Vegas Police Department), with the elected Sheriff of Clark County serving as the head of the department), or smaller cities may contract-out contract out police services to larger neighbors neighbors, including the Sheriff. In rural areas not large enough for their own police force and for crimes taking place on state highways, the state police or highway patrol has jurisdiction.



Alternately, in many rural counties, especially in the south, the Sheriff's Department may be the most powerful local agency. This may be the case because the county has numerous towns too small to justify having their own police department, or one town that does support a police department but also a large county with a significant but widely dispersed population. In such counties, deputies may fulfill most or all of the roles local police are typically responsible for.

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Alternately, in many rural counties, especially in the south, the Sheriff's Department may be the most powerful local agency. This may be the case because the county has numerous towns too small to justify having their own police department, or one town that does support a police department but also a large county with a significant but widely dispersed population. In such counties, deputies may fulfill most or all of the roles local police are typically responsible for.
for. Finally, many American urban areas are made up of cities surrounded by sprawling urban and suburban areas that may span one or more counties, which may have both significant city police departments with jurisdiction over the former as well as large county sheriff's departments with jurisdiction over the latter (Los Angeles is a prime example of this, as are most urban areas in Florida).



In counties where both agencies have comparable powers and responsibilities, don't be surprised to see interdepartment rivalry, sometimes friendly, sometimes less so. Occasionally state departments get thrown into the ecosystem as well, and typically neither local department likes them for it.

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In counties where both agencies have comparable powers and responsibilities, don't be surprised to see interdepartment rivalry, sometimes friendly, sometimes less so. Occasionally state departments get thrown into the ecosystem as well, and typically neither local department likes them for it.
it. All law enforcement agencies within a geographic area will, however, normally maintain mutual-aid agreements that call for providing assistance to each other in the event of an emergency.



State police agencies are responsible for apprehending criminals on State highways or across county lines, and also for investigating crimes involving state property and protecting state-owned facilities. (Hawaii is the only state without its own state police agency.) In most of the States, they are also (and primarily) responsible for enforcement of traffic laws, and are tasked with patrolling the Interstate highways that pass through their particular state. The State Police can also be called in if there is a conflict of interest with the local police force or accusations of corruption. They are variously called the State Police, the State Troopers, the State Patrol, the Highway Patrol, or the State Highway Patrol. Traditionally, many of these state police agencies were set up along paramilitary lines, especially in the Northeastern United States, and often use military-style uniforms, ranks, and organization (e.g., the use of the title and rank "Trooper," and commonly a "Smokey Bear"-style campaign hat as part of the uniform).

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State police agencies are responsible for apprehending criminals on State highways or across county lines, and also for investigating crimes involving state property and protecting state-owned facilities. (Hawaii is the only state without its own state police agency.) In most of the States, they are also (and primarily) responsible for patrol of the highways, including Interstate highways passing through the state, and enforcement of traffic laws, and are tasked with patrolling laws thereon. This also means they usually have the Interstate highways responsibility for managing the response to hazardous conditions that pass through impact the highways, such as automobile accidents, inclement weather conditions, or hazardous materials incidents. They also usually maintain statewide criminal justice and investigatory resources that are usable by smaller agencies in their particular state.state, such as crime labs, search and rescue, and criminal records databases, as well as commonly serving as a points of contact for federal or other states' agencies involved in investigations across state lines. The State Police can also be called in if there is a conflict of interest with the local police force or accusations of corruption. They are variously called the State Police, the State Troopers, the State Patrol, the Highway Patrol, or the State Highway Patrol. Traditionally, many of these state police agencies were set up along paramilitary lines, especially in the Northeastern United States, and often use military-style uniforms, ranks, and organization (e.g., the use of the title and rank "Trooper," and commonly a "Smokey Bear"-style campaign hat as part of the uniform).



One often overlooked but major type of law enforcement agency that also typically operates at the state level is the corrections department that operates the [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPrisons state's prisons]]. Obviously, they have jurisdiction over prisons, which have the highest concentration of criminals, but these departments often also are responsible for managing convicted felons on probation or parole, pursuing escapees and fugitives, and investigating criminal activities that are taking place both inside and outside prisons (e.g.: gang activity). This makes these very active and busy agencies, and often surprisingly large (the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, for example, is actually the second-largest law enforcement agency in the United States after the NYPD).

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One often overlooked but major type of law enforcement agency that also typically operates at the state level is the corrections department that operates the [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPrisons state's prisons]]. Obviously, they have jurisdiction over prisons, which have the highest concentration of criminals, but these departments often also are responsible for managing convicted felons on probation or parole, pursuing escapees and fugitives, and investigating criminal activities that are taking place both inside and outside prisons (e.g.: gang activity). This makes these very active and busy agencies, operating often as much outside of prison in the "free world" as inside, and often surprisingly large (the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, for example, is actually the second-largest law enforcement agency in the United States after the NYPD).
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