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Police Structures: Compare and Contract

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Police Organizational Structures: Compare & Contrast

The highly decentralized nature and varying size of American police departments compel police agencies to vary greatly in organizational structures. The administration of most police organizational structures are based on a traditional pyramidal, quasi-military organizational structure that contains the elements of an organization, which are entities of two or more people who cooperate to accomplish an objective, and a bureaucracy, which are rules conducted and communicated from a desk or office (Peak, 2012). With these ideas in mind, the comparisons and contrasts between the Administrators, Mid-level managers, and the Supervisors will be shown.
This vertical organizational structure means that an unsolved problem at one level, keeps moving higher until a resolution is reached. This method allows for the chain of command to remain solvent and designates each level a certain authority and responsibility. The problem with this model is that any semblance of discretion at the lower levels of the organization are eliminated. In turn, even minor decisions must be made by individuals who hold elevated positions in the hierarchy. This ultimately impedes changes in the organizational design and structure which could improve operations (Johnson, 1994). Administrators (Chiefs and Asst. Chiefs), mid-level managers (Captains and Lieutenants), and first-line supervisors (Sergeants) ensure that all units work together towards the same goal. If each unit worked independently, it would lead to conflict and competition, and undermine the goals and purposes of the entire department. These three levels of management all work together on behalf of the department but play totally different roles in dealing with underlings. The first-line sergeants are usually in their first supervisory role and some are still working…...

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