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The police in the United States forms part of the law enforcing agencies according the Federal law. Apart from the national police force, there are a number of policing organizations. There are two levels of police in the United States namely the Federal police and the State police. The policing organizations that serve at the Federal level include Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Immigrations and Customs Department (ICE), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and many other Federal Law enforcement agencies. (Betchtel, 1995)
The Federal Law enforcement agencies hold their power from the constitution of the United States in Article 1 section 8. Their operations extend beyond the State borders, for instance, the FBI have the authority to apprehend an offender who has gone beyond the boundaries of the State and the country. The State level policing organizations are divided into three basic categories: State Troopers, who are sometimes referred to as the State police, county sheriffs and the city police. State police, under the laws that govern the State have the policing authority across the whole of the State (Wadman, 2009). However, their jurisdiction is only limited to patrol areas and facilities that are under the State level authorities. Such areas include government buildings within the State and highways. County sheriffs are limited to operating within unincorporated areas, but are they have no policing authority within the city. City police have the power to serve within the cities and they are restricted to only serving in the cities (Marks, 2009).
The relationship between the police and government is determined by the level of the police organization. Federal policing organizations are subject to being controlled by the congress and have the responsibility of going after tax-related laws and criminals who operate between the States. State policing organizations are under the control of the State government. They are subject to the limitations of the State law. This implies that the State policing organizations are under the Federal police organizations (Marks, 2009). The sovereignty of the State and the sovereignty of the Federal government play a significant role in determining the relationship between the policing organizations in the US and the government. Despite limitations in the constitution in terms of State sovereignty, there have been scenarios whereby the different policing levels have clashed due to a different State and Federal interests (Walker, 2010).
Impacts of the relationship on the American society
Grouping policing organizations basing on Federal and State levels questions the unity between the State government and the Federal government. The restrictions in terms areas of operation by the policing organization does not enhance efficiency in policing. This poses the risk of increase of criminal activities, being attributed to the inefficiency of the policing organizations. State priorities can be different from the Federal priorities in one way or another. Such differences can be extended to the policing organizations. Such conflicts are not health in law enforcement practices (Kelling, 2002). Usually, the division that exists between the State law and the Federal law is confusing, the gravity of the crime is usually downplayed on grounds of inter state crime, an instance is a murder crime which occurs within the state can be considered as state crime, on a similar account, petty crimes involving the crossing of the state boundaries can be termed as state crime. The divisions are also making the government to focus more on interstate crime than local crime. The government is concentrating more on the Federal Law enforcement agencies at the expense of local police who play a pivotal role in combating crime at the grass root (Betchtel, 1995).