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Cja - Pursuing Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement

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There are many components that make up the criminal justice system, including but not limited to: law enforcement, courts, and corrections. The criminal justice system, often referred to as a network as opposed to a system by criminal justice professionals, can not be successful without all the components that make up that system or network. Nothing can move forward within the criminal court system without first being referred by a law enforcement agency. The intent of this paper is to focus on the law enforcement component of the criminal justice system. The paper will address the three current practices of law enforcement that demonstrate the successful achievement of justice. In addition, the paper will address three examples of changes that law enforcement has undergone as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Further, the paper will address the three biggest challenges, in the next ten years for law enforcement.

Throughout my learning in the previous 18 criminal justice administration (CJA) classes that I have attended at the University of Phoenix it has contributed to my definition of justice as it relates to law enforcement. That definition is: includes the prevention, investigation and enforcement of criminally defined activities as stated by local, state and federal governments. The CJA 333 class, Policing Theory and Practice, at the university has largely influenced my understanding of the law enforcement component of the criminal justice system. Police, however, was not the only law enforcement agency covered within the CJA 333 class. Currently, I am in a business management career in retail operations. If at some point I decide to pursue any career within criminal justice it would be in practicing law and to work with law enforcement in that aspect of a career in criminal justice.

Current Practices

Within the law enforcement component of the criminal justice system there are a great number of practices that are currently being utilized. With any aspect, or component, of the criminal justice system there are current practices that are both successful and unsuccessful. Three current practices of law enforcement that demonstrates the successful achievement of the definition of justice as previously stated at the beginning of this paper are: patrol and order maintainer, investigator, and social worker.

As a patrol and order maintainer this is debatably the primary job duty of a law enforcement officer. Crime prevention is the basis to most law enforcement agencies. When there are disturbances from unruly neighbors or juveniles a law enforcement officer is often times dispatched before something more serious, such as a crime, takes place. There are many different aspects to the current practice of patrol and order maintainer such as highway and foot patrol, crossing guard, and serving the community.

As an investigator law enforcement works often times with the District Attorney’s office and the courts. Working with the courts is an example where many of the components of the criminal justice system must rely on one another to be successful. In the role of investigator, law enforcement serves in the hope of collecting pertinent information and/or evidence in solving crimes. Without the help and cooperation of law enforcement agencies it becomes extremely difficult for the prosecutor’s office to build a case against an alleged criminal.

Finally, law enforcement also serves the community as a social worker. Some current practices, such as social worker, often times coincide with that of a patrol and order maintainer. The primary role of law enforcement as a social worker is to check on the well being of an individual, to offer assistance, or to sort out problems in such cases of domestic disturbances. Law enforcement officer’s may at times check on the elderly and offer assistance to those in need.

Not every individual would agree that the three current practices of law enforcement mentioned demonstrate justice. There are at times, within all three roles of law enforcement mentioned an injustice. Reasons why there may be injustice is that a member of law enforcement is not on the straight and narrow and may make a mistake in any of those roles. The system is not perfect and therefore the reason it is labeled as a “practice”.

Life After September 11, 2001

Everything changed after the tragic events of September 11, 2001, or more commonly referred to as 9/11. 9/11 marks the date when terrorist from the Middle East attacked the United States with its own commercial aircrafts. Striking both the Pentagon in Washington, DC and flying into the two twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City this act of terrorism changed the face of America. With the implementation of both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Patriot Act there were many policy and procedure changes as for the law enforcement component of the criminal justice system. With these changes also brought new communication and training programs.

The implementation of the Department of Homeland Security, headed by former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, has directly impacted changes that law enforcement has undergone. The Department of Homeland Security implemented new organizations, such as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), to run the security at all United States airports. Other local law enforcement agencies presence was increased at all airports and transportation hubs across the county as a result of the changes after the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

Policy and procedure in law enforcement started to change immediately after the 9/11 attacks. Policy and management structure changed after the terrorist attacks and the passing of the US Patriot Act. Shortly after the attacks, the US Patriot Act was signed into law on October 26, 2001 by the United States Congress under President George W. Bush. The act greatly expanded the authority that law enforcement has on individual’s rights in an effort to combat terrorism. Many individuals continue to debate whether or not this act contradicts the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. The US Patriot Act puts the United States closer to George Orwell’s 1984’s concept of big brother is watching theory.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, law enforcement saw that they had a large problem with the effectiveness of the current communication systems and the lack of training in an emergency response to a disastrous attack on the country. The New York Fire Department and New York Police Department could not effectively communicate during the crisis. Shortly after the attacks, new communication



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