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Posted: April 30th, 2020

Concepts of Law Enforcement: Pursuing Criminal Justice

Concepts of Law Enforcement: Pursuing Criminal Justice

Law enforcement is a vital component of the criminal justice system, which aims to prevent, detect, and respond to crime and disorder in society. Law enforcement officers are responsible for enforcing the law, maintaining public order, protecting life and property, and investigating and apprehending suspects of criminal activity. Law enforcement agencies operate at different levels of government, such as local, state, and federal, and have different jurisdictions and functions depending on the type of crime and the location of the incident.

The main goals of law enforcement are to deter crime, reduce fear of crime, and enhance the quality of life for citizens. To achieve these goals, law enforcement officers use various strategies and tactics, such as patrol, surveillance, intelligence, community policing, problem-oriented policing, and evidence-based policing. These strategies and tactics are based on the principles of legality, accountability, professionalism, and ethics, which guide the conduct and decision-making of law enforcement officers.

However, law enforcement also faces many challenges and dilemmas in pursuing criminal justice. Some of these challenges include:

– Balancing the rights and liberties of individuals with the need for public safety and security
– Dealing with diverse and complex social issues, such as poverty, inequality, racism, discrimination, mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence
– Managing limited resources and competing demands in a dynamic and uncertain environment
– Coping with stress, trauma, violence, and corruption in the line of duty
– Adapting to changing laws, technologies, expectations, and standards of performance
– Building trust and legitimacy with the public and other stakeholders in the criminal justice system

Therefore, law enforcement requires constant learning, innovation, evaluation, and improvement to achieve its mission and vision. Law enforcement officers need to acquire relevant knowledge, skills, and competencies to perform their duties effectively and efficiently. Law enforcement agencies need to adopt best practices and evidence-based policies and procedures to enhance their performance and accountability. Law enforcement leaders need to foster a culture of excellence and integrity that values diversity, inclusion, collaboration, and community engagement.

In conclusion, law enforcement is a crucial element of the criminal justice system that strives to uphold the rule of law and protect the rights and interests of all members of society. Law enforcement officers face many challenges and opportunities in pursuing criminal justice. Law enforcement agencies need to continuously improve their strategies and tactics to achieve their goals and objectives.


Braga, A.A., & Weisburd D.L. (2019). The science of policing: Achievements from 40 years of experimental research on what works in police practice. Annual Review of Criminology 2(1), 1-23.

Cordner G.W., & Cordner A.M. (2017). Police administration (9th ed.). Routledge.

Fyfe N.R., & Scott K.B. (2013). The police identity crisis: Examining the nature of contemporary policing. In J.M Brown (Ed.), The future of policing (pp. 3-18). Routledge.

Peak K.J., & Glensor R.W. (2019). Community policing and problem solving: Strategies and practices (7th ed.). Pearson.

Reisig M.D., & Kane R.J. (2014). Legal cynicism, legitimacy, and criminal offending: The nonconfounding effect of low self-control. Criminal Justice & Behavior 41(2), 147-164.

Skogan W.G., & Frydl K. (2004). Fairness and effectiveness in policing: The evidence. National Academies Press.


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