Nationalizing law enforcement is a method deployed with most European countries, whereby the police force operates under one command. When the same system is applied in the United States, it means that the local police will be under federal supervision. The advantage of nationalizing law enforcement is that it will encourage accountability among local police forces. With higher forces in play, rather than the usual sheriff, town council, or mayors, the police will become more transparent. The national government’s professionalism will provide the required leadership that will promote internal diversity and ensures professional growth opportunities for police forces across the nation, eliminating major police-related incidents such as racism and violence (Community Relations Services Toolkit for Policing 2). Another advantage of nationalizing the police force is that it will enable the creation of oversight agencies to hold police accountable for their actions.
However, various cons are associated with the idea of nationalizing police forces under one controlled umbrella. The first con is related to maintaining professionalism when all law enforcement officers are operating under one umbrella. When considering some of the unprofessional conduct that has recently been reported within federal agencies, it is clear that the federal have failed to enhance professionalism. With the number of agencies under the federal government still law, adding all local police forces will overwhelm the federal system, which will see more unprofessionalism and lack of accountability (Reynolds). Another problem with nationalizing police forces under one umbrella is that it will be difficult for police to police themselves due to political forces in play. Therefore, centralizing law enforcement will increase the lack of accountability and transparency, which can be achieved through decentralization.
Community Relations Services Toolkit for Policing. Importance of Police-Community Relationships and Resources for Further Reading. https://www.justice.gov/crs/file/836486/download. Accessed on 5 Nov. 2020.
Reynolds, Glenn. Reynolds: Want a lawless police force? Federalize it. USA Today. 2015. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/05/03/baltimore-federal-drugs-evidence-fbi-column/26830873/. Accessed on 5 Nov. 2020.
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