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Are our police forces becoming nationalized?
The laws surrounding our justice system and those who generate them are increasingly becoming a burden to local law enforcement organizations. We have a department of justice at the federal government level and they are there to support law enforcement organizations around the country. Two main points of responsibility of the Department of Justice is to defend government positions in lawsuits and to uphold the Constitution. Additionally they like the rest of the federal government were created by our founding fathers to be a support function for state and now local enforcement agencies.
The mission statement from the Department of Justice website states: “To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.”
The requirements and mission of this agency is clearly an admiral one and it is one which impacts all of us as citizens. Enforcing the law should be about the law as written whether or not you agree with should not make any difference. In addition political philosophy has no place in this department in addition to not imposing actions on local enforcement agencies unless there clearly are violations of laws on the books. A term familiar to all of us or most of us is the heavy hand of the law. It is a phrase which should be understood by those enforcing the law along with those who violate the law.
The Department of Justice is a critical function of the federal government with respect to supporting local law enforcement agencies. Clearly the resources of this department are greater than that of local and state and these resources should be available when the need arises. It is not the function of this government entity to impose their will on actions to be taken concerning crimes which enter the national spotlight. In some cases it has been identified that law enforcement agencies are sued by the federal government when in their opinion they are violating the law. When laws are violated action needs to be taken.
The question of this article is about whether our police forces becoming nationalized? It is a question which has a yes and no answer. Each time a crime is committed which reaches the national spotlight it should not be the function of any federal entity to start an investigation. This applies to executive departments and Congress. In the case of crimes the federal government should let local and state law enforcement agencies perform their investigations before assuming a federal crime has been committed. Our justice system requires that all the facts be presented in a case to determine if laws have been violated. The appearance of excessive force from a law enforcement organization does not mean that such is the case. Our police organizations have a right to defend themselves when they feel their lives are in danger. Second guessing decisions by law agencies around the country puts those who are tasked with enforcing the law put them at risk. We do not want these individuals to make decisions based on whether they feel their actions will be questioned after the fact. Government organizations should not always start investigations until local or state organizations complete their investigations. Such actions raises questions as to who is in charge local or federal investigators.