Police Administration by Gary Cordner and Kathryn Scarborough covers extensive subjects related to the police system, management and administration. Its scope encompasses areas such as the socio-political and legal contexts within which the police force works, with specific reference to organizational tasks and goals. It also addresses issues of human aspects of the police administration such as the role of human behavior in the work force.  However, the most important part of police administration the book examines is in the structure and functioning of the system, emphasizing on the organization, leadership, supervision, planning and staffing of the police force, as well as the basic roles of the police executive on its overall functioning. Given its brevity, the paper focuses on this last part (Chapters five and six) as the most central to police administration.

The authority, responsibility and accountability in police administration are divided into several aspects of management. The delegation of authority involves the assigning of some powers to subordinates to empower them in making independent decisions. This is necessitated by the fact that no single office is capable of supervising the numerous departments of the police force. However, the overall responsibility remains with the supervisor, who is consulted when the situation demands so. The authority level principle gives provisions for each administrator to exercise his authority as far as his rank allows him, beyond which higher authority should be consulted. This helps to maintain respect and discipline within the force.

The chain of command recognizes the order of seniority. It is modeled on the structure of the military, and it provides a clear channel of decision making. The chain enables each officer to contribute to arising issues in respect to the delegated powers, experience and expertise. Unity of command ensures that each officer reports to one supervisor. It helps to avoid conflict of interest if one was to report to several seniors. Span of control limits each supervisor to the number of junior officers under his control. it ensures efficient control and organizing of various police units. And finally, discipline in the police force helps to maintain a sense of duty and responsibility among officers. By disciplinary measures such as suspension, officers avoid misconduct, breach of rules and neglect of duty.

Chapter six deals with issues related to management functions. System planning ensures proper and efficient use of police equipment such as computers and communication facilities. It helps to fully utilize resources by creating an efficient communication network for easy access to instructions and information. Planning involves the programming and budgeting for the forces operations such as resources, duty and time allocations so as to avoid operational difficulties and technical hindrances to the smooth running of police activities.

In police staffing, aspects such as workload, duties, responsibilities and professionalism are taken into consideration. This ensures that each area of police administration is adequately represented. Directing of police activities is done by administrators. They determine how resources are used by various departments. The need for controlling arises to due to the challenges of monitoring many officers and the politics of management that get into the police force.  And lastly, the police executive performs two central roles in police administration. Administrators address internal issues pertaining to directing, planning and controlling the activities of the police. The external role is primarily associated with leaders and politicians, who ensure availability of resources for the efficient running of the police force.


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