Technological advances are changing every aspect of the lives we lead, and the digital age of today is very different from the world previous generations knew. The way we work, rest and play have changed but whilst some things evolve they’re still as prevalent as ever, such as crime. The work of our law enforcement personnel is as important today as it’s ever been, maybe more so, but they’re also facing a number of issues that can make an already tough job even more demanding. Here are three of the most common issues faced by our law enforcement officers across the United States.
Cutbacks In Personnel
When asked about the police issues and challenges that are most prevalent today, the number one difficulty highlighted by law enforcement personnel was cutbacks affecting the service, especially in the number of uniformed officers. From east coast to west coast, forces report a severe shortage in numbers, and there can be two main reasons for this. One is that simply not enough people see law enforcement as a career they want to go into, and the other is cutbacks in funding at all levels, national and local. One factor fuels the other, as people are put off from applying to become a police officer because of worries about officer numbers.
Some of the most important tasks of a police officer are to help prevent crime and to bring the perpetrators of crime to justice. After their hard work has resulted in the arrest of a criminal, however, the matter passes out of their hands, and this leads to another concern highlighted by law enforcement personnel: lenient judges and soft sentencing. Some officers complain of seeing the same individual time and time again, following a pattern of being arrested, charged, released and then offending again. Communities need to think carefully when electing judges and legal professionals, so that sentencing can act as a deterrent to felons rather than an inconvenience.
Nobody does more to keep the public safe than our law enforcement personnel, and yet many feel that there is an ongoing shift in public perception away from supporting police officers. This may be fueled by portrayals in social media and the mainstream media, as well as in cop dramas and films, but it’s also related to the decline in numbers of serving police officers; if somebody has suffered from a crime and had to wait longer than they wanted for a response, they may blame the police force as a whole, rather than looking for the underlying causes of any delay.
Lack of support from some members of the public, sentences that aren’t fit for purpose, and shortages in officer numbers are just three of the problems that today’s law enforcement personnel face. The role of our police force will continue to change along with the world around it, but it’s still vital that we give them our trust and support. It will also continue to be one of the most rewarding jobs of them all, despite the pressures and strains that come with it.