The position of a police chief is the most influential and demanding among the hierarchy of government positions because it has wide jurisdiction of influence with a lot of responsibilities. The police chief heads a police department with a full administration mandate of supervision, issuing and effecting commands, mobilizing operations, developing policies, and implementation of programs for effective delivery of police services to the public. Moreover, the police chief has to interact with the criminal justice system for effective implementation and enforcement of criminal laws by mobilizing officers to reduce crime incidences in certain administrative jurisdictions. The mobilization of officers entails active participation in responding to criminal activities, carrying out emergency operations, visiting crime scenes and working under stressful conditions to meet deadlines. Brooks (2008) argues that the police chief performs complex operations of administration, management, and policing in the police department that involve policy development, implementation and coordination of various activities (p.1). From this perspective, the job description of a police chief is very complex and demanding. Since the position of a police chief is the most influential and demanding among the hierarchy of government positions, how does it vary with other positions such as patrol sergeant, prison warden, judge, high school principal, university president, mayor, and company president in terms of sources of influence?
Patrol Sergeant, Prison Warden and Judge
In comparison with roles played by patrol sergeant and prison warden, police chief roles are expansive and cover a wider area of jurisdiction. The responsibility of the patrol sergeant is to plan and carry out security surveillance in a certain area of the patrol that lies under the jurisdiction of a police chief. Patrol sergeant leads law enforcement officers in conducting real-time security surveillance to keep law and order in the community. Since the police chief is the head of the police department, the responsibility of mobilizing law enforcement officers lies within the mandate of a police chief and therefore patrol sergeant is subject to commands from the police chief.
In addition, the responsibility of the prison warden lies within the limited jurisdiction of prison relative to the expansive jurisdiction of a police chief. The Prison warden oversees prison operations; s/he ensures that prisoners receive appropriate corrective measures and are kept away from interfering with peace and order in the community. Likewise, the responsibility of a judge falls within the judicial system, which is a component of the criminal justice system. Specifically, a judge deals with the resolution of legal cases in courts. Comparatively, the position of a police chief is the most influential and demanding as compared with patrol sergeant, prison warden, and a judge because according to Gaines and Worrall (2011), the responsibility of a police chief overlaps with corrective, law enforcement and judicial arms of the criminal justice system (p.224). Therefore, while the responsibilities of a patrol sergeant, prison warden and a judge have limited jurisdiction of influence and fall under the criminal justice system, a police chief job description expansively interfaces with the criminal justice system to ensure effective control of crimes in the community.
High School Principal and University President
The position of high school principal deals with the management of the school and thus its mandate has limited jurisdiction of influence as compared with that of a police chief. High school principal only interacts with teachers, students, parents, and other stakeholders but with limited external influence. Additionally, a university president has a relatively extensive mandate as compared to a high school principal because the university has greater external influence. University interacts more with the government as compared to high school because of the nature of education it provides to the public. However, in comparison with the position of the police chief, both positions of the high school principal and a university president have a narrow mandate and limited jurisdiction. Gaines and Worrall (2011) argue that police chief heads a police department with an expansive mandate that spreads across the criminal justice system (p.225). Moreover, a police chief ensures effective mobilization of law enforcement officers, performs extensive investigation to provide reliable evidence to the justice system, and guarantees the appropriate application of corrective measures in prisons.
Mayor and Company President
Mayor has the executive responsibility of managing the city council by formulating and implementing policies. Mayor heads the city council and participates in council meetings that formulate bylaws and policies, which aim at elevating the status of a city through economic development and security. The responsibilities of the mayor have political inclinations and therefore deal with issues that affect people such as infrastructure and security. Relatively, a company president is a chief executive officer who has the sole responsibility of effecting laws and policies within the company. Major responsibilities of the company president lie within the company with minimal external influences due to interaction with customers and business partners. Critical analysis of mayor and company president responsibilities relative to responsibilities of a police chief depicts that the responsibilities of police chief are expansive, demanding, and matchless. According to Brooks (2008), the police chief job description is quite flexible and variable depending on prevailing circumstances that occur in the criminal justice system (p.4). In this view, the police chief deals with emergency issues of crimes that are unpredictable, carries out investigations, gives reports concerning the occurrence of crimes, mobilizes police officers and addresses endless complaints that emanate from the public amongst other issues of the criminal justice system.
A police chief has complex and expansive responsibility that runs through the criminal justice system unlike patrol sergeant, prison warden, judge, high school principal, university president, mayor, and company president whose responsibilities fall under specific limited and narrow jurisdictions. The jurisdiction of the police chief is very expansive because it covers a state or a local territory with a police administration department. Moreover, police chief responsibility is complex as it involves public security, which is very unpredictable and sensitive in terms of the occurrence of crimes in the community. The occurrence of crimes in the community depends on policies implemented by the police department under the police chief as the head. Hence, the position of a police chief is one of the most influential and demanding positions in government.
Brooks, D. (2008). Police Chief Job Description. Farmington Police Administration, 1-5.
Gaines, L., & Worrall, J. (2011). Police Administration. New York: Cengage Learning.