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Essay on History of Intergovernmental Relationships Among Law Enforcement Agencies

4 pages
835 words
Boston College
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The conventional definition of intergovernmental relationships is the significant interactions between governmental units at all levels and types. The intergovernmental interactions are supposed to cause various parts of government to act in a way that is appropriate to all institutional arrangements. Intergovernmental relationships among law enforcement agencies resulted from the 1998 Presidential Review Commission recommendation into an audit on the same. This audit was meant to strengthen the relationships between two or more governments. A status report for local government and International affairs was issued to support the audit. The primary purpose of the audit was to recommend solutions for the challenges that faced the culture of sound intergovernmental relationships. The audit also proposed the chief objectives to ensure its success. The first one was to analyze the diverse instruments needed to run intergovernmental relationships and make a balance in all spheres of government. The strengths and weaknesses of the system had to be assessed to give a concrete basis for supervision. Intergovernmental relations had to be examined based on their efficacy in the legislature.

The failure of the provincial level was noted which necessitated the development of a co-operative government network. The audit deemed it fit to use section 139 of the constitution with an obligatory report from the province (OToole & Christensen, 2012). The executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government assisted in promoting the provincial interests by examining the NCOPs function. The houses of Congress created committees that were entirely devoted to intergovernmental relationships since the 1940s. The relationships between the federal state and local government can be described as being as coercive as they are cooperative, collusive and competitive. The early days of the republic have proven that the intergovernmental relationships are capable of cooperating. The intergovernmental relationships following these characteristics, therefore, recommended constitutional provisions such as the Article IV, which mandated the primary forms of inter-jurisdictional cooperation. The republic began in 1789, which made the federal, state and local officials be recognized to achieve all the possible objectives that had been laid out in line with the law. The smooth and fluid running of the intergovernmental relationships in America stretched its boundaries to the law enforcement agencies. However, with this change, the law enforcement agencies take advantage of the many opportunities that come with the informal nature of the intergovernmental relations.

Importance of Strong Intergovernmental Relationships in Contemporary American Law Enforcement

Intergovernmental relationships among modern-day American law enforcement agencies are a source of mutual trust with the communities at the provincial and state levels. Modern day American law requires that the agencies are transparent and accountable for their mishaps. Thus, the intergovernmental relationships provide a state of security for the individuals involved and create a sense of fulfillment for those directly affected by the state of the relationships (Stephens & Wikstroom, 2007). With strong intergovernmental relationships, it is easy to create structures that ensure alignment of law enforcement policies and practices across the spheres of government. It implies that there are interdepartmental coordination aspects that create a social protection cluster in the form of all efficient and reliable law enforcement procedures relative to the intergovernmental objectives as audited in the past years.

Strong intergovernmental relationships enhance the participation of all the Relevant Government departments and entities. The International cooperation cluster ensures that the alignment of objectives works concurrently with the law enforcement activities within the agencies. It creates a sense of cohesiveness and subsequently exercises fairness. With these healthy relationships, it is easy to establish structures that ascertain fair judgment within law enforcement and guarantees that all aspects are put into consideration with the diversified states and the expectations for each. Strong intergovernmental relationships are essential when states have to organize programs that ensure growth in the law enforcement sector (Marion & Oliver, 2012). The task is tranquil by using ascertained capacity building practitioners who are relevant in handling policies and making necessary changes. The other component that comes as an important facet is the provision of technical support for law enforcement and development of agencies.

There is a promise of reduction of criminal justice costs through an inclusion criterion to the law enforcement sector. The inclusion criteria will engage the American law enforcement agencies in criminal handling procedures. It is essential that these agencies understand the concepts that intergovernmental relationships run with to match their objectives with those audited in the past. Understanding creates reliable measures that are not complacent and are unpredictable. It initiates an approach that cannot be denied by any agency based on a deep understanding of legislative measures matched with constitutional provisions as listed by the executive and judiciary branch. Criminal justice policies are sequentially developed from this point and structured to suit the law enforcement objectives.


Marion, N. E., & Oliver, W. M. (2012). The public policy of crime and criminal justice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

O'Toole, L. J., & Christensen, R. K. (2012). American intergovernmental relations: Foundations, perspectives, and issues. Cq Press.

Stephens, G. R., & Wikstrom, N. (2007). American intergovernmental relations: A fragmented federal polity. Oxford University Press, USA.

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