Change in Law Enforcement

Eight Recurring Reasons why Change Occurs in Law Enforcement

Ideally, there are several reasons why change occurs in law enforcement agencies. For instance, a single catastrophic event followed by legal litigation can lead to the replacement of police officers. The event causes changes when the officer involved is unable to adequately respond and address an event that occurred within the department. A second reason is the election of a new mayor who may decide to replace the chief of police with a new one in order to pursue their new vision on ways the agency should be operated and organized (Cordner, 2016). The third reason is in case a major political figure is involved in major embarrassment and is convinced that the police department is involved. In such a case, the political figure may use their influence and power to force the chief of police to be dismissed or transferred. The fourth reason is in case the chief of police retires, resigns, or is fired. When such happens, the police chief must be replaced and the new chief of police might introduce changes in the police department.

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The fifth reason is in case a sheriff is elected and intends to implement changes that he or she proposed when they ran for the position (Schulz, 2004). The sheriff may have made promises and commitments to the electing community and might be forced to make changes to the law enforcement department. The sixth reason is that the existing administrators may try to alter the current culture by making significant changes – although that can be a challenge.  The seventh reason is when the morale of the police department is low and several things do not seem to go right (Cox, McCamey, & Scaramella, 2014). The police department might need to reorganize the department to boost the morale of the department. The last reason is when a community problem arises requiring a different strategy to manage. According to Gaines and Kappeler (2018), the police department may be reorganized to help the department focus on community problems. 


Cordner, G. W. (2016). Police Administration. London: Taylor and Francis.

Cox, S. M., McCamey, W., & Scaramella, G. L. (2014). Introduction to policing. [Place of Publication unidentified]: Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Gaines, Larry K., & Kappeler, Victor E. (2018). Policing in America. Massachusetts: Anderson Publishing, an Imprint of Elsevier.

Schafer, J. A, Michael, E. B., Myers, R. W., Jensen, C. J., Levin, B. H. (2017). Future of Policing: A practical guide for police managers and leaders. S.l.: CRC PRESS.

Schulz, D. M. (2004). Breaking the brass ceiling: Women police chiefs and their paths to the top. Westport, Conn: Praeger Publishers.

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