Specialized Patrol Functions

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Specialized patrol functions such as undercover sting operations, gang control, and drug enforcement have become an integral component of today's law enforcement operations. These units perform duties that require specialized training to deal with specific situations.


They also leave themselves open to critics who say they go too far in their activities resulting in a hostile community where people exist in a police state.
Narcotics law enforcement is one of the biggest uses of a special force. The members of these units are trained in drug identification as well as knowledge of the drug business in a regional area. The duties often involve undercover work to initiate a buy or get information on drug activity. According to the FBI, "Law enforcement officers often employ trickery and deception to catch those involved in criminal activity" (Kukura 1993). Kukura further states that the Supreme Court has upheld these tactics as legal. This may be effective at prosecuting international drug suspects or child pornographers. However, when it is used against small time drug users in local neighborhoods it can result in a community backlash of racism or injustice.
Gang activity in our major cities has grown to epidemic proportions. To effectively investigate and prosecute gang activity necessitates a specialized unit that understands the gang mentality and the law enforcement tools that are available to reduce gang activity. Police need information about members' names, ages, modes of transportation, spending patterns, and the political climate of the neighborhoods they operate in (Bureau of Justice 1997). ...
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