Theory Police: Is a Uniform National Police Policy Viable?

Some would say that the federal government we’ve adopted here in the United States is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing in the sense that each state, while under a single government, gets to focus on the specific wants, needs, and capacities or the state with minimal cost or consequence to its neighbors. This is great as it means each state gets to manage regional laws and policies. There’s a downside as well, however.

This downside is probably felt most by law enforcement. Not only does local sate law enforcement have to rely on federal law enforcement to handle criminals that cross borders, but also they have to deal with different protocols and laws per state as well. This can be a problem especially when it comes to establishing preventive and proactive measures.

In states, for example, where the incidents of school shooters is either low or none so far, security measures tend to relax more quickly, and updated policies aren’t always strictly enforced or practiced. When people think things like “that would never happen here”, they actually put themselves at more risk. To this, end, the idea of a uniform national police policy is being considered.

What does this offer us? A uniform policy means that law enforcement will have the same protocols and training across the field. This is great because officers in states with low incidences of certain crimes will still be prepared to deal with those crimes should they actually occur. It also means that officers who eventually transfer to different states and still wish to serve don’t have to worry about regional differences.

One downside is that clearly, the situation in all states is not the same. States with higher incidence of low-income urban areas will have different crime trends from a state which is primarily farmland, or high-income suburbs. This means that while some policies are fine for certain settings, they may be too lax or harsh in others.

This means that a uniform policy may not have uniform results, which seems to actually be bad for the police force given that we always aim for the same result each time: to serve and protect.

What are your thoughts on the matter?