Deaths of Rural Police Departments threaten the Security of Their Small Towns

Small town police departments have the same legal and operational obligations as those in urban areas, but far fewer resources due to their smaller tax bases. If a town can no longer support their police department, it is disbanded and rarely revived. When a police department is disbanded, the town contracts with the county sheriff’s office for law enforcement services. These sheriff’s offices are responsible for many square miles of territory, so small town citizens may wait hours for a sheriff’s deputy to respond to even dire calls for assistance. Based on a case study of a small town police department, this research suggests that small town police chiefs must be politically astute in using a variety of strategies to support and maintain their departments. They search for additional funding sources, beyond those allocated by their towns, from various agencies for specialized activities, such as participation on regional drug task forces or transporting mentally ill offenders to treatment facilities. Additionally, they are innovative in creating and maintaining a positive, cohesive work environment to motivate their officers and reduce expensive turnover through multiple years without salary increases or new equipment.



Author Information
Lucy Edwards Hochstein, Radford University, United States

Paper Information
Conference: IICSEEHawaii2018
Stream: Security and Safety

This paper is part of the IICSEEHawaii2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by amp21