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Law Enforcement Cultural Group: Detectives Essay


Workplace culture refers to the set of behaviors, language patterns, values, tools and other features that certain occupational groups have in common. Even within one particular industry, it is possible to identify several cultural groups. For instance, the law enforcement field consists of such occupational groups as police officers, detective, forensic analysts, and even judges and lawyers, if one defines law enforcement in broader terms. The present paper describes the main features of detectives as a particular cultural group within law enforcement.

The profession of a detective has been highly popularized and even romanticized in popular culture, and there is an abundance of films and TV shows depicting their work: True Detective, Castle, and Law and Order, to name just a few. It is typical to categorize police officers and detective as one group, but there are several distinctions among them, although they do usually work closely together (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015). An example of a more obvious difference is their outfit.

Police officers are required to wear a uniform while detectives can frequently be seen wearing plainclothes. This difference is important because it signals the work that the two groups do: police officers prevent crimes, so they need to be easily identifiable, but detectives investigate crimes so they need to look approachable and trustable since they deal with witnesses and other people (Detective jobs, n.d.). Furthermore, while police officers always need to identify themselves, detectives may, in fact, hide their real occupation when they engage in undercover operations.

Thus, detectives also have responsibilities and duties that are common only to this particular group. As mentioned previously, their primary occupation is investigating crimes, and they use a variety of different tools and procedures to achieve this goal. They interview witnesses, suspects, bystanders, and other people who may provide insights regarding the crime being investigated. They research the backgrounds of criminal suspects to identify their link to the crime.

Detectives work closely with other departments to share and exchange the available information regarding the case: for instance, they work with forensic analysts to identify and interpret relevant evidence, ranging from the DNA materials to the bloodstain patterns found at the crime scene. They also communicate information about the case to other parties, such as the media, the general public, and court officials (Detective jobs, n.d.).

Detectives have a range of different tools at their disposal that help them in their investigation. For instance, they can request search warrants from courts so they can access the suspects’ houses or their credit card and cell phone history. They can use technological tools such as GPS tracking or DNA matching. Since they frequently come in direct contact with criminals and take part in raids and arrests, detectives usually carry such equipment as guns and handcuffs. It is common for detectives to specialize in certain categories of crimes, such as drug crimes or homicides (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015). Thus, their professional jargon will depend on the type of crimes they work with, but several acronyms and abbreviations are common across all police departments and are even known to the general public: for instance, such code violation abbreviations as DUI (driving under influence) or GTA (grand theft auto).

To sum up, while it may appear that detectives are just plain-clothed police officers, a closer look at their work reveals the distinctive tools, behaviors, and responsibilities that allow one to say that detectives make up a particular cultural group within the law enforcement field.

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2015). . Web.

. (n.d.). Web.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Law Enforcement Cultural Group: Detectives." July 8, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/law-enforcement-cultural-group-detectives/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Law Enforcement Cultural Group: Detectives'. 8 July.

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