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Chesterfield County Police Department Structure

The specifics of organizational structure can be beneficial or harmful depending on their appropriateness (Swanson, Territo, & Taylor, 2016). Based on the recent module, the present paper intends to analyze the structure of the Chesterfield County Police Department [CCPD] (2014). The analysis indicates that CCPD (2014) has mostly positive features, which allows the organization to manage its relatively large staff by enacting a sufficient level of control without letting the bureaucratic structure impair communication too much.

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Nowadays, CCPD (2014) is headed by the Office of the Chief of Police, which is led by the Chief of Police and supported by the Administrative Assistant and Emergency Communication Director. The next level of power includes Deputy Chiefs (for Operations and Support). Also, the Office of Professional Standards, Finance Unit, and Administrative Staff Officer operate within the same (second) level as supporting entities.

The Bureaus, which are dedicated to specific operations (investigations and uniform operations) and particular types of support (administrative and operational), constitute the following level. They incorporate several divisions, and the latter can include units with specific functions.

The bureaucratic model can be applied to the structure (Swanson et al., 2016). Its hierarchy is apparent, and the areas of expertise (units, divisions, and bureaus) are present as well; the vertical and horizontal differentiation in the structure is based on the two factors, respectively. The Chesterfield County Police Department [CCPD] (2016) also supports its employees, which implies that there must be an option for them to communicate with their management.

The policies and procedures are generated by the Office of Professional Standards in print (CCPD, 2016). The authority is linked to the position of the Chief of Police, which has been preserved since the foundation of CCPD (2014) in 1914 (p. 27). All employees, including the Chief of Police, are appointed in accordance with their competence; CCPD (2016) takes expertise very seriously.

Police operations are associated with high risks and notable power, which is why the structure of a bureaucratic system is likely to be beneficial for the department (Johnson & Vaughn, 2016). Also, some of the elements of the bureaucratic model, including communication and formal regulations, are associated with improved job satisfaction, engagement, and commitment (Lambert, Qureshi, Klahm, Smith, & Frank, 2016). Thus, the specifics of the structure of CCPD (2014) appear to be justified and beneficial to the organization and its employees.

CCPD seems to have a functional structure (Swanson et al., 2016). Indeed, the line and staff structure in it (with multiple supporting elements like the financial unit) is augmented by the introduction of several levels of control. The latter are characterized by their unique functions and specialized components (for instance, the Deputies manage functionally different departments). Also, the organization has four-five levels of control (depending on the specific element and without the supporting staff). In a book by Hess, Orthmann, and LaDue (2015), a structure with five-six levels is described as a mid-size one.

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Therefore, CCPD (2014) is unlikely to be excessively tall, which implies that it has found a way to organize its large and diverse staff effectively while avoiding the restriction of communication (Swanson et al., 2016). CCPD (2014) does not seem to comment on its preferred control span.

In summary, the presented analysis allows witnessing some of the key features that have been considered during the module. CCPD (2014) apparently can be characterized with the help of the bureaucratic model and contains the elements of the functional structure. Also, it is not very tall and can be associated with positive outcomes like sufficient control, relatively effective communication, and improved job satisfaction and engagement in employees. Thus, the present analysis illustrates the fact that the appropriate arrangement of its structure can be beneficial to an organization.


Chesterfield County Police Department. (2014). History. Web.

Chesterfield County Police Department. (2016). 2016 annual report. Web.

Hess, K. M., Orthmann, C. H., & LaDue, S. E. (2015). Management and supervision in law enforcement (7th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Johnson, A., & Vaughn, M. (2016). Decoupling and police organizational structure. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 38(3), 157-167. Web.

Lambert, E., Qureshi, H., Klahm, C., Smith, B., & Frank, J. (2016). The effects of perceptions of organizational structure on job involvement, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment among Indian police officers. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 61(16), 1892-1911. Web.

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Swanson, C. R., Territo, L., & Taylor, R. L. (2016). Police Administration: Structures, processes, and behavior (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

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