NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

A police department’s role within local government

When you think of the functions and inner workings of a local government, you may not think of how the police department might be involved within that system.

To discuss exactly how the police operate, Deputy Chief of Police in Amesbury Craig Bailey, speaks about how a police department functions to keep people safe within their communities. At the Amesbury Police Department Deputy Chief Bailey works to instill discipline and training, while making sure that each of the officers are equipped. As well as handling some of the logistical issues, as he puts it, he, “Keeps the ship pointed in the right direction.”

Deputy Bailey at three years old with his uncle who worked with the Amesbury Police DepartmentCourtesy

Deputy Bailey at three years old with his uncle who worked with the Amesbury Police Department

The deputy chief of police works within the department directly with the sergeants and lieutenants while the chief works directly with town hall, the community members and all the other heads of departments. As Deputy Bailey puts it, “The deputy chief is a down and in kind of job, while the chief is more of an up and out kind of position.” Deputy Bailey says, “Ultimately under the deputy chief of police we have the seven sergeants and a lieutenant… The lieutenant oversees other tasks including administrative investigations. So, he is really in charge of all the detectives.” One of the sergeants operates as a detective while the other six are shift sergeants, coordinating with the six different shifts.

The officers within Amesbury are required to attend a mandatory 120 hours of training each year. This training typically includes officer’s CPR and First Aid training, implicit bias training and their legal update which totals to forty hours of training. Then further training includes firearms, driving, use of force training, and applied patrol procedures which adds eighty hours of training into the mix.

This very machine operates without most of us batting an eye as to how it works until we need it. A police department plays a crucial role within our communities to hold law and order within a sometimes-hectic society.