Criminal Justice | Learning Resources | Section 4.2

Criminal Justice: An Overview of the System by Adam J. McKee

Section 4.2: Structure and Nature of Policing

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Learning Resources

Learning Objectives
List and describe the three levels of law enforcement in the United States today.
List and describe the major functions of police in the United States today.
4.2(c) Identify Wilson’s three styles of policing, and discuss the differences between them.
4.2(d) Describe the mission of America’s premier federal law enforcement agencies.
Explain why police departments in America are often described as quasi-military organizations.
Explain why police departments in America are often described as bureaucratic organizations.

Slide Presentations

For the Classroom:  INTRO-Section-4-2-presentation

For Printing: INTRO-Section-4-2-print

Present from the web:

Key Terms

  • American Bar Association
  • BDU
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF)
  • Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • James Wilson
  • Legalistic Style
  • Local Police Department
  • Order Maintenance
  • Quasi-Military Organization
  • Residual Problems of Society
  • Secret Service
  • Service Style
  • SWAT
  • Sworn Officer
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
  • Tribal Police
  • U.S. Marshals Service (USMS)
  • Watchman Style

Download a Printable Vocabulary Study Guide [PDF]: Intro_Section_4.2

In your more advanced courses and in your future career, your understanding of many technical and legal terms will be taken for granted.  It is vital that you take the time to really understand the terms presented at the end of each section of this course.  We’ve gone to great lengths to provide you with assistance in mastering this vocabulary.  Don’t forget that there is an extensive glossary that defines all of the bold terms that you will encounter in your reading.  In addition, the vocabulary for each section has been made available on a very useful website called  This site has a wide selection of flashcards for you to study, memorize, test yourself on, and more.  Cram also has a large app store so you can find other mobile flashcards for your Android, iPhone, or Windows device, allowing you to take your flashcards on the go. There are even games that add some fun to learning important terms.

Study Flashcards for this vocabulary on

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Last Updated:  04/21/2021

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