Law Enforcement and Urbanization in 2037

One of the challenges for modern law enforcement leaders is trying to balance today’s needs against future plans. All municipal executives experience the pressure of the annual or biennial budget cycle, where the fight for limited resources needed to fulfill critical requirements is many times an exercise in frustration. There is never enough money to deal with today’s issues, much less to try to build some base for future operations. This is especially acute in light of all the services the modern police department is currently expected to deliver, including crisis intervention services to their community, critical incident stress management strategies and counseling to their officers, and outreach as part of a comprehensive community policing strategy. This is in addition to the regular training for officers, residents, and business owners and homeland security and anti-terrorism programs, as well as the crime prevention, crime detection, investigation, apprehension of criminals, and order maintenance functions that are the core functions of law enforcement. This massive service load forces police leadership to focus on the agency and community’s current needs and serves to stymie any real effort to look into the future.