M8D1: Global Crime and Regional Police

How can the police and law enforcement address transnational and globalization of crime given the current organizational mission and mandates of the police and law enforcement?

Include a discussion of the potential of “regionalizing” small police and law enforcement agencies.

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It has been said that “transnational criminals have been one of the biggest beneficiaries of globalization…Globalization facilitates international trade but also increases the difficulty of regulating global trade…traffickers and smugglers have exploited this” as well as terrorists (Patrick 2012). Globalization has also facilitated the creation of terrorist networks connected by ideology rather than nationality. “Illicit networks are challenging to states because states are militarily and diplomatically organized to deal with other states. Governments around the world “have found it very hard to adapt to non-state or sovereignty-free actors” and perceive them s threats (Patrick 2012).

The problem with dealing with global, transnational threats it that traditionally law enforcement agencies have thought of themselves as solely protecting nations, rather than combating threats posed by many nations. Even between intelligence agencies such as the FBI and the CIA there have often been arguments about jurisdiction and which agency has the right to intervene in specific areas. Barriers to sharing information between allies are even higher — as we were recently reminded by the revelations of spying on the leaders of countries widely regarded as the United States’ friends. Yet without sharing information across borders, threats that are not confined within a specific nation will be impossible to police. Greater cooperation is also needed to limit the ability of renegade groups to obtain funding. “The global financial system has undergone widespread deregulation since the 1970s, allowing illicit actors to launder the proceeds of crime more easily” (Patrick 2012).

This is not to discount the important role that local law enforcement agencies can play in keeping watch upon criminal activity. Local law enforcement may have a better ‘ground’s eye view’ of the situation. However, local law enforcement agencies cannot ‘do it alone.’ They cannot touch the financial regulations that make it easy for terrorists to obtain funds through illegal activity; they often lack the ability to orchestrate broad, interagency cooperation, although they can certainly benefit from it and make a meaningful contribution to making the world safer. While regional input is needed, creating more atomized structures of law enforcement is the last thing that is needed — we…

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