Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In the United States, state police are a police body unique to each U.S. state, having statewide authority to conduct law enforcement activities and criminal investigations. In general, they perform functions outside the normal purview of the city police or the county sheriff, such as enforcing traffic laws on state highways and interstate expressways, overseeing the security of the state capitol complex, protecting the governor, training new officers for local police forces too small to operate an academy, providing technological and scientific support services, and helping to coordinate multi-jurisdictional task force activity in serious or complicated cases.
23 US states actually call their state police by the term "State Police." In this case state police are general power law enforcement officers with statewide jurisdiction who conduct patrols and respond to calls for service and perform all the other forementioned duties. Such states include Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Indiana, New Mexico, New York, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, etc.
In other states the state police are limited function agencies called Highway Patrols, State Bureaus of Investigation, etc. These agencies tend to be brought together under a state Department of Public Safety or may be under several agencies, such the Highway Patrol being under the state Department of Transportation.
State police agencies exist in some form in every U.S. state and territory. They have emerged at various times in the history of each particular state, alternately evolving from corps of mounted rangers (the term trooper coming from cavalry parlance) or being newly established as a fully motorized highway patrol.
The Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador respectively have a provincial police, a sūreté, and a constabulary which are roughly analogous to U.S. state police forces. The rest of the provinces and many municipalities are policed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Italian State Police is a national police agency which usually restricts its activities to the larger towns and cities of Italy, while the Carabinieri is active in small towns, rural and border areas.
- Arizona Rangers
- California Highway Patrol
- Iowa State Patrol
- Pennsylvania State Police
- Texas Rangers
- State Bureau of Investigation
- Department of Public Safety
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