Does anyone know of a good book that explains the US police set-up nation-wide? Living in Scotland, I sometimes (no, it's not sometimes - it's all the time) get confused when reading a US procedural and hear of county sheriff departments, highway police, city police departments, state police and the FBI. What does each one do? What are its responsibilities? Can a sheriff's department investigate a murder? Is a city police department as important as a state police department? Do police departments overlap? Is there rivalry between them or do they cooperate fully?
And why are chiefs of police elected? Do they have to be police officers before they can stand for election? Or are they politicians? Can a policeman within a particular force stand for election as chief of police?
If there is a book that explains the US set up, these are the kinds of questions I would like to have answered.
Here in Scotland (and throughout the UK) there is one police force per designated area, and it does everything. The ranks are identical (with the exception of the Metropolitan Police) The exeptions are separate Transport Police, which generally operates on the UK rail network, and a police force for the nuclear industry.