The Civil Service Essay

Submitted By amart1279
Words: 461
Pages: 2

The Civil Service, established in 1871, refers to all government employees excluding the military. What makes civil service unique is its model of appointment and merit in hiring. Civil service workers must prove their merit based on testing which are known as competitive service. Few positions, except near the top of each agency, are appointed. Finally, many of the law enforcement and security agencies at the federal level, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Homeland Security, and Central Intelligence Agency use excepted civil service workers. Excepted agencies still use merit, but stray from the standard hiring practices due to the nature of their agency. Civil service can be found at all levels of government, from federal down to local, and typically, the local agencies follow the federal model in some capacity (Wilson, 1999).
Civil service systems greatly affect law enforcement agencies at all levels of governments. Police officers themselves are indeed merit-based civil servants. Perhaps the greatest impact is the series of testing that is undergone by police organization potential employees. Police organizations, following the merit system, competitively hire and therefore are able to select the best of the best in employee candidates. It also attracts candidates for its career longevity, retirement benefits, and somewhat protected employment, through unions and appeals processes afforded civil servants (Perry, 2010).
There are some downsides, however to police organizations being part of the civil service. Any government job, which is primarily paid with American taxes, is stained with bureaucracy and difficult processes and systems. One of the most questioned practices is the adoption of putting elected officials at the top of law enforcement agencies. Most sheriffs in the United States, for example, are elected officials who owe their allegiance to the voters and constituents in the county. Police chiefs, however,…