Sociology Index

FIRST LINE AUTHORITIES

First Line Authorities are those individuals and institutions that deal directly with the public and have power to initiate legal process against individuals under criminal justice or mental health laws.

In the U.S., first-line authority is often at the state or local level, with federal involvement requiring a determination and proclamation under the Stafford Act. There is often a hierarchy of separately organized emergency response organization starting at local fire department acting as the first-line authority, with the ARNG (Army National Guard) normally under the authority of the state governor.

In a number of the responses to U.S. Gulf Coast hurricanes, ARNG units assisting other states were not necessarily under federal authority, but operated under inter-governmental agreements as first-line authority.

District court has first-line authority for case-management decisions and is intimately familiar with the ebb and flow of the cases on its docket.

Parents and caregivers have an important duty, because they are the first-line authority figures to watch and discipline their children.

First line authorities like the police have more capacity to criminalize than other authorities.

"The provinces and territorial governments are the first-line authorities for developing laws related to health services and establishing programs within their jurisdictions, as long as these efforts do not contravene federal regulatory frameworks."

First line authorities deal directly with the public and have power to initiate legal process against individuals, but lack training and proper understanding of laws regarding jurisdictions and federal regulatory frameworks.