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In the United States within a state's legal jurisdiction, county and city police agencies do not have full legal jurisdictional flexibility throughout the state, and this has led in part to mergers of adjacent police agencies.When a LEA’s jurisdiction is for the whole country, it is usually one of two broad types, either federal or national.The LEA might be able to apply its powers within a country, for example the United States of America's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, within a division of a country, for example the Australian state Queensland Police, or across a collection of countries, for example international organizations such as Interpol, or the European Union's Europol.LEAs which operate across a collection of countries tend to assist in law enforcement activities, rather than directly enforcing laws, by facilitating the sharing of information necessary for law enforcement between LEAs within those countries, for example Europol has no executive powers.In North America, some of these services are called police, others are known as sheriff's offices/departments, while investigative police services in the United States are often called bureaus, for example the Federal Bureau of Investigation.LEAs will have some form of geographic restriction on their ability to apply their powers.Sometimes a LEA’s jurisdiction is determined by the complexity or seriousness of the non compliance with a law.Some countries determine the jurisdiction in these circumstances by means of policy and resource allocation between agencies, for example in Australia, the Australian Federal Police take on complex serious matters referred to it by an agency and the agency will undertake its own investigations of less serious or complex matters by consensus, while other countries have laws which decide the jurisdiction, for example in the United States of America some matters are required by law to be referred to other agencies if they are of a certain level of seriousness or complexity, for example cross state boundary kidnapping in the United States is escalated to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
A law enforcement agency’s jurisdiction can be for the whole country or for a division or sub-division within the country.
The primary difference between separate agencies and operational areas within the one legal jurisdiction is the degree of flexibility to move resources between versus within agencies.
When multiple LEAs cover the one legal jurisdicition, each agency still typically organises itself into operations areas.
A LEA’s jurisdiction usually also includes the governing bodies they support, and the LEA itself.
Jurisdictionally, there can be an important difference between international LEAs and multinational LEAs, even though both are often referred to as "international", even in official documents.