Functioning as professional societies with educational and networking opportunities, the League's 11 municipal departments play an essential role in forming League policy and programs. Each department is represented on the League board of directors
, as well as on each of the League's eight policy committees
Over the years, the League has defined departments' roles as involving the following:
- Fostering professional development of department members by providing opportunities to exchange ideas, consult with one another and meet with others in the field;
- Encouraging professional accomplishment and the highest ethical standards in city service;
- Cooperating with other departments to promote the overall purposes and goals established in the League's bylaws and by the League board;
- Serving as a technical and advisory resource to the League; and
- Supporting high-quality service to cities and their citizens by assisting the League with continuing education programs, newsletters, and other works of interest to department members.