Historical Development of Police Agencies

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Historical Development of Police Agencies
August 8, 2011

Historically, policing in America mimicked that of the English. American ideas expanded on the English way of policing, to start an era of ever evolving police agencies. In the beginning policing was considered the civic duty of members of a community. These “drafted” officers were not paid or trained. Appointed Sheriff’s were motivated by money, and lost focus on enforcing the law. Policing was considered reactive in nature. This began to change as did society, industrialism and urbanization, brought with it a rise in crime, causing police to shift towards a more proactive approach to law enforcement. In the 1800’s new technologies began another change with better response times and communications. The 20th century brought even more technologies which continue to aid law enforcement today. This era also brought to the attention of agencies that there was a lack of cooperation between police and communities and community policing with more of a service attitude began to emerge. In the 21st century we are faced with the challenges of terrorist and we call on the local state and federal agencies to work together to counter these threats.

Historical Development of Police Agencies
Today’s police agencies have evolved since the early 1600’s to become a highly organized group that strives for crime prevention, preservation of citizen’s rights and professionalism. The era’s that have shaped the police of today are historically based on early English police styles, in which the first organized policing agencies emerged in the early 1800’s, ( Justice and Security Strategies, Inc., December 2004). These early agencies faced many challenges and essentially paved the road with vigilantism, “kin police” with the mentality of “I am my brother’s keeper” (Miller, Wilbur R. 1977). The raw styles of early policing, in a sense have come full circle in that it began with community...
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