Historical Foundations of Policing

Topics: Police, Constable, Law enforcement Pages: 5 (1790 words) Published: September 7, 2008
In order to keep order in society there is a need for law enforcement. Since the beginning of time, man has created ways to protect citizens and communities. The most common way of doing that is with the police force. The police today are employed by the government and are usually very distinct from regular citizens since they wear uniforms in most cases. There are many different types of law enforcement officers, the most common ones are “local police officers, county deputies, state highway patrol troopers, or federal agents” (The Police An Introduction 28) We have a total of approximate 870,000 law enforcement officers in the United States that we have entrusted with many responsibilities to serve and protect us. The actual structure of the police could be very confusing to a regular citizen since they have private as well as public police and we the regular citizens may not know how to make a distinction between the two. (Paraphrased from The Police An Introduction 28)

Early American Policing (1600- 1860): In the seventeenth century, people were still under the Middle Ages thinking. The government task was to provide economic balance protecting the people from invaders trying to take the local jobs. This way of thinking lasted until the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century when people begin to realize the opportunity for wealth and growth. The government built early America by providing streets, canals and of course the railways. (The Police An Introduction 36) Urban Growth and the need for police: The United States attracted many people to migrate to it because of the freedom and opportunities the land offers. This happened increasingly during the beginning of our homeland. This time in our history is marked with riots, violence and public disorder. Some of the recognized riots are “the protest over the Stamp Act of 1765, the Boston Massacre of 1770, and the Boston Tea Party of 1773.” (The Police An Introduction 37) Benjamin Franklin organized societies that were based on volunteers to keep social goals during the early eighteenth century and on. With the same idea of keeping order in society many other societies were formed. (The Police An Introduction 37) Urban Conditions and the Rise of U.S. Urban Police Departments: The creation of police departments began due to many factors including “industrialization, immigration, and urbanization.” (The Police An Introduction 37) With so much growth and increased I population there was the need of maintaining and keeping the order in the cities. The constables were not effective in such high populating places. New York, Boston and Philadelphia created their uniformed police force. With the population increased and the social economical distresses in some part of the country, the need for the police grew immediately. The London police played an important role in providing the inspiration for our own forces. The New York Police Department: The police department was created in 1844. The responsibilities were very broad and it was not until later that the police became more crime prevention and order maintenance oriented. (The Police An Introduction 39) During the colony times, the citizens were the main responsible for crime prevention and order. This was the constable’s characteristics jus as they were during England’s development in. In the early nineteenth century, New York had more than one hundred officials. At the beginning, the police officers did not have a uniform, they had identification and the term of office was one year at first and later rose to two in 1846, and then again rose to four in 1849. (The Police An Introduction 40) In 1853, the police had many changes including a mayor, judge and recorder. After those changes been a police officer became a career. The police authorities were under local elected officials. They started carrying a weapon in the mid-1850s. In 1857, the Metropolitan Police was established and the responsibilities expanded....
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