Police

Topics: Police, Crime, Criminal justice Pages: 3 (1136 words) Published: September 20, 2014
POLICE: HISTORY

Throughout the history of civilization, societies have sought protection for their members and possessions. In early civilizations, members of one's family provided this protection. Richard Lundman has suggested that the development of formal policing resulted from a process of three developmental stages. The first stage involves informal policing, where all members of a society share equally in the responsibility for providing protection and keeping order. The second stage, transitional policing, occurs when police functions are informally assigned to particular members of the society. This stage serves as a transition into formal policing, where specific members of the community assume formal responsibility for protection and social control. Lundman suggests that the history of police involved a shift from informal to formal policing. Indeed, as societies have evolved from mechanical (members share similar beliefs and values but meet their basic needs independently) to organic (members are dependent upon one another as a result of specialization) societies, social control became more complex. Whereas there was little need for formal, specialized policing in mechanical societies, organic societies require more specialization to ensure public order.

Over time, organic societies developed into states and governments. A state is defined as "a political creation that has the recognized authority to use and maintain a monopoly on the use of force within a clearly defined jurisdiction," while a government is a "political institution of the state that uses organization, bureaucracy, and formality to regulate social interactions" (Gaines et al., p. 1). The origins of formal policing began with the organization of societies into states and governments.

The form of government heavily influences the structure of police organizations. As Lang-worthy and Travis have argued, "since all police systems rely on state authority, the source of state power...
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