Police History

Topics: Police, Constable, Sheriff Pages: 3 (1085 words) Published: November 13, 2012
History of Police
John C. Dale
James Ward

History of Police
If one were to ask, anybody in today’s society there would be an overwhelming consensus that police are necessary and a very valuable to keeping individuals and property safe from the criminal element. The earliest known police forces were in ancient China. The persons assigned to this duty were known as prefects and carried out their duty from 771-476 B.C... The prefecture system developed in both the Chu and Jin kingdoms of the Spring and Autumn period. In Jin, dozens of prefects were dispersed and traveled across the state, with each individual having limited authority and employment period. There were different levels of prefects with different levels of authority. In Ancient China, prefects worked for the government as officials appointed by local judges. The judges who appointed prefects reported to higher authorities such as governors, the emperor of the dynasty then appointed the governors. The prefects oversaw the civil administration of their "prefecture", or jurisdiction. Another earliest form of police forces were in the Roman Empire’s military. In most of the Empire, the Army, rather than a dedicated police organization, provided security. Local watchmen were hired by cities to provide some extra security around 63 B.C.-1480 A.D.. Local judges known as procurators fiscal and quaestors were called in to investigate crimes. The Emperor Augustus created 14 “wards” the wards were protected by seven squads of 1,000 men called vigiles, whose main duty was to act as firemen and night watchmen. Other duties were apprehend thieves, robbers and runaway slaves (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police). The first formal police agency has English roots and was started in Britain around 1200. From this earliest known formal police agency a term known as “comes stabuli” derived the first constable and sheriff. It was the constable’s job to hold a particular office, most...
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