The Advent of American Professionalism

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Amanda Phelps
Criminal Justice and the Community CRJ 205
Police Professionalism

“American policing underwent a dramatic change in the Twentieth century. The two principle forces for change were an organized movement for police professionalism, and the introduction of modern technology...”(Walker, S, & Katz, C.M. (2008). The police in america . New York City, NY: McGraw-Hill , pg 34).

The Professionalism Era began in the early 1900's and during this time the justice system was in need of reform. August Vollmer,a man considered to be responsible for ushering in the American Police professionalism movement as well as the formation of defining the reform agenda that continues to influence our justice system today. Vollmer was also an enthusiast for high education for officers and had constructed the first college level policing curriculum setting the bar for police standards much higher and introducing professionalism as a job requirement. This was more commonly known as progressivism from 1900- 1917 and the participants of this reformation sought to end child labor , improve social welfare services, rehabilitate their local government and manage big businesses (Walker, & Katz, 2008 pg 34).

With every movement for reformation is an underlying issue that has furnished the motivation to do so and has gained notice by a majority of people who see a means of making the system or organization more efficient. In this case, the Political era, in itself and my opinion, was the leading factor that demanded the movement to begin. During this time period policing was highly inefficient, and extremely understaffed. With the vast areas that needed to be covered supervision was not only weak but in some cases completely absent, and with the use of primitive communication or lack there of, police/citizen relationships did not exist and during and emergency, a citizen would be forced to go out and find an officer in the streets. To add to this already...
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