Vollmer

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Justin Magsombol
CJ 151
December 16, 2009
WEEK 1
Who is August Vollmer?

August Vollmer was a man who developed police professionalism. In 1905, he became a town marshal in Berkley, California. In a world with police corruption, he tried to maintain the practice of professionalism.

Vollmer commanded a group of three deputies. His first task was to expand his group, so he went from three officers to twelve officers. In doing this, it allowed for a day and a night shift. Vollmer was the first chief to send his men to patrol the areas on bicycles. It made it a lot easier for officers to respond, as opposed to responding to a call on foot.

While arresting criminals, Vollmer began to question them and trying to figure out how and why the crime was made. He realized that they all used their own different methods of operation. This is known as modus operandi. Aside from this, he also made a connection between crime and scientific knowledge. He figured this out while he was investigating a suicide, in which he thought it was a homicide. By 1917, Vollmer had his whole police force operating out of cars. Berkley Police Department was the only department in the whole country to be operating mobile patrol. In 1921, Vollmer’s group of officers experimented with lie detector. Aside from that, they invented the first radio car with a crystal set and earphones.

In 1908, August Vollmer discovered the idea of police school. It was formal training on how to become a police officer. It taught methods such as: fingerprinting, police methods and procedures, public health, sanitation, etc. While he ran the school, he tried to learn more about pharmacology and bacteria. After that, he became a full-time criminalist and was in charge of the criminal investigation lab.

In 1923, he was highly sought after. The Los Angeles police department wanted him to become chief. They wanted him to help turn around the city because there was so much police corruption,...
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