History of Police
August 4, 2012
History of Police
He was an important political leader in England and the “father” of modern policing. Robert Peel fought for over 30 years to improve law enforcement and finally, in 1829, persuaded the English Parliament to create the London Metropolitan Police. This police department is recognized as the first modern police force (Walker & Katz, 2011). This English heritage is what produced American policing. The three core elements that Peel introduced back in 1829 are what make up the structure of the police forces we see today. These core elements are mission, strategy, and organizational structure (Walker & Katz, 2011). The mission of Peel’s police force was crime prevention. That is the mission of today’s police force. Before the creation of the Metropolitan Police force, all enforcement was performed after a crime was committed. Peel realized that is was better to “prevent crime than to respond after the fact” (Walker & Katz, 2011). Peel introduced the idea of preventive patrol. This was his strategy for the mission of crime prevention. He believed in a visible police presence and implemented the idea of officers patrolling a fixed “beat” or area (Walker & Katz, 2011). This idea is still in implementation today although it is usually accomplished by police patrolling in vehicles, rather than on foot. Peel borrowed from the military ideals for his organizational structure. “This included a hierarchical organization, uniforms, rank designations, and a authoritarian system of command and discipline” (Walker & Katz, 2011). We see this style of organization in American police department still used today. Peel introduced nine basic principles, often referred to as the “Peelian Principles” back in 1829 as a kind of code of ethics for the police departments. These nine principles are still cited as the basic foundation of current law enforcement...
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