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Community Policing Essay

2089 words - 9 pages

Contrast of Pre-Community Policing and Current Community Policing
The start of the three eras of policing came about in 1845 with the organization of police departments in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York. New York was the first city to have paid police officers. New York stockbrokers went to England and returned with a model for policing derived from the London Metropolitan Police Act of 1829 (Jackson, 2006. Pg. 14) The London Metropolitan Police Act originated from Sir Robert Peel. Peel provided the organization of police activities in a professional, non-hostile manner. Once the American society initiated this Peelian style of policing, the police officers partially followed Peel’s principles. The officers remained professional at all times, did not carry guns, and were expected to interact with the residents of the community. Now with an organization structure and a way to accomplish policing in an effective way, we now move into the Political era of policing.
Political Era: The Political Era of policing began in 1840 and ended in 1930. The early American police were governed by their local government. American police departments did not have what their British counterparts had, a central authority of the crown to establish a legitimate, unifying mandate for their enterprise (Kelling & Moore, 1988, Pg. 3). Police in America received their authorization and resources from local political leaders, who often politicians. Officers were guided by the law as to what tasks to undertake and what powers to utilize. Officer’s links to the neighborhoods and local politicians was so tight that both Jordan and Fogelson refer to the early police as adjuncts to local political machines (Kelling & Moore, 1988, Pg. 3). The relationship between officer and political leader was reciprocal, political machines recruited and maintained police in office and on the beat, while the police helped political leaders maintain their offices by encouraging citizens to vote for certain candidates, and at times assisting in rigging elections. During this time police did provide an assortment of services to citizens. Police departments were involved in crime prevention and control and order maintenance and provided a variety of social services. Kelling and Moore (1988) stated that n the late 1800’s municipal police departments ran soup lines, provided temporary lodging for newly arrived immigrant workers in stations houses; assisted ward leaders in finding work for immigrants, both in police and other forms of work.
Reform Era: The Reform Era of policing began in 1930 and ended in 1970. In the political era police were controlled by local politicians and much conflict arose between urban reformers and the local ward leaders (politicians) to gain control of the police toward the late 19th century and early 20th century. Nineteenth-century attempts by civilians to reform police organizations by applying external pressures largely failed; 20th century attempts at reform,...

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