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History And Structure Of Policing Essay

1232 words - 5 pages

Many people know of the police officers of today’s world and that it is their job to enforce the laws set by their government, but not many people know the history of your typical everyday United States police officer or how they came about. The idea for neither your everyday police officer nor his or her department they work for or how a police department operates, originated in the United States. Over the years though America has made changes and adapted its system over the years to make it more suitable for its countries beliefs and practices.
Police forces or Law enforcers have been used for centuries all around the world but America took particular interest in the English’s policing system. America’s policing ideas and process began based off the British model. Back in the early 1200’s when Britain first started its law enforcement program it was very unorganized and wasn’t by any means serving “justice” to its people. Trials to determine if someone was innocent or guilty were very rare, and when they did occur innocence and guilt wasn’t proven but assumed that the offender to just be guilty. This would in most cases cause the “offender” to become the victim by having public executions which normally involved torture and other inhumane practices to the victim. In the late 1200’s however British law practices started to change and become more organize and fair. A set of four rules that would become to be known as the Statue of Winchester that set the guide lines that would create a watch and ward system in English cities and towns that would codify earlier police systems and practices. Meanwhile, in the early eighteenth century in London, Henry Fielding dubbed a force of dedicated English police officers as the Bow Street Runners. Bow Street Runners were known to be the best and most disciplined law enforcement agents in London. In 1829 a force of new police officers dubbed the “bobbies” formed under the command of Sir Robert (Bob) Peel. It is this particular model that today’s day and age modern-day police forces throughout the Western world. (Schmalleger)
The frontier played a major role in the development of law enforcement in America. It was a safe haven for bandits and outlaws, it was so large and unknown, making in near impossible to enforce the laws of the land. Taking the law into one’s own hands or vigilantism was common for those trying to take advantage of the spread out hand of the law throughout the United States. In America’s larger cities law enforcement came about earlier. In 1658, paid watchmen were hired by the city of New York. The city of New York constructed the first neighborhood station in 1731. Many American communities followed their lead. New York’s Law enforcement was separated into night and day forces, hired to be like the “Bobbies”, they were combined into the New York Police Department. The first woman police officer came from the Los Angela’s Police Department in 1910; her name was Alice Stebbins Wells. By...

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