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Policing Essay

3748 words - 15 pages

TABLE OF CONTENTSI. Introduction.................................................................................3II. Political Eras1) Political Era.............................................................................32) Reform Era............................................................................43) Community Era.........................................................................8III. Policing Today..............................................................................9IV. Bibliography...............................................................................13Introduction: A Glance into the HistorySince the dawn of our country and up to the present time, the schedule of the policing forces was very precise: to support and enforce the law in out community. In order to understand the challenges policing faces today we need to look a bit a its history. Certainly , the way policing bodies operate today had gone through the changes from first forces of police in early America. The enforcement of law had undergone many trends, which still appear now. The enforcement of law can be organized by three main eras of the history. These eras include political era, reform era, and the community era.Political EraThe political era dates back to the years 1840-1930, that were characterized by five directions: the authority that originated from politicians and law; a broad function of the social service; the decentralized organization; cherished relationships with community, and the widespread use of the foot patrol. The drawback to the political era was that the police derived the authority from politics and law, and the close connection with politics was considered to be a problem. For instance, in New York, the first police chief was not able to dismiss officers under his command. The term of the chief lasted only year. Subsequently, any early cop of New York, being firmly supported by an alderman and an assistant alderman, could refuse to comply a police superior with a virtual impunity. "So while the British were firing bobbies left and right for things like showing up late for work, wearing disorderly uniforms, and behaving discourteously to citizens, American police were assaulting superior officers, refusing to go on patrol, extorting money from prisoners, and releasing prisoners from custody of other officers..." Klockars (1985, p. 42) Needless to say that corruption became a big problem in American law enforcement. Probably the biggest factor that underlined the problem of corruption during this era was the soils system, whose motto was, "To the victor go the spoils." This resulted in gross political interference with policing. For example, the winning party was under the impression that its members should be immune from arrest and given special privileges in naming favorites for promotions and they assisted in carrying out personal vendettas against other political opponents.So what happened is that this system led to...

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