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"The History of Modern Policing"
The History of Modern Policing
Gina Allred
American policing is a product of English heritage. The English contributed three factors into American policing, which were; limited police authority (i.e. The Bill of Rights), tradition of local control of law enforcement agencies, and a highly decentralized and fragmented system of law enforcement. Sir Robert Peel is the "father of modern policing, who was a member of England's elite social and political class. The 1780 Gordon riots triggered a 50 year debate over the need for better public safety in England. Due to the effective plans of Peel, officers became known as "Bobbies." The new mission of policing was crime prevention. Peel borrowed the organization structure of the London police from the military, including uniforms, rank designations, and the authoritarian system of command and discipline.

The American colonists created law enforcement institutions as soon as they established organized communities. There was a sheriff, who was appointed by the governor, which was the chief local government official. His responsibilities included collecting taxes, conducting elections, maintaining bridges and roads, among other things. The watch and the constable were also part of the law enforcement of this time. These officials were reactive agencies, who only responded to complaints brought to them, and did not engage in patrol. Crime victims had no convenient way of reporting crimes; officers patrolled on foot, and had no way of communicating with one another in case of trouble.

Modern police were established in the United States in the 1830s and 1840s. The reasoning behind the new ways of policing was the ethnic riots of this time period. The police officers did not wear uniforms or carry weapons during the early stages of United States policing. The nineteenth century had no personnel standards. Men had no education, poor health, and criminal records, all the officers were handed was a badge,...

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