American Policing History Essay Sample
Demand for order the world over brought about the need for policing and the development of law enforcement agencies. In the early stages of formation and development of the United States, citizens were solely responsible for policing in their various communities. Citizens watched over their peace until the mid 19th century when volunteers came forward to help in the provision of social services that ensured that law and order were maintained. But over time things changed, and communities started choosing a few people, specifically men, who were to oversee the provision of security and other services meant to ensure coexistence among community members (Gest 2000). As it is, policing and other law enforcers took over local militia who had been tasked with the maintenance of law and order. The need to have a well organized policing and law enforcement systems coupled with technological advancements, necessary reform, economic and need for progress called for a more organized system that could take full responsibility for law and order in the United States, aside from that, technological revolutions and the outbreak of wars made it necessary to have an active police unit in place.
Over the years crime rates went high, and there were security threats from within and outside of the United States. It needs to be remembered that wars were breaking out, and it was the law enforcement agencies and soldiers who were recruited to protect the American territory. Before reaching out to volunteers to be recruited as soldiers to go and fight in the wars the United States was involved in, the first people who were called upon were law enforcers. There was a need for their participation, and they came in handy especially when volunteers going to the war front were limited. At the time, America was also a developing nation and was struggling with issues that were a threat to its progress and development (Roark et al. 2013).
Today, the American police force boasts of being among the best in the world. The attempts of Progressives in the 20th century ensured that the police force became centralized, and their work streamlined to concentrate on fighting crime, something that is seen in present day policing. There was a need for police professionalism and between 1910 and 1960; the reform model that was implemented oversaw so much improvement in the police sector (Monkkonen 2004). The role played by the police today has seen a tremendous change for over a century. It has been a long walk that saw the use of the telegraph and telephone for communication, as well as bicycle and automobile as a means of transport for patrol. The police have also over the years incorporated the use of patrol vehicles and scientific crime detection technology that has improved its service delivery to Americans.
Gest, T. (2000). Crime and Politics: Big Governemt’s Eratic Campaign For Law and Order. New York: Oxford University Press.
Monkkonen, E. H. (2004). Police in Urban America. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Reith, C. (1956). A New Study of Police History. New York: Oxford University Press
Roark, J. L., Johnson, M. P., Cohen, P. C., Stage, S. & Hartmann, S. M. (2013). The American Promise: A Concise History. 5th ed. Boston, MA: Bedford/ St. Martins.