Friday, June 5, 2020

History of Police in the United States Essay - 825 Words

History of Police in the United States (Essay Sample) Content: History of Police in the United StatesName:Institution:History of Police in the United StatesThe United States of America inherited most of its governmental structures from the colonial England. The policing authority was one of the primary governance units that developed in US just as in England (Dempsey Forst, 2011). For over the ages, police units in the two countries have been developing progressively. There are various factors that influenced the development of police authority in US, including the social, legal, political and economic factors. The following is a review of the history of the US police unit.The organized system of law enforcement in America was formed in 1630s. As Zedner (2006) elaborates, this early system was made of volunteers who would be paid privately by the community for the services rendered. The local authorities' first initiative to form a police unit begun in Boston in 1631 in which they formed a squad called the watch. The watch was m ade up a constable and six watchmen whose primary role was night patrols. However, members of the community would volunteer to join the watch in night patrols to maintain order. Similar to the modern day police system, the watch would respond to community's distress calls that were marked by loud cries. They would then undertake to pursue and arrest suspects, hand them over to the constable who would take them to court. Other roles of the constable also included sustaining health and sanitation as well as partnering with the constables in pursuing lawbreakers. Away from Boston City, the sparingly populated rural had no watch system. Such areas were left under the exclusive management of a government representative known as sheriff (Zedner, 2006). The colonial governors were the sheriff's appointing authority and would issue orders to their appointees accordingly. Similar to the watch, sheriffs were not entitled to a regular pay; however, they would be paid for an accomplishment of a task. Their roles included collecting taxes and bringing suspects to courts. Following the success of the sheriffs and the watch system in Boston, other cities followed suit to establish the watch law enforcement systems.By 1700, the US economy had grown significantly. There were a lot of activities, both in the local cities and overseas trading. There was increased migration even as more and more people moved from rural areas to settle in urban places. As result, there were increased incidences of crimes and social problems. The watch was now dealing with unprecedented lawlessness such as public drunkenness and prostitution. As the responsibilities of the watch team increased, the volunteers felt misused and withdrew their services. This meant more work for few people, prompting the government to establish a policing system.By 1800, regional governments began to upgrade the law enforcement unit to a more efficient and stronger 24-hours police system. This improved system was first implemented in England in 1829, a replica of which would later be copied in US cities five years down the line. The new police unit was legal full-time employees of the government. They earned a salary of $2 per shift and were forbidden from accepting outside job offers (Zedner, 2006). Although they did not enjoy state of the art equipment, their working conditions and tools of work were far much better from the watch error.As the US economy and technology improved, so did the police system. The growth of means of communication and transport facilities greatly enhanced the effectiveness of the police department. By the end of the 19th century, the police department could offer life rescue services such as ambulance and firefighting. They also provided temporary accommodation to city immigrants who moved into the city from rural areas or foreign countries.By early 20th century, the roles of the police authority were nearly attaining the present status. However, police recruits, in collaboration with human right activist began to campaign for the respect of the polices rights. In 1919, for example, the Boston Police unit went on a strike to protest low wages and poor working condition. They also sought the recognition of the police's trade union, just as was with any other public servants. Although the government responded to the protest by granting some of their demands, the police unit worked under deplorable condition for relatively long time. For instance, the first state of the art police facility was built in 1997 by the Boston police department. The well-being of the police, just like any other human labor force, has a direct impact their effectiveness. Therefore, different sociologists joined to lobby the government to better the working conditions of the police. Also, some of the government officials were at the forefro...

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