Police Administration Evolution in the U.S.A
In the United States, the origin of modern policing is directly linked to its English heritage. The English law enforcement introduced the idea of sheriff’s development, constables, the posse, crime prevention as well as community policing as illustrated by Swanson (2016). In his book, Police Administration, structures, processes and Behaviors, Swanson highlights changes major significant changes in the police administration. In the dawn of 900 A.D, the law enforcement role was placed in the common citizen. It was the responsibility of every citizen to help neighbors who were the victim of thieves as well as outlaws (Craig, 2018). Individuals used the state-sanctioned force to maintain social control because there was no police. Policing took two forms in early colonies, communal as well as informal. The watch, or also termed as the private-for-profit policing was the commonly used in this era. The system was established in Boston, over 350 years ago. In 1630, colonist settled in the area, and local ordinances permitted the appointment of the constables. The begging of modern-day policing in the United States began in the era (Dunham and Alpert, 2015). Technological advancement has played a critical role in structuring police departed in the United States and changing the manner in which police operates. The introduction of the internet, data storages as well as the use of DNA as evidence are some of the modern practices employed by police in maintaining role and order. The term paper will focus on identifying the changes in the police administration from the 17th century to the 21st century. In addition to that, the manner in which the changes in the administration has enhanced police operations, effectiveness and response will be discussed. A comprehensive and detailed approach will be employed to evaluate changes in police administrations that have contributed to the modern day policing.
The adoption of American Police System from England
The development of the American Police force was out of mimicking the development of London police force in a selective manner. Industrial revolution in America and England had a great impact in terms of development in the two regions. The cities that massively flourished economically was London and New York (Craig, 2018). Not only did the economy expand but also the population grew and this was in the mid to the late 1700’s. More vehicles were made, more factories were established and the market grew on and on. The growth if the industry had its advantages economically and it also had its demerits. With enormous development came along issues associated with security which made life tough for the inhabitants of the city. Theft regarding burglary and pickpocketing together with riots and protests related to reduced wages and sewage control were often experienced. It, therefore, dawned on the city in higher social class ranking that it was time to seek for more security measures because the available ones such as the constable security system proved to be unreliable.
Some of the alternatives that were sought by the people in the city of London where the use of the army, recruiting citizens who were law-abiding, and the use of the militia. The alternatives were not working as they were only temporary means of preventing chaos in the city. It was not until in the proposal of creating a police force was brought on the table for discussion by three men; Bentham, Colquhoun and the Fielding’s. The people in opposition to the police formation though that it would give the government more power in ruling over the people with force and not democratically. Several debates surrounded the issue, and it was not until the London Metropolitan Police Act was passed in 1829 (Craig, 2018). The passed act entailed the establishment of a uniformed police force that would work full time. The main objective of the police force was to maintain order in the city through patrolling. The police had to gain the trust of the people before being allowed to maintain the law. The uniforms chosen for wear were navy blue to represent the polite, restrained and disciplined nature of the police force. Increased crime rate and dispute affiliated to ethnicity and race pushed the Americans to develop a police force that was at first not allowed to put on uniforms. The American police force followed municipal and local governments system.
The establishment of New Police System
Wilson (1951), wrote an article, Progress in police administration, focused on key changes in police administration in 18th as well as the 9th century. He stated that changes in the department of police in the United States don’t indicate progress but the police effectiveness in accomplishing the policy goals as well as objectives. This involves effective in identifying the criminal. Various by the police to carry out their duties effectively makes a law-abiding person less satisfied. Progress in police administration can be evaluated through public evaluation.
In 1829, England implemented the first improved and a more reliable police force. It was a more centralized, a stronger police force. The objective was to deter crimes from taking place instead of reacting when crimes occurred. In the United States, the first independent, a 24 hours police force were introduced in 1833 (The National Law Enforcement Museum, 2018). In the same year, the introduction of the similar police force also took place. In 1845, New York police department was introduced, and it employed the use of same criteria. Political leaders appointed police chiefs to head police departments. The duties of police chiefs included the overseeing of all the activities within the department. In addition to that, they were also responsible for formulating policies as well as objectives aimed at preventing the occurrence of crime. This can be considered as the origin of the modern day policing.
The American Police System in 20th Century
In the 20th century, much as past functions and forms are still being used, the American police force has dramatically evolved. Due to the technological advancement in the world, the American police force has changed concerning its political governance and social organization. The changes are regarding increased access to information systems by personnel, mobilization of officers in patrol and organization in the area of command. A lot of change has been marked with the onset of bureaucratization (Swanson, 2016). Problem-oriented and community based policing have changed the way the police in given regions conduct their duties and responsibilities. The development of the FBI was one of the changes noticed during this century which was highly respected because the agents were believed to be professional, well trained, honest and well educated. The FBI was admired by local police departments which also wanted to wage war on crime in a way that was almost similar to the FBI’s. In the 1920’s patrol cars enabled wide coverage and the use of telephones further brought in rapid response because people from different locales could call at any time.
The modern police administration in the United States
Today, comprehensive research, scientific discoveries as well as technological advancement has played a critical role in improving the law enforcement agencies. This has been made possible by introducing innovative techniques, training an equipment’s in an attempt to maintain law and order (Swanson, 2016). Modern police administrations are divided into different sections. A team of specialized experts heads each section. For instance, the forensic unit or division is composed of forensic expert’s professionals that responsible for correcting as well as analyzing forensic evidence such as traces of DNA evidence, fingerprints among others. This has played an essential role in improving services delivery. Most police departments are under the local governments. The federal government controls investigative and sophisticated units such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) among others.
In the book, Police Administration, structures, processes and Behaviors, Swanson addresses major changes in the police administration. With more than 35 years, Swanson addresses changes that can be done in various police departments in ensuring effective and efficient operations. He addresses the changes in modern policing and law enforcement in general. According to Swanson, the police department’s needs to be organized in sections that facilitate smooth as well as effective operations. These are some of the changes in administrations that can ensure smooth operations in these departments.
Craig, Uchida. (2018). The development of the American police: an historical overview 1.
Dunham, R. G., ; Alpert, G. P. (2015). Critical issues in policing: Contemporary readings. Waveland Press.
Swanson, C., Territo, L., ; Taylor, R. (2016). Police administration (9th ed.). Pearson.
The National Law Enforcement Museum. (2018). The Early Days of American Law Enforcement. Retrieved from http://www.nleomf.org/museum/news/newsletters/online-insider/2012/April-2012/early-days-american-law-enforcement-april-2012.html
Wilson, O. W. (1951). Progress in police administration. The Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science, 42(2), 141-154.