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Law Enforcement: History of Policing

Trace the history of policing from the Metropolitan Police Department in England to early American law enforcement.

Explain some of the reasons that led to the establishment of organized police departments.
Explain how early American departments were influenced by the British Metropolitan Police Department.
Explain how early American law enforcement differed from the Metropolitan Police Department.
Compare today's police with the early forms of the police in England and the United States.
Policing serves two distinct functions: proactive and reactive.

Describe a community-based policing program of your state. Discuss in detail the program's effectiveness in crime prevention.

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Trace the history of policing from the Metropolitan Police Department in England to early American law enforcement.

The history of Robert Peels Metropolitan Police and early American law enforcement are intertwined. Peel's police was borne out of a continuation to keep control over the poor and to provide protection against the lower classes for higher classes. Before Peel's reforms and during the Middle Ages, serfs would be controlled by "knights" who on behalf of the King would crush any uprisings by serfs against the King. This same logic was used in a different context by Peels' Metropolitan Police wherein the main task of the force was not crime detection but rather moralization of the poorer classes to ensure that they conformed to the new employers of the Industrial Age wishes. The new Industrial barons became the wealthy elite and this rich class was fearful of the lower classes who were their employees and therefore, policing became a way to enforce regulations and laws that would ensure that these employees would be conditioned to work on time, refrain from vices, and conform to the ruling elites wishes.

Many poor people from rural areas began migrating to big cities such as London during the Industrial revolution, and were living in crowded "ghettos" where social actions such as prostitution, public drunkenness, and other vices were common. To pacify the ruling elites such as Industrial barons and the Royal Crown, Peel conducted a policy of focusing his forces attention on these areas of the city where poor people lived to moralize their behavior in accordance with the wishes of the ruling elite. This was the impetus for American policing as well because the Industrial Revolution also ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses law enforcement and the history of policing.