Researching The History Of America Criminology Essay

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The purpose of this project is to conduct thorough research regarding the history of policing techniques that have been historically used within the United States. There have been many different types of policing techniques used in the criminal justice system since the dawning of time. Some of the techniques used have been very History is a very important part of modern day life and law and should be studied in dept.

The History of America's Law Enforcement

The purpose of this project is to conduct thorough research regarding the history of policing techniques that have been historically used within the United States. There have been many different types of policing techniques used in the criminal justice system since the dawning of time. Some of the techniques used have been very History is a very important part of modern day life and law and should be studied in dept.

Various types of policing strategies have existed throughout history. It was seen very early by many rulers that structure and safety must be established. Different communities have chose to act in multiple ways to restore order and reduce crime. Some of the practices that are used today were used throughout history, others have been adapted by looking at history different ways that crime can be handled.

Literature Review

Roberts and Robertson (2009) provided readers with information regarding organizational behavior when used in criminal justice. The authors reported that communities are stronger when they have more ties to other networks, by being stronger, these communities avoid high amounts of criminal behavior. Roberts and Robertson informed readers that the development of technology has aided police officers in doing their job, however as much as the technology appears to have helped, may have also hindered. The authors provided information from two different scientific studies that suggest investigators and detectives lack knowledge in many areas, because of this they are compensating with technology, which may or may not be beneficial.

Lentz and Chatres (2007) provided readers with information regarding the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829 and Sir Robert Peel's policing principles. The authors reported that both of these developments made an impression on policing systems in the United States, London, and many other areas across the nations. Lentz and Chatres informed readers that the Metropolitan Act of 1829 was organized in order to replace a highly disorganized system that consisted of mainly constables and watchmen. Sir Robert Peel headed the reconstruction of the previous system that existed. Peel brought forth a new system that consisted of the London Bobbies, who were known to many as the Peelers. The authors also addressed numerous points and facts regarding the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829. Sir Robert Peel made changes by following nine basic principles. The main purpose for police is to prevent social disorder as well as crime. Police are influenced by the public view, their view, and what they hope to see happen. Peel felt that in order for each system to work the police must work together with the public and their needs. No physical force should be used unless there are no other options. Police need to act in a manner that allows the public to see that they are also members of the community and want what is best for the community.

Sharp (2005) offered readers information about many different policing strategies and historical movements which have taken place in the past. Many of the historical policing strategies have only worked for small periods of time because of so much change that has existed in many communities. Sharp reported that the policing strategies that are used depend highly on the type of population that is being dealt with. The author felt that when developing new or different policing strategies an eclectic approach is best used. By using an eclectic approach many different theories and ideas can be combined to control crime. Sharp also suggested that policy makers should be culturally competent because of the diversity within the community.

Waldrep (2008) wrote about the criminal justice system and various changes that have taken place in the last two-hundred years. He focused a great deal of time explaining how the criminal justice system was developed. Waldrep explained that historically members of the community were urged to take matters into their own hands, this caused inhumane treatment of criminals as well as difficult problems in the communities. The author also focused a great deal of time offering several explanations as to why different policing strategies may not have worked for certain communities.

Stummvoll (2009) wrote about environmental criminology and the steps that need to be taken in order to make a community safer. Different communities use different policing techniques and these techniques must be based on the needs of the community. Stummvoll reported that crime is different in every area. Some areas suffer from high prostitution rates and murder while other areas may suffer from high rates of theft and drug trafficking; crime in rural areas verses crime in large cities are two very different categories and must be looked at differently. Stummvoll gave reader information on crime, policing, and criminal justice systems throughout the United States and explained that environmental criminology is the key to reducing crime in many areas. Stummvoll reported that he does not agree with many of the new theories that have been developed and he is not impressed with this generation's reliance on new technology to solve problems.

Jiao (1997) gave readers information regarding many historical crime models that were used to restore order and reduce crime. The author gave readers several explanations as to why these models may not have worked. Jiao developed a new model that be believed would be very beneficial to the modern day criminal justice system. Jiao focused much of his writing on the criminal justice system in the United States, as well as Asia. Jiao compared and contrasted several of the successes, as well as failures between the two countries and their criminal justice systems.

Grinc (1994) explained that many police departments have been unsuccessful at organizing and maintaining their involvement with the community, which causes problems with the community's relationship with police authority. The author explained to readers that in order to have change, the police departments must be willing to change as well, which is something that many police departments will not take part in. Grinc reported that a community will not make affective changes unless they see effort from city and county officials. Grinc reported that the communities that are suffering with problems in the area of law enforcement should review historical documents which could help to make certain changes, as many of the historical models appear to have controlled crime relatively good. Grinc provided readers with a summary of past policing models used in many different areas.

Rosenbaum and Lurigo (1994) explained that in order to serve each community to the best ability, ongoing evaluations need to be completed. The authors reported that this method has been used in several of the communities in New York, and the outcome has been a greatly reduced crime rate. Rosenbaum and Lurigo reported that most likely the reason for crime reduction is because the community feels as if their opinion matters when community evaluations are being used, thus reporting more suspicions of crime such as drug trafficking. The authors explained that this may be why community policing may have been more affective in many areas.

Emsley (1999) focused much of his writing on policing strategies and crime prevention in Early America and London. The author reported that Sir Robert Peel and the London Bobbies were developed to reduce the crime and control social order in London because of the failed system that existed previously. The London Bobbies consisted of individuals of the community who were adamant in their beliefs that something different needed to be done. Sir Robert Peel believed that the best way to reduce crime was to patrol the community on a regular basis so that crime would be minimal and law breakers could be punished quickly.

Henderson (2009) directed his writing toward the history of policing in America. Two of the milestones in American history regarding policing are the North West Mounted Police established in 1873 and the Texas Rangers founded in 1874. The author reported that these two groups were a reflection of Sir Robert Peel and the London Bobbies because many of the principles and beliefs were common, such as community involvement and constant patrol. Henderson explained that there were great amounts of crime throughout the Great Plains and the state of Texas, with crime comes many problems, the North West Mounted Police helped to restore order in the communities by vigorously patrolling the area.


The History of Policing from Egypt to America

Early records discovered from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia suggested that there were many police forces that were responsible for controlling social order and stopping crime. Ancient kings and pharaohs appointed people from the community as officials to oversee certain tasks. These officials were in charge of patrolling areas of high crime, making arrests, and many times were left to punish the individuals for the crimes that they had committed. Because of the period of time and unfound documentation it is difficult to understand exactly what other tasks these individuals were responsible for. One piece of information has indicated that these individuals were responsible for maintaining a positive relationship with individuals of the community. Stumvoll explained that many areas like to use outsiders as law enforcement individuals, and this rarely works, as many communities would rather have people from the community controlling their fate. Many police departments still use this principle and will not employee individuals from outside of the community. Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia are the earliest written records that have been found at this time. Stumvoll further explained that many high officials and social classes are treated differently because of their social class, this was not the case in the world of ancient Egypt, nobody was above the law. (Stumvoll, 2009).

Information from the ancient Romans suggested that the same group of individuals who were used for the public were also used for military policing. These groups were known as centurions. Centurions were members of the Roman Army who were trained as professional officers, usually divided in groups of eighty to one hundred. These men were usually elected or appointed by the Senate. The role of centurions was to oversee various communities, as well as serve in the military during times of war. Most of these men were trusted by the community, thus creating a positive relationship. The structure of Roman policing has been used for thousands of years, many modern day theorists suggest that police officers who build a trusting relationship with the community are more than likely going to be proactive in the reduction of crime. (Emsley, 1999).

In England, approximately 1000 A.D police functions were the responsibility of members of the community who were appointed by the king. Individuals with the responsibility of policing were directed by constables who were also appointed by the king. The work of these officers were carried out twenty-four hours a day, seven days week, which is very similar to the way law enforcement in American is conducted at this time. Certain individuals were responsible for night shift and others were responsible for day shift. This is the first documentation that has suggested that officers were available at all times (Emsley, 1999).

There are many similarities, as well as differences between the law enforcement in England and America. Many practices that were used in England were also used as the colonies in America were established. The watchman system carried forward onto America, this system used members of the community to patrol the area in rotating shifts, and this expanded throughout each colony. Some of the colonies utilized criminals as their guards, this was in lieu of their punishment, this idea did not last long because many of the criminal were allowing their friends to commit crimes without reporting them to officials (Lentz, 2007).

Sir Robert Peel made great impact the field of criminal justice by introducing the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829. With the Metropolitan Act, Peel headed the first structured police force, the London Bobbies. The London Bobbies consisted of approximately 6,000 men who were in charge of policing the London area. The impact of what Robert Peel developed has made an impression on the past, present, and possibly the future because so many of the principles and beliefs are common with current policing strategies across several countries. Peel believed that officers must come from the community in order to fully understand what needs to change as well as develop trust of the citizens. Crime prevention was very high on the list of Peel's priorities, so that fewer resources are wasted. Peel also believed that no official of the law should act partial to any party, because this could hinder the relationship with the public (Lentz, 2007).

In the early 1800's there were many problems in Texas regarding the Indian culture and their raids on other populations. Stephen Austin and later the Texas Rangers were determined to protect the community from raids by the Indians. They also began to capture criminals and patrol the area intruders other than the Indians. In 1835 twenty additional men were added to the Texas rangers by Stephen Austin. When different situations arose volunteers from the community assisted the Texas Rangers in their battle against crime. Because of Stephen Austin and the stand that he took against crime the Texas Rangers are still active throughout the state of Texas, investigating cattle theft, and many other crimes (Henderson, 2009).

The North West Mounted Police were established in 1873 in Canada. The group was formed to patrol the Canadian border for trespassers and restore order throughout the country. The North West Mounted Police assisted Indians in relocating to the Indian Reservations, they also helped many other outsiders get settled in. In 1920 the North West Mounted Police combined with the Dominion Police, the group become known as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are still used today to police Canada (Henderson, 2009).

During the 1930s and 1940s in the United States crime rates started rising. Due to the higher crime rates, many communities started focusing most of their attention on lowering crime rates the most efficient way possible. Many state and county officials felt that officers should not directly be policing each community and should only respond to direct calls to the police. Officers began to be housed in one central area instead of various locations within the community. The new system brought many changes and several of the community programs that the police were involved in to reduce crime were closed, which lead to more crime, especially with the juvenile population. Many communities started judging the efficiency of the police by how quickly they could respond to a crime scene rather than the rise or fall of crime rates (Emsley, 1999).

Many studies have been completed since regarding effective policing strategies. Community policing is by far more popular than the policing strategies that were developed in the 1930s and 1940s. Because of the lack of community policing in many areas fewer prevention programs existed, which may have led to more rise in crime. The new way of policing also posed an additional problem which was unseen at the time; because of the lack of community involvement, community relationships began to deplete and many communities began to turn toward one another rather than the police. Because of the results of these scientific studies, many communities have resorted back to community policing and it appears to be more beneficial than the policing tactics used in the 1930s and 1940s, as it offers not only response to direct problems, but it offers crime prevention as well (Grinc, 1994).


Depending of the area and the era, policing strategies are ever changing. Every community does things differently because they which is strategies are best for them. Policing dates back to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, later Sir Robert Peel founded the first formal police department, because of this the views of law enforcement were expanded. These historical recordings are two very important milestones in the criminal justice system. Without information from historical documents and Sir Robert Peel the criminal justice system may not have developed to what it has become today. Police officers and the work that they complete is a very import in the criminal justice systems throughout the United States and other parts of the world. Law enforcement officers have many responsibilities; the criminal justice system could not operate without these individuals.

Many of the policing strategies that are currently used are based on the principles of Sir Robert Peel.

Throughout history there have been many different types of policing strategies that have been used. The United States is known as the melting pot, this is because people from so many places have settled here. Many different cultures exist in the United States, along with different cultures there are also different beliefs. The United States is a very diverse place; because of this many different types of people govern over the lives of the citizens. It appears that the United States has taken information from various places across the world, therefore they have their pick of many different policing theories to choose from. The United States uses different policing strategies in every city, county, and state.