History of Law Enforcement
History has proved that safety is vital for the prosperity of a society. Law enforcement is associated with every part of life. Health, education, wealth are all affected by the good or bad security. Early man realized this in time and this was the birth of law enforcement. Law enforcement existed in many traditional communities even before civilization. Numerous traditional communities had a crude form of law enforcement. This policing was aimed at maintaining morals and protecting the community from their enemies. The law enforcement was guided by religious beliefs and general community law. This was important since it is in human nature to engage in crime and dangerous acts.
Researchers record evidence that early man used in-groupings as a form of survival. This offered protection against wild animals and other enemies (Lawrence 2012). The youngest and strongest men in the group were responsible for protecting the groups acting as modern policemen do. These groups later led to the development of tribes that led to the need of a more intricate security agency. As communities grew, the voluntary community protection service was not enough. The leaders started assigning duties to abled men in the community to act as their protectors. This led to classes of families that were primarily for the protection purposes.
Early in time, people engaged in cannibalism, and human sacrifice. In addition, sons used to kill their fathers to engage in sexual activity with their mothers (Lawrence 2012). This posed as a threat to the weak members of the community who would be targeted in these activities. This called for a formal kind of restriction for their protection. The first known form of documented law was the Ten Commandments that protected the women and the weak. In these times, the families of the perpetrators were responsible for punishing their defaulting family members. The punishment included flogging, banishment, and in other occasions death.
Law enforcement was initially delegated by the territorial leaders. Later on, regional leaders like Pharaohs and emperors controlled the activity of law enforcement officers. Strong men in the community offered their services to their leaders as a way of appreciation and as national duty and not as a career. The leaders turned the law enforcement agencies into personal armies and this led to corruption in the system. Notably, law enforcement agencies have never recovered from these vices.
The most noteworthy early law enforcement rules were documented by the Chinese, Jews, Romans and Babylonians. Chinese used the penal code, the Indians used the Code of Manu, and the Romans used the Romans Digest while the Babylonians used the Code of Hummurambi (Ardley, Taylor, McLintock, Martin, & Leonard 2012). In 2325 AD, England used the Magna Carta which is the foundation of the modern police system in England, United States and many other countries all over the world (Ardley, Taylor, McLintock, Martin, & Leonard 2012).
In the 12th century, England resolved disputes in their organized protection groups. It comprised of ten families who devoted their lives to protecting their community and giving justice equally. This was known as the tithing system. In larger communities groups were consolidate to almost a hundred families. This was commonly known as the shire (Duckett 2012). His was the beginning of modern law enforcement agencies as we know them today.
Agrarian revolution led to an influx of criminal activities and the need for a more defined system was evident. Organized crime became rampant and the shire system was not enough. This led to the constabulary era. In the 13th century, constables were appointed in each parish for organizing protection in an area (Duckett 2012). The constable was responsible for drafting watchmen who were supposed to avail themselves whenever the need arose. These unpaid personnel were required to safeguard cities and pursue criminals.
In the United States, there grew a different form of law enforcement agency. The southern slave patrols developed around this time. The body was responsible for control of slaves in the region. It was infamous for flogging and terrorizing slaves (Campbell, & Campbell 2010). They developed prohibitions for the slaves like holding meetings, travelling away from the plantations, and education. This police group crumbled after the liberation of the slaves.
The industrial revolution brought forth the new challenges for the cities. Influx of money motivated people migrated to the city. Poverty and deplorable living conditions cultivated crime related activities. Also, constant boycotts at the work places led to the pressing need for a modern system of law enforcement that could be available to serve the city in urgent situations (Rafail, Soule, & McCarthy 2012). In 1829, the British parliament passed a bill that led to the creation of an expert cosmopolitan police force. This group was originally known as peelers but later developed to police after the French named them as policier.
Military organization developed slowly in terms of rank and structure. Their main purpose was preventing crime and patrolling the cities. The system was adopted in many nations across the world including the United States. However, the system was faulty and many local citizens disregarded it. It was twisted with corruption and manipulation from the local leaders. Bribes and lack of inefficiency was rampant in many agencies. The officers had no formal training and no entrance standards whatsoever. Ineffective communication crippled the agencies further. In those dark times, police handled disputes informally and this most could go overboard due to personal convictions. The job turnover was very high due to the relaxed employment rules. This led to many citizens opting for other options. Investors saw the gap and developed private agencies that could be used for personal protection (Campbell, & Campbell 2010). This has led to numerous private protection agencies in the world in present day.
In the late 19th century, the United States government took note of the crippled police system and established the international Association of Chiefs of Police agency (Campbell, & Campbell 2010). The body was responsible for training and recruiting of police members. It was also responsible for the employment and ensuring highly skilled personnel. The body redefines the police image and peoples trust grew. It wasn’t until the 20th century that another police reform took place. It was aimed at minimizing corruption and police misconduct. Also, communication breakthroughs solved the communication problem. This heightened the relevance of police officers in all nations since revolutionized transport and communication systems improved their response to argent matters.
This evolved to federal agencies. This is group that was developed for the common interest of local citizens and high profile crimes and missions. The trend spilled all over the world and the result was international and national agencies as the Interpol, Europol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, The Secret Service and many more. These groups have minimal jurisdiction and are not involved with peace keeping missions. The growth of such agencies was brought by internet connectivity, improved surveillance, and scientific advancements that could not be contained within the broad spectrum of country based police service.
Every country globally has an almost similar police system that has now improved from the traditional law enforcement agencies. Despite these developments, the private industry continues to develop. More than 30% of protection officers work for the private industry (Campbell, & Campbell 2010). This is attributed by the poor pay packages in government and distrust of the federal police by citizens. Corruption and unprofessionalism continue to cripple the police industry globally. However, they still fill a very vital role in the society that would cripple nations without them. These include issue of arrest warrants, traffic control, and protection of prison and court houses. Reforms in the police industry are needed. This is because the officers need to be appreciated more for the risks they take to protect the law as well as the lives of ordinary citizens. Better pay and improved technological equipment would improve the motivation and efficiency of police officers globally. Governments and states should consider the recommendations before the industry diminish completely and the world is made a playing ground for crime, vigilantism, and terrorism.
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