Roles, Responsibilities, And Styles Of Policing

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Eras of Law Enforcement Rob Peterson 11/24/2014 Criminal Justice The roles, responsibilities, and styles of policing in the United States have changed dramatically since the first “era” of policing was established in 1840. Until recently, there were only three established eras of policing: The Political Era, Reform Era and Community Era. We are now in a fourth era- the New Era. All of these eras are reflections of evolution amongst law enforcement officers, as well as political figures of their times. The roles and styles of policing have been a never-ending topic of change, which has grown to fit the demands of the public. Each new era has been born out the desire to make the United States as safe as possible given an evolving climate of…show more content…
Despite all the corruption and bribery within the policing community during this era, there were also benefits. Within the Political Era there was a connection between the community and officers who did foot patrols, often referred to as “walking a beat.” While walking a beat, the officers would walk through town streets or city blocks and interacting with the community. This created personal bonds and a sense of trust with those who lived in these areas. If anything happened or seemed suspicious, it was brought to the officer’s attention, giving the officer an opportunity to react to a crime that might have gone unreported in other eras. The police power of this era was characterized as the “muscle” of the politicians. Police harassed and even committed violent crime against adversaries with opposing views and other political opponents. Requirements to become an officer were at a minimum, with almost no set requirements. Because of the rampant political corruption, police were easily bribed or paid off, causing a literal scene of chaos rather than crime control. For one who genuinely strived to serve the public in this era, the job was hard, and much of his efforts were overlooked or hidden by the corruption of others. This chaos eventually took its toll on the public, and it began to push for political reform, marking the end of the Political Era in the 1930’s and ushering in the Reform Era. The Reform Era of policing in America
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