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The History of Police Agencies and Different Types of Law Enforcement

Decent Essays
Development of Police Agencies: Policing in the United States has mainly been based and expanded on the ideas of English way of policing. The English way of policing has not only been used as the basis for American policing but it has also been used to commence an era of evolving police agencies. In its early years, policing in the United States was largely regarded as a civic duty or responsibility of community members. The appointed officers were neither trained nor paid for their services to community members. Consequently, the chosen Sheriffs were usually motivated by financial incentives and lost their focus on enforcement of the law, which contributed to the perception that policing was primarily reactive in nature. However,…show more content…
However, these styles of policing in England and the United States were largely ineffective since they were based on a volunteer system characterized with disorganized and sporadic patrol method. As the responsibility of law enforcement in England shifted from law enforcement by individual citizen volunteers to groups of men living with the community known frankpledge system, America adopted a similar system where constables, citizen-based watch groups, and sheriffs were responsible for apprehending criminals. The law enforcement personnel were also responsible for working with courts and collecting taxes. However, law enforcement was not a major priority for sheriffs since they could generate more income by collecting taxes throughout the community. This was followed by the addition of night watch groups, which were largely ineffective. The ineffectiveness of these watch groups was associated with the fact that some of their members would socialize or sleep while on duty rather than controlling crime in their community. Since these citizen-based watch groups were not equipped to handle the social unrest and rioting that occurred in England and Colonial America in late 1700s and early 1800s, publicly funded police departments started to emerge in these countries.
Types of Law Enforcement Agencies: The United States currently has over 15,700 public law enforcement
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