The Origins Of Policing In America

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The origins of policing in America can be traced back to its colonial years of the early 1600s. Unlike the formal police forces we have today, policing took different forms during its early years. In the Northern states, policing consisted of volunteers that warned their communities of any upcoming threat or danger. Although this mode of policing was not effective in controlling crime, it continued until the 1830s, at which the city of Boston was the first to establish a police force. By the 1880s, all major cities, such as Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia, had established municipal police forces. More interesting and controversial, the development of policing in the Southern states was shaped by slavery and the control of minorities.
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