The Police Academy: Police Training in the United States Essay

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Prior to the creation of the formal police academy, officers were taught using various methods that were not always effective or conducive to the work required of an officer. As a result, ill-equipped officers flooded the streets of nineteenth-century America, often unable to perform the primary duty of their job: protecting the public. The United States, inspired by England and other countries with better-developed public safety systems, desperately needed a method of ensuring safety for its people. The creation and evolution of the police academy defined what being a police officer entailed by teaching officers what is expected of them, not only job-requirement wise, but also morally and ethically. The Police Academy prepares an …show more content…
The consequences of such training weren’t seen immediately; the only significantly negative concern that arose instantly as result of informal training was an ineffective police department full of unethical, inaccessible officers. Many reports indicate that officers easily evaded duty and spent much of their time in saloons and barbershops (Walker 29). Lacking direct supervision and internally-driven motivation, many street officers slacked off and began to use corruption as an additional form of income and power. As street officers worked their way up to leadership positions within the police departments, patronage became a significant issue; officers were selected entirely on the basis of their political connections. Men with no formal education, those in bad health, and those with criminal records were hired (Walker 28). The intense need for a secure, reliable police department became evident. The police academy was born as a result of a demand for ethically and morally stable officers free of corruption and formally trained to keep the community safe. It is hard to believe that only 60 years ago, the first formal training academy was opened. The idea of the first formal school for police officers originated in the mind of August Vollmer, the father of modern law

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