Influence American Policing

3690 Words15 Pages
European Influence on American Policing
American law enforcement influences can be traced back to the European model of law enforcement. Corruption was not born; instead it has been well documented back to France and England during the eighteenth century. The issues that both France and England encountered are very similar to modern day American police corruption. “The challenges of hiring morally sound people and providing morally sound workplaces are the most obvious” (Sherman, 1974). Law enforcement transgression was a solemn issue that has been dated back to the 17th century. Sherman (1974) describes the early corruption that:
“Despite several attempts at reform, the Renaissance police of Paris were often said to be in a league with
…show more content…
The quasi-military foundation of American policing can be seen in contemporary policing. The wearing of identifiable uniforms, adherence to a formal chain of command, legally sanctioned use of force and isolation from the public are just some of the similarities between the military and police. Despite affinities with England's police, there were profound differences. England's police were created by national reformation; this was not the case in the United States. Local, instead of federal, government created American policing. Allowing local governments independence in creating their own police allowed for communities to have law enforcement that fit their own political needs. "Of all the factors that have shaped police departments in the United States, local political control and authorization have been pivotal." (Geller…show more content…
Local political control afforded police the chance to enhance populace being reactive to narrow requests. This also amplified police misconduct. In the nineteenth century the majority of police departments in the United States mirrored the circumstances contiguous to municipal agencies. The police became a significant element in the corrupt opinionated political sectors. Officers brought into the force were “hired and promoted solely on the basis of political loyalties and payoffs” (Sherman, 1974) . Law enforcements were free and protected against corruption assumptions because of the political umbrella that protected them. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, big city bureaucrats were predominately the leaders and director of mayoral, political causes, and law enforcement departments. This almost made a dictatorship of the entire law enforcement, judicial, and executive departments of many independent cities across the US.
Scandals were routine in countless law enforcement departments during the latter nineteenth century and early twentieth century’s. “These early departments were so corrupt that even getting promoted to a higher rank, or a 'perk' assignment, required paying off superior officers” (Sherman, 1974). An example of the popularity of police bad behavior can be seen in the city of Boston. The salary officers received was insignificant,
Open Document