Police-Community Policing

1269 Words6 Pages
Several events in recent history have cast the issue of police actions and the relationship between police and the citizens they serve into the fore front of a heated debate. The trust between officers and the U.S. public would appear to be unsustainably low. Yet a historical look reveals that the conversation is not new, rather the result of an up and down relationship that has existed since colonial watchmen first walked the darkened streets of the thirteen colonies. The low points in the police-community relationship are often marked with strong calls for reform. Those calls for reform have become synonymous with the ideas behind community policing initiatives being ingrained and experimented with around the country.
For police to remain
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Policing in the United States developed along a similar model and was heavily influenced by England. Prior to the American Revolution, and for some time after, law enforcement activities were undertaken by a watch system. Watches were a crude force, volunteers that were a no where near the professionalized forces seen today. These volunteers were as likely to be motivated to serve as an alternative to military service, or pressed into service by the town, or avoiding or serving a punishment. (Potter,…show more content…
Police were seen in many cities as corrupt, receiving bribes in order to ignore real crimes. Police were thought of as brutal, using excessive force against citizens, often in conjunction with fake charges and unlawful arrests. To the working class, they appeared as a tool of economic leaders to battle against laborers and the relatively new unions. A movement grew, advocating the professionalization of the police forces. Escobar (2003) mentions how professionalization meant enforcing, “high standards for entrance into the force, a rigorous training program, better pay for officers, and more modern equipment and administrative procedures.”(p.175) Reformists argued the position that law enforcement should be carried out impartially, removed from the influence of politicians that had been using police as a force to protect their own interests and attack anything that threatened those interests. In the case of Los Angeles, police autonomy lead to a structure where standards of admittance and discipline with the police department was a total internal affair with no outside influence. (Escobar
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