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The Evolution Of Policing In The United States

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The modern era of American policing

In 1751 America’s first paid police department started in the city of Philadelphia, unlike London’s bow street runners that started in 1749, the Philly department was more organized. Throughout history law enforcement officers have had the upmost respect from the public, they made the streets safer for the public. There was a time back in police history where officers would have casual conversations with those they had arrested, because they were a part of the community still even though they had committed a crime. In this time in policing, things are so much different, the general public have such a negative stigma about law enforcement officers in their head that it does not matter who the officer is, they are immediately judged on the actions of another.

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Social turning points in the development of policing

In the past 20 years America has experienced many turning points for law enforcement officers. Including the most popular, ‘’Black Lives Matter’’ movement that started in 2013. This group believes that black people are being racially targeted by law enforcement. As we all know that this is not true, this group speaks up every time there is a law enforcement officer to black person shooting or injury. Surprising thing is, they mainly only say something if it is a white officer to black person, they hardly ever protest the black officer to black person. For many departments, they are trying out a style of policing called ‘’community policing’’. Community policing is more proactive in nature and tends to give the public more trust in you as an officer, as explained here, ‘’Intended to prevent crime before it happens rather than responding to crime after it occurs, Focuses on creating a safe social environment, Engages residents to determine which criminal activities they are most affected by, creating an accurate law enforcement priority list shaped by the people who live in the area, Encourages residents to participate with law enforcement in order to keep their own community safe’’ (Lortz, 2016).

What is the future of policing?

I believe that the future of policing is community policing. I believe that we as officers need to work towards being more proactive instead of reactive. If officers had to retrain in certain areas such as OWI and drug recognition more often, maybe we would be able to stop more accidents before they happen. I’m sure most people will complain that I am even suggesting more training, but it’s when we think we know it all is when we get complacent. Also, on the lines of community policing, I was told in my academy that my backup might be 10 minutes out when I call out shots fired and sometimes the only people that are going to be there to help me will be the community I serve. That guy I ticketed for speeding last week might save my life one day, it’s all about being respectful to one another especially as a police officer. In this article here it describes how an officer was in an fight with a person, ends up taking a bullet to the neck, and just when he thinks it is all over someone steps in and saves the day, ‘’A former felon, he would later learn. A man who turned his life around and found God. A lifelong hunter who begged a judge to reinstate his rights, allowing him to carry a gun again — the one he just fired’’ (Kravarik and Elam, 2017).

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The Evolution Of Policing In The United States. (2021, September 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved August 12, 2022, from
“The Evolution Of Policing In The United States.” Edubirdie, 21 Sept. 2021,
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The Evolution Of Policing In The United States [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 21 [cited 2022 Aug 12]. Available from:
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