Revisions of Foundations of the Development and Functions of Police

Revisions of Foundations of the Development and Functions of Police

Assignment 2


Revisions of Foundations of the Development and Functions of Police

Researching from my last paper, looking at the past eras of policing in America will help to understand contemporary policing. Policing in America involves day-to-day practices and traditions that have a deep- rooted history in policing. Patrol, crime prevention, authority and professionalism are four concepts of policing that can be traced back to the colonial era (Peak, 2014). The English form of policing started in New York in 1836. The United States had been monitoring the English experiment with policing when the industrialization era began in the 1840’s. It was during this time that the need for policing presented itself. Policing in the United States has evolved over the years and the evolution is broken down into three eras. The three eras are the political era, reform era and community era. The political era took place from 1840 to 1930 and it was an era plagued with close ties between police and politicians (Peak, 2014). During the political era, it seemed that the focus of police was to make politicians happy. The police force derived both their authorization and resources from political leaders. Police departments were closely connected to the social and political world. Police Chiefs lacked organizational control over officers that resulted from decentralization. There were many inefficiencies and inconsistencies with police work due to the political nature of police positions. Close relationships of citizens to the police resulted in discrimination against strangers and others who violated norms, ethnic minorities and racial groups. Social ties between the police and community was strong during this time and politicians saw this as an opportunity to gain more votes through the police. The reform era of policing took place from 1930 to 1980 and it was given its name because reformers attempted to redefine the role and function of police. It was during this time that police departments would become one of the most autonomous agencies in urban government, and they sole goal would be controlling crime (Peak, 2014). Police officers would gain professionalism, politics would not play as big a role in policing as it did during the political era, and police work would be seen as a career. Four significant developments occurred during the reform era. These four developments were the changing role of the police; the adoption of the bureaucratic model; the introduction of science and technology in police work; and the introduction of civil service (Peak, 2014).

Becoming a police officer includes receiving an offer of employment that is followed by the completion of an academy and field training program. Training requirements are different from state to state. The police academy is a series of rigorous educational and physical modules that help prepare potential law enforcement officers for handling the demands of the position. There is no standardized academy curriculum for police academies across the United States, but programs will have many similar components. A GED or high school diploma is a requirement to become a police officer.  And increasingly, continued education is favored for admittance to an academy. Pre-academy education is a compliment to the academy’s curriculum.  Police strategy will be a very large component of academy training; it covers topics like Legal knowledge, which is learning state ordinances, local laws, and constitutional law. Recruits will also learn about the basic functions and processes of the legal system. Procedure education about accident and incident investigations, incident reporting, traffic control and radio operation. Recruits will also learn about vehicle operation focused on operating police cruisers. Apprehension and arrest are strategies for the most effective apprehension of criminals. Almost any type of work experience can help you develop the skills needed to be an effective community-policing officer. Whether it’s serving as an intern, working in retail, or doing clerical work, your ability to interact with others, think on your feet, and prioritize work will help you in policing. Work experiences in your community will help you better understand the dynamics of the community you may serve and improve your ability to show courtesy and respect to others in the work field.

Community policing and community-oriented policing are philosophies related to having officers understanding the issues in their respective communities and be willing to engage the community in developing responses to various problems.  Whether it is an informal program, such as good ole Officer friendly walking the same area on a regular basis, or a formalized program with assigned Focus Areas, goal-setting, and documentation of officer involvement, officers are expected to work with their community members to resolve minor issues before they become more significant issues. The philosophy hearkens back to the days of the beat cop who was responsible for specific areas, knew the people and was considered part of the neighborhood. While most departments pay lip service to the COP/POP ideals, few actually implement them properly.  The problem is cost. Proper COP is time consuming and few agencies are willing or sometime able to provide the necessary manpower. Most officers these days cover large zones rather than neighborhoods, so while the officers are discussing options with the neighbors, calls are backing up from elsewhere in their zone; and while some departments have a dedicated COP officer, that position is usually one of the first to go during budget cuts. Traditional policing is more come as they go in the terms of patrolling. Where it is not planned out patrol routes and they can go to anywhere to prevent crime is a benefit. On the positive side is that criminals to be ambushed can’t scout them. The negative aspect is that when an officer gets sent out to a call he or she does not know what they are going to encounter when reporting to that call.

There are some important elements of using implementation and evaluation phases of community policing and problem solving. Having detailed long range plans with tasks and time frames along with assigning officers to execute the plan. Using implementation in order to assure the phases of community policing and problem solving techniques yield positive results are achieved. It can be a complicated process when it comes to using implementation towards creating a community policing strategy since it involves a lot of planning and managing for change to occur (Bureau of Justice Assistance, 1994).

Determining five qualities that detectives and undercover officers need is a hard thing to measure due to every officer and situation varies so it’s not a uniformed aspect. The first quality would have to be communication. The second quality would be having the ability to work under pressure. The third quality the officer must possess is integrity. The fourth quality is being level headed and in control of their emotions. Finally the fifth quality is knowledge of the law. One of them would be quality being communication it is an open perspective. Communicating is not just speaking between two individuals, especially when it comes to detectives or undercover officers. There are many other types of communication some examples of this are body language, proxemics, and paralinguistic. In a detectives or undercover officers line of work being able to read body language can potentially save an officers life. The proxemics deals with the amount of space that people feel it necessary to set between them and others, when an undercover officer is doing their job having spatial awareness complete your mission/assignment. Good communication skills, most important involves both listening and talking in order to connect all the clues that found during the investigation, the ability to make a quick decision, integrity (so they will be immune to any form of bribery), ability to control emotions, and to always remember the deep knowledge of the law.


Field Operations Division Chandler Police Department. (n.d.). Retrieved September 1, 2018,from

Glennon, J. Communication skills and your survival. Retrieved September 1, 2018, from

Peak, K. (n.d.). Policing America: Challenges and best practices (Eighth ed.).

The Role of Traditional Policing in Community Policing. (n.d.). Retrieved September 1, 2018,from

Bureau of Justice Assistance, 2014. Retrieved September 2, 2018 from

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