CJS200 Week Four Assignment Law Enforcement Today Submitted by Travis Hance

The police function in today’s society is one at the pinnacle of a long evolution. With it’s most humble beginnings, the concept of policing has served multiple purposes. Considering the age-old problems that face society with regards to the prevention and prosecution of crime, the continual evolution of the police role in society is of utmost importance. The first role that is most often recognized is the prosecution of crimes. Police departments and federal agencies have developed an entire science around the investigation of crime, with the expressed goal of bringing criminals to justice. The second vital role is that of prevention. There are multiple facets to this task, ranging from analysis of data to patrol. The compilation of statistical data from higher crime areas and the analysis of such can increase the efficiency of the patrol function. In 1635, New York City led the American development of municipal law enforcement with the first paid watchmen. Other cities followed suit, with private investors and business owners often providing funding. Sir Robert Peel, who reinvented the London police force into the new Metropolitan Police Force, or simply the Met, utilized new standards that American agencies watched with interest. Imitating this model to a degree, a private businessman donated a large amount of money to the city of Philadelphia to form a professional police force consisting of a day ward and night watch. In 1835, the first state law enforcement agency was seen with the creation of the Texas Rangers. Other states including Massachusetts followed soon after. These departments developed with widely differing standards, and little cooperation. After experiencing years of corruption and ineffective methodology, police departments around the country began to undergo a series of transformations. The ideas of pioneers like Augustus Vollmer were crucial in promoting the professionalism of police forces, emphasizing officer education. Vollmer was a local hero of Berkeley, California. A retired Marine; he gained local notoriety when he prevented a potentially fatal train wreck. In addition to forming the first volunteer Fire Department, he held the position of Chief of Police of Berkeley, and began promoting the professionalism of law enforcement. Many refer to him as the father of modern law enforcement, as he pioneered the use of automobiles with radios, motorcycles, and even the first lie detector within police practice. Later, as the head of the Berkeley Criminal Justice program, he passed on ideas to many students who left California and eventually became Chiefs of Police in other cities. Therefore the

ideas and interest in the professionalism and education of the individual officer became widespread. The formation of federal agencies such as the FBI, CIA, NSA and many others led to the birth of an ideal of interagency support. While admittedly there both has been and no doubt always be a sense of territorialism and jurisdiction, the ideal is that information will be provided promptly to those officers or agents who can most effectively prosecute the crime. With larger budgets the investigative power of Federal agencies began to become an asset for the state and local police departments, serving as clearinghouses, enabling investigators to track and share information. Especially with the events of September 11, 2001, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has given law enforcement agencies around the country a tool for information sharing and cooperation. This has resulted in an increase in efficiency for the FBI as well as state and local agencies. Local agencies can access secure terminals for the input of criminal records, such as the National Crime Information Center, or NCIC. In addition the FBI has contributed greatly by producing the Uniformed Crime Reporting program, or UCR which helps promote interagency information sharing. And statistics. Within the last 30 years, fingerprint records were manually searched by fingerprint cards kept in individual department filing cabinets. With the introduction of the IAFIS system, or Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System managed by the FBI, and similar clones on a state level, agencies can now search records stored within a computerized database in a fraction of the time, and from national sources. Other private organizations such as the National Association of Chiefs of Police continue to promote the education of the individual officer, and higher department standards. While local Police Academies provide a basic instruction in the elements of law enforcement, the modern emphasis is on the continuation of education and the practice of physical skills. Instructors are most often retired officers with years of experience who have not only earned degrees in related fields; they also have a wealth of practical experience that they attempt to impart to cadets. An effective tool in increasing law enforcements capabilities is both the acquisition of knowledge, and the sharing of information in the pursuit of the two primary areas initially named. Prevention relies on knowledge of the area patrolled, as well as current trends. Prosecution relies on professional investigation techniques, as well as a sharing of knowledge so that agencies such as the DHS and local and state departments can work together as a unified team to bring criminals to justice. In the end it takes a societies willingness to promote principle and the pursuit of justice, which reinforces the concept of the police mission.