CJA 344 Police Influence on Society
Police influence society on different factors. The factors of influence that police have on society can be negative and positive. Police have the duty to serve and to protect the society. As on the three major components of the American criminal justice system, American law enforcement main purpose is to maintain order and investigate suspected criminal activity in this country.
In history the system of American police was something learned from Great Britain and adapted by America. In the past the first ideals of policing were controlled by the able-bodied men and young boys who were part of the first Europeans to venture to our lands. This was mainly a defensive motion as it was used to defend themselves from the natives to the lands that did not wish to share their home. As time went on and the natives became more settled and peace was more successful, policing became one of the primary duties of the Justices of the Peace. As evolution took hold of the colonies, they became cities and towns making it necessary to create a more organized form of law enforcement. Then “The Night Watch was born, in 1636 as a productive way to control the actions and criminal activities of the area in Boston. New York later took on the same idea creating the Shout and Rattle Watch in 1651. Through the success in some areas of these teams and the weaknesses in other areas, Philadelphia felt that policing could be more productive if the area was divided and assigned small teams per area. Once the population grew extensively and industrialism had a firm grasp on America, it was mandated that the municipal police departments be developed, Philadelphia started a independent police force that would be on duty 24 hours a day. Once the ideals of law enforcement moved into and through the west, the Sheriff became the chief of police usually selected by reputation or through the community. These methods lead to the modern day law enforcement activities and commencement.
In today's law enforcement, there is still the Chief of Police but that is their title. Sheriff is the title of any officer located in certain parts of America. Most of the methods used by modern day police officers are similar in purpose to that of the law enforcement from history. Currently since there is not use of pillories, stocks or hangings instead punishments are jail, prison, community service or license suspensions. The same ideas constitute our law enforcement today that did in the past, but not as far as some of the brutality and force that was used throughout history. For example historically it was said that if a crime was committed the punishment would fit the crime such as if someone stole something, then they would have to suffer through having their hand cut off. In present times that type of brutality is not needed, punishment in current society focuses on rehabilitation. Both have the same goal which is to minimize and control crime in order to help protect society. Protection is the number one priority of law enforcement and to make every member of society feel safe as well as be able to serve the needs of the community. Though police are the first level of law enforcement to respond to a complaint or violation of the laws that were put in place to protect, it is the responsibility of the judges and a group of peers call a jury to determine the level of guilt of the accused party or defendant.
Policing in multicultural communities is evident in most major cities through the United States. Police have been forced to adapt to an ever changing multicultural society. In order to effectively police communities of multicultural societies a diverse police force is relevant to a police department’s needs. Effective positive policing has the ability to build a community up with trusting, positive relationships between police officers and civilians. Positive relationships between communities and policing can help reduce the amount of crime as well, due to the fact that police and civilians share a mutual respect for one another. It is no longer a game of cat and mouse, but more so a Neighborhood Watch system.
The past and the present both have the same goal in mind to find a way to keep society at peace and provide a system that would help to protect the community. That is the main reason that courts, policing and other parts of the judicial system was created. Police are in place to keep the peace, protect and serve. The judges and courts are supposed to determine the severity of the crimes and how dangerous the criminals are to decide if they should be sent to a jail for rehabilitation or if they are fit to be sent back out into society. Thanks to the early settlers and the beginnings of a working law enforcement system, society as a whole is well protected from major threats. Some of the only threats that society worries about now is the release of dangerous criminals from prisons and jails because of the overcrowding problems.
In conclusion, it is a fact that this form of policing cannot solve all the underlying economic and social problems that neighborhoods face. The challenge is to ensure and develop that community policing is not treated as an add-on or a special program. Community officer must never be perceived as the good police as opposed to the bad police in the rest of the department. One of the ways that they help reduces law enforcement issues is through rioting. They provide fresh answers, especially considering the role that police actions often play in triggering riots (Trojanowicz, 1991). Community policing can help reduce the risk of riots by reducing the likelihood that police abuse his or her power. When the police have someone on their side that could help if not detour incidents from occurring police officers would not find themselves in courtrooms facing police brutality charges. It can simply put that community policing can have an effective influence on society as being mediators will enforce the laws.
1) Get A Real Degree. (2012). American Law Enforcement History. Retrieved from http://www.getarealdegree.com/2012/06/american-law-enforcement-history/
2) Rodney King case led to major LAPD reforms. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.standard.net/stories/2012/06/18/rodney-king-case-led-major-lapd-reforms
3) Trojanowicz, R. C. (1991). The National Center For Community Policing. Retrieved November 8, 2012, from Community Policing and the Challenge of Diversity: http://www.cj.msu.edu/~people/cp/diverse.html
4) Rodney King. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.biography.com/people/rodney-king-9542141