CRJ 201 Introduction to criminal justice
Instructor: Robert Spinks
January 13, 2014
The history of the police agencies can be trace back to the 1630s, during this time the earliest colonists use the English style of policing. The civic duty for all citizens was “watch and ward” this offered no training or pay, it was the responsibility of the citizens to monitor the behavior of community members. Policing relied heavily on community consensus and the willingness of citizens to assist in capturing criminals (Wilbur, 2000). Sheriff’s Posses and constables were consist of able-bodied men, because their service was liable. The collection of taxes, and the supervision of election was the responsibility of the county sheriff. The night watchmen were in charge of looking out for suspicious activities and at times conducting weather reports (Wilbur, 2000).
The heart of colonial policing was not policemen but punishment, hanging was for murders and more serious crimes, thieves were brand, and stocks for petty criminals. The early policing punishments serve the purpose of shame in the community, which is use as an example for spectators. The jails were used as a holding place for criminals until their sentencing or trial, it was not for punishment or rehabilitation. The old reliance on community consensus broke down when cities started growing larger and a more diverse community begin forming. Large cities relied more on policing elected or appointed constables who were attached to the courts (Wilbur, 2000).
When the American Revolution was over these individuals took the role of detectives who issued warrants and recover stole property. When the 19th century came around the watchmen sill patrolled the streets, but they were not shown respect and avoided dangerous confrontation.
In cities such as Philadelphia the citizens settled their disputes with the help of the justice, these were petty disputes...