Section 1:  The Development of Modern Policing

Fundamentals of Policing by Adam J. McKee

Policing, in its myriad forms, has existed for millennia, adapting and evolving in response to society’s changing needs and challenges. The roots of modern policing are not found solely in the recent past but can be traced back to ancient civilizations. To understand the present, one must journey to the past, exploring the foundational pillars upon which contemporary policing stands.

In Section 1.1, we’ll traverse the annals of history, visiting ancient civilizations and their early forms of policing. From the watchmen of Mesopotamia to the lictors of Rome, the origins of policing showcase the universal human desire for order and justice.

Moving to Section 1.2, our voyage continues to the shores of early America. In a land of newfound freedom and growing communities, the need for structured law enforcement took on unique characteristics influenced by European precedents and native innovations.

Section 1.3 introduces Sir Robert Peel, a pivotal figure in modern policing. His establishment of the Metropolitan Police Service in London, commonly known as “The Met”, set forth principles that continue to influence policing paradigms worldwide.

The subsequent Section 1.4 delves into the ‘Political Era’, a time when policing and politics were intrinsically intertwined. Here, the dynamic between law enforcement and political entities crafted a landscape rife with both challenges and opportunities.

Concluding this section, Section 1.5 sheds light on the Reform Era and its aftermath. In response to the challenges of the Political Era, this period marked a pivotal shift towards professionalism, leading to significant changes in policing strategies, tactics, and public perceptions.

As we embark on this exploration, it’s vital to understand that the tapestry of modern policing is woven with threads from each of these eras, carrying lessons, legacies, and insights that resonate even today.

Modification History

File Created:  08/15/2018

Last Modified:  10/18/2023

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This work is licensed under an Open Educational Resource-Quality Master Source (OER-QMS) License.

Open Education Resource--Quality Master Source License


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