Capable Law Enforcers
December 4, 2010
Gregory Todd Frum
Ever since the dawn of organized society, there has been a need for capable guardians or what we now know as law enforcement agencies. In our present time, we have different levels of law enforcement agencies starting with local, state, and federal. Local law enforcement provides service to its designated jurisdiction which most of the time is one city. State law enforcement provides service to the entire state the agency is based in, and finally, federal law enforcement has a nation wide jurisdiction. In the following paragraphs, these different levels of law enforcement agencies will be discussed in detail about their history and function.
The first Europeans who landed on our shores had to devise a system to effectively protect themselves and their property from the natives, who did not want to share their land. All able-bodied men and young boys were responsible for policing the community, after things became fairly settled and maintaining order was a simple task, the new colonies created Justices of the Peace. Justices of the Peace were unpaid community elected officials that patrolled the colony and kept the peace, but as colonies grew into towns and towns into cities, the Justices of Peace were not enough. The city of Boston established Night Watch in 1636, which worked well, as long as the area remained rural and pastoral. In 1651, New York City established the Shout and Rattle Watch, and by 1705 the city of Philadelphia was populated enough to divide into ten different patrol areas for their Night Watch. By 1844, New York and Philadelphia had a 24 hour a day independent police force, one daytime patrol, and one night watch patrol. Often times, these police forces were headed by police chiefs who were appointed and accountable to political bosses, which…...