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The development of the first police force is generally associated with Sir Robert Peel in England. Sir Robert Peel is a famous statesman and a political leader in Victorian Britain. He created a modern concept of the first police force in Britain under the Metropolitan Police Act. There was created a single authority and it was responsible for policing in London according to this act. The headquarters was located at Scotland Yard; the force of the Metropolitan Police started with one thousand officers. Sir Robert Peels states, “the police are people and the people are the police”, he also argues, “in order for crime prevention to work and be successful the key to that success was to keep crime from being intrusive to its communities and to its people”. In this essay I will discuss an influence of Sir Robert Peel on American Policing in modern society.
Sir Peel’s nine elements are still used for the basis of modern police practices because of the developmental stages of such a force. His nine elements rotate around the community policing efforts and contain extensive problem analysis and community organization, solving, mediation, facilitation and conflict resolution, use and resource identification, cross-cultural understanding, and networking (Walker & Charles, 2008). Sir Peel states, “the basic principle in prevention is controlling crime and disorder”. A community policing is successful component to this. There was developed trust and open communication between the citizens of communities and the officers by having the “bobbies”. ''Bobbie'' had also a name as Patrolling the Beat. After gaining confidence in the officers, the communities helped them in times of crisis. This system created a better response for the emergent situations and the citizens had the feeling of security because they know that the law was nearby. In order to begin this program, Sir Peel needed an approval of the public. It is a common policy in today’s America. This method of patrolling is used in the U.S.A. up to date. The policy uses the beat, bicycles and cars during the street patrolling. Robert Peel also stated, “police should secure voluntary co-operation from the public”. America gained great deals on the basis of the principles, when he led in the policing. Sir Robert Peel emphasized that it is very necessary to understand the community, and culture is the most instrumental to every person in America (Lentz & Chaires, 2007). The Law Enforcement is based on Sir Robert Peel's principles in today’s America. The modern American laws were derived from his principles.
There are two levels of police in America: State and Federal. The Federal Level contains organizations like the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigations and Customs Enforcement etc. Constitution provides Congress' power to control interstate commerce and taxes. The FBI can pursue criminals who have cross country boundaries and state. The DEA follows laws on substances having a tax ban on them. The State level is divided into three sub-levels: Local/City Police, CountySheriff and State Police. State Police have policing authority throughout the entire state but mainly patrol projects and areas that are operated and maintained by the Highways and StateGovernmentBuildings (Cole & Smith, 2004). CountySheriffs operate and maintain the areas near the jails and control the unincorporated areas and ensure policing services to the cities that contract the local police. City/Local police patrol only inside city limits. Penal Code of the state is followed by every State Policing organization. CountySheriff’s follows county mandates. Local Police enforce both city ordinances and county mandates. Relations between policing organizations and U.S. Government influences police practices in such a way that policing organizations and U.S. Government set the guidelines, standard, procedure and policy for police practices. The higher agency will establish the policy set to the police practices.
To sum up, police administrators should learn a lesson of history, the factors that made Sir Robert Peel lead in the paramilitary structure, to the development and growth of centralized authority, to the restricted crime-fighting role propagandized by the reformers, to the conditions that brought to the failure of team policing and police-community relations. Those people who are aware of the history will be ready for the leadership challenges in the hard times ahead.