The Early, Political, Reform and Community Policing Eras of American history are
vastly different from each other, with different details and aspects that are rarely similar.
It is important for any police officer or respectable citizen to be informed of these events, in
order to learn from the past, to make those mistakes made then not something that occurs
in the present or future.
Not only this, but the topic itself provides valuable knowledge so
that one might identify with past circumstances, and use them to their advantage.
is, in the scope of things, not so very far away from the present.
Though several ideas exist
in the retaliation of crimes, the idea of policing is not so new.
Napoleon Bonaparte said,
"The act of policing is, in order to punish less often, to punish more severely. "
though policing in the United States does not involve judgment, the concept that the police
protect our homes, our cities, our families, and our very self, is widely acknowledged, thus,
making it a topic easily discussed by anyone.
The Early Era of Policing spans from 1607 to 1840, and typically covers the time of
American history in which police officers were not paid by cities, and were widely untaught
and not knowledgeable.
A prime example of Colonial policing regards the actions of a
Captain John Smith (APVA, Figure 1).
Smith brought a movement of martial law that
held the small community together, making failure to comply with mandates oftentimes
For example, failure to do ones job could mean starvation.
Through his harsh
martial law, the community came to thrive.
Following the American Revolution, different
forms of law-keeping bodies were developed, including the institution of the slave patrols.
These groups of people would seek out escaped slaves, and bring them to their sort of
Lynch law, or the law of the mob, was also rampant, disavowing minorities and