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Selection Process among US Police during the Last Half of the 19th Century - Essay Example

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From the paper "Selection Process among US Police during the Last Half of the 19th Century" it is clear that the tendency of this era was earmarking police personnel as per their political affiliations. Often as political machines waned, so did the police framework supporting them. …
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Selection Process among US Police during the Last Half of the 19th Century
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As America progressively industrialised, the need for an organised policing regime became apparent. Near the mid-nineteenth century, the development of police departments began. The first modern police department was created as the Boston Police Department in 1838. This was followed by the New York City Police Department’s creation in 1845. Police were not respected in these times due to rampant corruption and brutality. These early police departments lacked specialisation for crime detection and prevention. The prime policing strategy was reactive in nature. Police departments were organised as per political affiliations.
Police in these early days was organised under police chiefs. These police chiefs were appointed by political bosses. These political bosses ensured that the police chiefs and the subsequent police mechanisms remained subservient to them. Corruption was the order of the day in order to satisfy the political bosses’ aims and objectives. The common man was harassed by utilising the policy framework so as to secure political domination.
The presence of political machines meant that political bosses were on the lookout for ways to offset the balance of power in their favour. Cops were recruited by political machines in an effort to encourage citizens to vote for the “right” political candidate. Often police brutality ensured that the wishes of the political bosses were carried out in letter and spirit.
Police were used to exert political influence by intimidating, intruding and pressurising ordinary people and businesses. Corruption was reduced to a complete system. Payoffs on massive scales ensured that the policemen remained loyal to a political side. The crime was organised as robberies, extortions, gambling and other illegal activities were carried out systematically.
The presence of corrupt politicians backed by clandestine businesses ensured that the police framework remained in line with their demands and wishes. Read More
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