Evolution of Policing and the Training and Skills For Success In Law Enforcement

Foundation of the Development and Functions of the Police Assignment Instructions

To understand contemporary policing in America, it is essential to understand the history by looking at the past eras. The police have day-to-day practices influenced by deeply ingrained traditions. It’s also necessary to comprehend how an officer’s career begins, from the academy to the street. The effective partnership between the police and the community must also be understood to better appreciate the development and functions of police.

Write a 5- to 7-page paper in which you examine the evolution of policing and the training and skills required to adequately prepare individuals to be successful in law enforcement. Address the following in your paper:

  1. Compare and contrast the major characteristics of the three eras of policing–political era, reform era, and community era. Provide real-world examples to illustrate the differences between each era.
  2. Identify the skills and training that are imparted to police trainees during their academy training that you believe are most essential to future success in law enforcement. Explain your rationale. Consider using real-world events to justify your rationale.
  3. Examine the principles of community policing and its importance in law enforcement. Explain how it differs from traditional policing. Provide real-world scenarios to illustrate these differences.
  4. Examine critically the four stages of the problem-solving process (SARA) and explain the importance of each stage.
  5. Determine the top five qualities that detectives and undercover officers need to possess and explain how these qualities relate to real-world applications and future success.

Foundation of the Development and Functions of the Police Sample Paper

Comparing And Contrasting The Major Characteristics Of The Three Eras Of Policing–Political Era, Reform Era, And Community Era

In the words of Martin Luther King, every historical struggle deserves a record. It is important to record a chronology of events in order to help people appreciate their history. Subject to this paper, policing in America, as it appertains to law enforcement has changed dramatically over the years. Law enforcement practices remain deeply embedded in tradition nonetheless. In the historical timeframe stretching from mid-19th century to the early 20th century, law enforcement underwent the Political Era of policing. This era was predominantly brutal, fleeting, and corrupt. Law enforcement basically served political leaders. The police was a secret weapon to preserve the status quo. From fighting their proxy wars to guarding the interests of the politicians, the police force was an instrument of tyranny (De Finance, 1991).

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This historical injustices prompted calls for reforms. The call for reform came amid the progressive political movement, which emphasized on the empowerment of the people at a community level as well the initiation of a series of government reforms to mitigate the adversity of the outgoing era of corruption. Education became a minimum requirement to enroll for law enforcement jobs. In policing, the police force went from political control to non-partisan, centralized, and standardized agency under the mantra “to protect and serve.” (Solomon, 1984) The goal was to create an impartial agency as a stepping stone towards fostering social justice in law enforcement. Professor Heather Burns of the University of Columbia explains that the most visible improvement in policing during the Reform Era was the establishment closer contact between police officers and the people at the community level. Policing put officers in patrol cars as they moved around maintaining law and order in the counties (Fagothey, 2000).

Skills And Training That Imparted To Police Trainees During Their Academy Training That Are Most Essential To Future Success In Law Enforcement

In the police academy, police trainees undergo a series of sessions through which they learn basic skills and knowledge to help equip them with the required awareness and comprehension of their new line of duty. The first phase involved induction into law enforcement, which entails introduction to the basics such as first aid training, officer safety, ICT, health, human rights, cultural diversity, and community safety standards. The second phase involves community. Here, the officers are trained in crime reduction and community placement. Trainees learn the basics of maintaining law and order. Next, trainees learn how to conduct both supervised and independent patrols. With the coming of community policing, it was thought best to train rookies on the importance of establishing a connection with people at the grassroots level. Officers ought to be able to engage with people at the counties in an attempt to understand the problems that face communities such as burglary, petty theft, and social crimes such as prostitution, underage drinking, and drug abuse (Maier, 2010).

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As the so called rookies undergo training at the police academies, what they learn ought to apply in their line of duty. Professor Annabel McKinley of Oxford University explains that police academies equip the would-be law enforcement officers with skills, knowledge, and expertise to use in the field. For instance, in case of any given accident, police officers are charged with the responsibility of offering first aid services to injured people. A police officer ought to be able to act as a life guard in case someone was drowning, for instance. What the academy teaches must be applied in real life scenarios (Solomon, 1984).

Principles Of Community Policing And Its Importance In Law Enforcement

As the role of the police continued to evolve amid calls for reforms to transform a hitherto draconian regime, people felt that the police ought to be in close contact with people at the community level. Thus came the birth of community policing as an important milestone in police reforms in the United States. Community policing emerged as an idea that sought to guide operational strategies and management style of the police force. Community policing emphasizes on the initiation of partnership between law enforcement and the community in a problem-solving approach, which is responsive to the needs of people at the grassroots.

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Community policing as it appertains to law enforcement, seeks to foster partnership and liaison between law enforcement and communities. With such efforts, it becomes easy for police officers to understand the problems that face people living in different neck of the woods. Sources indicate that this kind of policing is service oriented in that it helps law enforcement be able to serve the people better by building understanding. Community policing is based on the idea that ‘the needs of the client ought to be the priority of the provider (Maier, 2010).

Enclosed in the law of criminal justice is a strict code of ethical conduct for law enforcement agencies, the courts, and every other institution charged with the responsibility of protecting and serving the public. The role of ethics is, in part, to guide the actions and decisions of personnel serving in that capacity.  In an effort to uphold and foster justice, any given society ought to ensure that its institutions are competent enough to give precedence to the basic principles of basic human rights. Ethics, as a principle, serves to ensure that everybody entrusted with upholding justice does so with reasonable care and due diligence as would be expected of a competent person acting in the same capacity (Schopp, 1998). Law enforcement agencies must ensure that police officers display high standards of ethics in order to build a society in which social justice prevails.

As stipulated in the United States Constitution, ethics is intertwined with morality. This is to say that ethical public officers must display high moral standings to serve the interest of the public.

Professor Hathaway Buchanan of the University of Columbia explains that ethics guides the manner in which criminal justice personnel conduct their affairs in community policing. For instance, the fundamental role of law enforcement is to reduce the temptation to commit crime. To dos so, officers must understand why such temptation arises. The ethical code of professionalism requires every person to understand the motives behind commission of criminal offenses. Examining the reason that prompts people to commit various crimes is crucial while determining how to handle crimes and prevent them. The role of ethics here is to ensure social justice for the society and the offender in question. Building a just society in this case entails reducing incidents and levels of crime as a means to protect lives and property, and the pursuit of happiness. Preventing crime is a basic principle of social justice since it also helps preserve civil liberties (Solomon, 1984).

Top Five Qualities That Detectives And Undercover Officers Need To Possess.

Investigation is an integral principle in the American justice system; as the nature of crimes keeps evolving, criminals have become more subtle and unscrupulous in their endeavors. The seemingly upstanding people in the society may turn out to be the most dangerous criminals. In bid to keep up with this evolving identity of criminals, the American constitution as it appertains to law enforcement sanctions the undertaking of covert investigations. Officers charged with the mandate to conduct investigations include detectives and undercover officers. However, since investigations may sometimes require subtle or immaterial invasion of privacy, which is an abuse of civil liberty, detectives and undercover officers need to uphold certain standards of ethics and professional conduct. This comes with the territory (Maier, 2010).

The five most important qualities of a detective or any officer acting undercover are: ethics, professionalism, diligence, wisdom, and reasonable judgment. Police officers ought to conduct themselves with utmost professional ethics. This implies that they have sworn an oath to respect and uphold the letter of the law as codified in statute. Likewise, everyone charged with the duty of enforcing the law must do so with reasonable care and diligence. The primary objective of the law as it appertains to the police is to protect and serve the interest of the public. Detectives have to be wise in the way that they make decisions and implement them (Maier, 2010).

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As stipulated in the constitution of the United States, the most important quality of a detective and undercover officer is reasonable judgment.  In the circumstances that surround police duty, there are reasonable chances of mistaken identity in such instances as identity theft. Likewise, people tend to frame others for certain crimes in order to escape liability. The work of a detective and an undercover cop thus requires brilliance while conducting investigations. In the policy academy, they do not get to teach reasonable judgment; that notwithstanding, every officer of the law must be well equipped with this requisite skill.

According to Professor Annabel Buchanan of Stanford University, every officer of the law must make decisions based on reasonable judgment in such a way that any other competent officer acting in the same capacity would. This is based on the duty of care and responsibility to protect clause as codified in law enforcement statutes contained in the constitution of the United States. Reasonable judgment is the underlying principle in criminal and civil investigation. With reasonable judgment comes fair assessment. Fairness is an underlying principle of social justice (De Finance, 1991).

It is important to note that all principles of law enforcement are equally as important. For instance, any given officer must have a high moral standing since their line of duty requires at least that much from them. Having a high moral standing ensures they act both professionally and ethically. Ethics require impeccable moral standing. In order for one to act ethically, an agent must choose to do that which is moral irrespective of their personal gain or convenient. Catholic ethical scholar and humanitarian, Mother Theresa, once said that in light of every situation, people ought to choose to do the right thing as opposed to making the easiest decisions. With the understanding of ethical considerations in criminal justice, people will be more inclined to display high moral standards. Building a just society, which is the essence of law enforcement, requires reducing incidents and levels of crime as a means to protect lives and property, and the pursuit of happiness. Preventing crime is a basic principle of social justice since it also helps preserve civil liberties

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