The discussion and implementation of law enforcement are different, and people often do not understand it. Protection of the population from crime has a long history and vast geography. In modern society, workers in this area are under serious pressure, and they are always under the scrutiny of the media. Any scandal related to the police (cruelty, corruption, abuse of power) quickly rises and is discussed by politicians, writers, and lawyers. When investigators are considering policy structures, their attention needs to be paid to history, selection criteria, local police, determinants of efficiency, and quality of service.
The history of the police is worthy of deep and detailed study; it affected India, China, Israel, Ancient Rome, and Ancient Greece. The modern police and its institutional status were born only in the 18-19th century. Before this, the police consisted of volunteers who patrolled designated areas. The Industrial Revolution, which brought population flows to cities, forced the police to change. Urbanized cities needed a structure that would be responsible for the order and that people would trust. For example, “Known as the ‘father of modern policing, Peel established the Metropolitan Police Services in London in 1829” (The History of Modern Policing and How It Has Evolved, 2020, para 3). In the 20th century, police were overtaken by vital reforms against corruption. As readers can see, the police have been reformed throughout their entire modern history to gain the trust of the people.
Modern jurisprudence and the social sciences develop detailed principles that a police officer should use, as well as criteria that candidates should meet. When hiring a candidate, the level of his or her education and his or her success in college are taken into account. A law degree is encouraged, but some positions can work without a law degree. There is testing for candidates, the results of which are checked automatically or by recruiters. The police are committed to employing equality and diversity principles. A person’s physical abilities and past play an important role. In the police, scandals of gender discrimination often arise, and women complain that employers avoid hiring them or do not want to give them crucial tasks that require responsibility. The main selection criteria are: emotional stability, steady under stress, as well as lacking extreme cynicism, and a normative capacity for empathy (Inzunza, 2016, pp. 117-118). The ability to analyze information, physical skills, and the ability to work in a team is also important.
The local department is responsible for minor offenses in a specific area and maintains close contact with residents. The local department can provide preventive measures for the protection of territories since, with painstaking work, minor offenses can be easily eliminated and not lead to serious ones. Local police officers and sheriffs can conduct educational conversations with residents, especially with difficult teenagers. They can also advise residents on minor legal issues and help in conflicts. A good example of this is the involvement of the police in situations of domestic violence, where a police officer and a social worker work together on conflict and provide support to victims.
Usually, the effectiveness of the police is calculated by the level of crime in the country, city, or in a separate area. The police are required to demonstrate efficiency by working simultaneously on three strategies. The first strategy is to prevent crime and work with risk groups. The second strategy is to deal with directly committed crimes. It is assumed that with the coordinated work of the police departments, the work on the second strategy will proceed smoothly; crimes will be solved quickly (Karppi, 2018, pp. 4-5). The third strategy is to work with the general public, and it seeks to continually improve the reputation of police officers and increase the level of trust.
The third strategy has an impact on the community where the police operate. The higher the quality of the community, the better the work is done by the police since citizens are not inclined to offer bribes, cooperate with the investigation, and share their suspicions. A community with a strong sense of duty and a high level of solidarity, regardless of the police, is interested in maintaining order on its territory and in preventive work with risk groups. That is why police reforms often affect the aspect of interaction with society, which to improve the work of the police, one must trust the police and respect the employees of this structure.
The institutionalized police, the one that all people are used to at the moment, was born with the advent of The Industrial Revolution. Urbanized cities needed protection and control over the outbreak of crime. The police rely on the principles of diversity and accessibility when recruiting. An important role is played by stress resistance, emotional endurance, and empathy; also, when applying for a job, candidates pass specific exams.
Local departments keep close contact with the inhabitants of their territories and can cooperate with them. A vital priority of the local department is to participate in resolving conflicts based on domestic violence. The crime rate usually serves as an indicator when calculating the effectiveness of the police, but this is not always true since this level is, in general, influenced by many social factors, not police work. Police officers can and should work on three strategies, including preventive work with risk groups, direct work in solving crimes, and work to improve the reputation of the police. In a community where the reputation of the police is high, the level of trust is also high. In such communities, the crime rate is low, and citizens assist law enforcement agencies in the capture of a criminal. Police reforms ensure the future of countries and communities since only in a safe environment does society fully develop.
Inzunza, M. (2016). Selection practitioners’ views on recruitment criteria for the profile of police officers: A comparison between two police organizations. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, 45, 103–119. Web.
Karppi, T. (2018). “The computer said so”: On the ethics, effectiveness, and cultural techniques of predictive policing. Social Media + Society, 4(2), 1–9. Web.
The history of modern policing and how it has evolved. (2020). ThoughtCo. Web.