Criminal Justice History

History of policing in United State

The establishment of the first police force in the United States was done in North America in 1931 which consisted of watchmen. This was followed by New Amsterdam, which later came to be called New York City. In 1838, Boston Police Department was established as a modern police department and in 1845, New York City Police Department followed suit. Due to the high cases of rampart corruption among the police officers, the community had little respect for the police.

The introduction of metropolitan police act of 1829 led to the introduction of metropolitan police which brought more order and organization in the police force. This act of parliament was considered as being effective in regaining the sanity of police force and the constables as well as the watchmen were replaced by disciplined and well trained police officers (Wilson, 2012).

The urban unrest that occurred in 1960 called for the need for increased prominence of community relations in policing which led to reforms that included diversity consideration in police hiring process. The reactive policing approach was associated with ineffectiveness in 1970’s which triggered the adoption of strategies of community policing together with problem oriented policing in 1990’s (Robles, 2012).

Further developments were made in tracking together with mapping the trend as well as the patterns of crime through the introduction of effective systems that were information based. This system made it possible for the police to be held accountable for the criminal problems that they addressed in the course of their duty. The effectiveness of this system has prompted other police departments across the United States to replicate it (Kelling & Mary, 2002). Gender issues were later considered in the police department with members of minority groups and women being given a chance to serve in the police force in California municipalities.


Kelling, G. L. & Mary, A. W., (2002). Evolving Strategy of Policing: Case Studies of Strategic   Change. National Institute of Justice.

Wilson, M., (2012). “Far From a Shooting in Florida, an Increase in Block Watchers”. New York Times.

Robles, F., (2012). “Shooter of Trayvon Martin a habitual caller to cops”. The Miami Herald.