From Private Security to Professional Policing

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Like many cultural innovations, the actual development of the formal police organization originated in Europe—England, to be precise.

There was an obvious time lag in implementing the first formal police force in New York City, the Metropolitan Police, in 1845. The creation of the private detective and physical security guard industries in the United States, around 1850, helped to complement the duties of formal law enforcement organizations, as private industry extended westward to new territories, offering opportunities where formal law enforcement was nonexistent or in short supply.

This basic strategy of “professional security supply and demand” continues today, and is seen in the operations of global security organizations contracting with major companies in areas of the world where enforcement is needed to sustain business operations, such as securing supply chains.

In addition, the rise of the privatized military industry and its alignment with the DoD is an example of a partnership role between commercial security and organized defense agencies. In researching Wikipedia for the history of policing, you cannot get far without understanding the contribution of Sir Robert Peel. He was the conservative prime minister from December 10, 1834 to April 8, 1835, and again from August 30, 1841 to June 29, 1846.

From Individuals to Militia Security (Chapter 1)

Security Land

It was in 1829, while serving as home secretary, that Peel introduced legislation in the British Parliament setting out the terms of a police force, which was to operate within the city of London. Peel’s efforts would later earn him the title of the “Founder of Modern Policing”.

In his legislation, Peel suggested nine principles that would govern his police force:

  • To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and by severity of legal punishment.
  • To recognize always that the power of the police to fulfill their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions, and behavior.
  • To recognize always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also to secure the willing cooperation of the public in the task of their observance of laws.
  • To recognize always that the extent to which the cooperation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately with the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
  • To seek and preserve public favor, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy and without regard to the justice or injustices of the substance of individual laws. By ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing. By ready The Evolution of Physical Security cise of courtesy and friendly good humor, and by ready offering of sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
  • To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public cooperation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order.To use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
  • To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police.The police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen, in the interests of community welfare and existence.
  • To recognize always the need for strict adherence to police executive functions and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary or avenging individuals of the state, or authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
  • To recognize always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

From Citizen Guarding to Private Security

Security Land

The London police force became known as peelers or Bobby’s boys, a term which was later shortened to what the English refer to today as Bobbies.The history that originated with the London police force was the first of many leading-edge deployments of law enforcement tactics and strategies pioneered in the United Kingdom.

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