All together law enforcement has changed, but few see the drastic changes that have happened. Everyday, police and sheriffs are working to keep the people in their community safe. With improved technological advances and social changes, police and sheriffs are keeping a closer eye on things today. For example, improved weapons such as tasers have helped keep suspects safe, computers in police cruisers allow instant access of information of individuals.
Other social changes, such as women allowed to join the police forces have helped law enforcement a lot with domestic violence cases because they are calmer then most men. No matter what happens police and the sheriffs will be there to protect and serve their community everyday of the year, both nighttime and daytime; crime never sleeps and neither does law enforcement. Police have been a part of society for many years. However, “police as we know them today – an armed force maintained by the state to perform the functions and paid a salary rather than a share of fines – are a rather recent phenomenon” (Miller). Police forces were formed in all major US cities during the latter half of the nineteenth century” (Miller). According to Miller, police in the United States developed “…from the British tradition”. Like in London, police duties were limited to patrolling and gradually increased into investigation. Police should have been established earlier then the nineteenth century but society may have not been ready for it. “At the time of their founding, the police were viewed not as an out-growth of the state’s ability to make law but as a manifestation of its ability to use violence” (Miller).
Most people today say that wasn’t the reason why society created the police. Law Enforcement has its purpose in society. “The purpose of Law Enforcement is to prevent, interdict, and investigate crimes and prosecute criminals” (Miller). One of the key duties of any police department is to deter crime by visible presence. “Over time, however, investigating and solving crimes has evolved into one of the most important functions of the police” (Miller). If police do not prosecute the criminals, then the criminals will continue to run the streets causing havoc and putting innocent people in danger. The investigation of crimes has not changed since the rise of the police in the mid nineteenth century, but the way in which they go about it has changed a great deal” (Miller). With the use of fingerprints, DNA and video surveillance, it is now easier to identify the suspects. “Once a suspect has been identified, the police must supply the state’s attorney with sufficient evidence to prove the suspects guilt” (Miller). This helps to ensure that the correct person is prosecuted. Even today laws are being enforced but eventually they will get broken.
Law Enforcement has drastically changed throughout its creation in the year of 1667. “Law Enforcement officers are facing a tougher environment today interacting with a greater diversity of people of many cultures, faiths, race and lifestyles” (St. Hilaire). People need to realize that the police are here to help them no matter what they believe in. “As many officers have experienced recently that we as a profession are receiving the frustrations of the public over many issues including hatred of our government” (St. Hilaire).
Just because the government is not perfect does not mean that police do not want to help the public. “Some changes we may not have control over like shift schedules, assignments, the color of the uniform shirt and the outcome of other’s actions” (St. Hilaire). Obviously, the government cannot control what a police station does because if they change something it can put everything out of order. With everything that has happened, Law Enforcement has made itself worthy of serving the community. Another key change in Law Enforcement is the use of force.
The Rodney King incident brought into question the use of force by law enforcement. “The King affair transformed basic practices of policing, not just in Los Angeles but across the country” (Deutsch). Many of the changes had been needed for years, but were never addressed. “The king beating and trial set in motion overdue reforms in the LAPD and that had a ripple effect of law enforcement throughout the country” (Deutsch). Since this had such a major effect on the lapd in almost destroyed their reputation. The Rodney King beating almost destroyed the reputation of the Los Angeles Police Department.
In the aftermath of the Rodney king beating a lot of things changed with police on the field. “In the wake of the Rodney king case; cameras became standard equipment in patrol cars all over the nation” (Marcou). In doing this police now cannot cover up an incident that they were a part of. “As far as citizens recording police, there is still much disagreement about how it should be handled” (Marcou). Nowhere in the constitution does it say the citizens cannot film stuff that is happening outside their house. “When it comes to training, officers are told “have your camera going at all times.