Question from History of Police: Explain how the traditional model of policing contributed to the deterioration of the relationship between police and citizens in the United States during the 1960s.
The History of the Police The History of the Police SECTION 1 Native American police officers—1883 I t is important to examine the history of policing in the United States in order to understand how it has progressed and changed over time. Alterations to the purpose, duties, and structure of American police agencies have allowed this profession to evolve from ineffective watch groups to police agencies that incorporate advanced technology and problem-solving strategies into their daily operations. This section provides an overview of the history of American policing, beginning with a discussion of the English influence of Sir Robert Peel and the London Metropolitan Police. Next, early law enforcement efforts in Colonial America are discussed using a description of social and political issues relevant to the police at that time. And finally, this section concludes with a look at early police reform efforts and the tension this created between the police and citizens in their communities. This section is organized in a chronological manner, identifying some of the most important historical events and people who contributed to the development of American policing. y The Beginning of American Policing: The English Influence American policing has been heavily influenced by the English system throughout the course of history. In the early stages of development in both England and Colonial America, citizens were responsible for law • Examine the English roots of American policing. • Understand evolution from watch groups to formalized police agencies. • Look at the professionalization of the police through reform. Section Highlights 2 Section 1 The History of the Police 3 enforcement in their communities.1 The English referred to this as kin police in which people were responsible for watching out for their relatives or kin.2 In Colonial America, a watch system consisting of citizen volunteers (usually men) was in place until the mid-19th century.3 Citizens that were part of watch groups provided social services, including lighting street lamps, running soup kitchens, recovering lost children, capturing runaway animals, and a variety of other services; their involvement in crime control activities at this time was minimal at best.4 Policing in England and Colonial America was largely ineffective, as it was based on a volunteer system and their method of patrol was both disorganized and sporadic.5 Sometime later, the responsibility of enforcing laws shifted from individual citizen volunteers to groups of men living within the community; this was referred to as the frankpledge system in England.6 The frankpledge system was a semistructured system in which groups of men were responsible for enforcing the law. Men living within a community would form groups of 10 called tythings (or tithings); 10 tythings were then grouped into hundreds, and then hundreds were grouped into shires (similar to counties).7 A person called the shire reeve (sheriff) was then chosen to be in charge of each shire.8 The individual members of tythings were responsible for capturing criminals and bringing them to court, while shire reeves were responsible for providing a number of services, including the oversight of the activities conducted by the tythings in their shire.9 A similar system existed in America during this time in which constables, sheriffs, and citizen-based watch groups were responsible for policing in the colonies. Sheriffs were responsible for catching criminals, working with the courts, and collecting taxes; law enforcement was not a top priority for sheriffs, as they could make more money by collecting taxes within the community.10 Night watch groups in Colonial America, as well as day watch groups that were added at a later time, were largely ineffective; instead of controlling crime in their community, some members of the watch groups would sleep and/or socialize while they were on duty.11 These citizen-based watch groups were not equipped to deal with the increasing social unrest and rioting that were beginning to occur in both England and Colonial America in the late 1700s through the early 1800s.12 It was at this point in time that publicly funded police departments began to emerge across both England and Colonial America. Sir Robert Peel and the London Metropolitan Police In 1829, Sir Robert Peel (Home Secretary of England) introduced the Bill for Improving the Police in and Near the Metropolis (Metropolitan Police Act) to Parliament with the goal of creating a police force to manage the social conflict resulting from rapid urbanization and industrialization taking place in the city of London.13 Peel’s efforts resulted in the creation of the London Metropolitan Police on September 29, 1829.14 Historians and scholars alike identify the London Metropolitan Police as the first modern police department.15 Sir Robert Peel is often referred to as the father of modern policing, as he played an integral role in the creation of this department, as well as several basic principles that would later guide the formation of police departments in the United States. Past and current police officers working in the London Metropolitan Police Department are often referred to as bobbies or peelers as a way to honor the efforts of Sir Robert Peel.16 Peel believed that the function of the London Metropolitan Police should focus primarily on crime prevention—that is, preventing crime from occurring instead of detecting it after it had occurred. To do this, the police would have to work in a coordinated and centralized manner, provide coverage across large designated beat areas, and also be available to the public both night and day.17 It was also during this time that preventive patrol first emerged as a way to potentially deter criminal activity. The idea was that citizens 4 PART I OVERVIEW OF THE POLICE IN THE UNITED STATES would think twice about committing crimes if they noticed a strong police presence in their community. This approach to policing would be vastly different from the early watch groups that patrolled the streets in an unorganized and erratic manner.18 Watch groups prior to the creation of the London Metropolitan Police were not viewed as an effective or legitimate source of protection by the public.19 It was important to Sir Robert Peel that the newly created London Metropolitan Police Department be viewed as a legitimate organization in the eyes of the public, unlike the earlier watch groups.20 To facilitate this legitimation, Peel identified several principles that he believed would lead to credibility with citizens including that the police must be under government control, have a military-like organizational structure, and have a central headquarters that was located in an area that was easily accessible to the public.21 He also thought that the quality of men that were chosen to be police officers would further contribute to the organization’s legitimacy. For example, he believed that men who were even tempered and reserved and that could employ the appropriate type of discipline to citizens would make the best police officers.22 It was also important to Peel that his men wear appropriate uniforms, display numbers (badge numbers) so that citizens could easily identify them, not carry firearms, and receive appropriate training in order to be effective at their work.23 Many of these ideologies were also adopted by American police agencies during this time period and remain in place in some contemporary police agencies across the United States. It is important to note that recently, there has been some debate about whether Peel really espoused the previously mentioned ideologies or principles or if they are the result of various interpretations (or misinterpretations) of the history of English policing.24 y Policing in Colonial America Similar to England, Colonial America experienced an increase in population in major cities during the 1700s.25 Some of these cities began to see an influx of immigrant groups moving in from various countries (including Germany, Ireland, Italy, and several Scandinavian countries), which directly contributed to the rapid increase in population.26 The growth in population also created an increase in social disorder and unrest. The sources of social tension varied across different regions of Colonial America; however, the introduction of new racial and ethnic groups was identified as a common source of discord.27 Racial and ethnic conflict was a problem across Colonial America, including both the northern and southern regions of the country.28 Since the watch groups could no longer cope with this change in the social climate, more formalized means of policing began to take shape. Most of the historical literature describing the early development of policing in Colonial America focuses specifically on the northern regions of the country while neglecting events that took place in the southern region—specifically, the creation of slave patrols in the South.29 Slave patrols first emerged in South Carolina in the early 1700s, but historical documents also identify the existence of slave patrols in most other parts of the southern region (refer to the Reichel article included at the end of this section).30 Samuel Walker identified slave patrols as the first publicly funded police agencies in the American South.31 Slave patrols (or “paddyrollers”) were created to manage the racebased conflict occurring in the southern region of Colonial America; these patrols were created with the specific intent of maintaining control over slave populations.32 Interestingly, slave patrols would later extend their responsibilities to include control over White indentured servants.33 Salley Hadden identified three principal duties placed on slave patrols in the South during this time, including searches of slave lodges, keeping slaves off of roadways, and disassembling meetings organized by groups of slaves.34 Slave Section 1 The History of the Police 5 patrols were known for their high level of brutality and ruthlessness as they maintained control over the slave population. The members of slave patrols were usually White males (occasionally a few women) from every echelon in the social strata, ranging from very poor individuals to plantation owners that wanted to ensure control over their slaves.35 Slave patrols remained in place during the Civil War and were not completely disbanded after slavery ended.36 During early Reconstruction, several groups merged with what was formerly known as slave patrols to maintain control over African American citizens. Groups such as the federal military, the state militia, and the Ku Klux Klan took over the responsibilities of earlier slave patrols and were known to be even more violent than their predecessors.37 Over time, these groups began to resemble and operate similar to some of the newly established police departments in the United States. In fact, David Barlow and Melissa Barlow noted that “by 1837, the Charleston Police Department had 100 officers and the primary function of this organization was slave patrol . . . these officers regulated the movements of slaves and free blacks, checking documents, enforcing slave codes, guarding against slave revolts and catching runaway slaves.”38 Scholars and historians assert that the transition from slave patrols to publicly funded police agencies was seamless in the southern region of the United States.39 While some regard slave patrol as the first formal attempt at policing in America, others identify the unification of police departments in several major cities in the early to mid-1800s as the beginning point in the development of modern policing in the United States.40 For example, the New York City Police Department was unified in 1845,41 the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in 1846,42 the Chicago Police Department in 1854,43 and the Los Angeles Police Department in 1869,44 to name a few. These newly created police agencies adopted three distinct characteristics from their English counterparts: (1) limited police authority—the powers of the police are defined by law; (2) local control—local governments bear the responsibility for providing police service; and (3) fragmented law enforcement authority—several agencies within a defined area share the responsibility for providing police services, which ultimately leads to problems with communication, cooperation, and control among these agencies.45 It is important to point out that these characteristics are still present in modern American police agencies. Other issues that caused debate within the newly created American police departments at this time included whether police officers should be armed and wear uniforms and to what extent physical force should be used during interactions with citizens.46 Sir Robert Peel’s position on these matters was clear when he formed the London Metropolitan Police Department. He wanted his officers to wear distinguishable uniforms so that citizens could easily identify them. He did not want his officers armed, and he hired and trained his officers in a way that would allow them to use the appropriate type of response and force when interacting with citizens. 47 American police officers felt that the uniforms would make them the target of mockery (resulting in less legitimacy with citizens) and that the level of violence occurring in the United States at that time warranted them carrying firearms and using force whenever necessary.48 Despite their objections, police officers in cities were required to wear uniforms, and shortly after that, they were allowed to Urban police officers, 1890 6 PART I OVERVIEW OF THE POLICE IN THE UNITED STATES carry clubs and revolvers in the mid-1800s.49 In contemporary American police agencies, the dispute concerning uniforms and firearms has long been resolved; however, the use of force by the police is still an issue that incites debate in police agencies today. y Policing in the United States, 1800–1970 One way to understand the history of American policing beginning in the 19th century through the 21st century is to dissect it into a series of eras. Depending on which resource you choose, the number and names of those eras will slightly vary; however, there is a general agreement on the influential people and important events that took place over the course of the history of American policing. The article written by George Kelling and Mark Moore included at the end of this section provides three eras as the framework for an interesting and thorough discussion of the history and progression of policing in the United States. The remainder of this section will continue to identify important people and events that have shaped and influenced policing up through 1970. Politics and the Police in America (1800s–1900s) A distinct characteristic of policing in the United States during the 1800s is the direct and powerful involvement of politics. During this time, policing was heavily entrenched in local politics. The relationship between the police and local politicians was reciprocal in nature: politicians hired and retained police officers as a means to maintain their political power, and in return for employment, police officers would help politicians stay in office by encouraging citizens to vote for them.50 The relationship was so close between politicians and the police that it was common practice to change the entire personnel of the police department when there were changes to the local political administration.51 Politicians were able to maintain their control over police agencies, as they had a direct hand in choosing the police chiefs that would run the agencies. The appointment to the position of police chief came with a price. By accepting the position, police chiefs had little control over decision making that would impact their employees and agencies.52 Many police chiefs did not accept the strong political presence in their agencies, and as a result, the turnover rate for chiefs of police at this time was very high. For example, “Cincinnati went through seven chiefs between 1878 and 1886; Buffalo (NY) tried eight between 1879 and 1894; Chicago saw nine come and go between 1879 and 1897; and Los Angeles changed heads thirteen times between 1879 and 1889.”53 Politics also heavily influenced the hiring and promotion of patrol officers. In order to secure a position as a patrol officer in New York City, the going rate was $300, Police officers were viewed as an extension of politicians—1916. Section 1 The History of the Police 7 while officers in San Francisco were required to pay $400.54 In regard to promoted positions, the going rate in New York City for a sergeant’s position was $1,600, and it was $12,000 to $15,000 for a position as captain.55 Upon being hired, policemen were also expected to contribute a portion of their salary to support the dominant political party.56 Political bosses had control over nearly every position within police agencies during this era. Due to the extreme political influence during this time, there were virtually no standards for hiring or training police officers.57 Essentially, politicians within each ward would hire men that would agree to help them stay in office and not consider whether they were the most qualified people for the job. August Vollmer bluntly described the lack of standards during this era: Under the old system, police officials were appointed through political affiliations and because of this they were frequently unintelligent and untrained, they were distributed through the area to be policed according to a hit-or-miss system and without adequate means of communication; they had little or no record keeping system; their investigation methods were obsolete, and they had no conception of the preventive possibilities of the service.58 Mark Haller described the lack of training another way: New policemen heard a brief speech from a high-ranking officer, received a hickory club, a whistle, and a key to the callbox, and were sent out on the street to work with an experienced officer. Not only were the policemen untrained in law, but they operated within a criminal justice system that generally placed little emphasis upon legal procedure.59 Police services provided to citizens included a variety of tasks related to health, social welfare, and law enforcement. Robert Fogelson described police duties during this time as “officers cleaning streets . . . inspecting boilers . . . distributed supplies to the poor . . . accommodated the homeless . . . investigated vegetable markets . . . operated emergency vehicles and attempted to curb crime.”60 All of these activities were conducted under the guise that it would keep the citizens (or voters) happy, which in turn would help keep the political ward boss in office. This was a way to ensure job security for police officers, as they would likely lose their jobs if their ward boss was voted out of office. In other cities across the United States, police officers provided limited services to citizens. Police officers spent time in local saloons, bowling alleys, restaurants, barbershops, and other business establishments during their shifts. They would spend most of their time eating, drinking, and socializing with business owners when they were supposed to be patrolling the streets.61 There was also limited supervision over patrol officers during this time. Accountability existed only to the political leaders that had helped the officers acquire their jobs.62 In an essay, August Vollmer described the limited supervision over patrol officers during earlier times: A patrol sergeant escorted him to his post, and at hourly intervals contacted him by means of voice, baton, or whistle. The sergeant tapped his baton on the sidewalk, or blew a signal with his whistle, and the patrolman was obliged to respond, thus indicating his position on the post.63 Sometime in the mid- to late 1800s, call boxes containing telephone lines linked directly to police headquarters were implemented to help facilitate better communication between patrol officers, police 8 PART I OVERVIEW OF THE POLICE IN THE UNITED STATES supervisors, and central headquarters.64 The lack of police supervision coupled with political control of patrol officers opened the door for police misconduct and corruption.65 Incidents of police corruption and misconduct were common during this era of policing. Corrupt activities were often related to politics, including the rigging of elections and persuading people to vote a certain way, as well as misconduct stemming from abuse of authority and misuse of force by officers.66 Police officers would use violence as an accepted practice when they believed that citizens were acting in an unlawful manner. Policemen would physically discipline juveniles, as they believed that it provided more of a deterrent effect than arrest or incarceration. Violence would also be applied to alleged perpetrators in order to extract information from them or coerce confessions out of them (this was referred to as the third degree). Violence was also believed to be justified in instances in which officers felt that they were being disrespected by citizens. It was acceptable to dole out “street justice” if citizens were noncompliant to officers’ demands or requests. If citizens had a complaint regarding the actions of police officers, they had very little recourse, as police supervisors and local courts would usually side with police officers. One of the first groups appointed to examine complaints of police corruption was the Lexow Commission.67 After issuing 3,000 subpoenas and hearing testimony from 700 witnesses (which produced more than 10,000 pages of testimony), the report from the Lexow investigation revealed four main conclusions:68 First, the police did not act as “guardians of the public peace” at the election polls; instead they acted as “agents of Tammany Hall.” Second, instead of suppressing vice activities such as gambling and prostitution, officers allowed these activities to occur with the condition that they receive a cut of the profits. Third, detectives only looked for stolen property if they would be given a reward for doing so. And finally, there was evidence that the police often harassed law-abiding citizens and individuals with less power in the community instead of providing police services to them. After the Lexow investigation ended, several officers were fired and, in some cases, convicted of criminal offenses. Sometime later, the courts reversed these decisions, allowing the officers to be rehired.69 These actions by the courts demonstrate the strength of political influence in American policing during this time period. Policing Reform in the United States (1900s–1970s) Political involvement in American policing was viewed as a problem by both the public and police reformers in the mid- to late 19th century. Early attempts (in the 19th century) at police reform in the United States were unsuccessful, as citizens tried to pressure police agencies to make changes.70 Later on in the early 20th century (with help from the Progressives), reform efforts began to take hold and made significant changes to policing in the United States.71 A goal of police reform included the removal of politics from American policing. This effort included the creation of standards for recruiting and hiring police officers and administrators instead of allowing Call boxes were the most common form of communication used by police officers during the political era. Section 1 The History of the Police 9 politicians to appoint these individuals to help them carry out their political agendas. Another goal of police reform during the early 1900s was to professionalize the police. This could be achieved by setting standards for the quality of police officers hired, implementing better police training, and adopting various types of technology to aid police officers in their daily operations (including motorized patrol and the use of twoway radios).72 The professionalization movement of the police in America resulted in police agencies becoming centralized bureaucracies focused primarily on crime control.73 The importance of the role of “crime fighter” was highlighted in the Wickersham Commission report (1931), which examined rising crime rates in the United States and the inability of the police to manage this problem. It was proposed in this report that police officers could more effectively deal with rising crime by focusing their police duties primarily on crime control instead of the social services that they had once provided in the political era.74 In an article published in 1933, August Vollmer outlined some of the significant changes that he believed had taken place in American policing from 1900 to 1930. The use of the civil service system in the hiring and promotion of police officers was one way to help remove politics from policing and to set standards for police recruits. The implementation of effective police training programs was also an important change during this time. The ability of police administrators to strategically distribute police force according to the needs of each area or neighborhood was another change made to move toward a professional model of policing. There was also an improved means of communication at this time, which included the adoption of two-way radio systems. Many agencies also began to adopt more reliable record-keeping systems, improved methods for identifying criminals (including the use of fingerprinting systems), and more advanced technologies used in criminal investigations (such as lie detectors and science-based crime labs). Despite the heavy emphasis on crime control that began to emerge in the mid-1930s, some agencies began to use crime-prevention techniques. And finally, this era saw the emergence of state highway police to aid in the control of traffic, which had increased after the automobile was introduced in the United States.75 Vollmer stated that all of these changes contributed to the professionalization of the police in America. O. W. Wilson was the protégé of August Vollmer. His work essentially picked up where Vollmer’s left off in the late 1930s. He started out as police chief in Wichita, Kansas, and then moved on to establish the School of Criminology at the University of California.76 Wilson’s greatest contribution to American policing lies within police administration. Specifically, his vision involved the centralization of police agencies; this includes both organizational structure and management of personnel.77 Wilson is also credited with creating a strategy for distributing patrol officers within a community based on reported crimes and calls for service. His book, Police Administration, published in 1950, became the “bible of police management” and ultimately defined how professional police agencies would be managed for many decades that followed.78 It is clear that the work of Vollmer and Wilson helped American policing advance beyond that of the Radar “speed reader” in patrol car—1954 10 PART I OVERVIEW OF THE POLICE IN THE UNITED STATES political era; however, Harlan Haun and Judson Jeffries argue that police reforms of the 1950s and 1960s neglected the relationship between the police and the public.79 The relationship deteriorated between the two groups because the citizens called for police services that were mostly noncriminal in nature, and the police responded with a heavy emphasis on crime control.80 The distance between these two groups would become even greater as the social climate began to change in the United States. The 1950s marked the beginning of a social movement that would bring race relations to the attention of all Americans. Several events involving African American citizens ignited a series of civil rights marches and demonstrations across the country in the mid-1950s. For example, in December 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested after she violated a segregation ordinance by refusing to move to the back of the bus. Her arrest triggered what is now referred to as the Montgomery bus boycott.81 African American citizens carpooled instead of using the city bus system to protest segregation ordinances. Local police began to ticket Black motorists at an increasing pace to retaliate against the boycott. In one instance, Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested for driving 5 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.82 Arrests were made at any type of sit-in or protest, whether they were peaceful or not. Research focused on the precipitants and underlying conditions that contributed to race riots during this time period identified police presence and police actions as the major conditions that were present prior to most of the race riots in the 1950s and 1960s.83 In addition, the President’s Commission on Civil Disorder (also known as the Kerner Commission) reported that “almost invariably the incident that ignites disorder arises from police action.”84 Social disorder resulting from protests, marches, and rioting in the 1960s resulted in frequent physical clashes between the police and the public. It was during this time that people across the United States began to see photographs in newspapers and news reports on television that featured incidents of violence between these two groups. The level of violence and force being used by police officers was shocking to some citizens, as they had not been exposed to it through visual news media in the past. One of the most recognized examples of this type of violence was the clash between police and protesters at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August of 1968.85 Graphic photos of the police hitting, Police officers focused on order maintenance during war protests—1969. Police reform resulted in police officers shifting their focus to crime control—1960. Section 1 The History of the Police 11 pushing, and arresting protesters were featured on the national news and in many national printed publications. These types of incidents contributed to the public-relations problem experienced by American police during the 1960s. Any police reform efforts taking place in the 1960s were based heavily on a traditional model of policing. Traditional policing focuses on responding to calls for service and managing crimes in a reactive manner.86 This approach to policing focuses on serious crime as opposed to issues related to social disorder and citizens’ quality of life. The traditional policing model places great importance on the number of arrests police officers make or how fast officers can respond to citizens’ calls for service.87 In addition, this policing strategy does not involve a cooperative effort between the police and citizens. Richard Adams and his colleagues described it best when they stated that “traditional policing tends to stress the role of police officers in controlling crime and views citizens’ role in the apprehension of criminals as minor players at best and as part of the problem at worst.”88 The use of traditional policing practices coupled with the social unrest that was taking place during the 1960s contributed to the gulf that was widening between the police and citizens. SUMMARY • American policing was influenced by Sir Robert Peel and the London Metropolitan Police. • Policing in Colonial America consisted of voluntary watch groups formed by citizens; these groups were unorganized and considered ineffective. • Slaves patrols in the southern region of the United States were used to control slave populations and have been identified by some scholars and historians as the first formal police agencies in this country. • Politics played a major role in American policing in the 1800s. Political involvement was believed to be at the core of police corruption present in the agencies at that time. • Police reform was geared toward making the police more “professional.” call box frankpledge system London Metropolitan Police political era reform era Sir Robert Peel slave patrols third degree tything KEY TERMS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. Why is Sir Robert Peel important to the development of policing in the United States? 2. Describe some of the duties associated with the early watch groups in the United States in the mid-19th century. 12 PART I OVERVIEW OF THE POLICE IN THE UNITED STATES 3. Identify several principles espoused by Sir Robert Peel as he began to assemble the London Metropolitan Police Department. 4. What was O. W. Wilson’s main contribution to American policing? 5. Explain how the traditional model of policing contributed to the deterioration of the relationship between police and citizens in the United States during the 1960s. WEB RESOURCES • To learn more about Sir Robert Peel, go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/peel_sir_robert .shtml. • To learn about some important dates in the history of American law enforcement, go to http://www.nleomf .org/facts/enforcement/impdates.html. • To learn more about the history of police technology, go to http://www.police-technology.net/id59.html. How to Read a Research Article 13 You will likely hear your instructor say, “According to the research . . . ” or “The research tells us . . . ” several times during class when he or she is presenting material from this book. All of the information contained in the authored sections of this text/reader is based on research. In addition, the journal articles included at the end of every section feature studies conducted by researchers. You might be asking yourself, “How do I read a journal article?” The following pages provide a brief description of the information that is typically included in peer-reviewed journal articles. I also provide a set of questions that you should be able to answer after you have finished reading a journal article. This information is intended to help you navigate your way through the journal articles included at the end of each section in this book. Most research articles that are published in peer-reviewed, academic journals will have the following components: (1) introduction, (2) literature review, (3) methodology, (4) findings/results, and (5) discussion/conclusion section. It is important to note that the components found within journal articles will vary. Some journal articles may not contain all of the traditional components. In fact, some articles that outline the tenets of a proposed theory will not have any of the main components. This type of article is purely descriptive. The articles included at the end of the first section of this text/reader fall into the descriptive category. There are some articles in which the components are not clearly identified by the traditional subheadings (as they may use alternative subheading titles) but are discussed within the text of the article. In most cases, however, the five traditional components will be easy to identify if the author of the article has included them. y Introduction Journal articles usually begin with an introduction section. The introduction identifies the purpose of the study. The introduction usually provides a broader context for the research questions or hypotheses being tested in the study. The reasons the study is important are also usually included in the introduction of a journal article. y Literature Review Most journal articles provide an overview of the published literature related to the topic of the study. Some authors prefer to combine the literature review with the introduction section. The purpose of the literature review is to present studies that have already been conducted on the research topic featured in the journal article. By reviewing the literature, authors can highlight how their research will contribute to the existing body of research or explain how their study is unique when compared to previous studies. y Methodology The methodology section describes how the study was conducted. This section usually includes information about who or what was studied, the research site(s), the type of data collected for the study, how long How to Read a Research Article 14 PART I OVERVIEW OF THE POLICE IN THE UNITED STATES the study lasted, and how the data were analyzed by the researcher(s). The reader will usually be able to determine whether the study is quantitative, qualitative, or a combination of both after reading this section. The information included in this section should include enough detail so that the reader can understand exactly how the study was conducted. In addition, the high level of detail in this section allows other researchers to replicate the study in other research sites if they choose to do so. y Findings/Results The findings/results section explains what the researcher found when he or she analyzed the data. Research findings are expressed using numbers in a series of tables if the research is quantitative in nature. If the study utilized qualitative data, the research findings will consist of descriptions of patterns and themes that were discovered within the textual data. This section is important because the research findings tell the reader about the outcome of the study. y Discussion/Conclusion The discussion/conclusion section usually provides a brief recap of the purpose of the study and a general description of the main research findings. This part of the journal article explains why the research findings are important or what policy implications result from the research findings. This is also the point in the article at which the author points out the limitations of the study. And finally, this section usually contains several suggestions for future research on the topic featured in the study. Now that you have an understanding of the parts of a journal article, I will use the article written by Weisheit, Wells, and Falcone in Section 3 of this text to demonstrate how you can apply the five components we just discussed above. y Community Policing in Small Town and Rural America By Ralph A. Weisheit, L. Edward Wells, and David N. Falcone 1. What is the purpose of the study in this article? The purpose of the study is mentioned at the end of the third paragraph of the paper—“This article examines the idea of community policing by considering the fit between the police practices in rural areas and the philosophy of community policing as an urban phenomenon.” The authors also hypothesize that “. . . experiences in rural areas provide examples of successful community policing” and that their comparison “raises questions about the simple applicability of these ideas to urban settings.” 2. Do the authors present any literature that is directly or indirectly related to their study? Yes. The authors begin with a section that discusses what community policing is so that the reader is familiar with this topic. Next, under the subheading “Existing Evidence,” the authors state, “Although there have been no studies that directly examine the extent to which rural policing reflects many key elements of community policing, there are many scattered pieces of evidence with which one can make this case.” In the paragraphs that follow, they present evidence from past studies that supports the idea that they hypothesized in the beginning of the paper. How to Read a Research Article 15 3. How was the study conducted? Specifically, how do the authors describe their research design/methodology and data analysis? Under the subheading “The Study,” the authors describe the methodology/research design. They mention that the article is based on interviews that were conducted as part of a larger research project. Unstructured interviews were conducted with 46 rural sheriffs and 28 police chiefs in small towns. Some of the interviews were conducted face to face, while others were conducted over the telephone. The length of the interviews ranged from 20 minutes to 2 hours; the average interview lasted 40 minutes. The authors describe some of the questions covered during the interviews. The authors do not specifically explain how they analyzed the interview data; however, it appears as though they looked for themes in the interview data and compared them to findings from previous studies on community policing. This is a qualitative, exploratory study in which the authors are laying the groundwork for future studies on this topic. It is exploratory because no other studies have been conducted on this specific topic. 4. What are the main research findings? After examining the interview data, the authors found several ways that rural policing mirrors community policing (the findings section begins under the heading “Observations”). First, they identify “community connections” as one of the ways that rural policing mirrors community policing. They describe how the two are similar and then provide quotes from the interview data to support this finding. They also identify “general problem solving” and “effectiveness” as two other similarities between rural policing and community policing. The authors then make a comparison between rural and urban policing when they interviewed chiefs of police and sheriffs that previously worked in an urban setting. The individuals with work experience in both settings reported a difference in the way they policed in both settings (once again this is supported by quotes from the interview data). 5. What does the article include in the conclusion/discussion section? Under the subheading “Discussion,” the authors provide a brief and general overview of the findings. They also provide further evidence of similarities between rural policing and community policing through the use of additional quotes. They conclude the article by stating that a more extensive study on rural policing is needed in order to state conclusively that rural policing and community policing are similar in operation and outcomes. The authors do not point out the limitations of their study in the conclusion section; instead, they state that this is an exploratory study that is only a portion of a larger study with a different focus. As you work your way through this text/reader, you will notice how the journal articles included at the end of each section vary in their organization and presentation of content. If you do not find all (or any) of the five main components in some of the articles, keep in mind that the purpose of the article may not be to present a research study. Several of the articles are descriptive in nature: they present ideas about various topics in policing. Regardless of the format or presentation of information, the articles will provide valuable information that will help you further understand policing in the United States. 16 SECTION 1 THE HISTORY OF THE POLICE READING 1 In this article, Philip Reichel provides a comprehensive overview of slave patrols of the South. Slave patrols consisted of mostly White citizens who monitored the activities of slaves. Reichel asserts that modern policing has passed through various developmental stages that can be explained by typologies (i.e., informal, transitional, and modern types of policing). Southern Slave Patrols as a Transitional Police Type Philip L. Reichel Accounts of the developmental history of American policing have tended to concentrate on happenings in the urban North. While the literature is replete with accounts of the growth of law enforcement in places like Boston (Lane, 1967; Savage, 1865), Chicago (Flinn, 1975), Detroit (Schneider, 1980) and New York City (Richardson, 1970), there has been minimal attention paid to police development outside the North. It seems unlikely that other regions of the country simply mimicked that development regardless of their own peculiar social, economic, political, and geographical aspects. In fact, Samuel Walker (1980) has briefly noted that eighteenth and nineteenth century Southern cities had developed elaborate police patrol systems in an effort to control the slave population. Walker even suggested these slave patrols were precursors to the police (1980: 59). As a forerunner to the police, it would seem that slave patrols should have become a well researched example in our attempt to better understand the development of American law enforcement. However, the regionalism of many existing histories has meant that criminal justicians and practitioners are often unaware of the existence of, and the role played by, Southern slave patrols. This means our knowledge of the history of policing is incomplete and regionally biased. This article responds to that problem by focusing attention on the development of law enforcement in the Southern slave states (i.e., Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) during the colonial and antebellum years. The particular question to be answered is: were Southern slave patrols precursors to modern policing? Answering the research question requires clarification of the term precursor. The concept of a precursor to police implies there are stages of development preceding the point at which a modern police force is achieved. Several authors have looked at specific factors which influenced the development of police organizations in particular cities. Fewer have tried to make generalizations about police growth across the society. The latter group, which includes Bacon (1939), Lundman (1980) and Monkkonen (1981), draw on case studies of certain cities to hypothesize a developmental sequence explaining modernization of police Author’s Note: Historian Gail Rowe and two anonymous American Journal of Police referees provided me with invaluable assistance and suggestions for which I am most grateful. This is an extensively revised version of a paper presented at the 1985 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. READING 1 Southern Slave Patrols as a Transitional Police Type 17 in America. Lundman (1980), however, presents his ideas with the help of a typology of police systems.1 The advantage of a historical typology is that it allows conceptualization of a developmental sequence and can therefore be most helpful in determining whether or not slave patrols can be viewed as a part of that sequence. y The Stages of Police Development Lundman (1980) has suggested three types or systems of policing: informal, transitional, and modern. Informal policing is characterized by community members sharing responsibility for maintaining order. Such a system was typical of societies with little division of labor and a great deal of homogeneity. There existed among the people, a “collective conscience” which allowed them willingly to participate in the identification and apprehension of rule violators. As society grew, people had wider-ranging jobs and interests. Agreement as to what was right and wrong became less complete and informal police systems became less effective. Society’s response was the development of transitional policing which served as a bridge between the informal and modern types. In that capacity, the transitional systems included aspects of the informal networks but also anticipated modern policing in terms of offices and procedures. Identification of the point at which a police department becomes modern has not been agreed upon. Bacon, for example, cited six factors to be met: 1) city-wide jurisdiction; 2) twenty-four-hour responsibility; 3) a single organization in charge of the greater part of formal enforcement; 4) a paid personnel on a salary basis; 5) a personnel occupied solely with police duties, and 6) general rather than specific functions (1939: 6). At the other extreme is Monkkonen’s (1981) suggestion that the decisive movement to a modern police department occurs when the police adopt a uniform. Lundman follows Bacon but identifies only four distinctive characteristics of modern policing (1980: 17). First, there are persons recognized as having full-time police responsibilities. Also, there is 2) continuity in office as well as 3) continuity in procedure. Finally, for a system to be considered modern it must have 4) accountability to a central governmental authority. Those four characteristics incorporate most of Bacon’s suggestions but ignore Monkkonen’s. Walker, however, found the use of uniforms as a starting point for modern policing to be “utter nonsense” (1982: 216), since the development process was not the same in every city and the new agencies varied so much in size and strength.2 Instead, Lundman’s characteristics seem appropriately chosen for present needs to identify the modern police type. Existing histories of law enforcement provide significant information about informal (e.g. constables, day and night watches) and modern (e.g. London, New York City, Boston) types, but tend to ignore examples of what Lundman might call transitional. The implication is that modern policing was the result of simple formalization of informal systems. This article offers Southern slave patrols as an example of policing which went beyond informal but was not yet modern. Because few people are aware of them, the patrols will be described before being linked to transitional police types. y A Description of Southern Slave Patrols A number of variables influence the development of formal mechanisms of social control. Lundman’s review of the literature (1980: 24) identified four important factors: 1) an actual or perceived increase in crime; 2) public riots; 3) public intoxication; and 4) a need 1 Lundman’s typology of police systems is not to be confused with other typologies (e.g., Wilson’s 1968 policing styles) which differentiate contemporary as opposed to the historical types Lundman addresses. 2 Monkkonen’s reasons for using uniforms as the starting date can be found in his book (1981: 39–45, 53) and in an article (1982: 577). 18 SECTION 1 THE HISTORY OF THE POLICE to control the “dangerous classes.” Bacon (1939) in a comprehensive yet infrequently cited work, took a somewhat different approach. He identified three factors of social change influencing development of modern police departments: 1) increased economic specialization; 2) formation and increasing stratification of classes; and 3) increase in population size. As a result of these social changes Bacon argues there comes “an increase in fraud, in public disorders, and in legislation limiting personal freedom” which pre-existing forms of maintaining order (e.g. family, church, neighborhood) are unable to handle (1939: 782). Variations in enforcement procedures then occur which are “pointed at specific groups, economic specialists, and certain times, places, and objects” until eventually there is a “tendency for specialists to become unified and organized” (Bacon, 1939: 782–783). Given the scholarly works identifying such numerous and intertwined variables affecting the development of police agencies, it is potentially misleading to concentrate on just one of those factors. However, historical accounts of social control techniques in the South seem to suggest that a concern with class stratification (Lundman’s fourth factor and Bacon’s second) played a primary role in the development of formal systems of control in that region. Although the conflicts presented by immigrants and the poor have been shown to be important in the development of police in London, New York, and Boston (Lundman, 1980: 29), the conflicts presented by slaves have received very little attention. Bacon compared slaves to Southern whites and found the folkways and mores of the two castes were so different that “continual and obvious force was required if society were to be maintained” (1939: 772). The continual and obvious force developed by the South to control its version of the “dangerous classes” was the slave patrol. Before discussing those patrols it is necessary to understand why the slaves constituted a threat.3 Slaves as a Dangerous Class The portrayal of slaves as docile, happy, and generally content with their bondage has been successfully challenged in recent decades. We can today express amazement that slaveowners could have been unaware of their slaves’ unhappiness, yet some whites were continually surprised that slaves resisted their status. Such an attitude was not found only among Southern slaveowners. In a 1731 advertisement for a fugitive slave, a New England master was dismayed that this slave had run away “without the least provocation” (quoted in Foner, 1975: 264). Whether provoked in the eyes of slaveholders or not, slaves did resist their bondage. That resistance generally took one of three forms: running away, criminal acts and conspiracies or revolts. Any of those actions constituted a danger to whites. The number of slaves who ran away is difficult to determine (Foner, 1975: 264). However, it was certainly one of the greatest problems of slave government (Paterson, 1968: 20). Resistance by running away was easier for younger, English-speaking, skilled slaves, but records indicate slaves of all ages and abilities had attempted escape in this manner (Foner, 1975: 260). Criminal acts by slaves have also been linked to resistance. Foner (1975: 265–268) notes instances of theft, robbery, crop destruction, arson and poison as being typical. Georgia legislation in 1770 which provided the death penalty for slaves found guilty of even attempting to poison whites was said to be necessary because “the detestable crime of poisoning hath frequently been committed by slaves.” A 1761 issue of the Charleston Gazette complained “the Negroes have again begun the hellish practice of poisoning” (both quoted in Foner, 1975: 267). Possibly the most fear-invoking resistance however, were the slave conspiracies and revolts: Such action occurred as early as 1657, but the largest slave 3 Some may find the explanation of slaves as a danger to be an exercise in the obvious, but Walker’s (1982) comments provide a guiding principle. He suggests that “constructing a thesis around presumed existence of a dangerous class is…a sloppy bit of historical writing” unless we are told who composed the group, where they stood in the social structure and in what respect they are a danger (Walker, 1982: 215). While the “who” (slaves) and “where” (at the very bottom) questions have been addressed above and countless other places, the “what” question is less understood. READING 1 Southern Slave Patrols as a Transitional Police Type 19 uprising in colonial America took place on September 9, 1739 near the Stono River several miles from Charleston. Forty Negroes and twenty whites were killed and the resulting uproar had important impact on slave regulations. For example, South Carolina patrol legislation in 1740, noted: Foreasmuch as many late horrible and barbarous massacres have been actually committed and many more designed, on the white inhabitants of this Province, by negro slaves, who are generally prone to such cruel practices, which makes it highly necessary that constant patrols should be established (Cooper, 1938b: 568). Neighboring Georgians were also concerned with the actuality and potential for slave revolts. The preamble of their 1757 law establishing and regulating slave patrols argues: it is absolutely necessary for the Security of his Majesty’s Subjects in this Province, that Patrols should be established under proper Regulations in the settled parts thereof, for the better keeping of Negroes and other Slaves in Order and prevention of any Cabals, Insurrections or other Irregularities amongst them (Candler, 1910: 225). Each of the three areas of resistance aided in slaves being perceived as a dangerous class. There was, however, another variable with overriding influence. Unlike the other three factors, this aspect was less direct and less visible. That latent variable was the number of slaves in the total population of several colonies. While Table 1 Colonial, Populations by Race, 1680 to 1780a Percentages South Carolinab North Carolinac Virginiad Georgiae White Black White Black White Black White Black 1680 83 17 96 4 96 4 – – 1700 57 43f 94 4 87 13 – – 1720 30 70 86 14 76 24 (1715) – – 1740 33 67 79 21 68 32 (1743) 80 20 (1750) 1760 36 64 (1763) 79 21 (1764) 50 50 (1763) 63 37 1780 58 42 (1785) 67 33 (1775) 52 43 70 30 (1776) a The sources used to gather these are many and varied. The resulting percentages should be viewed as estimates to indicate trends rather than indication of exact distribution. Slave free blacks and in the early years, Indian slaves, are not included under “black.” b 1680, 1700, 1720 and 1740 from Simmons (1976: 125); 1763 and 1785 from Greene and Harrington (1966: 172–176). c 1680, 1700, 1720 and 1740 from Simmons (1976: 125); 1764 from Foner (1975: 208); 1775 from Green and Harrington (19666: 156–160). d 1680, 1715, 1743, 1763 and 1780 from Greene and Harrington (1966: 134–143); 1700 from Wells (1975: 161). e Georgia was not settled until 1733 and although they were illegally imported in the mid-1740 slaves were not legally allowed until 1750 from Wells (1975: 170); 1760 from Foner (1975: 213); 1776 from Greene and Harrington (1968: 180–183). f Wood (1974: 143) believes black inhabitants exceeded white inhabitants in South Carolina around 1708. 20 SECTION 1 THE HISTORY OF THE POLICE an interest in knowing the continuous whereabouts of slaves was present throughout the colonies, slave control by formal means (e.g., specialized legislation and forces) was more often found in those areas where slaves approached, or in fact were, the numerical majority. Table 1 provides population percentages for some of the Southern colonies/states. When considering the sheer number of persons to be controlled it is not surprising that whites often felt vulnerable. The Organization and Operation of Slave Patrols4 Consistent with the earliest enforcement techniques identified in English and American history, the first means of controlling slaves was informal in nature. In 1686 a South Carolina statute said anyone could apprehend, chastise and send home any slave found off his/ her plantation without authorization. In 1690 such action was made everyone’s duty or be fined forty shillings (Henry, 1968: 31). Enforcement of slavery by the average citizen was not to be taken lightly. A 1705 act in Virginia made it legal “for any person or persons whatsoever, to kill or destroy such slaves (i.e. runaways)… without accusation or impeachment of any crime for the same” (quoted in Foner, 1975: 195). Eventually, however, such informal means became inadequate. As the social changes suggested by Bacon (1939) took place and the fear of slaves as a dangerous class heightened, special enforcement officers developed and provided a transition to modern police with general enforcement powers. In their earliest stages, slave patrols were part of the colonial militias. Royal charters empowered governors to defend colonies and that defense took the form of a militia for coast and frontier defense (Osgood, 1957). All able-bodied males between 16 and 60 were to be enrolled in the militia and had to provide their own weapons and equipment (Osgood, 1957; Shy, 1980; Simmons, 1976). Although the militias were regionally diverse and constantly changing (Shy, 1980), Anderson’s (1984) comments about the Massachusetts Bay Colony militia notes an important distinction that was reflected in other colonies. At the beginning of the 18th century, Massachusetts’ militia was defined not so much as an army but “as an all-purpose military infrastructure” (Anderson, 1984: 27) from which volunteers were drawn for the provincial armies. This concept of the militia as a pool from which persons could be drawn for special duties was the basis for colonial slave patrols. Militias were active at different levels throughout the colonies. New York and South Carolina militias were required to be particularly active. New York was menaced by the Dutch and French-Iroquois conflicts while South Carolina had to be defended against the Indians, Spanish, and pirates. By the middle of the Eighteenth century the colonies were being less threatened by external forces and attention was being turned to internal problems. As early as 1721 South Carolina began shifting militia duty away from external defense to internal security. In that year, the entire militia was made available for the surveillance of slaves (Osgood, 1974). The early South Carolina militia law had enrolled both Whites and Blacks, and in the Yamassee war of 1715 some four hundred Negroes helped six hundred white men defeat the Indians (Shy, 1980). Eventually, however, South Carolinians did not dare to arm Negroes. With the majority of the population being black (see Table 1) and the increasing danger of slave revolts, the South Carolina militia essentially became a “local antislave police force and (was) rarely permitted to participate in military operations outside its boundaries” (Simmons, 1976: 127). Despite their link to militia, slave patrols were a separate entity. Each slave state had codes of laws for the regulation of slavery. These slave codes authorized and outlined the duties of the slave patrols. Some towns had their own patrols, but they were more frequent in the rural areas. The presence of constables and a more equal distribution of whites and blacks made the need for the town patrols less immediate. In the rural areas, 4 Information about slave patrols is found primarily in the writings of historians as they describe aspects of the slaves’ life in the South. Data for this article were gathered from those secondary sources but also, for South Carolina and Georgia, from some primary accounts including colonial records, Eighteenth and Nineteenth century statutes and writings by former slaves. READING 1 Southern Slave Patrols as a Transitional Police Type 21 however, the slaves were more easily able to participate in “dangerous” acts. It is not surprising that the slave patrols came to be viewed as “rural police” (cf. Henry, 1968: 42). South Carolina Governor Bull described the role of the patrols in 1740 by writing: The interior quiet of the Province is provided for the small Patrols, drawn every two months from each company, who do duty by riding along the roads and among the Negro Houses in small districts in every Parish once a week, or as occasion requires (quoted in Wood, 1974: 276 note 23). Documentation of slave patrols is found for nearly all the Southern colonies and states5 but South Carolina seems to have been the oldest, most elaborate, and best documented. That is not surprising given the importance of the militia in South Carolina and the presence of large numbers of Blacks. Georgia’s developed somewhat later and exemplifies patrols in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The history and development of slave patrol legislation in South Carolina and Georgia provides a historical review from colonial through antebellum times. In 1704 the colony of Carolina6 presented what appears to be the South’s first patrol act. The patrol was linked to the militia yet separate from it since patrol duty was an excuse from militia duty. Under this act, militia captains were to select ten men from their companies to form these special patrols. The captain was to muster all the men under his command, and with them ride from plantation to plantation, and into any plantation, within the limits or precincts, as the General shall think fitt and take up all slaves which they shall meet without their master’s plantation which have not a permit or ticket from their masters, and the same punish (Cooper, 1837: 255). That initial act seemed particularly concerned with runaway slaves, while an act in 1721 suggests an increased concern with uprisings. The act ordered the patrols to try to “prevent all caballings amongst negroes, by dispersing of them when drumming or playing, and to search all negro houses for arms or other offensive weapons” (McCord, 1841: 640). In addition to that concern the new act also responded to complaints that militia duty was being shirked by the choicest men who were doing patrol duty instead of militia duty (Bacon, 1939; Henry, 1968; McCord, 1841; Wood, 1974). As a result, the separate patrols were merged with the colonial militia and patrol duty was simply rotated among different members of the militia. From 1721 to 1734 there really were no specific slave patrols in South Carolina. The duty of supervising slaves was simply a militia duty. In 1734 the Provincial Assembly set up a regular patrol once again separate from the militia (Cooper 1838a, p. 395). “Beat companies” of five men (Captain and four regular militia men) received compensation (captains $50 and privates $25 per year) for patrol duty and exemption from other militia duty. There was one patrol for each of 33 districts in the colony. Patrols obeyed orders from and were appointed by district commissioners and were given elaborate search and seizure powers as well as the right to administer up to twenty lashes (Cooper 1838a: 395–397).7 Since provincial acts usually expired after three years, South Carolina’s 1734 Act was revised in 1737 5 See Resc. (1976) for Alabama; O.W. Taylor (1958) for Arkansas; Flanders (1967) for Georgia; Coleman (1940) and McDougle (1970) for Kentucky; Bacon (1939), J.G. Taylor (1963) and Williams (1972) for Louisiana; Sydnor (1933) for Mississippi; Trexler (1969) for Missouri; Johnson (1937) for North Carolina; Patterson (1968) and Mooney (1971) for Tennessee; and Ballagh (1968) and Stewart (1976) for Virginia. 6 In 1712 the northern two-thirds of Carolina was divided into two parts (North Carolina and South Carolina) while the southern one third remained unsettled until 1733 when Oglethorpe founded Georgia. 7 The right to administer a punishment to slaves was given to patrols in other colonies and states as well. Patrols in North Carolina could administer fifteen lashes (Johnson, 1937: 516) as could those in Tennessee (Patterson, 1968: 39) and Mississippi (Sydnor, 1933: 78) while Georgia (Candler, 1910: 232) and Arkansas (O.W. Taylor, 1958: 210) followed South Carolina in allowing twenty lashes. 22 SECTION 1 THE HISTORY OF THE POLICE and again in 1740. Under the 1737 revision, the paid recruits were replaced with volunteers who were encouraged to enlist by being excused from militia and other public duty for one year and were allowed to elect their own captain (Cooper 1838b; 456–458). The number of men on patrol was increased from five to fifteen and they were to make weekly rounds. Henry (1968: 33) believed these changes were an attempt to dissuade irresponsible persons who had been attracted to patrol duty for the pay. The 1740 revision seems to be the first legislation specifically including women plantation owners as answerable for patrol service (Cooper 1838b; 569–570). The plantation owners (male or female) could, however, procure any white person between 16 and 60 to ride patrol for them. In addition, the 1740 act said patrol duty was not to be required in townships where white inhabitants were in far superior numbers to the Negroes (Cooper 1838b; 571). Such an exemption certainly highlights the role of patrols as being to control what was perceived as a dangerous class. At this point we turn to the Georgia slave patrols as an example of one that developed after South Carolina set a precedent. Georgia was settled late (1733) compared to the other colonies and despite her proximity to South Carolina she did not make immediate use of slaves. In fact while slaves were illegally imported in the mid 1740s, they were not legally allowed until 1750. Within seven years Georgians felt a need for control of the slaves. Her first patrol act (1757) provided for militia captains to pick up to seven patrollers from a list of all plantation owners (women and men) and all male white persons in the patrol district (Candler 1910: 225–235). The patrollers or their substitutes were to ride patrol at least once every two weeks and examine each plantation in their district at least once every month. The patrols were to seek out potential runaways, weapons, ammunition, or stolen goods. The 1757 Act was continued in 1760 (Candler 1910: 462) for a period of five years. The 1765 continuation (Cobb 1851: 965) increased the number of patrollers to a maximum of ten, but left the duties and structure of the patrol as it was created in 1757. In the 1768 revision (Candler 1911: 75) the possession and use of weapons by slaves was tightened and a fine was set for selling alcohol to slaves. More interesting was the order relevant to Savannah only which gave patrollers the power to apprehend and take into custody (until the next morning) any disorderly white person (Candler 1911: 81). Should such a person be in a “Tippling House Tavern or Punch House” rather than on the streets the patrol bad to call a lawful constable to their assistance before they could enter the “bar.” Such power was extended in 1778 when patrols were obliged to “take up all white persons who cannot give a satisfactory account of themselves and carry them before a Justice of the Peace to be dealt with as is directed by the Vagrant Act” (Candler, 1911: 119). Minor changes occurred between 1778 and 1830 (e.g. females were exempted from patrol duty in 1824) but the first major structural change did not take place until 1830. In that year Georgia patrols finally began moving away from a direct militia link when Justices of the Peace were authorized and required to appoint and organize patrols (Cobb, 1851: 1003). In 1854 Justices of the Interior Courts were to annually appoint three “patrol commissioners” for each militia district (Rutherford, 1854: 101). Those commissioners were to make up the patrol list and appoint one person at least 25 years old and of good moral character to be Captain. The absence of significant changes in Georgia patrol legislation over the years suggests the South Carolina experiences had provided an experimental stage for Georgia and possibly other slave states. Differences certainly existed, but Foner’s general description of slave patrols seems accurate for the majority of colonies and states; patrols had full power and authority to enter any plantation and break open Negro houses or other places when slaves were suspected of keeping arms; to punish runaways or slaves found outside of their masters’ plantations without a pass; to whip any slave who should affront or abuse them in the execution of their duties; and to apprehend and take any slave suspected of stealing or other criminal offense, and bring him to the nearest magistrate (1975: 206). READING 1 Southern Slave Patrols as a Transitional Police Type 23 The Slaves’ Response to the Patrols The slave patrols were both feared and resented by the slaves.8 Some went so far as to suggest it was “the worse thing yet about slavery” (quoted in Blassingame, 1977: 156). Former slave Lewis Clarke was most eloquent in expressing his disgust: (The patrols are) the offscouring of all things; the refuse,…the ears and tails of slavery;… the tooth and tongues of serpents. They are the very fool’s cap of baboons,…the wallet and satchel of polecats, the scum of stagnant pools, the exuvial, the worn-out skins of slaveholders. (T)hey are the meanest, and lowest, and worst of all creation. Like starved wharf rats, they are out nights, creeping into slave cabins, to see if they have an old bone there; they drive out husbands from their own beds, and then take their places (Clarke, 1846: 114). Despite the harshness and immediacy of punishment as well as the likelihood of discovery, slaves continued with the same behavior that brought about slave patrols in the first place. In fact, they added activities of specific irritation to the patrollers (or, as they were variously known, padaroe, padarole, or patteroller). Preventive measures like warning systems, playing ignorant and innocent when caught and learning when to expect a patrol were typically used. More assertive measures included building trap doors for escape from their cabins, tying ropes across roads to trip approaching horses, and fighting their way out of meeting places (Genovese, 1972: 618–619; Rose, 1976: 249–289). As have victims in other terrifying situations, the slaves occasionally resorted to humor as a source of strength. One version of a popular song makes that point: Run, nigger, run; de patter-roller catch you; Run, nigger, run, its almost day. Run, nigger, run; de patter-roller catch you; Run, nigger, run, and try to get far away. De nigger run, he run his best; Stuck his hand in a hornet’s nest. Jumped de fence and run through de pastor; Marsa run, but nigger run faster. (Goodman, 1969: 83) In an ironic sense the resistance by slaves should have been completely understandable to American patriots. Patrols were allowed search powers that the colonists later found so objectionable in the hands of British authorities (Foner, 1975: 221). Add to that the accompanying lack of freedoms to move, assemble, and bear arms, and the slave resistance seems perfectly appropriate. Problems with the Slave Patrols In addition to the difficulties presented by the slaves themselves, the patrols throughout the South experienced a variety of other problems. Many of these were similar to problems confronting colonial militia: training was infrequent; the elites often avoided duty; and those that did serve were often irresponsible (Anderson, 1984; Osgood, 1957; Shy, 1980; Simmons, 1976). In addition, the patrols had some unique concerns. One of the first problems was the presence of free Blacks. Understandably, slaves caught by patrollers would try to pass themselves off as free persons. The problem was particularly bad in some of the cities where many free Blacks existed. In 1810, for example, the Charleston census showed 1,783 free Negroes (Henry, 1968: 50). Special acts eventually allowed the patrol to whip even free Negroes away from their home or employer’s business unless they produced “free papers.” In all but one of the slave states a Black person was presumed to be a slave unless she or he could prove differently. The sole exception to this procedure was 8 Rawick (1972: 61–65) provides interesting recollections of patrols by ex-slaves in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. 24 SECTION 1 THE HISTORY OF THE POLICE Louisiana where “persons of color are presumed to be free” (Louisiana supreme court quoted in Foner, 1983: 106) until proven otherwise. Other problems centered on the apparently careless enforcement of the patrol laws in some districts. When all was quiet and orderly the patrol seemed to be lulled into inactivity (Henry, 1968: 39). But there seemed always to be individuals having problems with slaves and those persons often complained about the lax enforcement of patrol laws. Flanders (1967: 30) cites several examples from exasperated Georgians who complained that slaves were not being properly controlled. In 1770 South Carolina Governor Bull noted that “though human prudence has provided these Statutory Laws, yet, through human frailty, they are neglected in these times of general tranquility” (quoted in Wood, 1974: 276 note 23). Fifty years later the situation had not improved much as then Governor Geddes suggested in his annual message: The patrol duty which is so intimately connected with the good order and police of the state, is still so greatly neglected in several of our parishes and districts, that serious inconveniences have been felt… (quoted in Henry, 1968: 38). Even when the patrols were active they did not avoid criticism. Genovese (1972: 618) quotes a Georgia planter who complained: “Our patrol laws are seldom enforced, and even where there is mock observance of them, it is by a parcel of boys or idle men, the height of whose ambition is to ‘ketch a nigger’.” Earlier it was noted that South Carolina in 1721 modified its patrol law because the “choices and best men” (planters) were avoiding militia duty by doing patrol duty. As Bacon (1939: 581) notes, service by such men was something of a rarity in police work anyway. However, it must have been a rarity in other slave states as well since the more typical opinion of the patrollers was that expressed above by the Georgia planter. As with militia duty in general, the elite members of the districts often were able to avoid patrol duty by either paying a fine or finding a substitute. Where the “ketch a nigger” mentality existed, the patrols were often accused of inappropriate behavior. Complaints existed about patrollers drinking too much liquor before or during duty (Bacon, 1939: 587; Rose, 1976: 276; Wood, 1974: 276), and both South Carolina (Cooper, 1838b; 573) and Georgia (Candler, 1910: 233–234) had provisions for lining any person found drunk while on patrol duty. More serious complaints (possibly linked to the drinking) concerned the harshness of punishment administered by some patrols. Ex-slave Ida Henry offered an example: De patrollers wouldn’t allow de slaves to hold night services, and one night dey caught me mother out praying. Dey stripped her naked and tied her hands together and wid a rope tied to de handcuffs and threw one end of de rope over a limb and tied de other end to de pummel of a saddle on a horse. As me mother weighed ‘bout 200, dey pulled her up so dat her toes could barely touch de ground and whipped her. Dat same night she ran away and stayed over a day and returned (quoted in Foner 1983, p. 103). Masters as well as slaves often protested the actions of the patrol—on which the owners had successfully avoided serving (Genovese, 1972; 618). The slaves were, after all, an expensive piece of property which owners did not want damaged. Attempts to preserve orderly behavior of the patrollers took the form of a fine for misbehavior and occasionally reimbursement for damages (Henry, 1968: 37, 40). However, patrollers were allowed a rather free hand and many unlawful acts were accepted in attempts to uphold the patrol system. Henry saw this as the greatest evil of the system since “it gave unscrupulous persons unfair advantages and appears not to have encouraged the enforcement of the law by the better class” (1968: 40). This review of the slave patrols shows them to have operated as a specialized enforcement arm. Although often linked to the militia, they had an autonomy and unique function which demands they be viewed as READING 1 Southern Slave Patrols as a Transitional Police Type 25 something more than an informal police type yet certainly not an example of a modern police organization. To identify the historical role and place of slave patrols we will turn to the concept of transitional police types. y Discussion By definition a transitional police type must share characteristics of both informal and modern systems. Drawing from his four characteristics of a modern type, Lundman says transitional systems differ from modern ones by: 1) reliance upon other than full-time police officers; 2) frequent elimination and replacement (i.e. absence of continuity in office and in procedure); and 3) absence of accountability to a central governmental authority (1980: 19–20). When slave patrols are placed against these criteria they can be shown to have enough in common to warrant consideration as a transitional police type. First, like informal systems, the slave patrols relied on the private citizen to carry out the duties. However, unlike the constable, watchman and sheriff, the patrollers had only policing duties rather than accompanying expectations of fire watch and/or tax collection. The identification of patrollers as “police” was much closer to a social status as we know it today. For example, when South Carolina planter Samuel Porcher was elected a militia captain he described himself as being “a sort of chief of police in the parish” (J. K. Williams, 1959: 65). Slave patrols relied upon private citizens for performance of duties, yet those patrollers came closer to being fulltime police officers than had citizens under informal systems. As noted earlier, slave patrols were not always active and even when they were they did not always follow expected procedure. The periodic lapses and frequent replacement of patrols is expected under Lundman’s idea of a transitional type. Since the patrols operated under procedures set down in the Slave Codes they did approximate continuity in procedure. However, the South Carolina chronology of patrol legislation suggests those procedures changed as often as every three years. The final criterion against which slave patrols might be judged is accountability to a control governmental authority. Lundman says such accountability is absent in a transitional system (1980: 20). It is at this point that slave patrols as a transitional police type might be challenged. The consistent link between slave patrols and militia units makes it difficult to argue against accountability to a central government authority. Even when the link to militia was not direct, there was a central authority controlling patrols. From 1734 to 1737 South Carolina patrols were appointed by district commissioners and obeyed orders of the governor, military commander-in-chief, and district commissioners (Bacon, 1939: 585; Wood, 1974: 275). In 1753, North Carolina justices of county courts could appoint three free-holders as “searchers” who took an oath to disarm slaves9 (Patterson, 1968: 13). In 1802 the patrols were placed entirely under the jurisdiction of the country courts which in 1837 were authorized to appoint a patrol committee to ensure the patrol functioned (Johnson, 1937: 516–517). Tennessee, a part of North Carolina from 1693–1790, also used the “searchers” as authorized by the 1753 act. In 1806, ten years after statehood, Tennessee developed an elaborate patrol system wherein town commissioners appointed patrols for incorporated and unincorporated towns (Patterson, 1968: 38). Louisiana patrols (originally set up in 1807 by Territorial legislation) went through a period of confusion between 1813 and 1821 when both the militia and parish judges had authority over patrols. Finally, in 1821 parish governmental bodies were given complete authority over the slave patrols (J.G. Taylor, 1963: 170; E.R. Williams, 1972: 400). Slave patrols had first been introduced in Arkansas in 1825 and were apparently appointed by the county courts until 1853. After then appointments were made by the justice of the peace (O.W. Taylor, 1958: 31, 209) as was true in Georgia beginning in 1830 (Cobb, 1851: 1003). In 1831 the 9 This oath read: “I, A.B., do swear that I will, as searcher for guns, swords and other weapons among the slaves of my district, faithfully, and as privately as I can, discharge the trust reposed in me, as the law directs, to the best of my power. So help me God” (Quoted in Patterson, 1968: 13 note 23). 26 SECTION 1 THE HISTORY OF THE POLICE incorporated towns in Mississippi were authorized to control their own patrol system and in 1833 boards of county police (i.e. county boards of supervisors) could appoint patrol leaders (Sydnor, 1933: 78). The Missouri General Assembly first established patrols in 1825 then in 1837 the county courts were given powers to appoint township patrols to serve for one year (Trexler, 1969: 182–183). That review of patrol accountability in eight states suggests that slave patrols often came under the same governmental authority as formal police organizations. Or, as Sydnor pointed out in reference to the Mississippi changes: “the system was decentralized and made subject to the local units of civil government” (1933: 78). An argument can be made that the basis for a nonmilitia government authorized force to undertake police duties was implemented as early as 1734 when South Carolina patrols were appointed by district commissioners or in 1802 when North Carolina placed patrols under the jurisdiction of the county courts. What then does that mean for the placement of slave patrols as an example of a transitional police type? If the various governmental bodies mentioned above are accepted as being examples of “centralized governmental authority,” it means two positions are possible. First, slave patrols must not be an example of a transitional type. This position is rejected on the basis of information provided here which shows the patrols to have been a legitimate entity with specialized law enforcement duties and powers. The other possible position is that “absence of accountability to a centralized governmental authority” is not a necessary feature of transitional policing. This seems more reasonable given the information presented here. Since there has not been any specific example of a transitional police force offered to this point,10 Lundman’s characteristics are only hypothetical. As other examples of transitional police types are put forward we will have a firmer base for determining how they differ from modern police. y Conclusion As early as 1704 and continuing through the antebellum period, Southern slave states used local patrols with specific responsibility for regulating the activity of slaves. Those slave patrols were comprised of citizens who did patrol duty as their civic obligation, for pay, rewards, or for exemption from other duties. The patrollers had a defined area which they were to ride in attempts to discover runaway slaves, stolen property, weapons, or to forestall insurrections. Unlike the watchmen, constables, and sheriffs who had some nonpolicing duties, the slave patrols operated solely for the enforcement of colonial and state laws. The existence of these patrols leads to two conclusions about the development of American law enforcement. First, the law enforcement nature of slave patrol activities meant there were important events occurring in the rural South prior to and concurrently with events in the urban North which are more typically cited in examples of the evolution of policing in the United States. Because of that, it is undesirable to restrict attention to just the North when trying to understand and appreciate the growth of American law enforcement. Second, rather than simply being a formalization of previously informal activities, modern policing seems to have passed through developmental stages which can be explained by such typologies as that offered by Lundman who described informal, transitional, and modern types of policing. While those conclusions are important, focusing attention on slave patrols and the South is desirable for reasons which go quite beyond a need to avoid regional bias in historical accounts or to describe a form of policing which is neither informal nor modern. For example, what implication does this analysis have on the usefulness of typologies in historical research? Further, how might typologies and the accompanying description of those types assist in generating a theory to explain the development of law enforcement? 10Lundman (1980: 20) only notes Fielding’s Bow Street Runners, Colquhoun’s River Police and mid-Nineteenth century Denver, as possible examples of transitional police. READING 1 Southern Slave Patrols as a Transitional Police Type 27 If typologies are helpful as a historiographic technique, is Lundman’s the best available or possible? Based on the usefulness of the typology for describing slave patrols and placing them in a specific historical context, it seems to this author that typologies are an excellent way to go beyond descriptive accounts and move toward the development of theoretical explanations. As greater use is made of typologies to conceptualize the development of American law enforcement, it seems likely that existing formulations will be modified. For example, slave patrols seem to exemplify what Lundman called the transitional police type except in terms of Lundman’s proposed absence of accountability to a centralized governmental authority. Recall, however, that Bacon also suggested a developmental sequence (without specifying or naming “types”) for police which described modern police as having general rather than specific functions (Bacon, 1939: 6). Combining the work of Lundman and Bacon, we might suggest that precursors to modern police are not necessarily without accountability to a centralized governmental authority, but do have specialized rather than general enforcement powers. In this manner, the characteristics of policing which precede the modern stage might be: 1) frequent elimination and replacement of the police type (Lundman); 2) reliance upon persons other than full-time police officers (Lundman); and 3) enforcement powers which are specialized rather than general (Bacon). In addition to providing organized conceptualization, typologies also provide a basis for theoretical development. For example, there does not as yet appear to be an identifiable Northern precursor, like slave patrols, between the constable/watch and modern stages. Is that because the North skipped that stage, compressed it to such an extent we cannot find an example of its occurrence, or passed through the transitional stage but researchers have not described the activities in terms of a typology? While each of those questions is interesting, the first seems to have particularly intriguing implications for if it is correct it means there may not be a general evolutionary history for policing. For example, are modern police agencies necessarily preceded by a developmental stage comprised of a specialized police force? Is the progression in the developmental history of law enforcement agencies one of generalized structure with general functions, to a specific structure with specific functions, and finally a specific structure with general functions? As an example of how this type of inquiry can fit with theoretical developments, we should note recent work by Robinson and Scaglion (1987). Those authors present four interdependent propositions which state: 1. The origin of the specialized police function depends upon the division of society into dominant and subordinate classes with antagonistic interests; 2. Specialized police agencies are generally characteristic only of societies politically organized as states; 3. In a period of transition, the crucial factor in delineating the modern specialized police function is an ongoing attempt at conversion of the social control (policing) mechanism from an integral part of the community structure to an agent of an emerging dominant class; and 4. The police institution is created by the emerging dominant class as an instrument for the preservation of its control over restricted access to basic resources, over the political apparatus governing this access, and over the labor force necessary to provide the surplus upon which the dominant class lives (Robinson and Scaglion, 1987: 109). The development of law enforcement structures in the antebellum South would seem to support each of the propositions. Slave patrols were created only because of a master-slave social structure (proposition 1), existing as colonies became increasingly politically organized as states (proposition 2), and elites were able to convince community members to “police” the slaves (proposition 3), because control of those slaves was necessary to solidify elite positioning (proposition 4). In order to respond with authority to these questions and implications, it will be necessary to continue 28 SECTION 1 THE HISTORY OF THE POLICE research on the history of law enforcement. Detailed study of slave patrols in specific colonies and states is necessary as are research endeavors which assess the applicability of various typologies in different jurisdictions. Hopefully this initial effort will serve to both inform criminal justicians and practitioners about an important but little-known aspect of American police history as well as encourage research on non-Northern developments in the history of law enforcement. It has been argued here that most histories of the development of police have portrayed a regional bias suggesting that evolution was essentially Northern and urban in nature. In addition, existing information has covered the initial organizational stages of policing and the formation of modern police departments, but we are left with the impression that little activity of historical importance occurred between those first developments and the eventually modern department. Lundman has called that middle stage “transitional” policing and it is that concept which has been used here to: 1) debunk the portrayal of American law enforcement history as restricted to the urban North, and 2) provide an example of a form of policing more advanced than the constable/watch type but one which was not yet modern. y References Anderson, F. (1984) A People’s Army: Massachusetts Soldiers and Society in the Seven Years’ War. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina. Bacon, S. (1939) The Early Development of American Municipal Police: A Study of the Evolution of Formal Controls in a Changing Society. Unpublished dissertation, Yale University. University Microfilms No. 66–06844. Ballagh, J. (1968) A History of Slavery in Virginia. New York: Johnson Reprint Company. Blassingame, J.W. (ed.) (1977) Slave Testimony: Two Centuries of Letters, Speeches, Interviews, and Autobiographies. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press. Candler, A. (ed.) (1910) The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. 18. Atlanta, GA: Chas. P. Byrd, State Printer. ——— (ed.) (1911) The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. 19, Part 2. Atlanta, GA: Chas. P. Byrd, State Printer. Clarke, L.G. (1846). Narratives of Suffering. Available on Library of American Civilization fiche #12812. Cobb, T.R. (1851). A Digest of the Statute Laws of the State of Georgia, Athens, GA: Christy, Kelsea & Burke. Coleman, J.W., Jr., (1940) Slavery Times in Kentucky. New York: Johnson Reprint Company. Cooper, T. (ed.) (1837) Statutes at Large of South Carolina, Vol. 2, Part 1. Columbia, SC: A.S. Johnston. ——— (ed.) (1838a). Statutes at Large of South Carolina, Vol. 3, Part 1. Columbia, SC: A.S. Johnston. ——— (ed.) (1838b) Statutes at Large of South Carolina, Vol. 3, Part 2. Columbia, SC: A.S. Johnston. Flanders, R.B. (1967) Plantation Slavery in Georgia. Cos Cob, CT: John E. Edwards, Publisher. Flinn, J. (1975) History of the Chicago Police from the Settlement of the Community to the Present Time. Mountclair, NJ: Patterson Smith. Foner, P.S. (1975) History of Black Americans: From Africa to the Emergence of the Cotton Kingdom. Westport, CT: Greenwood. ——— (1983) History of Black Americans: From the Emergence of the Cotton Kingdom to the Eve of the Compromise of 1850. Westport, CT: Greenwood. Genovese, E.D. (1972) Roll Jordon, Roll: The World the Slaves Made. New York: Pantheon. Greene, E. and Harrington, V. (1966) American Population Before the Federal Census of 1790. Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith. Henry, H.M. (1968) The Police Control of the Slave in South Carolina. New York: Negro Universities Press. Johnson, G.G. (1937) Ante-bellum North Carolina: A Social History. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina. Lane, R. (1967) Policing the City: Boston 1822–1885. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Lundman, R.J. (1980) Police and Policing: An Introduction. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. McCord, D.J. (ed.) (1841) Statutes at Large of South Carolina, Vol. 9, Part 2. Columbia, SC: A.S. Johnston. McDougle, I.E. (1970) Slavery in Kentucky 1792–1865. Westport, CT: Negro Universities Press. Monkkonen, E. (1981) Police in Urban America, 1860–1920. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University. ——— (1982) “From cop history to social history: The significance of the police in American history.” Journal of Social History, 15:575–592. Mooney, C.C. (1971) Slavery in Tennessee, Westport, CT: Negro Universities Press. Osgood, H.L. (1957) The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century, Vol. 1, Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith. Patterson, C.P. (1968) The Negro in Tennessee, 1790–1865. New York: Negro Universities Press. Rawick, G.P. (1972) The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography. Westport, CT: Greenwood. Richardson, J. (1970) The New York Police: Colonial Times to 1901. New York: Oxford University. Robinson, C. and Scaglion, R. (1987) “The origin and evolution of the police function in society: Notes toward a theory.” Law & Society Review, 21: 109–153. Rose, W.L. (ed.) (1976) A Documentary History of Slavery in North America, New York: Oxford University. Rutherford, J. (ed.) (1854) Acts of the General Assembly of the State of Georgia, Savannah, GA: Samuel T. Chapman. READING 2 The Evolving Strategy of Policing 29 Savage, E.A. (1865) A Chronological History of the Boston Watch and Police, from 1631–1865. Available on Library of American Civilization fiche #13523. Schneider, J. (1980) Detroit and the Problem of Order, 1830–1880: A Geography of Crime, Riot, and Policing. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska. Shy, J.W. (1980) “A new look at colonial militia.” In P. Karsten (ed.). The Military in America. New York: Free Press. Simmons, R.C. (1976) The American Colonies. New York: McKay. Stewart, A. (1976) “Colonel Alexander’s Slaves Resist the Patrol.” In W.L. Rose (ed.) A Documentary History of Slavery in North America. New York: Oxford University. Sydnor, C.S. (1933) Slavery in Mississippi. New York: Appleton-Century Company. Taylor, J.G. (1963) Negro Slavery in Louisiana. New York: Negro Universities Press. Taylor, O.W. (1958) Negro Slavery in Arkansas. Durham, NC: Duke University. Trexler, H.A. (1969) “Slavery in Missouri: 1804–1865.” In H. Trexler, Slavery in the States: Selected Essays. New York: Negro Universities Press. Walker, S. (1980) Popular Justice. New York: Oxford. ——— (1982) “Counting cops and crime.” Book Review, Reviews in American History. 10: 212. Wells, R. (1975) The Population of the British Colonies in America Before 1776: A Survey of Census Data. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University. Williams, E.R., Jr. (1972) “Slave patrol ordinances of St. Tammuny Parish, Louisiana, 1835–1838.” Louisiana History. 13: 399–411. Williams, J.K. (1959) Vogues in Villainy. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina. Wood, P.H. (1974) Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina. New York: Knopf. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. Why is it important to recognize the existence and purpose of slave patrols in America? 2. Explain how modern policing has evolved through a series of developmental stages. 3. Given the historical presence of slave patrols, how could these impact police–community relationships in the southern region of the United States? READING 2 In this article, George Kelling and Mark Moore examine the history of American policing over the course of three eras: political, reform, and community/problem-solving eras. More specifically, their historical overview of the police includes a look at the changes to the source of police legitimacy, police function, organizational design, relationships with citizens, sources of demands for service, tactics and technology, and measurements of police effectiveness over time. The Evolving Strategy of Policing George L. Kelling and Mark H. Moore Policing, like all professions, learns from experience. It follows, then that as modern police executives search for more effective strategies of policing, they will be guided by the lessons of police history. The difficulty is that police history is incoherent, its lessons hard to read. After all, that history was 30 SECTION 1 THE HISTORY OF THE POLICE produced by thousands of local departments pursuing their own visions and responding to local conditions. Although that varied experience is potentially a rich source of lessons, departments have left few records that reveal the trends shaping modern policing. Interpretation is necessary. y Methodology This essay presents an interpretation of police history that may help police executives considering alternative future strategies of policing. Our reading of police history has led us to adopt a particular point of view. We find that a dominant trend guiding today’s police executives—a trend that encourages the pursuit of independent, professional autonomy for police departments—is carrying the police away from achieving their maximum potential, especially in effective crime fighting. We are also convinced that this trend in policing is weakening public policing relative to private security as the primary institution providing security to society. We believe that this has dangerous long-term implications not only for police departments but also for society. We think that this trend is shrinking rather than enlarging police capacity to help create civil communities. Our judgment is that this trend can be reversed only by refocusing police attention from the pursuit of professional autonomy to the establishment of effective problem-solving partnerships with the communities they police. Delving into police history made it apparent that some assumptions that now operate as axioms in the field of policing (for example that effectiveness in policing depends on distancing police departments from politics; or that the highest priority of police departments is to deal with serious street crime; or that the best way to deal with street crime is through directed patrol, rapid response to calls for service, and skilled retrospective investigations) are not timeless truths, but rather choices made by former police leaders and strategists. To be sure, the choices were often wise and far-seeing as well as appropriate to their times. But the historical perspective shows them to be choices nonetheless, and therefore open to reconsideration in the light of later professional experience and changing environmental circumstances. We are interpreting the results of our historical study through a framework based on the concept of “corporate strategy.”1 Using this framework, we can describe police organizations in terms of seven interrelated categories: • The sources from which the police construct the legitimacy and continuing power to act on society. • The definition of the police function or role in society. • The organizational design of police departments. • The relationships the police create with the external environment. • The nature of police efforts to market or manage the demand for their services. • The principal activities, programs, and tactics on which police agencies rely to fulfill their mission or achieve operational success. • The concrete measures the police use to define operational success or failure. Using this analytic framework, we have found it useful to divide the history of policing into three different eras. These eras are distinguished from one another by the apparent dominance of a particular strategy of policing. The political era, so named because of the close ties between police and politics, dated from the introduction of police into municipalities during the 1840’s, continued through the Progressive period, and ended during the early 1900’s. The reform era developed in reaction to the political. It took hold during the 1930’s, thrived during the 1950’s and 1960’s, began to erode during the late 1970’s. The reform era now seems to be giving way to an era emphasizing community problem solving. By dividing policing into these three eras dominated by a particular strategy of policing, we do not mean to imply that there were clear boundaries between 1 Kenneth R. Andrews, The Concept of Corporate Strategy, Homewood, Illinois, Richard D. Irwin, Inc., 1980. READING 2 The Evolving Strategy of Policing 31 the eras. Nor do we mean that in those eras everyone policed in the same way. Obviously, the real history is far more complex than that. Nonetheless, we believe that there is a certain professional ethos that defines standards of competence, professionalism, and excellence in policing; that at any given time, one set of concepts is more powerful, more widely shared, and better understood than others; and that this ethos changes over time. Sometimes, this professional ethos has been explicitly articulated, and those who have articulated the concepts have been recognized as the leaders of their profession. O.W. Wilson, for example, was a brilliant expositor of the central elements of the reform strategy of policing. Other times, the ethos is implicit—accepted by all as the tacit assumptions that define the business of policing and the proper form for a police department to take. Our task is to help the profession look to the future by representing its past in these terms and trying to understand what the past portends for the future. y The Political Era Historians have described the characteristics of early policing in the United States, especially the struggles between various interest groups to govern the police.2 Elsewhere, the authors of this paper analyzed a portion of American police history in terms of its organizational strategy.3 The following discussion of elements of the police organizational strategy during the political era expands on that effort. Legitimacy and Authorization Early American police were authorized by local municipalities. Unlike their English counterparts, American police departments lacked the powerful, central authority of the crown to establish a legitimate, unifying mandate for their enterprise. Instead, American police derived both their authorization and resources from local political leaders, often ward politicians. They were, of course, guided by the law as to what tasks to undertake and what powers to utilize. But their link to neighborhoods and local politicians was so tight that both Jordan4 and Fogelson5 refer to the early police as adjuncts to local political machines. The relationship was often reciprocal: political machines recruited and maintained police in office and on the beat, while police helped ward political leaders maintain their political offices by encouraging citizens to vote for certain candidates, discouraging them from voting for others, and, at times, by assisting in rigging elections. The Police Function Partly because of their close connection to politicians, police during the political era provided a wide array of services to citizens. Inevitably police departments were involved in crime prevention and control and order maintenance, but they also provided a wide variety of social services. In the late 19th century, municipal police departments ran soup lines; provided temporary lodging for newly arrived immigrant workers in station houses;6 and assisted ward leaders in finding work for immigrants, both in police and other forms of work. Organizational Design Although ostensibly organized as a centralized, quasimilitary organization with a unified chain of command, police departments of the political era were nevertheless decentralized. Cities were divided into precincts, and precinct-level managers often, in concert with the ward leaders, ran precincts as small-scale 2 Robert M. Fogelson, Big-City Police, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1977; Samuel Walker, A Critical History of Police Reform: The Emergence of Professionalism, Lexington, Massachusetts, Lexington Books, 1977. 3 Mark H. Moore and George L. Kelling, “To Serve and Protect Learning From Police History,” The Public Interest, 7, Winter 1983. 4 K.E. Jordan, Ideology and the Coming of Professionalism: American Urban Police in the 1920’s and 1930’s, Dissertation, Rutgers University, 1972. 5 Fogelson, Big-City Police. 6 Eric H. Monkkonen Police in Urban America. 1860–1920. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1981. 32 SECTION 1 THE HISTORY OF THE POLICE departments—hiring, firing, managing, and assigning personnel as they deemed appropriate. In addition, decentralization combined with primitive communications and transportation to give police officers substantial discretion in handling their individual beats. At best, officer contact with central command was maintained through the call box. External Relationships During the political era, police departments were intimately connected to the social and political world of the ward. Police officers often were recruited from the same ethnic stock as the dominant political groups in the localities, and continued to live in the neighborhoods they patrolled. Precinct commanders consulted often with local political representatives about police priorities and progress. Demand Management Demand for police services came primarily from two sources: ward politicians making demands on the organization and citizens making demands directly on beat officers. Decentralization and political authorization encouraged the first; foot patrol, lack of other means of transportation, and poor communications produced the latter. Basically, the demand for police services was received, interpreted, and responded to at the precinct and street levels. Principal Programs and Technologies The primary tactic of police during the political era was foot patrol. Most police officers walked beats and dealt with crime, disorder, and other problems as they arose, or as they were guided by citizens and precinct superiors. The technological tools available to police were limited. However, when call boxes became available, police administrators used them for supervisory and managerial purposes; and, when early automobiles became available, police used them to transport officers from one beat to another.7 The new technology thereby increased the range, but did not change the mode, of patrol officers. Detective divisions existed but without their current prestige. Operating from a caseload of “persons” rather than offenses, detectives relied on their caseload to inform of other criminals.8 The “third degree” was a common means of interviewing criminals to solve crimes. Detectives were often especially valuable to local politicians for gathering information on individuals for political or personal, rather than offense-related, purposes. Measured Outcomes The expected outcomes of police work included crime and riot control, maintenance of order, and relief from many of the other problems of an industrializing society (hunger and temporary homelessness, for example). Consistent with their political mandate, police emphasized maintaining citizen and political satisfaction with police services as an important goal of police departments. In sum, the organizational strategy of the political era of policing included the following elements: • Authorization—primarily political. • Function—crime control, order maintenance, broad social services. • Organizational design—decentralized and geographical. • Relationship to environment—close and personal. • Demand—managed through links between politicians and precinct commanders, and face-to-face contacts between citizens and foot patrol officers. • Tactics and technology—foot patrol and rudimentary investigations. • Outcome—political and citizen satisfaction with social order. 7 The Newark Foot Patrol Experiment, Washington, D.C., Police Foundation, 1981. 8 John Eck, Solving Crimes: The Investigation of Burglary and Robbery, Washington, D.C., Police Executive Research Forum, 1934. READING 2 The Evolving Strategy of Policing 33 The political strategy of early American policing had strengths. First, police were integrated into neighborhoods and enjoyed the support of citizens—at least the support of the dominant and political interests of an area. Second, and probably as a result of the first, the strategy provided useful services to communities. There is evidence that it helped contain riots. Many citizens believed that police prevented crimes or solved crimes when they occurred.9 And the police assisted immigrants in establishing themselves in communities and finding jobs. The political strategy also had weaknesses. First, intimacy with community, closeness to political leaders, and a decentralized organizational structure, with its inability to provide supervision of officers, gave rise to police corruption. Officers were often required to enforce unpopular laws foisted on immigrant ethnic neighborhoods by crusading reformers (primarily of English and Dutch background) who objected to ethnic values.10 Because of their intimacy with the community, the officers were vulnerable to being bribed in return for nonenforcement or lax enforcement of laws. Moreover, police closeness to politicians created such forms of political corruption as patronage and police interference in elections.11 Even those few departments that managed to avoid serious financial or political corruption during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Boston for example, succumbed to large-scale corruption during and after Prohibition.12 Second, close identification of police with neighborhoods and neighborhood norms often resulted in discrimination against strangers and others who violated those norms, especially minority ethnic and racial groups. Often ruling their beats with the “ends of their nightsticks,” police regularly targeted outsiders and strangers for rousting and “curbstone justice.”13 Finally, the lack of organizational control over officers resulting from both decentralization and the political nature of many appointments to police positions caused inefficiencies and disorganization. The image of Keystone Cops—police as clumsy bunglers—was widespread and often descriptive of realities in American policing. y The Reform Era Control over police by local politicians, conflict between urban reformers and local ward leaders over the enforcement of laws regulating the morality of urban migrants, and abuses (corruption, for example) that resulted from the intimacy between police and political leaders and citizens produced a continuous struggle for control over police during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.14 Nineteenth-century attempts by civilians to reform police organizations by applying external pressures largely failed; 20th-century attempts at reform, originating from both internal and external forces, shaped contemporary policing as we knew it through the 1970’s.15 Berkeley’s police chief, August Vollmer, first rallied police executives around the idea of reform during the 1920’s and early 1930’s. Vollmer’s vision of policing was the trumpet call: police in the post-flapper generation were to remind American citizens and institutions of 9 Thomas A. Reppetto, The Blue Parade, New York, The Free Press, 1978. 10Fogelson, Big-City Police. 11Ibid. 12George L. Kelling, “Reforming the Reforms: The Boston Police Department,” Occasional Paper, Joint Center For Urban Studies of M.I.T. and Harvard, Cambridge, 1983. 13George L. Kelling, “Juveniles and Police: The End of the Nightstick,” in From Children to Citizens, Vol. II: The Role of the Juvenile Court, ed. Francis X. Hartmann, New York, Springer-Verlag, 1987. 14Walker, A Critical History of Police Reform: The Emergence of Professionalism. 15Fogelson, Big-City Police. 34 SECTION 1 THE HISTORY OF THE POLICE the moral vision that had made America great and of their responsibilities to maintain that vision.16 It was Vollmer’s protege, O.W. Wilson, however, who taking guidance from J. Edgar Hoover’s shrewd transformation of the corrupt and discredited Bureau of Investigation into the honest and prestigious Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), became the principal administrative architect of the police reform organizational strategy.17 Hoover wanted the FBI to represent a new force for law and order, and saw that such an organization could capture a permanent constituency that wanted an agency to take a stand against lawlessness, immorality, and crime. By raising eligibility standards and changing patterns of recruitment and training, Hoover gave the FBI agents stature as upstanding moral crusaders. By committing the organization to attacks on crimes such as kidnapping, bank robbery, and espionage—crimes that attracted wide publicity and required technical sophistication, doggedness, and a national jurisdiction to solve—Hoover established the organization’s reputation for professional competence and power. By establishing tight central control over his agents, limiting their use of controversial investigation procedures (such as undercover operations), and keeping them out of narcotics enforcement, Hoover was also able to maintain an unparalleled record of integrity. That, too, fitted the image of a dogged, incorruptible crime-fighting organization. Finally, lest anyone fail to notice the important developments within the Bureau, Hoover developed impressive public relations programs that presented the FBI and its agents in the most favorable light. (For those of us who remember the 1940’s, for example, one of the most popular radio phrases was, “The FBI in peace and war”—the introductory line in a radio program that portrayed a vigilant FBI protecting us from foreign enemies as well as villains on the “10 Most Wanted” list, another Hoover/FBI invention.) Struggling as they were with reputations for corruption, brutality, unfairness, and downright incompetence, municipal police reformers found Hoover’s path a compelling one. Instructed by O.W. Wilson’s texts on police administration, they began to shape an organizational strategy for urban police analogous to the one pursued by the FBI. Legitimacy and Authorization Reformers rejected politics as the basis of police legitimacy. In their view, politics and political involvement was the problem in American policing. Police reformers therefore allied themselves with Progressives. They moved to end the close ties between local political leaders and police. In some states, control over police was usurped by state government. Civil service eliminated patronage and ward influences in hiring and firing police officers. In some cities (Los Angeles and Cincinnati, for example), even the position of chief of police became a civil service position to be attained through examination. In others (such as Milwaukee), chiefs were given lifetime tenure by a police commission, to be removed from office only for cause. In yet others (Boston, for example), contracts for chiefs were staggered so as not to coincide with the mayor’s tenure. Concern for separation of police from politics did not focus only on chiefs, however. In some cities, such as Philadelphia, it became illegal for patrol officers to live in the beats they patrolled. The purpose of all these changes was to isolate police as completely as possible from political influences. Law, especially criminal law, and police professionalism were established as the principal bases of police legitimacy. When police were asked why they performed as they did, the most common answer was that they enforced the law. When they chose not to enforce the law—for instance, in a riot when police isolated an area rather than arrested looters—police justification for such action was found in their claim to professional 16Kelling, “Juveniles and Police: The End of the Nightstick.” 17Orlando W. Wilson, Police Administration, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1950. READING 2 The Evolving Strategy of Policing 35 knowledge, skills, and values which uniquely qualified them to make such tactical decisions. Even in riot situations, police rejected the idea that political leaders should make tactical decisions; that was a police responsibility.18 So persuasive was the argument of reformers to remove political influences from policing, that police departments became one of the most autonomous public organizations in urban government.19 Under such circumstances, policing a city became a legal and technical matter left to the discretion of professional police executives under the guidance of law. Political influence of any kind on a police department came to be seen as not merely a failure of police leadership but as corruption in policing. The Police Function Using the focus on criminal law as a basic source of police legitimacy, police in the reform era moved to narrow their functioning to crime control and criminal apprehension. Police agencies became law enforcement agencies. Their goal was to control crime. Their principal means was the use of criminal law to apprehend and deter offenders. Activities that drew the police into solving other kinds of community problems and relied on other kinds of responses were identified as “social work,” and became the object of decision. A common line in police circles during the 1950’s and 1960’s was, “If only we didn’t have to do social work, we could really do something about crime.” Police retreated from providing emergency medical services as well—ambulance and emergency medical services were transferred to medical, private, or firefighting organizations.20 The 1967 President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice ratified this orientation: heretofore, police had been conceptualized as an agency of urban government; the President’s Commission reconceptualized them as part of the criminal justice system. Organizational Design The organization form adopted by police reformers generally reflected the scientific or classical theory of administration advocated by Frederick W. Taylor during the early 20th century. At least two assumptions attended classical theory. First, workers are inherently uninterested in work and, if left to their own devices, are prone to avoid it. Second, since workers have little or no interest in the substance of their work, the sole common interest between workers and management is found in economic incentives for workers. Thus, both workers and management benefit economically when management arranges work in ways that increase workers’ productivity and link productivity to economic rewards. Two central principles followed from these assumptions: division of labor and unity of control. The former posited that if tasks can be broken into components, workers can become highly skilled in particular components and thus more efficient in carrying out their tasks. The latter posited that the workers’ activities are best managed by a pyramid of control, with all authority finally resting in one central office. Using this classical theory, police leaders moved to routinize and standardize police work, especially patrol work. Police work became a form of crimefighting in which police enforced the law and arrested criminals if the opportunity presented itself. Attempts were made to limit discretion in patrol work: a generation of police officers was raised with the idea that they merely enforced the law. If special problems arose, the typical response was to create special units (e.g., vice, juvenile, drugs, tactical) rather than to assign them to patrol. The creation of these special units, under central rather than 18“Police Guidelines,” John F. Kennedy School of Government Case Program #C14-75-24, 1975. 19Herman Goldstein, Policing a Free Society, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ballinger, 1977. 20Kelling, “Reforming The Reforms: The Boston Police Department.” 36 SECTION 1 THE HISTORY OF THE POLICE precinct command, served to further centralize command and control and weaken precinct commanders.21 Moreover, police organizations emphasized control over workers through bureaucratic means of control: supervision, limited span of control, flow of instructions downward and information upward in the organization, establishment of elaborate recordkeeping systems requiring additional layers of middle managers, and coordination of activities between various production units (e.g., patrol and detectives), which also required additional middle managers. External Relationships Police leaders in the reform era redefined the nature of a proper relationship between police officers and citizens. Heretofore, police had been intimately linked to citizens. During the era of reform policing, the new model demanded an impartial law enforcer who related to citizens in professionally neutral and distant terms. No better characterization of this model can be found than television’s Sergeant Friday, whose response, “Just the facts, ma’am,” typified the idea: impersonal and oriented toward crime solving rather than responsive to the emotional crisis of a victim. The professional model also shaped the police view of the role of citizens in crime control. Police redefined the citizen role during an era when there was heady confidence about the ability of professionals to manage physical and social problems. Physicians would care for health problems, dentists for dental problems, teachers for educational problems, social workers for social adjustment problems, and police for crime problems. The proper role of citizens in crime control was to be relatively passive recipients of professional crime control services. Citizens’ actions on their own behalf to defend themselves or their communities came to be seen as inappropriate, smacking of vigilantism. Citizens met their responsibilities when a crime occurred by calling police, deferring to police actions, and being good witnesses if called upon to give evidence. The metaphor that expressed this orientation to the community was that of the police as the “thin blue line.” It connotes the existence of dangerous external threats to communities, portrays police as standing between that danger and good citizens, and implies both police heroism and loneliness. Demand Management Learning from Hoover, police reformers vigorously set out to sell their brand of urban policing.22 They, too, performed on radio talk shows, consulted with media representatives about how to present police, engaged in public relations campaigns, and in other ways presented this image of police as crime fighters. In a sense, they began with an organizational capacity—anticrime police tactics—and intensively promoted it. This approach was more like selling than marketing. Marketing refers to the process of carefully identifying consumer needs and then developing goods and services that meet those needs. Selling refers to having a stock of products or goods on hand irrespective of need and selling them. The reform strategy had as its starting point a set of police tactics (services) that police promulgated as much for the purpose of establishing internal control of police officers and enhancing the status of urban police as for responding to community needs or market demands.23 The community “need” for rapid response to calls for service, for instance, was largely the consequence of police selling the service as efficacious in crime control rather than a direct demand from citizens. Consistent with this attempt to sell particular tactics, police worked to shape and control demand for police services. Foot patrol, when demanded by citizens, was rejected as an outmoded, expensive frill. Social and emergency services were terminated or given to other agencies. Receipt of demand for police services was centralized. No longer were citizens 21Fogelson, Big-City Police. 22William H. Parker, “The Police Challenge in Our Great Cities,” The Annals 29 (January 1954): 5–13. 23For a detailed discussion of the differences between selling and marketing, see John L. Crompton and Charles W. Lamb, Marketing Government and Social Services, New York, John Wiley and Sons, 1986. READING 2 The Evolving Strategy of Policing 37 encouraged to go to “their” neighborhood police officers or districts; all calls went to a central communications facility. When 911 systems were installed, police aggressively sold 911 and rapid response to calls for service as effective police service. If citizens continued to use district, or precinct, telephone numbers, some police departments disconnected those telephones or got new telephone numbers.24 Principal Programs and Technologies The principal programs and tactics of the reform strategy were preventive patrol by automobile and rapid response to calls for service. Foot patrol, characterized as outmoded and inefficient, was abandoned as rapidly as police administrators could obtain cars.25 The initial tactical reasons for putting police in cars had been to increase the size of the areas police officers could patrol and to take the advantage away from criminals who began to use automobiles. Under reform policing, a new theory about how to make the best tactical use of automobiles appeared. O.W. Wilson developed the theory of preventive patrol by automobile as an anticrime tactic.26 He theorized that if police drove conspicuously marked cars randomly through city streets and gave special attention to certain “hazards” (bars and schools, for example), a feeling of police omnipresence would be developed. In turn, that sense of omnipresence would both deter criminals and reassure good citizens. Moreover, it was hypothesized that vigilant patrol officers moving rapidly through city streets would happen upon criminals in action and be able to apprehend them. As telephones and radios became ubiquitous, the availability of cruising police came to be seen as even more valuable: if citizens could be encouraged to call the police via telephone as soon as problems developed, police could respond rapidly to calls and establish control over situations, identify wrong-doers, and make arrests. To this end, 911 systems and computer-aided dispatch were developed throughout the country. Detective units continued, although with some modifications. The “person” approach ended and was replaced by the case approach. In addition, forensic techniques were upgraded and began to replace the old “third degree” or reliance on informants for the solution of crimes. Like other special units, most investigative units were controlled by central headquarters. Measured Outcomes The primary desired outcomes of the reform strategy were crime control and criminal apprehension.27 To measure achievement of these outcomes, August Vollmer, working through the newly vitalized International Association of Chiefs of Police, developed and implemented a uniform system of crime classification and reporting. Later, the system was taken over and administered by the FBI and the Uniform Crime Reports became the primary standard by which police organizations measured their effectiveness. Additionally, individual officers’ effectiveness in dealing with crime was judged by the number of arrests they made; other measures of police effectiveness included response time (the time it takes for a police car to arrive at the location of a call for service) and “number of passings” (the number of times a police car passes a given point on a city street). Regardless of all other indicators, however, the primary measure of police effectiveness was the crime rate as measured by the Uniform Crime Reports. In sum, the reform organizational strategy contained the following elements: • Authorization—law and professionalism. • Function—crime control. 24Commissioner Francis “Mickey” Roache of Boston has said that when the 911 system was instituted there, citizens persisted in calling “their” police—the district station. To circumvent this preference, district telephone numbers were changed so that citizens would be inconvenienced if they dialed the old number. 25The Newark Foot Patrol Experiment. 26O.W. Wilson, Police Administration. 27A.E. Leonard, “Crime Reporting as a Police Management Foot,” The Annals 29 (January 1954). 38 SECTION 1 THE HISTORY OF THE POLICE • Organizational design—centralized, classical. • Relationship to environment—professionally remote. • Demand—channeled through central dispatching activities. • Tactics and technology—preventive patrol and rapid response to calls for service. • Outcome—crime control. In retrospect, the reform strategy was impressive. It successfully integrated its strategic elements into a coherent paradigm that was internally consistent and logically appealing. Narrowing police functions to crime fighting made sense. If police could concentrate their efforts on prevention of crime and apprehension of criminals, it followed that they could be more effective than if they dissipated their efforts on other problems. The model of police as impartial, professional law enforcers was attractive because it minimized the discretionary excesses which developed during the political era. Preventive patrol and rapid response to calls for service were intuitively appealing tactics, as well as means to control officers and shape and control citizen demands for service. Further, the strategy provided a comprehensive, yet simple, vision of policing around which police leaders could rally. The metaphor of the thin blue line reinforced their need to create isolated independence and autonomy in terms that were acceptable to the public. The patrol car became the symbol of policing during the 1930’s and 1940’s; when equipped with a radio, it was at the limits of technology. It represented mobility, power, conspicuous presence, control of officers, and professional distance from citizens. During the late 1960’s and 1970’s, however, the reform strategy ran into difficulty. First, regardless of how police effectiveness in dealing with crime was measured, police failed to substantially improve their record. During the 1960’s, crime began to rise. Despite large increases in the size of police departments and in expenditures for new forms of equipment (911 systems, computer-aided dispatch, etc.), police failed to meet their own or public expectations about their capacity to control crime or prevent its increase. Moreover, research conducted during the 1970’s on preventive patrol and rapid response to calls for service suggested that neither was an effective crime control or apprehension tactic.28 Second, fear rose rapidly during this era. The consequences of this fear were dramatic for cities. Citizens abandoned parks, public transportation, neighborhood shopping centers, churches, as well as entire neighborhoods. What puzzled police and researchers was that levels of fear and crime did not always correspond: crime levels were low in some areas, but fear high. Conversely, in other areas levels of crime were high, but fear low. Not until the early 1980’s did researchers discover that fear is more closely correlated with disorder than with crime.29 Ironically, order maintenance was one of those functions that police had been downplaying over the years. They collected no data on it, provided no training to officers in order maintenance activities, and did not reward officers for successfully conducting order maintenance tasks. Third, despite attempts by police departments to create equitable police allocation systems and to provide impartial policing to all citizens, many minority citizens, especially blacks during the 1960’s and 1970’s, did not perceive their treatment as equitable or adequate. They protested not only police mistreatment, but lack of treatment—inadequate or insufficient services—as well. Fourth, the civil rights and antiwar movements challenged police. This challenge took several forms. The legitimacy of police was questioned: students resisted police, minorities rioted against them, and the public, observing police via live television for the first time, questioned their tactics. Moreover, despite police attempts to upgrade personnel through improved 28George L. Kelling et al., The Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment: A Summary Report, Washington, D.C., Police Foundation, 1974; William, Spelman and Dale K. Brown, Calling the Police, Washington, D.C., Police Executive Research Forum, 1982. 29The Newark Foot Patrol Experiment; Wesley G. Skogan and Michael G. Maxfield, Coping With Crime, Beverly Hills, California, Sage, 1981; Robert Trojanowicz, An Evaluation of the Neighborhood Foot Patrol Programs in Flint, Michigan, East Lansing, Michigan State University, 1982. READING 2 The Evolving Strategy of Policing 39 recruitment, training, and supervision, minorities and then women insisted that they had to be adequately represented in policing if police were to be legitimate. Fifth, some of the myths that undergirded the reform strategy—police officers use little or no discretion and the primary activity of police is law enforcement— simply proved to be too far from reality to be sustained. Over and over again research showed that use of discretion characterized policing at all levels and that law enforcement comprised but a small portion of police officers’ activities.30 Sixth, although the reform ideology could rally police chiefs and executives, it failed to rally line police officers. During the reform era, police executives had moved to professionalize their ranks. Line officers, however, were managed in ways that were antithetical to professionalization. Despite pious testimony from police executives that “patrol is the backbone of policing,” police executives behaved in ways that were consistent with classical organizational theory—patrol officers continued to have low status; their work was treated as if it were routinized and standardized; and petty rules governed issues such as hair length and offduty behavior. Meanwhile, line officers received little guidance in use of discretion and were given few, if any, opportunities to make suggestions about their work. Under such circumstances, the increasing “grumpiness” of officers in many cities is not surprising, nor is the rise of militant unionism. Seventh, police lost a significant portion of their financial support, which had been increasing or at least constant over the years, as cities found themselves in fiscal difficulties. In city after city, police departments were reduced in size. In some cities, New York for example, financial cutbacks resulted in losses of up to one-third of departmental personnel. Some, noting that crime did not increase more rapidly or arrests decrease during the cutbacks, suggested that New York City had been overpoliced when at maximum strength. For those concerned about levels of disorder and fear in New York City, not to mention other problems, that came as a dismaying conclusion. Yet it emphasizes the erosion of confidence that citizens, politicians, and academicians had in urban police—an erosion that was translated into lack of political and financial support. Finally, urban police departments began to acquire competition; private security and the community crime control movement. Despite the inherent value of these developments, the fact that businesses, industries, and private citizens began to search for alternative means of protecting their property and persons suggests a decreasing confidence in either the capability or the intent of the police to provide the services that citizens want. In retrospect, the police reform strategy has characteristics similar to those that Miles and Snow31 ascribe to a defensive strategy in the private sector. Some of the characteristics of an organization with a defensive strategy are (with specific characteristics of reform policing added in parentheses): • Its market is stable and narrow (crime victims). • Its success is dependent on maintaining dominance in a narrow, chosen market (crime control). • It tends to ignore developments outside its domain (isolation). • It tends to establish a single core technology (patrol). • New technology is used to improve its current product or service rather than to expand its product or service line (use of computers to enhance patrol). • Its management is centralized (command and control). • Promotions generally are from within (with the exception of chiefs, virtually all promotions are from within). • There is a tendency toward a functional structure with high degrees of specialization and formalization. 30Mary Ann Wycoff, The Role of Municipal Police Research as a Prelude to Changing It, Washington, D.C., Police Foundation, 1982; Goldstein, Policing a Free Society. 31Raymond E. Miles and Charles C. Snow, Organizational Strategy, Structure and Process, New York, McGraw-Hill, 1978. 40 SECTION 1 THE HISTORY OF THE POLICE A defensive strategy is successful for an organization when market conditions remain stable and few competitors enter the field. Such strategies are vulnerable, however, in unstable market conditions and when competitors are aggressive. The reform strategy was a successful strategy for police during the relatively stable period of the 1940’s and 1950’s. Police were able to sell a relatively narrow service line and maintain dominance in the crime control market. The social changes of the 1960’s and 1970’s, however, created unstable conditions. Some of the more significant changes included: the civil rights movement; migration of minorities into cities; the changing age of the population (more youths and teenagers); increases in crime and fear, increased oversight of police actions by courts; and the decriminalization and deinstitutionalization movements. Whether or not the private sector defensive strategy properly applies to police, it is clear that the reform strategy was unable to adjust to the changing social circumstances of the 1960’s and 1970’s. y The Community Problem-Solving Era All was not negative for police during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, however. Police began to score victories which they barely noticed. Foot patrol remained popular, and in many cities citizen and political demands for it intensified. In New Jersey, the state funded the Safe and Clean Neighborhoods Program, which funded foot patrol in cities, often over the opposition of local chiefs of police.32 In Boston, foot patrol was so popular with citizens that when neighborhoods were selected for foot patrol, politicians often made the announcements, especially during election years. Flint, Michigan, became the first city in memory to return to foot patrol on a citywide basis. It proved so popular there that citizens twice voted to increase their taxes to fund foot patrol—most recently by a two-thirds majority. Political and citizen demands for foot patrol continued to expand in cities throughout the United States. Research into foot patrol suggested it was more than just politically popular, it contributed to city life: it reduced fear, increased citizen satisfaction with police, improved police attitudes toward citizens, and increased the morale and job satisfaction of police.33 Additionally, research conducted during the 1970’s suggested that one factor could help police improve their record in dealing with crime: information. If information about crimes and criminals could be obtained from citizens by police, primarily patrol officers, and could be properly managed by police departments, investigative and other units could significantly increase their effect on crime.34 Moreover, research into foot patrol suggested that at least part of the fear reduction potential was linked to the order maintenance activities of foot patrol officers.35 Subsequent work in Houston and Newark indicated that tactics other than foot patrol that, like foot patrol, emphasized increasing the quantity and improving the quality of police-citizen interactions had outcomes similar to those of foot patrol (fear reduction, etc.).36 Meanwhile, many other cities were developing programs, though not evaluated, similar to those in the foot patrol, Flint, and fear reduction experiments.37 32The Newark Foot Patrol Experiment. 33The Newark Foot Patrol Experiment; Trojanowicz, An Evaluation of the Neighborhood Foot Patrol Program in Flint, Michigan. 34Tony Pate et al., Three Approaches to Criminal Apprehension in Kansas City: An Evaluation Report, Washington, D.C., Police Foundation, 1976; Eck, Solving Crimes: The Investigation of Burglary and Robbery. 35James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, “Police and Neighborhood Safety: Broken Windows,” Atlantic Monthly, March 1982: 29–38. 36Tony Pate et. al., Reducing Fear of Crime in Houston and Newark: A Summary Report, Washington, D.C., Police Foundation, 1986. 37Jerome H. Skolnick and David H. Bayley, The New Blue Line: Police Innovation in Six American Cities, New York, The Free Press, 1986; Albert J. Reiss, Jr., Policing a City’s Central District: The Oakland Story, Washington, D.C., National Institute of Justice, March 1985. READING 2 The Evolving Strategy of Policing 41 The findings of foot patrol and fear reduction experiments, when coupled with the research on the relationship between fear and disorder, created new opportunities for police to understand the increasing concerns of citizens’ groups about disorder (gangs, prostitutes, etc.) and to work with citizens to do something about it. Police discovered that when they asked citizens about their priorities, citizens appreciated the inquiry and also provided useful information—often about problems that beat officers might have been aware of, but about which departments had little or no official data (e.g., disorder). Moreover, given the ambiguities that surround both the definitions of disorder and the authority of police to do something about it, police learned that they had to seek authorization from local citizens to intervene in disorderly situations.38 Simultaneously, Goldstein’s problem-oriented approach to policing39 was being tested in several communities: Madison, Wisconsin; Baltimore County, Maryland; and Newport News, Virginia. Problemoriented policing rejects the fragmented approach in which police deal with each incident, whether citizen- or police-initiated, as an isolated event with neither history nor future. Pierce’s findings about calls for service illustrate Goldstein’s point: 60 percent of the calls for service in any given year in Boston originated from 10 percent of the households calling the police.40 Furthermore, Goldstein and his colleagues in Madison, Newport News, and Baltimore County discovered the following: police officers enjoy operating with a holistic approach to their work; they have the capacity to do it successfully; they can work with citizens and other agencies to solve problems; and citizens seem to appreciate working with police—findings similar to those of the foot patrol experiments (Newark and Flint)41 and the fear reduction experiments (Houston and Newark).42 The problem confronting police, policymakers, and academicians is that these trends and findings seem to contradict many of the tenets that dominated police thinking for a generation. Foot patrol creates new intimacy between citizens and police. Problem solving is hardly the routinized and standardized patrol modality that reformers thought was necessary to maintain control of police and limit their discretion. Indeed, use of discretion is the sine qua non of problem-solving policing. Relying on citizen endorsement of order maintenance activities to justify police action acknowledges a continued or new reliance on political authorization for police work in general. And, accepting the quality of urban life as an outcome of good police service emphasizes a wider definition of the police function and the desired effects of police work. These changes in policing are not merely new police tactics, however. Rather, they represent a new organizational approach, properly called a community strategy. The elements of that strategy are: Legitimacy and Authorization There is renewed emphasis on community, or political, authorization for many police tasks, along with law and professionalism. Law continues to be the major legitimating basis of the police function. It defines basic police powers, but it does not fully direct police activities in efforts to maintain order, negotiate conflicts, or solve community problems. It becomes one tool among many others. Neighborhood, or community, support and involvement are required to accomplish those tasks. Professional and bureaucratic authority, especially that which tends to isolate police and insulate them from neighborhood influences, is lessened as 38Wilson and Kelling, “Police and Neighborhood Safety: Broken Windows.” 39Herman Goldstein, “Improving Policing: A Problem-Oriented Approach,” Crime and Delinquency, April 1979, 236–258. 40Glenn Pierce et. al., “Evaluation of an Experiment in Proactive Police Intervention in the Field of Domestic Violence Using Repeat Call Analysis,” Boston, Massachusetts, The Boston Fenway Project, Inc., May 13, 1987. 41The Newark Foot Patrol Experiment: Trojanowicz, An Evaluation of the Neighborhood Foot Patrol Program in Flint, Michigan. 42Pate et. al., Reducing Fear of Crime in Houston and Newark: A Summary Report. 42 SECTION 1 THE HISTORY OF THE POLICE citizens contribute more to definitions of problems and identification of solutions. Although in some respects similar to the authorization of policing’s political era, community authorization exists in a different political context. The civil service movement, the political centralization that grew out of the Progressive era, and the bureaucratization, professionalization, and unionization of police stand as counterbalances to the possible recurrence of the corrupting influences of ward politics that existed prior to the reform movement. The Police Function As indicated above, the definition of police function broadens in the community strategy. It includes order maintenance, conflict resolution, problem solving through the organization, and provision of services, as well as other activities. Crime control remains an important function, with an important difference, however. The reform strategy attempts to control crime directly through preventive patrol and rapid response to calls for service. The community strategy emphasizes crime control and prevention as an indirect result of, or an equal partner to, the other activities. Organizational Design Community policing operates from organizational assumptions different from those of reform policing. The idea that workers have no legitimate, substantive interest in their work is untenable when programs such as those in Flint, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Baltimore County, Newport News, and others are examined. Consulting with community groups, problem solving, maintaining order, and other such activities are antithetical to the reform ideal of eliminating officer discretion through routinization and standardization of police activities. Moreover, organizational decentralization is inherent in community policing: the involvement of police officers in diagnosing and responding to neighborhood and community problems necessarily pushes operational and tactical decisionmaking to the lower levels of the organization. The creation of neighborhood police stations (storefronts, for example), reopening of precinct stations, and establishment of beat offices (in schools, churches, etc.) are concrete examples of such decentralization. Decentralization of tactical decisionmaking to precinct or beat level does not imply abdication of executive obligations and functions, however. Developing, articulating, and monitoring organizational strategy remain the responsibility of management. Within this strategy, operational and tactical decisionmaking is decentralized. This implies what may at first appear to be a paradox: while the number of managerial levels may decrease, the number of managers may increase. Sergeants in a decentralized regime, for example, have managerial responsibilities that exceed those they would have in a centralized organization. At least two other elements attend this decentralization: increased participative management and increased involvement of top police executives in planning and implementation. Chiefs have discovered that programs are easier to conceive and implement if officers themselves are involved in their development through task forces, temporary matrix-like organizational units, and other organizational innovations that tap the wisdom and experience of sergeants and patrol officers. Additionally, police executives have learned that good ideas do not translate themselves into successful programs without extensive involvement of the chief executive and his close agents in every stage of planning and implementation, a lesson learned in the private sector as well.43 One consequence of decentralized decisionmaking, participative planning and management, and executive involvement in planning is that fewer levels of authority are required to administer police organizations. Some police organizations, including the London Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard), have begun to reduce the number of middle-management layers, while others are contemplating doing so. Moreover, as in the private sector, as computerized information gathering systems reach their potential in police departments, the need for 43James R. Gardner, Robert Rachlin, and H.W. Allen Sweeny, eds., Handbook of Strategic Planning, New York, John Wiley and Sons, 1986. READING 2 The Evolving Strategy of Policing 43 middle managers whose primary function is data collection will be further reduced. External Relationships Community policing relies on an intimate relationship between police and citizens. This is accomplished in a variety of ways: relatively long-term assignment of officers to beats, programs that emphasize familiarity between citizens and police (police knocking on doors, consultations, crime control meetings for police and citizens, assignment to officers of “caseloads” of households with ongoing problems, problem solving, etc.), revitalization or development of Police Athletic League programs, educational programs in grade and high schools, and other programs. Moreover, police are encouraged to respond to the feelings and fears of citizens that result from a variety of social problems or from victimization. Further, the police are restructuring their relationship with neighborhood groups and institutions. Earlier, during the reform era, police had claimed a monopolistic responsibility for crime control in cities, communities, and neighborhoods; now they recognize serious competitors in the “industry” of crime control, especially private security and the community crime control movement. Whereas in the past police had dismissed these sources of competition or, as in the case of community crime control, had attempted to coopt the movement for their own purposes,44 now police in many cities (Boston, New York, Houston, and Los Angeles, to name a few) are moving to structure working relationships or strategic alliances with neighborhood and community crime control groups. Although there is less evidence of attempts to develop alliances with the private security industry, a recent proposal to the National Institute of Justice envisioned an experimental alliance between the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Police Department and the Wackenhut Corporation in which the two organizations would share responses to calls for service. Demand Management In the community problem-solving strategy, a major portion of demand is decentralized, with citizens encouraged to bring problems directly to beat officers or precinct offices. Use of 911 is discouraged, except for dire emergencies. Whether tactics include aggressive foot patrol as in Flint or problem solving as in Newport News, the emphasis is on police officers’ interacting with citizens to determine the types of problems they are confronting and to devise solutions to those problems. In contrast to reform policing with its selling orientation, this approach is more like marketing: customer preferences are sought, and satisfying customer needs and wants, rather than selling a previously packaged product or service, is emphasized. In the case of police, they gather information about citizens’ wants, diagnose the nature of the problem, devise possible solutions, and then determine which segments of the community they can best serve and which can be best served by other agencies and institutions that provide services, including crime control. Additionally, many cities are involved in the development of demarketing programs.45 The most noteworthy example of demarketing is in the area of rapid response to calls for service. Whether through the development of alternatives to calls for service, educational programs designed to discourage citizens from using the 911 system, or, as in a few cities, simply not responding to many calls for service, police actively attempt to demarket a program that had been actively sold earlier. Often demarketing 911 is thought of as a negative process. It need not be so, however. It is an attempt by police to change social, political, and fiscal circumstances to bring consumers’ wants in line with police resources and to accumulate evidence about the value of particular police tactics. Tactics and Technology Community policing tactics include foot patrol, problem solving, information gathering, victim counseling 44Kelling, “Juveniles and Police: The End of the Nightstick.” 45Crompton and Lamb, Marketing Government and Social Services. 44 SECTION 1 THE HISTORY OF THE POLICE and services, community organizing and consultation, education, walk-and-ride and knock-on-door programs, as well as regular patrol, specialized forms of patrol, and rapid response to emergency calls for service. Emphasis is placed on information sharing between patrol and detectives to increase the possibility of crime solution and clearance. Measured Outcomes The measures of success in the community strategy are broad: quality of life in neighborhoods, problem solution, reduction of fear, increased order, citizen satisfaction with police services, as well as crime control. In sum, the elements of the community strategy include: • Authorization—commonly support (political), law, professionalism. • Function—crime control, crime prevention, problem solving. • Organizational design—decentralized, task forces, matrices. • Relationship to environment—consultative, police defend values of law and professionalism, but listen to community concerns. • Demand—channelled through analysis of underlying problems. • Tactics and technology—foot patrol, problem solving, etc. • Outcomes—quality of life and citizen satisfaction. y Conclusion We have argued that there were two stages of policing in the past, political and reform, and that we are now moving into a third, the community era. To carefully examine the dimensions of policing during each of these eras, we have used the concept of organizational strategy. We believe that this concept can be used not only to describe the different styles of policing in the past and the present, but also to sharpen the understanding of police policymakers of the future. For example, the concept helps explain policing’s perplexing experience with team policing during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Despite the popularity of team policing with officers involved in it and with citizens, it generally did not remain in police departments for very long. It was usually planned and implemented with enthusiasm and maintained for several years. Then, with little fanfare, it would vanish—with everyone associated with it saying regretfully that for some reason it just did not work as a police tactic. However, a close examination of team policing reveals that it was a strategy that innovators mistakenly approached as a tactic. It had implications for authorization (police turned to neighborhoods for support), organizational design (tactical decisions were made at lower levels of the organization), definition of function (police broadened their service role), relationship to environment (permanent team members responded to the needs of small geographical areas), demand (wants and needs came to team members directly from citizens), tactics (consultation with citizens, etc.), and outcomes (citizen satisfaction, etc.). What becomes clear, though, is that team policing was a competing strategy with different assumptions about every element of police business. It was no wonder that it expired under such circumstances. Team and reform policing were strategically incompatible—one did not fit into the other. A police department could have a small team policing unit or conduct a team policing experiment, but business as usual was reform policing. Likewise, although foot patrol symbolizes the new strategy for many citizens, it is a mistake to equate the two. Foot patrol is a tactic, a way of delivering police services. In Flint, its inauguration has been accompanied by implementation of most of the elements of a community strategy, which has become business as usual. In most places, foot patrol is not accompanied by the other elements. It is outside the mainstream of “real” policing and often provided only as a sop to citizens and politicians who are demanding the development of different policing styles. This certainly was the case in New Jersey when foot patrol was evaluated by the Police Foundation.46 Another example is in 46The Newark Foot Patrol Experiment. READING 2 The Evolving Strategy of Policing 45 Milwaukee, where two police budgets are passed: the first is the police budget; the second, a supplementary budget for modest levels of foot patrol. In both cases, foot patrol is outside the mainstream of police activities and conducted primarily as a result of external pressures placed on departments. It is also a mistake to equate problem solving or increased order maintenance activities with the new strategy. Both are tactics. They can be implemented either as part of a new organizational strategy, as foot patrol was in Flint, or as an “add-on,” as foot patrol was in most of the cities in New Jersey. Drawing a distinction between organizational add-ons and a change in strategy is not an academic quibble; it gets to the heart of the current situation in policing. We are arguing that policing is in a period of transition from a reform strategy to what we call a community strategy. The change involves move than making tactical or organizational adjustments and accommodations. Just as policing went through a basic change when it moved from the political to the reform strategy, it is going through a similar change now. If elements of the emerging organizational strategy are identified and the policing institution is guided through the change rather than left blindly thrashing about, we expect that the public will be better served, policymakers and police administrators more effective, and the profession of policing revitalized. A final point: the classical theory of organization that continues to dominate police administration in most American cities is alien to most of the elements of the new strategy. The new strategy will not accommodate to the classical theory: the latter denies too much of the real nature of police work, promulgates unsustainable myths about the nature and quality of police supervision, and creates too much cynicism in officers attempting to do creative problem solving. Its assumptions about workers are simply wrong. Organizational theory has developed well beyond the stage it was at during the early 1900’s, and policing does have organizational options that are consistent with the newly developing organizational strategy. Arguably, policing, which was moribund during the 1970’s, is beginning a resurgence. It is overthrowing a strategy that was remarkable in its time, but which could not adjust to the changes of recent decades. Risks attend the new strategy and its implementation. The risks, however, for the community and the profession of policing, are not as great as attempting to maintain a strategy that faltered on its own terms during the 1960’s and 1970’s.
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