Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

History of the Police Profession

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_457


Policing as a professional métier emerged in many European countries and in Northern America throughout the nineteenth century, although in many countries gradually only. The move toward professional policing came from two sides: The authorities governing the police (the state, municipalities) strived for a more efficient and above all for a more accountable law-and-order maintenance, while members of the (uniformed) police perceived and used the enhancement of professionalism within the police a strategy for promoting career prospects, pay, and status. Police schools and police unions were part of this development. The strive for professionalism remained limited throughout most of the nineteenth century, because most of the uniformed policemen were rather a sort of general factotum than professional agents for law-and-order maintenance. The late nineteenth century saw in many countries the advent of specialized police branches, specializing on crime investigation, detection,...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bergische Universität WuppertalWuppertalGermany
  2. 2.Vrije Universiteit Brussel, VU UniversityBrusselsBelgium