Police Agencies and Jurisdiction

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Police Agencies and Jurisdiction

The development of police agencies was a necessary part of US history because of crime and the need to contain and eliminate as much of it as possible. Local, state, and federal agencies were created to protect and serve. Part of the process to assist in assigning authority is assigning jurisdiction; mapped out regions for the many precincts.

Before the evolution of law enforcement in the 12th Century, an organized posse came to the rescue of victims. According to Schmalleger (2009), “all able-bodied men who could hear a victim’s cry for help were obligated to join the posse in a common effort to apprehend the offender.” A posse was a real-life version of neighborhood watch.

In the 12th Century it was determined that offenders weren’t handled as well as those in charge want them to be so a more pure form of law enforcement was created and put into action. Laws, statutes, mandates, and many other guidelines and rules were put forth to follow and uphold. And it was made clear by the sheriff that punishment would befall anyone who disrespects them without good reason.

To continue a personal level of protection needed as the population grew, local agencies were formed. In the 18th and 19th Century, Mayors were merely figureheads; the wards and neighborhoods held the true power of the land. Political leaders chose a certain precinct’s police officers. According to Uchida (2004), “each police officer had to establish his own authority among the citizens he patrolled. The personal, informal police officer could win the respect of the citizenry by knowing local standards and expectations.”

To enforce State laws, State Police Divisions were developed and put into action. They have extensive arresting powers and typically have the most diverse roles in law enforcement. They also have the authority to investigate…...

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