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1. Discuss the evolution of policing in America, specifically addressing the modern era of American policing.

Policing in the United States wasn’t always what it is today, in colonial America there was a watch system which consisted of citizen volunteers. This method was something that was used until the mid 19th century, in present times law enforcement officers have many different tools at their disposal to aid them in their investigations. DNA testing for instance is an amazing tool that is used by law enforcement to solve investigations. Things such as DNA testing didn’t become a means of investigating a crime until 1986. Another thing that has evolved other than the tools at law enforcement’s disposal are the laws that are enforced. As the United States continues to develop as a nation, the countries morals and values continue to evolve with it. Many laws continue to fluctuate in regard to the severity of the punishment. Marijuana for instance, is something that was taken much more seriously during the President Ronald Reagan time due to the war on drugs which carried over many decades. In modern times Marijuana has become very mainstream, and what was once a criminal investigation may now be a warning against a citizen. Marijuana may some day be legal in the federal government due to the vast amount of states that have legalized it. 

2. What are some of the social turning points in the development of policing?

In the mid to late 19th century law enforcement was believed to have too much political involvement. This was seen to be a problem by both the police and those who wished to reform the way policing was conducted at the time. The 1950’s marked a time in policing history that started the beginning of a social movement that brought race relations to law enforcement and Americans. A huge example of this would be the case of Rosa Parks which occurred in 1955 when she was arrested for a violation of segregation for refusing to sit in the back of a bus.

3. What is the future of policing? 

The future of policing is going to vary based on many different things. One thing is for certain there will continue to be a tremendous amount of training to ensure that officers do not violate use of force. This type of training is something that is currently being trained in law enforcement academies around the country. Use of force has always been a point of concern for Americans which is why there is going to be a continued effort on the part of police to ensure officers follow proper protocol. Another future of policing is an evolution of laws which is something that continues to occur. Americans are becoming more and more educated on laws because they believe that officers may over-reach their authorities which is why many people pull out their cellular phone when an officer is performing an arrest or even a routine traffic stop.


Roewer, L. (2013, November 18). DNA fingerprinting in forensics: Past, present, future. Retrieved from

    S. (n.d.). History of The Police. Retrieved July 11, 2019, from


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