Cover image for The role of police in American society : a documentary history
The role of police in American society : a documentary history
Vila, Bryan, 1947-
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xxxvii, 318 pages ; 24 cm.
Reading Level:
1460 Lexile.
Format :


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HV8138 .R64 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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From the night watchmen of the 17th century to the highly publicized Rodney King hearings, the history and development of police policy and the role of police in American society are traced through this collection of 95 primary documents. Students, teachers, and interested readers can use this valuable resource to examine the development and role of the police in the United States through the words of the people who were involved in the struggle to enforce laws, uphold the Constitution, maintain safe and stable communities, and create efficient and effective police forces. An explanatory introduction precedes each document to aid the user in understanding the economic, political, social, and legislative forces that helped shape the role of the police in our society.

Riots, strikes, commission reports, innovations, groundbreaking studies, and major court cases from different time periods are presented in a balanced manner. This volume is divided into seven parts, each part representing a different time period in which the roles of the police were being redefined. Vila and Morris present the reader with theories from different professionals on what the role of the police should be and how to develop these roles, as well as presenting successful and unsuccessful models to help readers draw their own conclusions.

Author Notes

BRYAN VILA is Associate Professor of Political Science and Administration of Justice at the University of Wyoming. Prior to becoming an academic, Dr. Vila spent 17 years in local, national, and international law enforcement. He is co-editor of Capital Punishment in the United States: A Documentary History (Greenwood, 1997).

CYNTHIA MORRIS is a freelance researcher, writer and editor living in Laramie, WY./e Morris spent 10 years working as a research writer at the University of California, and is co-editor of Capital Punishment in the United States: A Documentary History (Greenwood, 1997).

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

New volumes in Greenwood's Primary Documents in American History and Contemporary Issues series.

Library Journal Review

Policing deals with central issues of social control. Vila and Bryan (Capital Punishment in the United States: A Documentary History, Greenwood, 1997) have produced a documentary history of policing in America and provide a chronological analysis of "how the issues, concerns, and ideals of police officers, chiefs, reformers, and researchers have changed over time." Their careful selection of important primary documents ranges from early police activities in 17th- and 18th-century America through conflicting expectations of the police role from the 1960s to the present. Each of the seven parts contains a brief introductory essay that outlines main themes found in the 95 documents. Most of these are summarized in two or three pages and represent a variety of viewpoints. This book is part of a series that makes available in one volume key primary documents on a given historical event or contemporary issue. Criminal justice practitioners and professionals can use this to identify key trends, and the general public will gain an understanding of changing police roles in American society. For public and academic libraries.√ĄSteven Puro, Saint Louis Univ. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Series Forewordp. xvii
Prefacep. xix
Introductionp. xxiii
Significant Dates in the History of the Police in Americap. xxxi
Part I Night Watchmen, Constables, and Sheriffs: The Role of Early "Police" in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Americap. 1
Document 1 The Boston Night Watch (April 1631)p. 6
Document 2 The Duke of York's Laws (1675-1775)p. 8
Document 3 A Bill Concerning the Choice of Constables (1684)p. 10
Document 4 The Constables Pocket-Book (Nicholas Boone, 1710)p. 11
Document 5 Benjamin Franklin on the 1737 Philadelphia Night Watchp. 13
Document 6 Southern Slave Patrols as a Precursor to Contemporary Police Forces (1704-circa 1861)p. 14
Document 7 The Regulators (1767)p. 17
Document 8 The Bill of Rights (1791)p. 19
A. The Fourth Amendmentp. 20
B. The Fifth Amendmentp. 20
C. The Sixth Amendmentp. 20
Part II Rangers, Marshals, and Municipal Police Forces: The Role of the Police in the Nineteenth Centuryp. 23
Document 9 The Texas Rangers (1823-)p. 28
Document 10 Metropolitan Police Act (London, 1829)p. 30
A. Excerpts from "An Act for Improving the Police in and Near the Metropolis"p. 32
B. London Times Article on the New Policep. 33
Document 11 The New York City Police (1845)p. 35
Document 12 "The Police Uniform" (1854)p. 37
Document 13 Allan Pinkerton and Private Policing (1867)p. 40
Document 14 First National Police Convention (1871)p. 42
Document 15 The Role of the Indian Police in the Western Territories (John P. Clum, 1875)p. 45
Document 16 Hopt v. Utah (1884)p. 47
Document 17 Recollections of a New York Chief of Police (George W. Walling, 1887)p. 49
Document 18 Our Police (George M. Roe, 1890)p. 52
Document 19 Police Matrons (1890)p. 54
Document 20 William S. Seavey and the National Chiefs of Police Union (1893-1895)p. 57
Document 21 "Improvements in Police Work" (W. J. McKelvey, 1896)p. 59
Document 22 Theodore Roosevelt and the New York Police (1895-1897)p. 62
Document 23 The Role of United States Marshals in the Western Territories (1898)p. 67
Document 24 The Nineteenth-Century Town Marshalp. 69
Part III Police Reform and Social and Technological Advances in The Early Twentieth Centuryp. 73
Document 25 Police Administration (Leonhard Felix Fuld, 1909)p. 80
Document 26 "The Automobile as a Police Department Adjunct" (J. H. Haager, 1909)p. 82
Document 27 "A History of the 'Sweat Box' and 'Third Degree'" (Richard Sylvester, 1910)p. 84
Document 28 Alice Stebbins Wells (1910)p. 87
A. Los Angeles Times Article Announcing Wells' Appointmentp. 88
B. Good Housekeeping Magazine Article About Wellsp. 89
Document 29 "Police Regulation of Motor Vehicles" (C. E. Sebastian, 1911)p. 91
Document 30 "Troubles of a Black Policeman" (1912)p. 93
Document 31 Weeks v. United States (1914)p. 95
Document 32 Policeman and Public (Arthur Woods, 1919)p. 97
Document 33 "The Policeman as a Social Worker" (August Vollmer, 1919)p. 100
Document 34 The Boston Police Strike (1919)p. 105
A. Governor Coolidge's Response to the Strike (1)p. 106
B. President Wilson's Response to the Strikep. 106
C. Governor Coolidge's Response to the Strike (2)p. 106
Document 35 American Police Systems (Raymond B. Fosdick, 1920)p. 107
Document 36 Race Relations and the Police in Chicago (1922)p. 110
Document 37 "Adding Policemen to the List of Those Who Know How to Shoot" (1923)p. 113
Document 38 Carroll et al. v. United States (1925)p. 115
A. Opinion of the Courtp. 115
B. Dissenting Opinionp. 116
Document 39 J. Edgar Hoover (1925)p. 117
Document 40 "Radio in Police Work" (William P. Rutledge, 1929)p. 120
Document 41 "Our Inefficient Police" (Howard McLellan, 1929)p. 124
Document 42 "Municipal Police Administration" (Bruce Smith, 1929)p. 126
Part IV A Growing Emphasis on Police Training, Professionalism, Efficiency, and Ethics, 1930-1959p. 131
Document 43 Uniform Crime Reporting (1930)p. 136
Document 44 Report on Police (Wickersham Commission, 1931)p. 138
A. Summary of the Report on Police Written by the Wickersham Commissionp. 139
B. Conclusions Reached by Garrett, Monroe, and Vollmer in Their Report on Policep. 141
Document 45 Our Lawless Police (Ernest Jerome Hopkins, 1931)p. 141
Document 46 A Cop Remembers (Cornelius W. Willemse, 1933)p. 144
Document 47 Brown et al. v. Mississippi (1936)p. 146
Document 48 FBI National Police Academy (J. Edgar Hoover, 1937)p. 148
Document 49 "FBI Pledge for Law Enforcement Officers" (1937)p. 150
Document 50 Chambers et al. v. Florida (1940)p. 151
Document 51 Police Unions and Other Police Organizations (1944)p. 154
Document 52 Police Administration (O. W. Wilson, 1950)p. 157
Document 53 Los Angeles Police Chief William H. Parker (1954)p. 159
Document 54 "Law Enforcement Code of Ethics" (IACP, 1957)p. 163
Part V Social Change and Conflicting Expectations of the Police Role, 1960-1978p. 165
Document 55 Mapp v. Ohio (1961)p. 168
A. Opinion of the Courtp. 169
B. Dissenting Opinionp. 170
Document 56 Policewoman's Manual (Lois Lundell Higgins, 1961)p. 171
Document 57 The Police Role in Racial Conflicts (Juby E. Towler, 1964)p. 173
Document 58 Police Unionization (1965)p. 175
Document 59 Governor's Commission on the Los Angeles Riots (1965)p. 176
Document 60 Miranda v. Arizona (1966)p. 180
A. Opinion of the Courtp. 181
B. Dissenting Opinionp. 181
Document 61 U.S. Task Force Report on the Police (1967)p. 182
Document 62 Terry v. Ohio (1968)p. 186
A. Opinion of the Courtp. 187
B. Dissenting Opinionp. 188
Document 63 The Kerner Report (1968)p. 189
Document 64 The Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968p. 192
Document 65 Varieties of Police Behavior (James Q. Wilson, 1968)p. 196
Document 66 Police Power (Paul Chevigny, 1969)p. 200
Document 67 "The Role of the Police in Modern Society" (T. A. Fleek and T. J. Newnam, 1969)p. 203
Document 68 "The Capacity to Use Force as the Core of the Police Role" (Egon Bittner, 1970)p. 204
Document 69 The Knapp Commission Report on Police Corruption (1972)p. 206
Document 70 The Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment (George L. Kelling et al., 1974)p. 209
Document 71 "A Professor's 'Street Lessons'" (George L. Kirkham 1974)p. 212
Document 72 "Law Enforcement and Affirmative Action" (Samuel L. Williams, 1975)p. 216
Document 73 Patrick V. Murphy (1977)p. 219
Document 74 The Quality of Police Education (Lawrence W. Sherman et al., 1978)p. 221
Part VI Reexamining and Redefining the Role of the Police, 1979-1989p. 225
Document 75 "Improving Policing: A Problem-Oriented Approach" (Herman Goldstein, 1979)p. 228
Document 76 "Always Prepared: Police Off-Duty Guns" (James J. Fyfe, 1980)p. 231
Document 77 The Concept of "Depolicing" (Donald Black and M. P. Baumgartner, 1980)p. 233
Document 78 "Broken Windows" (James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, 1982)p. 236
Document 79 "The Evolving Role of Women in American Policing" (Edith Linn and Barbara Raffel Price, 1985)p. 239
Document 80 Tennessee v. Garner et al. (1985)p. 242
A. Opinion of the Courtp. 243
B. Dissenting Opinionp. 244
Document 81 Malley et al. v. Briggs (1986)p. 244
A. Opinion of the Courtp. 245
B. Dissenting Opinionp. 247
Document 82 Private Employment of Public Police (Albert J. Reiss, Jr., 1988)p. 248
Document 83 "Community Policing: A Report from the Devil's Advocate" (David H. Bayley, 1988)p. 250
Part VII The Role of the Police in the 1990sp. 255
Document 84 The Police Mystique (Anthony V. Bouza, 1990)p. 256
Document 85 Police Role Strain and Role Conflict (A. Daniel Yarmey, 1990)p. 259
Document 86 The "Law Enforcement Code of Ethics" (revised version, 1991) and the "Police Code of Conduct" (1991)p. 262
Document 87 The Rodney King Beating and the Christopher Commission Report (1991)p. 266
Document 88 The Los Angeles Riot and Its Impact on Police-Community Relations (Karen Grigsby Bates, 1992)p. 270
Document 89 "The Cops' Code of Silence" (Bryan Vila, 1992)p. 272
Document 90 "The New Policing: Confronting Complexity" (Herman Goldstein, 1993)p. 275
Document 91 Police for the Future (David H. Bayley, 1994)p. 278
Document 92 "A Theory of Excessive Force and Its Control" (Carl B. Klockars, 1996)p. 281
Document 93 "Ethics and Police Integrity: Some Definitions and Questions for Study" (Stephen J. Vicchio, 1996)p. 284
Document 94 "The Thin Blue and Pink Line" (Lisa Shores, 1997)p. 286
Document 95 "A Time to Remember" (Darrell L. Sanders, 1997)p. 289
Glossaryp. 293
Appendix A Selected U.S. Supreme Court Casesp. 295
Appendix B Selected Police-Related Groups, Organizations, and Web Sitesp. 297
Select Bibliographyp. 299
Indexp. 313