The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society

Choose and discuss one of the following topics. Which of these topics do you think had the greatest effect on policing today? Why?

1) Policing Eras

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2) The Wickersham Commission

3) The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society

4) Police Consent Decrees



                                                                 CLASSMATE’S RESPONSE

The political policing era was estimated to have occurred throughout the nineteenth century and into the beginning of the twentieth century. During the political policing era the police were utilized as political instruments. Policing during the political policing era was focused on the maintaining of the peace and the orderly conduct of the citizenry. Policing during this era was largely unregulated and corrupt (Gau, 2018).

The professional or legalistic policing era was estimated to have taken hold in the 1960s and had faded sometime during the1970s. During the professional policing era the police enforced the law with minimal autonomy or discretion. Policing during the professional policing era focused primarily on reactive policing concepts. Patrols were conducted to deter criminality through heightened visibility. Additionally, the professional policing era resulted in less political involvement and less community association in attempts to deter police corruption (Gau, 2018).

The problem-solving or community-oriented policing era was instituted during the 1970s and 1980s and is still a stronghold for the policing models and methods of the twenty-first century. Throughout the problem-solving policing era engaging with the citizenry and taking actions to address the needs of the public has become a priority. Policing during the problem-solving policing era has transitioned to a greater focus being placed on the integration of proactive policing concepts and intelligence-led policing initiatives. The intelligence-led policing initiatives (Gau, 2018).

It is an opinion that the progression and evolution of the policing eras, in correlation with the presenting advancements, have occurred as the direct result of practical experience. Experience provides real-world empirical evidence as to which policing models or concepts provided the greatest benefits to society. It is an opinion that the policing eras have directly impacted and had the greatest influence on the development and implementation of the policing methods having the greatest potential for success based on the evaluation and assessment of the varying strategies over the span of time that has incorporated the political, professional, and problem-solving eras (Gau, 2018).


Gau, J. M. (2018). Criminal justice policy: Origins and effectiveness. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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