Through trial and error the United States of America has created principles intended to serve and protect its citizens. One of these principles is based on the belief that the government should not be able to control every aspect of their people’s freedom. If there was no law enforcement throughout the nation, then it would not be as strongly structured as it is today. Despite law enforcements controversial upbringing, it brought forth the creation of policing, which is still used today to serve its citizens and keep order in society. The evolution of policing began as amateur work, but it grew into a powerful division, which later emerged as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI is a well respected organization that originally went against the U.S. government to promote the wellbeing of society and ensure national security through its investigative techniques. It now primarily enforces protection against terrorism and cyber-attacks.
As soon as the United States achieved its independence from Great Britain, the entire nation had to begin the process of establishing themselves as a country; which included making a reliable criminal justice system. The U.S took a quality from Great Britain, one being common law as a beginning point for its criminal justice system. Throughout the thirteen colonies, people knew they needed to endorse some type of law enforcement; they just didn’t know how or what. This was due to multiple factors like items being stolen, and property being vandalized. Thus it called for the overseers of the community to find a reliable justice system to prevent the events from happening again. The United States incorporated ideas from Great Britain such as: the constables, the night watchmen, and the sheriffs. These were the first of many law enforcers to be created during this time period. Constables were the ones who arrested criminals, night watchmen patrolled the streets of bigger towns, while Sheriffs were in charge of law enforcement and had duties to appoint jurors (Friedman 28). What’s incredibly alluring about these occupations of enforcement was the fact each and every one of them were ordinary citizens. As previously stated, society recognized they had problems and they needed to address them. By using their own resources they had the ability to appoint people to oversee and make sure that crimes were no longer being committed by those in these communities. The people knew they needed authority figures in order to function as a well adjusted community. This demonstrates that law enforcement will always be evolving, and every community will continue to strive to achieve safety for all of its citizens.
It wasn’t until the eighteenth century that reforms urged by the entire population began to occur. Those who had been serving as the constables and night watchmen weren’t meeting the expectations of people. They had been acting reckless, by not attending their full shifts and not being honest to the people; they were often seen taking advantage of their positions and the community grew tired of their actions. In order to counteract such events, the governors finally appointed other people to these jobs. They had to act quickly, “they appointed a sheriff for each county to enforce the law,” and to have them, “enforce the law and act as chief agents of government in county”(Friedman 28). They felt that these orders would produce changes and provide new protection throughout the country (Friedman 28).
How could they just make one change and expect a big difference? Well having originated from an autocratic system, a small step was made in the right direction. The use of sheriffs (who are actually selected by an official) would work towards law enforcement being “embodied in a single, clear, definitive code,” (Friedman 63). Society wanted all crimes as well as punishments to start being recognized, which forced changes to be enacted to reach such requests and standards. This further shows the evolving nature of authorities enforcing these laws. Laws are never ending as long as the community feels there is something that needs to be addressed and looked at differently.
Beginning in the nineteenth century, police forces were seen emerging. Once again the society called for a reevaluation, requesting better structured law enforcements. They ached for “full time, night and day agencies whose job has to prevent crime, to keep the peace, and to capture criminals,” (Friedman 67). Police forces were a source that aimed to make the authorities of criminal justice professional. This was for the community to be able to recognize the police as a unit that was to be respected because it would fulfill their communities needs. A core characteristic of the police was to go and “pursue the criminals from town to town,” showcasing their dedication to preserving safety (Friedman 68). To encapture the trust of their citizens, they made good deeds in their job, they halted any bad crime, and controlled the impulsive actions done by other fellow citizens. With experience and dedication they gained the community’s trust, they proved they had the ability to work for the better good.
As time progressed, so did the growth of evolution and the advanced techniques of the criminal justice system. The police force was exemplary, compared to common law, law enforcement had come a long way. But due to time passing by, advancing criminals heightened their techniques becoming more skillful than ever before. It no longer was just thirteen colonies but a single country issue. International quandaries began to interfere with the safety of the country. The existing law enforcement had to counteract the new emerging problems in order to guarantee protection against outside forces. New obstacles were seen like the tapping into telephone calls or hacking into software. They had to reassess their law enforcement on how to make it more extraordinary to fight off these new threats. Now it was the country’s job to act impetuously to attain a federal security and a national security to protect the nation. They took a group of secret agents, ten to be exact, from the Secret Service to examine counterfeiting (Mandela). The main dilemma at the time was to view whether or not the government itself was acting righteously and not taking advantage of the extreme power they had. They were working to expose the financial spendings of the Federal Government. If citizens were held accountable for their actions so should the government that overlooks them. The FBI agents went against the decision of congress to not act, by acting even when they were not given permission. This decision was made because they felt Congress was not working towards the benefit of the people.
Finally in 1935 the organization was addressed and recognized as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The organization had now gained the motives to promote the wellbeing of society and ensure national security. Ever since, wars have taken place and criminals have become more aggressively active. Many have become more astute, seeking to gain more control, so the FBI has to constantly be active to combat these issues. The FBI was to counterattack anything they felt threatened the government, people, and country through its main objectives is to provide “intelligence and prevention,” (Mueller). Such events like the Red Scare made the FBI further enhance their intelligence in order to keep propaganda out of the country, despite fear being expressed by the communities, they tried to manage the situation as best as they could. They managed to arrest over 10,000 people accused of being suspicious communists (Mandela). Such an occurrence risked the integrity between the communities in the nation and the nation’s government, luckily the FBI was able to halt it from the beginning. The FBI began to excel and will continue to excel despite its obstacles.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation was established in an attempt to counterattack all threats whether it be within the country, performed by its own citizens, or an international matter. They have to have reasonable doubt or legitimate evidence that something risky or menacing is going to transpire; they must protect their moralities at all costs. In the Last Man Standing, the FBI conspired against Geronimo Pratt in fear of fueling the Black Panther Party and it becoming a larger threat (Olsen). They did wrongfully accuse him of murder, but they were informed inaccurately by an insider. However, they did have a good reason to act because his actions were suspicious.
Now in modern times, the FBI still continues to operate and create investigations against possible and active ultimatums. They strive to maintain stability and to protect our nation’s information, but the threats have adapted furthermore. They must continue to question elected officials, prevent terrorist attacks, sustain a calm environment throughout the country, halt online cyber attacks and tackle any emerging threats that may come in the future.
Through time, the history of policing has evolved and adapted each time society faced new different problems. It began as common law that was taken from Great Britain, then later emerged into actual positions like the watchmen and the sheriffs, which eventually lead to the creation of actual policing. This all led to other branches of enforcement including the branch of the FBI. There will always be room for improvement and the population is relied upon to create and force changes within this authority. Ultimately, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will sustain its power and work to ensure National security as well as assist in maintaining world peace.