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Police are the enforcers of law in a society. Their job entails investigating crimes and arresting suspected criminals to be brought to trial. They also act as witnesses to crimes and are often called upon to give evidence against an accused. Police are required in every civilized society, as they are necessary to enforce the Rule of Law. Police are also known as constables, inspectors, sheriffs, and troopers. Each has a specific function as deemed by their respective governing agency.


The history of the police as a job function dates back beyond the Roman and Greek eras. Prior to this, the function of law and order was left to the particular nobles to protect their own lands. During the Roman Empire, law and order was more organized, as the military performed this function. In ancient Rome, the Praetorian Guard acted as the police force.[1]

The first modern police force was founded in Paris, [2]France during the reign of King Louis the Fourteenth. He created this body in 1666. Nicholas Gabriel de La Reynie was the first Paris police administrator. In London Patrick In 1797, Patrick Colquhoun was able to persuade the West Indies merchants who operated at the Pool of London on the River Thames to found a police force to prevent theft that was damaging his company and others. [3] This force was called the Thames River Police and was the first modern police force in Great Britain. It inspired similar police in Dublin, Sydney, and New York City.[4] When London's population exploded during the Industrial Revolution, Sir Robert Peel began organizing changes in law enforcement. Royal Assent to the Metropolitan Police Act was given,[5] and the Metropolitan Police Service was established on September 29, 1829 in London as the first modern and professional police force in the world.

  1. http://www.encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761574058/Police.html
  2. Clark, David Encyclopedia of Law and Society: American and Global Perspectives page 1122
  3. Dick Paterson, Origins of the Thames Police, Thames Police Museum. Retrieved 4 February 2007.http://www.thamespolicemuseum.org.uk/h_police_1.html
  4. http://www.thamespolicemuseum.org.uk/h_police_1.html
  5. The National Archives | NDAD | Metropolitan Police. Ndad.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Retrieved on 2009-05-08.

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