Law enforcement is an integral part of our society. Without it, criminals would be running amok and there would be no justice for crimes committed. Policing started as a way to make the world a better place and bring about retribution for the victims that have been affected. Over the years, police and law enforcement officers struggled to get to the point where crime could be managed effectively, and it had everything to do with humanity evolving as a species.

From technological advancements, to research into the human mind, policing has improved significantly since the 1900s. More resources for public support, armory, and social media have made it possible for police to crack down on crime. Let’s look at the major improvements policing has seen over the years.

Better Training and Resources

With the incorporation of fingerprint recognition and blood testing, police have been able to capture millions of criminals over the years. Technology has allowed for the tracking of stolen cars, monitored satellite images, and overall made the job more efficient. Policing has changed to allow more automatic weapons to be used for the safety of the officers, as well as bullet-proof vests. Prospective law enforcement is now provided more training and practice as they need to learn security measures to stay safe on the job.

Police officers are often the first ones on the scene and if someone needs medical attention, they have been trained to provide CPR and basic care until emergency services arrive. As humanity has changed, so has policing been forced to change with it. There is increased support from the public and governmental institutions to assist law enforcement to perform the best they can on the job.

Greater Focus on Community Policing

Over the decades, police enforcement has been under fire. From corruption to racism, the profession has experienced it all. Because the criminal justice system is so vital to the community, a bigger focus has been placed recently on improving policing within communities. There has to be a certain level of trust and honesty between the police that protect the area and the people in the communities. With mutual understanding, police have found ways to help improve the community to lower the rate of crime in general.

Things like homelessness, political strife, and low-economic situations majorly affect communities and the people that reside in them. It’s a large task to get strangers to trust a person, but with police and communities working together they can catch criminals faster and lessen the rate of crime.

Investigation of the Criminal Mind

Research shows that criminals do not behave in the same way as law-abiding citizens. The basic psychology and sociology of a person can predict whether they are more likely to commit a crime than someone with different characteristics. Over the years, as criminals have been convicted and research conducted, psychologists and behaviorists have been able to identify key aspects that determine the factors by which people commit illegal acts. Whether due to their genetics or the way they were brought up, there are specific psychiatric factors that can be investigated.

This led to the study of criminology; to decipher what makes a person do certain things and how their life decisions led them to that point. Criminology focuses specifically on the causes and consequences of crime from a social perspective, and how policy should be amended in the criminal justice system to prevent further illegal acts. You can study the behavior of other criminals with a degree in criminology from Wilfrid Laurier University. Qualified professionals have helped law enforcement successfully profile criminals by educating the workforce on mental health and the psychology of crime.

More Opportunities for Women

Female police officers were unheard of as early as the 1970s. Since then, the national average has gone up to 13%. Although this is still nothing in comparison to male law enforcement, there has been a significant increase in awareness for women who want to join policing units. Research has found that female officers are less likely to use excessive force and they have a knack for cooperating with people on an emotional level. This is not to say that police work should only have one gender, rather that there is a big need to include both men women in law enforcement. 

Certain areas of police work such as sexual assault cases are reportedly better managed by female police officers because the majority of victims are women themselves. Because of these factors, more facilities are choosing to hire a larger percentage of women than previously. Both men and women play an equal part, each with capabilities the opposite gender does not possess.

Improved Recruitment Processes

Being in law enforcement is not easy. It’s a tough job that requires a strong stomach and willingness to reduce crime at all costs. The recruitment process for police officers has become more robust because there is a greater need for them to be competent both physically and mentally. In the olden days, anyone who could wield a gun could train to be a police officer, but nowadays there are more hoops to jump through. The nature of the job calls for someone who can handle themselves emotionally and mentally, and psychiatric evaluations have been incorporated into the career.

Training officers are put under more stress to perform well physically because they need to be able to chase down criminals and deal with tense situations with live ammunition. A greater emphasis has been placed on maintaining mental health and recognizing the signs of someone in need of assistance when the job becomes difficult to manage.

Policing has had to change and improve over the years to keep up with the rate and type of crime that has been progressing. Law enforcement has seen some major improvements over the centuries, and it’s owed to the advancement of technology, psychology, and the public support now offered to the policing field. With all the changes that have occurred, though, law enforcement is mostly about protecting civilians and the community from all kinds of crime.