Since the beginning of the formation of human society all the societies whether they are small or large have developed a way of maintaining order. This is because no society can prevail without keeping the law and order situation under control. In the modern democratic societies police is the main body responsible of maintaining order and providing security in its jurisdiction. This paper will discuss the functions of police in the modern democratic societies and will try to find out whether these functions have under gone some changes after the technological advances of the modern age.
Though the police like bodies have always been established in different societies throughout the history, but Sir Robert Steel established modern police organization in 1829. (Police, 2007) Other countries like Australia, India, Canada and the United States then followed this. The functions and role designated to the police department at the time of its establishment is more or less same in general. The technological advancement and development in the last century have broadened the working domain of Police but the universally accepted police functions are still same.
Police functions that are universally designated to them in all the modern democratic societies are as follows: Moral enforcement is one of the major functions of police. This function is considered as one of the oldest of police functions. Moral enforcement is associated with law enforcement as most laws are based on morals. Riot control is another important function of police in the modern society. This job is given to police because those who conduct riots are citizens and governments does not use military against their own citizens.
Police’s most important job of police is the maintaining of order. Maintaining order is the primary objective behind the concept of policing because no society can flourish without law and order maintained. Maintaining law and order include activities of police which does not involve arrests and detainments like issuing security warnings, controlling the traffic and giving advice to those that have lost their way. Ensuring the safety of citizens is another function of police.
Police is considered responsible of keeping the people in their neighborhood safe. This includes patrolling the streets to ensure safety and guarding the citizens who feel threatened or unsecured. In modern societies it is the police who the people call in case of emergency. Thus providing emergency service is another important function of police in modern society. in the United States the 911 is an example of this service. (Police Function)