Policing in United States

The two important personalities whose ideas and thoughts had a major impact on American police are August Vollmer and Dr. Herman Goldstein. August Vollmer was a veteran and became the town marshal of Berkeley city in 1905. As Vollmer was always against capital punishments and cruelty to criminals he tried to identify the roots of these problems and thus eliminating it. He was the first person who decided that all the police officers should be educated at least to graduation level. He started police academy which taught not only criminal laws but also first aid, sanitation laws photography etc.

His idea of police was as a social worker. Berkeley became the first American city where patrolling was introduced. Radio communications was used first by his department. He set up the first scientific crime lab. He included women also in the crew of police officers for the first time. Polygraph was developed out of his constant encouragement by Leonard Keeler. Thus most of the modern innovations presently used by the American police department have its origin at the time of August Vollmer (Boren, 2009).

Another person who impacted American policing is Dr. Herman Goldstein who invented community policing and helped in the transition of traditional policing to community policing. Community policing or the problem oriented policing was entirely different from the traditional policing in that it always stood for crime prevention rather than crime control. According to Goldstein, the problems in the community has to be identified by the police and they have to provide solutions. There should be partnership between the police and community for common good.

This reform in the American police has lead to its greatest development as the most efficient police force in the history of America. Pathways to crime According to Brown (2006), life styles and gender have a great influence in the development of criminal behavior. Studies conducted have revealed that marriage act as a factor, which pulls back men from criminal behavior, but opposite is the case with women. The greater responsibility of the family, child bearing and nurturing on women in the western world, gives much stress to women and could lead to criminal behaviors.

A child who is developing under this situation would also develop a criminal behavior. Studies have proved that pathways into crime are influenced by factors such a social background, personal background, negative social relations, development of a positive idea about crime etc. In the case of women, victimization, substance abuse, economic marginalization, etc are the main pathways to crime. Sexual abuse has been found to be an important factor leading to criminal behavior. Financial insecurity would force women to indulge in illegitimate activities for survival.

Use of drugs is another important factor that leads to crime. At the same time pathways out of crime is influenced by changes in these factors at a personal level. In most of the prisons in America studies are conducted among the prisoners to find the factors that lead to crime and counseling is given so as to change these factors at a personal level. Thus it could be seen that a life styles that give stress result in development of criminal attitude in both male and female, more so in females (Byrne and Trew, 2008). References Boren, K. R. (2009). August Vollmer: The great innovator.

[online] Available at: http://www. prospector-utah. com/vollmer. htm (accessed on 30/7/2009). Brown, M. (2006). Gender, Ethnicity, and Offending over the Life Course: Women’s Pathways to Prison in the Aloha State. Critical criminology, 14: 137-158. Bryne, C. F. and Trew, K. F. (2008). Pathways through Crime: The Development of Crime and Desistance in the Accounts of Men and Women Offenders. The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 47: 238-258. Greene, J. R. (2000). Community Policing in America: changing the Nature, Structure, and Function of the Police. Criminal Justice, 3 : 299-370