Law enforcement in the United States

Law enforcement in the United States has a rich and varied history. Although most people are familiar with the "boys in blue" who patrol the nation's neighborhoods, many are utterly ignorant of the role military police play in enforcing the laws of our nation. Military and civilian police forces around the country perform similar tasks for different constituents. However, with the advent of domestic terrorism rising in recent years, the lines differentiating the military police from the civilian police have started to blur. As civilian police forces become increasingly militarized, it is important to explore the differences and similarities between civilian and military police forces and what their goals are. In the end, both military and civilian police forces have one mission: to provide for the safety of the citizens of the United States.

Any exploration of military and civilian police forces needs to start with an analysis of their respective histories. Law enforcement in America has its roots in British common law. When the settlers arrived in the New World, they brought with them many of England's laws and institutions. Chief among these was the British system of law-enforcement, which was comprised of a Constable who oversaw the law and a group of night watchmen who patrolled a town's streets during the night. In 1833, Philadelphia started a 24 man daytime police force to augment its 120 night watchmen, and our modern conception of round-the-clock polici



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