“The concept of the police patrol as a preventative control mechanism routinized the insertion of police into the normal daily events of everyone’s life, a previously unknown and highly feared concept in both England and the United States.” The Progressive-Era Origins of Authoritarian Policing in the US | Foundation for Economic Education

In addition, the creation of the modern police force in the United States also immutably altered the definition of the police function. Policing had always been a reactive enterprise, occurring only in response to a specific criminal act. Centralized and bureaucratic police departments, focusing on the alleged crime-producing qualities of the “dangerous classes” began to emphasize preventative crime control. The presence of police, authorized to use force, could stop crime before it started by subjecting everyone to surveillance and observation. The concept of the police patrol as a preventative control mechanism routinized the insertion of police into the normal daily events of everyone’s life, a previously unknown and highly feared concept in both England and the United States.

Source: The Progressive-Era Origins of Authoritarian Policing in the US | Foundation for Economic Education

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