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To define the mission of the police, one can reflect upon the concepts and principles from which policing in modern democratic societies derive. The design and creation of the Metropolitan Police in London in the early part of the 19th century formed the basis for how Western society has sought to preserve the peace, control crime, and ultimately improve quality of life for the people living within those societies. The reforms during that time changed the fundamental principle of policing from suppression of crime and disorder through the application of military force to the concept of working with people throughout the community to prevent crime and disorder.

In the United States, police agencies have long embraced the notion that their ultimate mission is to keep the ...

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