This sweeping look at the history of law enforcement takes readers from ancient China and the pre-Columbian Americas to the 21st century.
As long as humans have lived in communities, there has been a need for policing. Butts introduces readers to methods of policing used by civilizations throughout history in different parts of the world, revealing all sorts of fascinating facts, such as the ancient Chinese were the first to use forensics in criminal investigations. One chapter explores police corruption, and another explains how police have been used as instruments of oppression in authoritarian regimes. Butts also profiles famous law enforcement organizations like the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, New Scotland Yard, the FBI and Interpol. Despite the wide range of topics covered, there are surprising omissions. No mention is made of the increasing role of police in counterterrorism or the militarization of community police forces, especially in the United States. There is no discussion of controversial policing tactics such as racial profiling or “stop and frisk.” The narrative, informative but superficial, is complemented with dramatic color illustrations.
A broad and engaging if incomplete introduction to law enforcement through the ages. (glossary, timeline, bibliography, websites, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)