Smedley D. Butler and the Militarisation of the Philadelphia Police, 1924-1925
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The importance of the military as a police model in the U.S. had been eliminated, for the most part, from criminal justice and police studies until the 1980s-1990s, even as the professional model was studied extensively. The military, however, had been a strong presence since at least the turn of the last century. As reformers from that time began to fight against machine rule in city after city, they often adopted the military paradigm as their police model, and sought those with military backgrounds to head police departments. The new mayor of Philadelphia chose a Marine Brigadier General, Smedley D. Butler, to head his Department of Public Safety. Butler has become the prime example of the military model gone to extreme. But, while the military model per se has been replaced by the professional model, much of its underlying understanding of police practice has been incorporated into American policing today.
Leichtman, E. (2014) 'Smedley D. Butler and the Militarisation of the Philadelphia Police, 1924-1925’, Law, Crime and History, 4(2), pp. 48-69. Available at: https://pearl.plymouth.ac.uk/handle/10026.1/8902
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