Policing Western Europe: Politics, Professionalism, and Public Order, 1850-1940

By Clive Emsley; Barbara Weinberger | Go to book overview

and others were replaced by "civil" branches of municipal or state administration. 46 These moves towards a partial demilitarization of certain sectors of the police and--to some extent--towards a depolicing of traditional police roles became more urgent as more voices were raised for a change of the prevalent police model. The "barking" policeman was no longer tolerated by the public. Even the police themselves abandoned their traditional behaviour, or at least certain aspects such as being obedient servants of the state. In 1913, shortly before the First World War cautious attempts to establish a policemen's association--not yet a union in the stricter sense--were launched by some Berlin policemen. As expected, these attempts met with a harsh response by the state administration. 47

Before the war, some sort of consensus developed about what the "new policeman," the non-military policeman should look like. In 1911, a journal close to "big business" in the Empire quoted approvingly from a social democratic pamphlet which dealt with police matters:

Due to today's educational and cultural standards of our people, the police have to carry out an extremely difficult task, for which the rough hand of the corporal is no longer appropriate. . . . The establishment of a 'new type of public official' is necessary. this 'new public official' should have the following characteristics: physically fit, a clear- headed man, he should combine in his person something from a teacher and an educator, a little from a judge and a soldier, something from a physician, from a vet, from a fireman, from an industrial inspector, and from a samaritan. He should know life and people and should be a philantropist. 48

The introduction of such a "new policeman" would have been more than a reform, it would have been a real revolution. But in 1911, Germany was not yet ready for revolution.


Notes
1.
John Fosdick, "A German policeman on patrol is armed as if for a war," European Police Systems ( New York, 1915), 231.
2.
Otto Held, Die bestehende organization und die erforderliche Reorgan isation der preußschen Polizei Verwaltung mit Rücksicht auf diewünschenswerthe Erweiterung derselben zur Deutschen Reichspolizei

-68-

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