Law enforcement in the United States has endured constant changes as society has progressed. Through these changes, the internal structure of law enforcement has remained almost the same. The relationship between officers who serve the public as always been different from that of other career fields. Due to various aspects of their job, men and women in the field of law enforcement have developed a subculture separate from society. In looking at some law enforcement agencies from the Southern Tier, it can be concluded that even in small departments of less than a hundred officers this subculture exists. .
The role of law enforcement in society has enduring countless changes throughout the history of the United States. At the beginning of the twentieth century police were seen as crime fighting saviors of justice. The methods they used when working was never second-guessed by society, nor was their judgement. Citizens knew that police were rough with people, but they did not strongly discourage it. The term "police brutality” was not a frequent headline in the papers either. The police were admired by children and respected by adults in the early part of the twentieth century. In the mid - 1960's this relationship changed. Police were being called upon to break up protests and riot spawned by the Vietnam War and civil rights issues. Police often used tear gas, fire hoses, and physical force to disperse the crowds. In doing so, the police started to be viewed as oppressors of the people. The event that had the most impact on the image of police was the 1968 Democratic C!.
onvention in Chicago. A large group of protesters converged on the convention center after several warnings by Mayor Daly not to do so. The Chicago Police department was called in to disperse the crowd. Unfortunately, many television crews were caught in the melee that followed. The entire incident was plastered across the nation on every television set.