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Protective Services: HISTORIES

Free web sites on law enforcement, criminal justice, fire science, emergency management, homeland security



  • History of the Court
    The Court is the Supreme Court of the United States. This is the web site of the Supreme Court Historical Society. It contains pictures of the Chief Justice as well as other historical pictures; the Current Court; Timeline of the Justices; Historical Documentaries; Homes of the Court; and How the Court Works.

  • History of the Federal Judiciary
    The federal court system originated in 1789 when established by the U.S. Constitution.

  • Probation & Parole: History, Goals, & Decision-Making - Origins of Probation & Parole
    From the site: "Despite the differences between probation and parole, there are many similarities between the two types of community corrections. Both were initially developed as methods to mitigate the severity of punishment." Probation can be traced to judicial practices exercised in England. Parole can be traced to Australia.

  • Justices of Texas, 1836-1986
    Justices of Texas includes, for each justice, a portrait, a biography, citations to opinions, and links to resources with additional information.


  • Dogs for Law Enforcement
    From the site: "Dogs have been used by law enforcement agencies for over 100 years. The English used bloodhounds while searching for Jack the Ripper in 1888, and during that time they allowed canines to accompany bobbies (police) on patrol. In 1899, in Ghent, Belgium, police started formally training dogs for police work. This enhanced the popularity of using dogs for police work. By 1910, Germany had police dogs in over 600 of their largest cities. In 1938, South London introduced two (2) specially trained Labrador Retrievers to the Metropolitan Police Force to accompany bobbies on patrol. In the 1970’s the use of dogs in law enforcement took a foothold in the United States."

  • 15 Most Horrific Cases of Police Brutality in History
    Warning: graphic content concerning the worst and most infamous cases of police brutality.

  • Forensic Science History
    This field is one of the few areas of law enforcement where science, technology and crime-solving meet. This combination supports the Theory of Transfer: "When two objects meet, some evidence of that meeting can later be found and verified. Lists advances in the 1800s, the 1900s, and the 21st century.

  • Henry Fielding Facts
    Besides writing Tom Jones, "In 1748 Fielding was commissioned justice of the peace for Westminster and later for Middlesex as well. Most of his work was concerned with London's criminal population of thieves, informers, gamblers, and prostitutes. In a corrupt and callous society he became noted for his impartial judgments, incorruptibility, and compassion for those whom social inequities had forced into crime. The income from his office, which he called "the dirtiest money upon earth," dwindled because he refused to take money from the very poor. Fielding was assisted in his work by his blind half brother, Sir John Fielding (1722-1780), a justice of the peace, who was said to be able to recognize over 3,000 thieves by their voices. The brothers organized the Bow Street Runners, the first modern police force, and they lobbied continually in Parliament for enlightened criminal legislation."

  • History of Law Enforcement
    A brief history of world law enforcement from pre-civilization to the Middle Ages.

  • History of the Federal Parole System
    An impressive history prepared for the United States Parole Commission. In 1877, the first statute providing for the reduction of sentences of federal prisoners because of good conduct was enacted.

  • History of Women in Policing
    From the National Center for Women & Policing. Mary Owens received the rank of policeman from the Chicago Police Department in 1893; she was the widow of a policeman.

  • History-Oldest Federal Law Enforcement Agency
    The U.S. Marshals Service was formed in 1789 with the mandate that law enforcement be its primary function. President George Washington outlined this vision of this Service in a letter dated January 31, 1785.

  • Important Dates in Law Enforcement History
    From the National Law Enforcement Officers web site. This site also includes Deadliest Days in Law Enforcement History; Officer Fatality Data; Recently Fallen; Research Bulletins, and NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) Officer Safety Initiatives. One date: 1835, Texas creates what was later to become the Texas Rangers, the oldest statewide law enforcement agency in America.

  • Jack the Ripper, 1888
    Subtitled: The Online History Resource About the Whitechapel Murders; written and maintained by Richard Jones, who has written two books on this topic.

  • List of American Police Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
    Generally beginning in 2010, with overviews by year, lists of officers killed by year, gallery of memorials, and incidents with multiple deaths. Each death gives name of the officer, department, and cause of death.

  • Murder in Miniature
    An article by Rachel Nuwer for Science magazine describing the amazing origin of crime scene investigations--the Nutshell Dioramas, created by Frances Glessner Lee.

  • 9-1-1 Origin & History
    From NENA, the National Emergency Number Association, "In the United States, the first catalyst for a nationwide emergency telephone number was in 1957, when the National Association of Fire Chiefs recommended use of a single number for reporting fires."

  • Ranger History in Brief Form
    From the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum. An excerpt: "Texas' deadliest outlaw, John Wesley Hardin, a preacher's son reputed to have killed 31 men, was captured in Florida by Ranger John B. Armstrong. After Armstrong, his long-barreled Colt .45 in hand, boarded the train Hardin and four companions were on, the outlaw shouted "Texas by God!" and drew his own pistol. When it was over, one of Hardin's friends was dead, Hardin had been knocked out cold, and his three surviving friends were staring at Armstrong's pistol. A neat round hole pierced Armstrong's hat, but he was uninjured."

  • Serial Killers
    From Crime Museum, Early Signs, Types of Serial Killers, Victim Selection, Serial Killers vs. Mass Murderers, Female Serial Killers, and Male Serial Killers.

  • 25 Most Notorious Serial Killers Known to Man
    Posted by David Pegg, a stomach turning list.


  • Deadliest Fires & Explosions in U.S. History
    A ranked timeline with the event, date, and number of deaths. Number 1 is, unsurprisingly, the World Trade Center with 2,666 deaths.

  • The Great Fire of London of 1666
    Just as the city was recovering from the Great Plague, a human accident caused the Great Fire, which left a far greater mark on the city, believe it or not.

  • History of Fire Fighting
    From the site: "First attempts at firefighting can be traced as far back as the 2nd century. It was then that an Egyptian from Alexandria named Ctesibus built a basic hand pump that could squirt a jet of water, but the idea was lost until the fire pump was reinvented about AD 1500. After nearly being destroyed by uncontrollable conflagrations, ancient Rome developed a fire department consisting of approximately 7,000 paid firefighters. These fire brigades not only responded to and fought fires, but also patrolled the streets with the authority to impose corporal punishment upon those who violated fire prevention codes."


  • Birth of EMS: The History of the Paramedic
    In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson received a report which identified accident injuries as the leading cause of death in the first half of life's span. This report "made several recommendations for the prevention and management of accidental injuries, including the standardization of emergency training for “rescue squad personnel, policemen, firemen and ambulance attendants.” This standardization led to the first nationally recognized curriculum for EMS—emergency medical technician–ambulance (EMT-A)—which was published in 1969. Many consider this document to be the birth of modern EMS."

  • The Formation of the Emergency Medical Services System
    An article by Manish N. Shah, MD, from the American Journal of Public Health.

  • Texas' 10 Worst Disasters
    Mike Cox of lists disasters from 1554 to 1985. Number one is the most damaging hurricane to hit the United States, and it isn't Katrina.


Subject Guide

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Karen Briere
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