Retweets and Robert Peel: How to Take Community Policing Online with Twitter

Almost two centuries ago, Sir Robert Peel and the newly formed London Metropolitan Police force—then struggling to find validation in the eyes of a trepidation citizenry—issued general orders to officers, providing a framework for establishing their own legitimacy. To this day, the themes found in those orders remain the foundation of modern community policing: the importance of equity in service, the dual roles of officers as guardians and members of the community, and the acknowledgement that authority comes not from a badge or an oath, but from the citizenry.

The concept of struggling for validation is, unfortunately, just as relevant for modern police agencies as it was for Sir Peel and the Metropolitan Police Force in 1829.