The term “police” derives from polis, a Greek word meaning “city-­state.” In its original meaning, “police” refers to the state’s responsibility to protect public welfare. “Police” does not officially appear in the English language until the mid-­eighteenth century, when it is adapted from French, and it is not used colloquially to refer to the civil institution tasked with enforcing laws and detecting crime (“the police”) until the nineteenth century.

This essay may be found on page 152 of the printed volume.

Works Cited
Permanent Link to this Essay