Recreation and Law Enforcement
Marilyn D. McShane & Frank P. Williams III
Historically, police have always adapted to special events and changes in the patterns of everyday life. In the late nineteenth century, police duties included giving directions, unsnarling traffic, returning lost children, escorting drunks, issuing hackney licenses, running soup kitchens, and maintaining weather records (Lane 1992). The settlement of new territories and rapid migrations ensured that police would flexibly evolve around the needs of individual areas. For example, in the Alaskan Gold Rush of 1897, traders and missionaries were fearful of disorder, the corruption of locals, and the flow of alcohol. They forced the government to send more than 250 police officers to thirty-three posts in the Yukon. The officers were responsible for regulating the large numbers of thieves, con artists, gamblers, and prostitutes who arrived to “mine the miners” (Morrison 1975). The police also solved new problems, such as the large number of recklessly operated watercraft that resulted in frequent ...