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From Individuals to Militia Security
Physical Security History Chapter 1
Physical Security

From Individuals to Militia Security 

The position of a Roman Vigile continued to evolve through time and later became the familiar community night watchman and/or constable. A night watchman or small militia was responsible for the security of towns and cities prior to organized police and security forces.

A constable, depending on the country of origin, could have been a medieval officer of high rank in charge of the defense of a castle, or someone serving as a military commander in the absence of a monarch. In fact, the term constable is most associated with England, and a constable is a police officer in the United Kingdom and most other countries with a British colonial history.

Even today, there is a constable of the Tower of London. One common characteristic of early security practitioners, the Vigile in Rome or, later, the night watchman throughout Europe, was “foot patrol.”This is one function that evolved into formal police procedure and is an important aspect of community interaction today.

A similar comparison can be made with the evolution of the concept of the “infantryman” in the armed forces. Most armies in history have been built around a core of infantry.Although the specific weapons have varied, the common factor is that these soldiers have relied on their feet for operational movements.

Patrol, as in the security profession, is the most common infantry mission. Full-scale attacks and defensive efforts are occasional, but patrols are constant. In the earliest days, infantry were essentially armed mobs, fighting in loosely organized opposing lines under the voice direction of individual commanders.

Private citizens made up the original security guard details to protect people and property.As towns grew to become cities, like-minded individuals joined groups, or militias, to organize men as a prerequisite to the early police forces of the 1820s to mid-1800s.

Just as the benefits of standard uniforms, equipment, and training would accelerate the development of an organized military force, the same characteristics would develop within the discipline of organized security forces, albeit at a slower pace

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