First Police Officers

Around 900, the first officials whom we might recognize as police officers begin to appear — people whose primary responsibility is maintaining order rather than helping neighbors. For each hundred, a local nobleman designates a comes stabuli (literally, officer of the stable, the precursor to our modern term, constable) to lead the community's law enforcement efforts, rousing citizens and directing the action. By this time, the hundreds have been organized into still larger groups called shires, or counties. A Crown-appointed official known as a shire reeve (an early form of the word sheriff) oversees all the constables in his county. When a crime is committed and the perpetrator can be identified, a posse is organized to apprehend the lawbreaker. All able-bodied men hearing the hue and cry are obligated to take part.

Study  of an Equestrian  Monument
Study of an Equestrian
Monument to Francesco Sforza
Antonio Pollaiuolo 1433-1498