CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

The new organization of Parisian police precincts in 1702 responded to the need for adapting new territorial frameworks to general urban growth. The aim was also to achieve more efficiency for the administration and the police. Successive “€œPolice Lieutenant Generals”€ wished to control the careers of their junior officers and dispatch their “commissioners”€ on the basis of different established criterions (acknowledged ability, seniority, harshness of field conditions). Throughout the eighteenth century, the Almanach royal bore witness to the changing assignments of the “€œcommissioners”€ in the 20 Parisian police precincts. Its systematic study up to 1792 sheds new light on the evolution of police landmarks within urban space and on the variable stability of the teams of “€œcommissioners€ or of the individuals who belong to these teams. Despite the difficulties, it seems that police lieutenancy have led to the implementation of strict policies on space. They were adapted to the known characteristics of the different precincts. The concern about the professionalization of the careers and of the teams deployed on the field falls in line with concerns of control of an urban space seen as huge and difficult to handle.


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