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Biography of Allan Pinkerton

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Biography of Allan Pinkerton Assignment

Introduction to Security

September 2, 2012

Facilitator: Craig Burke

Allan Pinkerton had a major influence in both private security and national law enforcement methods that were used to shape these professions today. Although being the architect of these professions, his start was as a barrel maker, who accidently discovered a counterfeit camp headquarters, and arranged the arrest of the criminals, this capture led to Pinkerton becoming a local hero, and sworn in as a deputy sheriff of Kane County, Illinois in 1846 (Law.Jrank, 2012). Soon after he moved to Cook County, with headquarters in Chicago, where the Cook County police force reorganized he was appointed their first, and only, detective. Pinkerton gained the respect of citizens and criminals; due to the number of arrest he made (Law.Jrank, 2012).

In 1850 Allan Pinkerton founded Pinkerton's Detective Agency in downtown Chicago. During this time police forces was small, corrupt, and people didn't feel that the police were watching out for their well-being. Pinkerton created Pinkerton's Protective Police Patrol, a night watchmen group that protected businesses, which were as important to law enforcement as official police (Smithsonian, 2007). Pinkerton's reputation led to an appointment as special agent for the U.S. Post Office Department investigating fraud, extortion, robbery, and blackmail. In addition, Pinkerton was asked by six Midwestern railroad company representatives to establish a railroad police agency known as the North West Police Agency (Clifford, 2004).

The Pinkerton Detective Agency had many accomplishments under Allan Pinkerton's direction. The railroad which was rapidly developing also made it vulnerable to the threat of violence towards trains and passengers, as well as their bridges, tracks, and terminals. Unlike regular law enforcement, private detectives were able to cross state lines to pursue offenders; this is one of the gaps in law enforcement that Pinkerton help filled. Railroads hired his agency to protect their companies from train robbers as well as dishonest employees. This was achieved by Pinkerton or one of his agents boarding a train in disguise, posing as a passenger to spy on its workers (Law.Jrank, 2012). Without any boundaries to stop pursuit of a train robber the agency was able to capture the Reno Brother's Gang, which was the first organized train robbers in the, United States, following Frank Reno all the way to Windsor, Ontario (Smithsonian, 2007).

One of the agencies major accomplishments occurred in 1861 when Abraham Lincoln was to travel by train to Washington, D.C., to be inaugurated as president. There



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