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Under each prefect were "subprefects" who helped collectively with law enforcement in the area.

The police force is usually a public sector service, meaning they are paid through taxes.

Alternative names for police force include constabulary, gendarmerie, police department, police service, crime prevention, protective services, law enforcement agency, civil guard or civic guard.

Police forces are often defined as being separate from military or other organizations involved in the defense of the state against foreign aggressors; however, gendarmerie are military units charged with civil policing.

The term is most commonly associated with police services of a sovereign state that are authorized to exercise the police power of that state within a defined legal or territorial area of responsibility.

Members may be referred to as police officers, troopers, sheriffs, constables, rangers, peace officers or civic/civil guards.

The word police is most universal and can be seen in many non-English speaking countries.There was no concept of public prosecution, so victims of crime or their families had to organize and manage the prosecution themselves.Under the reign of Augustus, when the capital had grown to almost one million inhabitants, 14 wards were created; the wards were protected by seven squads of 1,000 men called "vigiles", who acted as firemen and nightwatchmen.The marshalcy dates back to the Hundred Years' War, and some historians trace it back to the early 12th century.Another organisation, the Constabulary (French: Connétablie), was under the command of the Constable of France.Other duties associated with modern policing, such as investigating crimes, were left to the citizens themselves.

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