Saudi Aramco World: January/February 2014 - page 4

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Saudi Aramco World
POLICE
From at least 1600
BCE
, the Egyptians had a professional police/desert patrol/security force called the Medjay. Initially, they were
made up of Nubians, a people famed for their archery skills and as trackers in the desert. The weapons they carried consisted of a bow and
arrows, battle axes, slings and spears. They carried rectangular shields. The Medjay were divided into ranks. The entry-level Medjay appear
to have been patrolmen. Men with supervisory titles had greater responsibilities, including reporting crimes, sitting on the local court, testi-
fying against those accused of crimes and attending interrogations, as well as more ordinary administrative duties. Police were state employ-
ees. The chiefs reported to the vizier (akin to a prime minister), or to the highest official of the temple.
Ancient
Origins
Portraits by
JASON REBLANDO
//
Interviews by
MATTHEW CUNNINGHAM
Adapted from the book of the same title, edited by
JACK GREEN
&
EMILY TEETER
POLICE OFFICER
Leo Schmitz is deputy chief of
Englewood 7th District for the
Chicago Police Department.
He started as a patrolman and
was promoted to patrol and
detective division sergeant,
then to lieutenant in patrol
and Area 4 Gangs.
Shown with:
Brown granite statue of a chief of police, from the Ramesside period, Dynasty
XX
, ca. 1127
BCE
, Medinet Habu, Luxor,
Egypt. (28.7 cm / 11¼
"
) This statue depicts a man seated on a cushion with his robe pulled over his knees. The inscription on the front
and back of his garment identifies him as the “chief of the Medjay of Western Thebes, Bakenwerel.” This Bakenwerel is probably the same
Medjay chief who was part of the team that investigated the robbery of tombs in Western Thebes in about 1110
BCE
.
“Basically my job—and it’s
probably the same for the
Medjay chief of police back
then, though we can’t ask
him—is that we are both in
charge of individuals who re-
port to us and we’re charged
with protecting the people.
Protect people who are weak.
Take care of the children and
the elderly. Our job is to make
things safe to ensure people
can have a good life. I am sure that they were doing the same back then that we are doing now. In general terms, police are police
no matter where they are in the world. He was doing the same thing I’m doing. It’s good to hear that the police profession has been
going on that long. There’s a lot of things that we can do with technology that help us clear cases, but it really comes down to getting
the bad guy. It probably took longer back then to find the bad guy or it might have taken a shorter time, but we all strive for the same
thing: We’re going to find out who did it, and we’re going to go after them. In the end, it’s still the same theory, same idea.”
Modern
Jobs
WORK
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