You can't! The daily exercise of police authority in Rio de Janeiro : 1907-1930.
The police of Rio de Janeiro had an important role in the reform of the city in the
early twentieth century. The impetus to build a modem city influenced elite intellectuals to
try to reform the police in the modem, scientific fashion. After the first wave of reforms
receded, the police was abandoned to a less prominent role, and left without resources to
carryon the modernising process, resulting in the need to develop their own methods of
work derived from their daily experience. The main purpose of this thesis is to look closely
at daily police activity, trying to show how policemen developed their ways of viewing the
world and their procedures from the experiences they faced. From their contacts with state
administrators, in the figure of the Chief of Police, with members of the elite. and with the
vast majority of poor citizens, policemen began to define the extent and limits of their
power, building their place in the networks of patronage and authority that permeated Rio's
society. They had to combine an unchecked power to deal with those they classified as the
criminal classes, composed of the dispossessed, and an attitude of subservience to the
powerful, in a pattern that characterises twentieth-century policing in Rio de Janeiro.