- Police behavior is under the microscope these days, notably in light of all the videos showing abusive officers. In the earlier part of the 20th century police were not held to the same behavioral standards as today. Policing meant wielding a billy club as an instrument of enforcement, though not always in the name of the law. By the 1940s police departments started to come under harsher civilian scrutiny and white papers were written advocating more humane procedures. In 1960 The National Association for Mental Health produced the first edition of How to Recognize and Handle Abnormal People, a manual for police on how to identify and behave with every type of ‚Äúabnormal person‚ÄĚ from the mentally ill to civil protesters (see the table of contents).