The slave patrols consisted of citizens who regulated the activity of slaves as their civic obligation for pay, rewards, or exemption from other duties. Unlike the watches, constables, and sheriffs who had some nonpolicing duties, the slave patrols operated solely for the enforcement of colonial and State laws. The existence of these patrols shows that important events occurred in the rural South before and concurrently with events in the urban North that are more typically cited in examples of the evolution of policing in the United States. In addition, the patrols show that modern policing is not simply a formalization of previously informal activities. Instead, modern policing seems to have passed through developmental stages that can be explained by typologies such as that of Lundman, who described informal, transitional, and modern types of policing. 49 references.