Nicolas Gabriel de La Reynie

King Louis XIV realized that one of the key factors to the resolution of the disorder besetting Paris was the reformation of the police. In December, 1666, the young king created the position of Lieutenant of Police. Louis expected a special kind of man to fill this position. His minister, Colbert, drew up a specific and demanding job description:

A man of the robe and a man of the sword and, if the doctor's learned ermine must float upon his shoulder, on his foot must ring the strong spur of the knight; he must be unflinching as a magistrate and intrepid as a soldier; he must not pale before the river in flood or plague in the hospitals, any more than before popular uproar or threats of your courtiers, for it must be expected that the court will not be the last to complain of the useful rigor of a police carried on in the interest of the well-being and security of all.

The man selected to fill the position of Lieutenant of Police was Nicolas-Gabriel de La Reynie. He was appointed in 1671 and filled all of Louis XIV's fondest expectations. The duties of this post were vast in comparison with today's police administrator.
http://www.cmsu.edu/cj/nicolas.htm

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Last-modified: Sat, 26 Feb 2005 13:06:11 JST (4985d)