Etymology (Meaning of Words)/origin police walking a "beat"
Dr. T. wrote at 2011-09-16 04:49:15
Close...actually, since the time of the Nightwatch, those who patrolled their rounds carried trungeons (clubs or 'nightsticks'# which were used not only as weapons but as signaling devices #repeatedly rapped on cobbled pavement# to alarm others for the need of assistance or support.
Alias wrote at 2014-11-12 14:03:04
In addition, in particularly high crime areas, police often beat up their suspects to elicite confession or evidence.