What is prefect?

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What Does prefect Mean

Prefect is a word that comes from the Latin praefectus . This term has different uses according to the geographical region, the context and the historical period. It may be the title that, in the Roman Empire , was awarded to various civil or military authorities.

The prefect of the praetorium was the head of the Praetorian Guard , which was in charge of protecting and guarding the emperors of Rome . This prefect received the orders of the emperor himself and had independence from the rest of the military leaders of the Empire .
The praefectus urbi or prefect of the city , on the other hand, was the main judge of the city of Rome, the governor or praetor who was only below the prince and the consuls. He was in charge of the organization of the local police force, of the Navy, of the administration of public supplies and of the care and maintenance of the buildings.

His jurisdiction transcended the limits of Rome and the causes of freedmen, slaves and employers were known to him. Other of his functions were the protection of the rights and royalties of the senators (whom he had to judge) and the presidency of the Senate. In short, the entire town was under his authority.
The post of prefect of the city lasted one year and the normal thing was that then he was destined to govern one of the provinces of the Empire, where he served as supreme mayor. As a curious fact, the emperor received from him a cup made of gold and decorated with five coins every beginning of the year .
When the business of the city grew, it became necessary to have another prefect, Praetor Peregrinus , who was responsible for the causes of foreigners. To date, a similar position is that of city ​​governor or corregidor , since they share functions such as the administration of justice and the general superintendency of the police, for example.
At present, several countries call an authority prefect whose responsibility is to protect the security and order of a territory. The usual thing is that it responds directly to the national government . In France , for example, the prefect is the authority in charge of governing a department (a territorial entity that is equivalent, in other nations, to a province).
In Argentina , a prefect is a member of the Naval Prefecture . This security force is in charge of the custody of the Argentine sea and the navigable rivers and lakes that are within the country.

The Argentine Naval Prefecture has about 28,900 prefects , who have police power and who can repress the illegal traffic of goods that intends to take place by water and the fishing activities that take place without the corresponding permission, among other situations.
In Brazil , a prefect (from the Portuguese prefeito ) is the head of an executive branch at the local level. In this case, the position is equivalent to that of mayor.
Within the educational field, the prefect is the person in charge of monitoring and guiding the students of a school . For example, they are in charge of counseling to overcome problems with other students and with teachers, but they must also ensure that no one behaves improperly within the facilities (that students do not smoke or drink alcohol, that they are not violent , etc). Although many of his functions overlap with those of the teachers, the figure of the prefect tends to be closer and more friendly , as if he were an “older brother” who looks after the safety and well - being of the students and helps them to communicate effectively with the rest of the authorities.

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