Time to get serious about who our law enforcement officers are and get serious about a national standard for their training.
The police should never be considered by any citizen to be an instant threat to their freedom and safety - if they are generally following the law. A cop should never have (or feel) he or she needs to have the ever present feeling that each day may be his or her last day on Earth. No civilly legal confrontation with a cop needs to invoke a reaction of fear in anyone who feels they were following the law. Time for a standard and national and long lasting solution that addresses these needs NOW. How long are we going to allow regular people to become cops without first making sure they are great people? The answer of likelihood: Perhaps never if we allow the current direction and old standard of hiring all police to be a mishmash of individual community’s standards. Including, continuing to allow privatized police officer schools to operate and flourish. Including having individual state justice department's use many standards of acceptance such as “Has had firearms experience in the military.” Or, “Worked as a volunteer with the local Sheriff's department.” Or, “Says “He/she really wants to help people.”” We can’t possibly know who these cop “Wanna be’s” are inside themselves. We can’t possibly know all of their past behaviors that would reveal what they may be capable of, years later when adapted to the dangerous and dynamism of thousands of personal situations they will be in. We can’t possibly predict what type of person that genuinely a cop will become after years of service on-the-street. The role of a peace officer has been taken too lightly. We in the United States are some of the most impulsive and violent people on the planet. Our freedom results in this national personal we have become. We have among us nearly 150,000 firearms of all sizes and capacities floating about in private hands, uniquely when compared to all other post-industrial societies on Earth. We have a media which portrays frequently; people using violence to solve problems of domestic complexity. Most of us are capable of experiencing a temporary (or chronic) mental state that any good psychologist would agree “Needs to be addressed!”
It is time to begin a shutdown of every single police academy in this country and convert that system to an agreed upon national standard of complete training that awards a degree of excellence to every single cop in every single community in our larger community. Standards are the problem. Standards that are too relaxed or completely missing are what need to be taught to every single person who is charged with the responsibility of maintaining our safety and upholding law and order. The time to think about this was about 230 years ago unfortunately as is the case with so many problems within the United States. We have a mess of missing standards. Solution time: Many of us in the United States are of the opinion that local is always better. As if a government that has a geographic center, in Washington D.C., cannot possibly know how to deal with an issue in Kentucky for instance. If you are a person who has had difficulty with the bureaucracy of a federal institution you may have adopted the opinion that locally is better in all things. I am of the former school of thought when looking at all the very local incidents that indicate what needs fixing in the United States. I am a “nationalist,” one might say. I am so because I have lived in five states as a citizen and I see the same problems in every state. I see that local standards are slightly different in almost any way they can be where the United States constitution allows for difference of standards, mostly in the justice system, are allowed to exist. Criminal justice is a stark example at this time and it has always been since the inception of this confederation of states. What we have in our criminal justice system in the United States is discrepancies in standards. Standards of both the rule of law and in the training of those whose careers are to uphold the rule of law. As a citizen of any economic walk-of-life in the United States It would be comforting to know exactly what to expect from one state to another or one county or one city to another. All of the cases of seemingly unlawful conduct by our law officers that we read about and watch on television news reporting are vast discrepancies of a missing standard of the enforcement of the law, spread out across this country.
A National Academy of Community Policing could bring about a standard of law enforcement that is a high degree of behavior that we citizens can all learn about and so know what to expect in every dangerous or every friendly confrontation with a law officer. It should be behavior of the cop and behavior of the citizen that we learn about beginning in grade school. We would be safer. Our cops could become people from whom we all know what to expect. A cop could then have a high and reasonable expectation that that a seemingly unruly citizen has learned this standard of expectation. A standard of behavior on both sides of the law is missing. If you do not see this, you have not been observing and then thinking about what is missing. Standards make us safer. Behavior that is taught is behavior that can be reasonably expected.
Here are some leading questions of which you probably have a reasonable answer:
How does a child with a toy gun behave when a police car is approaching and the cops are vocally yelling something at him or her?
What exactly can a motorist expect if he or she does not fully cooperate with a cop during the short time they are being confronted with the accusation of having made a traffic violation?
Is the life of any single citizen more valuable to any community than the life of any single law enforcement officer?
Should a law enforcement officer be expected to endanger his body when controlling a situation? Should a cop use his or her electric Taser or a club or use basic hand-to-hand combat training to “arrest,” or calm a situation when an emotionally distraught citizen is wielding a baseball bat yet know one has yet been harmed? Shoot to kill and ask questions later? Shoot to wound and ask questions later?
Should a state-sponsored prosecutor be the sole guardian and arbiter of a grand jury process when a prosecutor is a career-long friend of a local police department? My proposal requires we all see that the absence of standardization that focuses on “Great people before great cops,” has led us to have 120,000 cops of too many poorly trained people conducting too many civil rights violations upon citizens. I will not present evidence of this condition here. That evidence only needs to be seen and heard in nearly any city newspaper or electronic media in our community today. Enter: the National Academy of Community Policing. A vision of what the founders of this country would likely have written into our Articles of Confederation as integral to a peaceful society that uses a centralized government. If they had a time travel visual device with them in 1776. It is our task to use modernity correctly to adapt those founder’s dream to fit what they could not see - in our future. Imagine please: fifty of these academies of excellence distributed throughout the United States. An applicant to this academy has to be tested to get in. He or she will have to have completed many prerequisite courses, that are strongly emphasizing the study of the humanities, to have his or her application even looked at by academy admissions officers. Once in, the real study begins. The first year of training focusing solely on the peaceful and constitutional treatment of citizens. The psychology of people in a complex society, in variable types of local economies, will be taught and tested for. Several students may be booted-out after the first year as testing will be stringent and frequent and tough. Year two will be all policing. Full training of the correct methodology of dealing with all kinds of citizens. Field training that is closely supervised. A daily - six days per week, and weekend days, a regimen of people training and the intense grooming of themselves to be the great people they were tested in to indicate they were prior to the Academy. For a graduate of this proposed 2-year degree of excellence: Pride they earned like few civil servants ever get to experience. A certificate of graduation they will honor and be very proud of the rest of their lives. A degree of excellence proven they will never want to dishonor. A memory of mentors who taught them during the most memorable two years of their lives. The knowledge and clear confidence that they know the people of their community’s better than nearly anyone else. They will be cops that most anyone of any level of society will have confidence and no fear of talking to on the street or at their car’s driver’s side door at any hour of the day. The federal government needs to do this soon. Waiting and hoping that individual states and counties will incorporate true constitutional training and methods that train great people before attempting to train great cops - is something we don’t have the time for. That slowly evolving idea would take decades of the typical pattern of the citizens of the United States discovering what will be needed, and that is is needed at all. The first several years of graduates should be in hot demand by every municipality. Those early graduates will have the ability to rise in their communities to become leaders of the community. They will be first to be considered a great choice of Chief of Police, the Head Sheriff, the Commissioner, the sergeant, the captain of the precinct and so forth. After several thousand of these graduates hit the streets their value to their first served communities will become clear. We will then see funding for their continued hiring and placement increased. As citizens of one big nation, we will see the value of funding them from a centralized source. We will quickly agree this is money well worth it. We will begin to unafraid of a police confrontation. We will be confident and safe from fear of people we should never have been afraid of to begin with - the founders of this experiment in democracy had had a time travel visualization device when the concocted this great idea.
Baltimore PD has gotten its ass reamed by the Justice Department. A systemic and almost innate pattern of bad policing and bigoted and discriminatory behavior has been documented well.
A community cannot trust the police when these behaviors are recognized by them. When there is no trust, fighting crime with the help of the community is nearly lost.
If there had existed several National Academies of Community Policing, there would be 2,000 graduates ready to replace the bulk of the entire Baltimore Police department and ready now. Unfortunately, the later solution is truly the only to correct this ingrained mess in that department. Change needs to happen fast in Baltimore. Not creeping adjustments, trying to teach thousands of experienced cops to have empathy and revert from their pattern of behavior is futile and will cause the people to not recognize the change because it will appear slow and there will be many who don't recognize the change, due to a slow and adaptive speed of change. We can't beat the ingrained psychology of these cops. Can't happen. Does not happen in the case of ANY human trapped in a pattern of bad behavior.
They must ALL BE REPLACED. All of them. Every officer, every chief, every sergent. I have no confidence that any other slow and adaptive way can fix the mess there. The entire department has to be REPLACED. Every single one of them.
All of them.
Next: the clear need for real Traffic Cops. Cops who are not armed towers of fear invoking, armored gun wielding people - who have no other business than addressing your traffic or vehicle behavior and compliance with rules of the road. Or; people who cannot turn your traffic stop into a violent confrontation on the side of the road - unless they first back-off and call a graduate of the National Academy of Community Policing.
You are understood #MilwakeeUnrest. Your lives are invaluable.
#endallsuffering #stopallsuffering #blacklivesmatter #justice #NoJusticeNoPeace #Martin
2020; The Black Lives Matter movement is BORN AGAIN after another CRUEL, and RUTHLESS and RACIST ACTION is caught on VIDEO, and VIRALIZED.
Late 2020, California:
All Rights Reserved, James Gray Mason, 2015.