I have written several articles law enforcement. A list of links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on Law Enforcement. This article will also deal with areas ripe fore reform.
There needs to be a 3 pronged approach to Police Reform, It needs to involve the Federal and the State levels of government. Congress needs to legislate major changes in key points of law enforcement. Some practices need to be stopped. They need to end No-Knock Warrants, the use of choke holds unless a life or death matter. There needs to be a Federal level data base for police transgressions to prevent bad cops jumping from state to state. There needs to be reform in the police unions. It is too difficult to discipline poorly performing cops. Develop other non lethal weapons. Maybe Utilize bean bags instead of rubber bullets.
There needs to be a more uniform approach to training and with clear guidelines. Right now we have 50 states with 50 different programs for police training and standards of practice. When a citizen travels from one state to another he/she should expect to be treated the same, with tickets to be given, and laws to be enforced in a uniform manner. Today it is free for all. One county or city or state may have zero tolerance for speeding, other states may allow 5 or even 10 mph over the speed limit before handing out tickets. Most states have uniform laws, where the differences arise is in the enforcement of these laws, which falls on the police.
It all starts with training. Most universities offer similar curriculum as well as medical and law schools. For each degree there is a core curriculum with electives. This program was set up so that there would be some uniformity. All doctors have the same basic training, with each specialty requiring advanced training. Accountants are the same way. The training of police should be the same. They should all have the same core curriculum for every state. These needs to cover all the major components of being a cop. I do not profess to be an expert on police training. These guidelines are meant to be just that guidelines. I leave it up the experts and professionals to design the curriculum. But I am sure self defense lethal and non-lethal, de-escalation techniques should be a part of the curriculum. Along with marksmanship, first aid, psychology and social service basics should be included as well.. General knowledge of Federal laws, ie Miranda Rights and other basics laws need to be a part of the core curriculum. Camden, NJ just recently came up with interactive video training fir their police department. It looks very promising. They report that police related shootings have dropped substantially, since this new program was instituted. The videos cover all possible scenarios and the trainees are able to try different responses. It is like a flight simulator but for police interactions.
The Second portion, will be similar to the electives in a degree program. Since every state and community are different, all with different demographics, and population densities. This is where the special training will take place. Each state can tailor its training to meet its unique requirements. Alaska would require some specialized training that may not be appropriate in say, Florida and visa-versa. States with higher minority populations may require more sensitivity training for its cadets.
By applying this two pronged approach you will be to address all the issues that have come up in the last few months and many that have been around for decades.
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