• Educate the public, not the cops.

    The lack of understanding about just what police do is astounding. People think they know what police work is all about. Unlike almost any other profession, many consider themselves qualified to judge police work, and they judge it in extremely harsh terms, despite a lack of understanding of the profession.

    Of course, this situation is largely the cities’ and police departments’ fault. When what media deems a controversial incident occurs, rather than educate the public about what the police had to do, and why it was right, most municipalities and police administrations choose instead to “educate” the cops on what they did wrong.

    Sadly, some city and department officials can not seem to resist making knee-jerk public responses, which often betray their biases or their desire to seek advancement.

    Trainers train police in certain tactics, but when officers act according to their training, and use techniques taught to them, which armchair accountability investigators subsequently  determine are wrong, the administration will investigate, discipline, or even charge officers criminally. How can any officer trust training given by an agency that is likely to rule his or her actions inappropriate, or even criminal—after the fact?

  • De-escalation. Not so simple.

    There’s a current trend in policing where those who direct officer training and officer accountability, many who’d never, or no longer, pound a beat themselves, seemed to have settled on an unsettling notion. If any situation devolves to where an officer has to use force against a subject, it’s the officer’s fault. The contention is that the officer failed to use sufficient “de-escalation” techniques. De-escalation seems to be the new catch phrase these days among the, I-know-better-than-cops-how-to-do-police-work, elites.

    Cops know better than most that you just can’t deal with some folks for myriad reasons. You can’t reason with the unreasonable. You’d think city governments, such as Seattle, would have learned this lesson quite literally as they tried to reason with the Department of Justice.