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Showing posts from October, 2014

Ugly Police Force: Misunderstandings of Law & Human Factors

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Videos of police officers using force. Police incidents involving citizens with mental illnesses. Social media instantaneously spreading opinions and public verdicts. The "no comment" policy in police media relations. This combination makes it virtually impossible to build community trust and understanding.

I am amazed by the growth of four seemingly unrelated aspects affecting my profession: the number of video cameras capturing police officers' actions,the number of police contacts with persons with a mental illness in crisis, the power and speed of social media and the unreliability of its content, and the reluctance by police leaders to speak out openly about questionable incidents. Each of these topics has a profound impact in law enforcement operations. But when taken together, it seems as though we in police work are doing everything wrong. While we surely have our bad apples and instances of poor judgment, this is far from the norm. Unfortunately, these bad office…