Police conduct concerns
As we read about the demonstrations concerning the conduct of a few police officers we need to look back even further.
People don’t call the police because their having a nice day. Police Officers deal with problems all day every day. They deal with some of the most dangerous members of our society. Many of the people they deal with are habitual criminals, living at the bottom rung of our population.
That being said, we need to look at the culture of our police departments. For several years now we have had “War on Crime” and “War on Drugs.” Having spent over forty years in the military I understand a “War Culture.” If you are at war then you need an enemy. In a police department the enemy becomes the citizens they are paid to “Protect and Serve.”
Look at police chief uniforms. In the past on their collar it said “Chief”, now all wear four stars, the rank of a four star general.
There is no single issue that will fix the challenges we face in policing or in our society. We look for a sound byte, it’s too complex for that.
Its many issues, who gets selected to be a police officer, how their trained, managed, disciplined and retained. What are the department’s policies and procedures. Underlying all of that is the organizational culture. Is the organization there to “Protect and Serve” or are they “At War?”
Kerry G. Denson
Brig. Gen. (Ret)