Seven Steps For Ferguson

If the people of Ferguson, Mo. are going to recover and move forward they will have to follow seven necessary steps within their police department. It is a prescription for making a transformation. It will not be easy, it will be costly in terms of entrenched attitudes and tax dollars. It will also take both […]

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A Body in the Street

Dateline: New York Times — Ferguson, Mo.  By Julie Bosman and Joseph Goldstein: AUG. 23, 2014 “Just after noon on Saturday, Aug. 9, Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer… For about four hours, in the unrelenting summer sun, his body remained where he fell. “Neighbors were horrified by the gruesome scene: Mr. Brown, 18, […]

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The Fear Factor in Policing

After three decades in policing and two of them as a chief officer, I find myself in the ranks of most police officers – I never had to kill someone. And I am thankful for that. At the same time, I know it was a possibility every day I went to work; especially during my […]

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Lessons Learned in Ferguson (So Far)

Last Friday, I talked with Fredericka Fryburg on the Wisconsin Public Television show, “Here and Now” about Ferguson, its causes, and police response. As tragic as the Ferguson matter remains, I am hopeful that we all will learn something from it. CLICK HERE to view my remarks. Along with me was Noble Wray, who was […]

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A Plea for Police-Academic Relationships

Early in my career, I envisioned a police department in which the officers would become experts in human behavior, relational experts. This is what I experienced in my years in Minneapolis. At night I was a tactical officer and during the day a university student. I quickly understand that much of what goes wrong in […]

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Help Improve This Blog!

I AM NOT TRYING TO BUG YOU — but I am really interested in listening to you. IF I AM TO “WALK MY TALK” about improvement, leadership and improving the quality of police, I need to ask YOU how this blog is or is not meeting YOUR needs. SO… PLEASE be so kind as to CLICK HERE (a link […]

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Passing the Torch: Why Aren’t There More Lakewoods?

PASSING THE TORCH. Is there a way to sustain excellence in policing? Which police departments are successful in continuing excellence and training leaders who then go out and continue the model of excellence? A recent document by Alan Youngs got me thinking about my own experience in Burnsville, Minn. and Madison, Wisc. I also should […]

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Deja Vu: Part 2 — What Cincinnati Learned

With Ferguson still “on fire,” it may be helpful to look to a similar situation that happened in Cincinnati in 2001 and how that city responded. The scenario was all too familiar: An unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by a white police officer. The result was violent protest. An overmatched police force withheld […]

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Open Letter to Our Nation’s Police Leaders

Dear Fellow Police Leaders — Brothers and Sisters, It sadly seems to take a Ferguson or other nationally-exposed incident to get us to think about ourselves and what we are doing, how we are perceived, how we present ourselves to the community, how we train, how we lead, and, most of all, how we need […]

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Ferguson — Deja Vu!

Talk about déjà vu. It’s almost getting tedious. A police shooting. Mistrust and anger in the community. Looting, fires and disturbance, martial law, curfew, the National Guard…   Watching Ferguson brought back many memories. It was April, 1968 and I was lined up on Plymouth Avenue in Minneapolis as a member of the police tactical […]

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