“The Best of Our Knowledge” An Interview with Jim Fleming

As many of you know, I was Chief of the Madison, Wisconsin Police Department for more than twenty years.  Though I’ve spent much of the past two decades in the ministry, I continue to care deeply about police and their role in preserving the peace and assuring justice in our society.

In my new book “Arrested Development” I talk about my years of service and the fact that only one percent of police departments require college degrees from their officers.  If I could change only one thing, that would be it.  For me. it would be the first step to overcome on of the fours obstacles (anti-intellectualism) that have tended to “arrest” the forward progress of our nation’s police.

In the following uncut interview with Jim Fleming, I relate some of my arguments as to why our nation’s police need improvement.

To hear my interview with Jim Fleming on NPR’s “The Best of Our Knowledge.” CLICK HERE

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About improvingpolice

I served over 20 years as the chief of police in Madison (WI), four years as chief of the Burnsville (MN) Police Department, and before that as a police officer in Edina (MN) and the City of Minneapolis. I hold graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota and Edgewood College in Madison. I have written many articles over my years as a police leader calling for police improvement (for example, How To Rate Your Local Police, and with my wife, Sabine, Quality Policing: The Madison Experience). After retiring from the police department, I answered a call to ministry, attended seminary, and was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church. At the present time, I serve a small church in North Lake (WI), east of Madison. Sabine and I have nine adult children, eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She is also a retired police officer and we both continue active lives.

One Response to ““The Best of Our Knowledge” An Interview with Jim Fleming”

  1. I tried listening to the interview, but media player keeps stops after 3 minutes and 14 seconds.

    I don’t recall police officers wearing face masks in the 1960s and 70s except when they had to toss tear gas into the crowds. I recall the TV coverage of the Democratic Convention police riots of 1969 in Chicago. Those cops did not cover teir faces or hide their badges.

    Many cops wear face masks is because they don’t want gang members like the Mexican Mafia to recognize their faces and face resprisals from them. I saw a 60 Minutes TV show about the Mexican Mafia and the LA Sheriff Swast members were escorting a Mexican Mafia guy and they were wearing face masks.

    The trouble is that nowadays cops just ignore their own regulations when it comes to showing their names and bages plus they also refuse to give you their names.

    Regarding police technology, it seems that the police technology is not helping to solve crime because of inadaquate training by police lab staff, lack of funding to keep up with new technology plus the police will not use the new technology to free innocent people from jail as well to helping solve white collar, corporate crime like what has been happening in America for the last 32 years. Also police technology is being use to spy on American citizens and organizations instead of being use to go after street and organized crime.

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