This blog has been on line now for four years. I started it in the fall of 2011, shortly before my book, “Arrested Development” (2012) was published. I put the site together initially to promote the book. But soon after, it became a forum for discussing the ideas which drove me for 34 years as a police officer — and for 25 of those years I served as chief of police in Burnsville, Minn. snd Madison, Wisc. I Since that time, I changed careers yet never lost interest in policing.
Since its inception, Improving Police has had 136,000 visits from persons residing in over 140 countries around the world. Over 700 people follow this blog and I have received over 1,000 comments.
From all appearances, those who follow this blog seem to be a mixture of retired and current police officers, interested citizens, academics and governmental officials. That’s good. Because what I am “preaching” here is what a police officer who works in a democracy should be and do. How these exceptional people should be recruited, selected, trained, and led. It’s a big order. But if there is one thing I learned as a leader it’s this: passion and persistence pays off!
At the beginning of the Occupy Movement in 2011, I started to share what I had learned about the proper and legal handling of public protest and controlling crowds. That led me to find other leaders who had the same experiences in these matters.
Within a short period of time, I found a researcher in the U.K. who had empirically confirmed that an initial “soft” method of dialogue and appearance by police (as I have recommended) was more effective in keeping peace than a “show of force” — immediately suiting up in body armor, helmets and shields. In short, to talk before you go to war. In Seattle, Chief Gil Kerlikowske came to the same learning.
Over these years I have not only suggested a proven response to protest (The Madison Method), but also how police should be selected, trained, and led, along with the importance of the implementing the problem-solving method, building hands-on community relationships, fighting racism, corruption, use of force, police chiefs as responsible community leaders, and a host of other police-related matters.
As we begin another year, I would like to know other topics or issues YOU would like me to address.
In short, I would like some feedback. You can either make a comment on this post or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, if you are so inclined, send me something you would like me to post that is consistent with the mission of this weblog — to improve police.
In the meantime, I wish you all a blessed Holiday and New Year.
And, remember — LEARN. GROW. LEAD!