Let me begin by reiterating that policing is in a crisis — we are at a crossroad and now, more than ever, is the time to step out, engage, listen, and act.
This is the only way we are going to get beyond Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland, and Albuquerque. The only way to begin to move past the anger and into the solution.
We need to make choices NOW and the choice that seems most obvious to me is to engage our communities — the whole, entire community — in a process of dialogue that will lead to a set of professional expectations regarding police behavior.
Chief, this is NOT a time to be reticent, lay low, or to hide. It’s time to step out! That’s what leaders do!
My sense is this: heightened community expectations regarding the performance of your department and officers will lead to better policing in your community.
How to begin? Let me suggest you review the newly updated booklet, “How To Rate Your Local Police” as a good place to start. I wrote the first edition in the mid-80s and now I have recently updated and revised it for today’s police. It will provide you with the topics that need discussion.
- Order and distribute copies to community and governmental leaders.
- Schedule a meeting with them to discuss criteria in the booklet.
- Engage and discuss the rating criteria in this forum.
- Listen deeply.
- Act on what you hear.
- Report back to the community on your progress.
ORDER COPIES of “How To Rate Your Local Police” HERE.
[For large orders, contact me for a 60% discount.]