ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.
HOW TO BEGIN A MUCH-NEEDED DIALOGUE WITH YOUR POLICE.
[Based on How to Rate Your Local Police]
What kind of person is your chief?
- Is your chief’s leadership style collaborative and respectful?
- Does your chief have a willingness to challenge the status quo?
- Does your chief take risks, be innovative, and build a coalition of support for change?
What tone does your chief set for the police department?
- Does your chief defend the rights of unpopular groups?
- Does your chief see that police services are delivered equally and fairly to the community?
- Are organizational decisions based on data and not emotions?
Does your chief articulate the policies of the agency clearly and understandably?
- Does your chief seek to preserve guarantees of due process?
- Does your chief stand up and defend minority rights?
- Does your chief assure protection for the weak and injured?
- Does your police department reinforce the minimum requirements for a good police officer: effectiveness, integrity, civility and courtesy, and physical fitness?
- Does your police department guide, train, and supervise its officers in the proper use of physical force?
- Is your police department committed to preserving human life and treating all people with dignity and respect?
- Do police officers respect individual rights?
- Does the police department communicate well with the public?
- Is the police department accountable to the community and reasonably transparent?
- Does a community-oriented policing style actually exist that delivers police service at the neighborhood level?
These are important questions citizens need to ask and for which police leaders need to clearly and satisfactorily respond
The bottom line is this:
Citizens must expect and demand that their police are:
- Carefully selected,
- Controlled in their use of force,
- Honest in their actions,
- Courteous to every person regardless of their station in life,
- Led by mature leaders, and
- Closely in touch with the community at the neighborhood level.