Sunday, June 19, 2005

Powerful Truths

[via Anne Zook]
What are the top three aspects of law enforcement that need reform most urgently?

I would call an end to the war on drugs -- yesterday...

Number two would be the selective and intelligent demilitarization of America's police forces. The thing is, we pretty much behave in accordance to the cultural values and norms of our institutions. If I belong to a paramilitary bureaucratic organization that puts the community at arm's length, then guess what? I'm going to be the soldier bureaucrat. ...

The third thing would be embracing an authentic definition of community policing. ... There is very little I can do as an individual, but there's a hell of a lot that I can do as an organized, mobilized community -- citizen participation in policy-making and program development, crisis management, you name it.

I think chiefs need to be out there, visible and conspicuous, and they need to be a living emblem of the reforms and improvements they're advocating. If they're not change agents, then shame on them, because the institution needs change.

Read the interview and find out why.

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