respond to statements separately.Question 2) Police leadership have been force.
respond to statements separately.
Question 2) Police leadership have been forced to adapt to the ways police handle certain calls for service, such as calls to deal with emotionally disturbed persons (EDP). Many use of force incidents involving the police are for well being calls placed by family members who can not control a relative having a psychotic breakdown. Traditionally, the police are trained to respond, assess and make a decision to force the family member to be evaluated at the hospital or not. However, several high profile incidents involving police officers being forced to defend themselves against a deadly threat at the scene of an EDP call has led to police departments and community leaders to train police officers in deescalation techniques to avoid use of force incidents. As we have learned in these modules, leaders do not accept the status quo, they challenge it to find the best way for their agency to be effective. In order for leaders to succeed in influencing others to achieve the desired goals, leaders must provide the training and education to allow the officers to succeed. The current trend of demilitarizing the police by making police departments return any military equipment donated to them is a sign that the public wants guardians, not warriors. When a member of the public calls 9-1-1 for help with dealing with a family member out of control, they want educated police officers trained to deescalate the situation and protect the family AND the family member having a mental health issue. The shift from warriors to guardians will force police leaders to create new ways to hire future officers with strong interpersonal and verbal skills, not just the biggest and toughest individuals. The shift will allow police agencies to potentially avoid expensive lawsuits for wrongful death cases involving use of force scenarios.
Question # 2 – President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing made a significant amount of recommendations to improve policing in the modern era by focusing on several topic areas they referred to as “pillars”. “Pillar One: Building Trust and Legitimacy”, focused on officers moving from a warrior mindset and into a guardian mindset. It establishes the fact that police cannot build trust within the community if it is seen as an occupying force coming in from the outside to rule and control. One of the task force members, Susan Rahr, stated that “Why are we training police officers like soldiers?” Although police officers wear uniforms and carry weapons, the similarity ends there. The missions and rules of engagement are completely different. The soldier’s mission is that of a warrior: to conquer. The rules of engagement are decided before the battle. The police officer’s mission is that of a guardian: to protect. The rules of engagement evolve as the incident unfolds. Soldiers must follow orders. Police officers must make independent decisions. Soldiers come into communities as an outside, occupying force. Guardians are members of the community, protecting from within (President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, 2015).” This statement, in the context of police leadership, requires our police executives to help and promote a cultural change in policing, specifically in the way we train and approach every police-citizen contact. As a leader, this change cannot only be accomplished just through policy upgrades that promote procedural justice, but must include the police leader shifting every officer’s outlook towards a new modern mentality that requires officers to act as guardians, not warriors. This is certainly no easy task, and would likely take a significant amount of time to accomplish, as behavior regularly conforms to culture before it does to policy changes (President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, 2015). Police leaders can focus on hiring standards and establishing fair and impartial policing and procedural justice training that can assist officers in making this change in mentality that is crucial to improving police-community relations.