Good morning everyone. I was just lost in thought and conversation with another police officer here at the office. We were talking about the current “mood” if you will in modern policing and I must say we are at a crossroads.
More so now than ever, police officers are being trained with a more analytical mindset when it comes to handling calls for service and contacts with the public. Of course this is a positive change from the days long ago. When I graduated the academy in 1993, the training was that people will do something just because you told them to. This is not always the case.
There are, of course, times when the police lawfully tell you to do something and you should do it. Often, police don’t have time to explain our reasons for our requests and your cooperation is likely paramount to either your or our safety. The turning point is now police are looking at the big picture in situations, realizing that there are more gears turning the motor than we knew before.
Mental health, drug addiction, homelessness, and other social issues are driving the majority of our police calls. The training of officers is now more important, especially in mediation, social awareness, and de-escalation. Agencies are asking our police officers to recognize and respond more to actions and to be aware of additional issues than we have before. It is a learning process and I suspect that the police in the future will be better trained to work with the community in partnership, than the divinatory concept of oppression.
I hope to work long enough to see this complete transformation.