Peace officers

After Mike Brown's murder in Ferguson, I wrote here about the possibility of a different response to critical situations by police. Since other countries have far fewer fatal police - perpetrator engagements, there must be another way for the United States to do it. De-escalation is possible. Today, I came across an article discussing this very topic, it's implementation in the US, and its impact so far.

Can Different Training Make Police Officers Guardians, Not Warriors?
Here are a couple highlights.

By January 2014, more than 8,000 Police Academy graduates had been schooled in the new curriculum — which teaches officers to be responsive, impartial, respectful and fair....

“The most common corresponding emotion to fear is anger, and anger does not facilitate ongoing compliance,” he adds. “We teach recruits that when they mistreat people they actually may make that person more dangerous.”.........

In the wake of the Mike Brown shooting, one city, Richmond, California, emerged as the poster child for the police reform movement for going five years without a single fatal shooting by its officers despite the city’s long history of violent crime. Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus credits the achievement to the expanded use of non-lethal weapons and monthly firearms training focused on accuracy and accountability.
           Over the last five years, the Richmond PD has expended just eight bullets on five people. That’s nearly as many bullets that Officer Darren Wilson fired into Mike Brown. (It’s worth noting that Wilson’s grand jury testimony also suggests that Ferguson police are given the discretion over whether to carry non-lethal weapons such as Tasers.)

Go read the rest of the article. It is encouraging.


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