‘The Seattle Police Department and the King County Sheriff’s Office have formed a unique partnership with the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission to develop a curriculum to improve the way police officers are trained to interact with people.
For the past decade, police training has focused on tools and physical tactics for keeping officers and citizens safe. While these methods have improved the safety of both officers and citizens, they have done little to improve the public’s trust and confidence in their police.
My note: The word “citizens” in the above lines is intellectually insulting, and they should have left it out.
For over 30 years, a compelling body of research has been emerging that shows public trust and confidence in police is not just a good public relations strategy. It directly impacts lawful behavior and the willingness of residents to work with the police to solve crime and improve neighborhood safety. Public trust also leads to greater cooperation and improves officer and citizen safety by reducing the necessity for police to resort to physical force to maintain order.
My Note: See, they just admitted that police brutality reduces citizen safety, not increases it as stated in the previous paragraph. If we are going to start anew with our relations, let’s all just be honest instead of repeating the same painful misinformation. Let’s show good faith and honesty going forward.
The research also shows that public trust is not closely related to the crime rate, but rather is a direct result of the quality and outcomes of police interactions with the people they serve. To improve public trust, we must improve the quality of those individual police interactions.
“Justice Based Policing” is an established terminology that simply describes the strategy officers will be trained to use during individual interactions on the street. It is a logical extension of the Community Oriented Policing model that we have been working on for the past 20 years—and an opportunity to help move community policing, community relationships, and public safety to a new level.’
Read More About The Initiative: http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/2011/04/25/wa-state-justice-based-policing-initiative/
The details of this initiative will be presented at the upcoming national conference of the Police Executive Research Forum, in Seattle, April 28-29, 2011. http://www.policeforum.org/news/detail.dot?id=10243
Personally, I welcome this new approach to police work, but I can’t help but wonder why it is not already in effect.
Clearly, the “beat up first, ask questions last” policy of police departments across the country has led to those police departments attracting a certain type of candidate … namely meathead-type men with questionable intellect and bully proclivities.
If the SPD truly implements this initiative, then maybe, just maybe … a different type of candidate will apply. A candidate who truly wants to protect public safety and isn’t just out on the street to harm citizens for the artificial self-esteem boost it provides.
What was not mentioned in this release, however, was a requirement for all SPD officers going forward to actually live in Seattle. There is, has, and always will be a disconnect between the people and the militarized, occupation forces which “serve” them. If the officers don’t want to live in Seattle, I cannot help but question their commitment to the well-being of the city. If it’s not good enough for them to raise a family in, then clearly they are biased against its inhabitants.
Since people generally do not like to defecate where they eat, I would even advocate requiring the officer to live in, or within close proximity to his/her beat, instead of allowing Downtown beat officers to live on the far western edge of Magnolia or West Seattle.
In any event, the Justice Based Policing Initiative has some potential. In theory.
Given the relentless “police brutality is always excusable” comments by Rich O’Neill, President of the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild, I’m a bit skeptical of whether the officers will go along with this new initiative.
Nonetheless, it’s clear that the public will no longer accept the status-quo, and this is perhaps a short step in the right direction.