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POLICE ETHICS and LETHAL FORCE in the 21st CENTURY

PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS UNIQUE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, Pt. I

PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS UNIQUE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, Pt. II

PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS UNIQUE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, Pt. III

PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS UNIQUE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, Pt. IV

Additional police articles by the author 

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POLICE ETHICS and LETHAL FORCE
in the 21st CENTURY

Chuck Klein, ©  2019


Published in the Fall 2019 issue of THE CHIEF OF POLICE magazine,
the Official Publication of The National Association of Chiefs of Police.

To fight the unbeatable foe,
To run where the brave dare not go,
To right the unrightable wrong;
And I know, if I remain true
To this glorious quest,
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm

When I’m laid to my rest (1)

PREFACE:
The 20th Century saw policing, by means of mandatory training and certification, transition from a trade to a profession. Now, well into the 21st Century these trained specialists are facing new challenges brought about by the proliferation of social media and its power of political, and public interactions. Though this powerful influence is testing old concepts involving tactics the ethics and moralistic behavior of American police officers are not and never have been subject to variation.

The creation of Homeland Security, coupled with the threats of terrorist strikes, introduced a whole new level of law enforcement obligations that has put increasing pressure on America's first line of defense. Not only do police officers have to continue dealing with the common criminal, handle domestic disputes, traffic accidents and other "regular" duties, but the new intensity of possible massive attacks is heavy on the mind. In addition, law enforcement officers (LEO) are being required to tender life-saving acts including the administration of specialized drugs to over-dose victims, all the while knowing their every act and utterance will be monitored by public and/or private sector surveillance methods.

Added to all of this are back-of-the-mind worries of intentional, premeditated ambushes that significantly elevate stress levels. However, and this is a big however, the beat cops are constantly being tested - regardless of the pressure – to forsake their duty to adhere to their sworn obligations. No matter what the provocation or public opinion, American police officers have adhered (so far) to their primary responsibility to protect the citizenry - including even the most reprehensible of perps. The crux of this sworn duty includes maintaining the highest level of ethical behavior and the commitment to put one's self in harm's way if called upon to do so.

Notwithstanding safety, the law enforcement community might be better off returning to primary duties of protect, enforce the law and keep the peace. Forcing additional non-lethal arrest tools or life-saving devices/drugs on the already over-trained and weighted-duty-belt only encourages more resistance from the non-law-abiding and those who have self-inflicted their own conditions. Burdening LEOs with secondary obligations as requisites due to society’s desires to make patrol officers social-workers and medical saviors reduces basic duty abilities and increases stress levels.

Stress is inversely proportional to efficiency
and directly proportional to risk. 

CHANGE OF DIRECTION:
Though courts have been hesitant to convict police officers of excessive force, this reluctance may change as ubiquitous cameras continue to witness use-of-force by our LEOs when that power is sometimes, at best, questionable. The conditions that contributed to this pattern may be a result of being overwhelmed by stress, complex responsibilities such as drug-abuser rescuer or perhaps training to a lower standard. Since the millennium, to be a police officer, almost no one is disqualified due to being obese, short, skinny and/or lack a superior physical strength and stamina. To compensate for these variations in a disparity of force compendium, all officers are trained to respond to the weakest-link level. In other words, they are trained to affect an arrest using the degree of force necessary by the puniest member of the force - what heretofore used to be considered excessive force. Regardless of whether this trend is politically or ideologically motivated, is not the issue, the thin blue line must not be broken.

Prior to this modern non-discriminatory hiring criteria, law enforcement officers, when confronted with an uncooperative subject, bodily knocked them to the ground. Back then, cops had to have the grit to face possible physical injury rather than conform to society’s image of a social worker. This shift in use-of-force seems to have created a criminal mindset, albeit subconsciously, that LEOs, per se, are afraid (restricted or unwilling) of mixing-it-up. That is to say, if the perps of the world have the outlook that they won’t have to face the possibility of painful bruises or broken limbs, they tend to resist arrest while believing that physically assaulting a police officer will improve their image among others of their ilk. (2)

Problem is, today all persons not instantly complying with verbal commands of a LEO – or maybe not displaying empty hands - are assumed to be a possible deadly encounter which justifies deploying firearms. Once a lethal weapon is in play, the tendency to exercise its power is more likely. When microseconds count, death – either the perp’s or the cop – is only one of these away. Society, per se, struggles with these realities.

A MATTER OF SEMANTICS:
Most law enforcement codes of conduct/ethics uphold certain general principles in order to prevent misconduct and abuse of power. These principles (in addition to laws) are designed to guard against police deviance, or behavior inconsistent with norms and values. They include, but are not limited to: the duty to uphold the law and loyalty to the constitution, personal integrity, honesty, honor, responsibility to know the law and understand the limits of one's power and responsibility to use the least amount of force necessary to achieve the proper end. In addition, codes of ethics encompass misconduct (excessive or discriminatory use/non-use of force), corruption (forbidden acts involving misuse of office for gain), and favoritism (biased treatment of strangers as well as friends or relatives). In other words, ethics - ethical behavior - is defined as a set or system of moral values that are based on honesty and integrity. Simply put, to a cop ethics means: no lying, no cheating, no stealing - no exceptions, no excuses.

Complications arrive with the definitions of words or phrases. Some have interpreted the notion that "police officers should never act in a cowardly manner" to mean cops must sacrifice their lives for the sake of not being labeled chicken. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is a difference between sacrifice (purposely giving up one's life) and duty (complying with a moral or legal obligation related to one's occupation or position). An officer's life is of no greater or lesser value than that of any other citizen. However, because of their unique duty they have agreed, by a sworn oath, to place their life - but not to the point of surrender - at risk. In a timely manner and short of suicide, a police officer is duty bound to place his or her life in jeopardy to protect members of society.

No one is saying or expecting LEOs to sacrifice their life, but each officer has the duty to protect the public during lethal force encounters. The very nature of the police occupation is centered around perilous activity. If the work involved only taking reports, directing traffic and calling in a SWAT team when danger appears, the job could be done by social workers or clerks.

Being afraid is okay. Possibly the best definition of overcoming fear to perform one's duty is found in the plot and theme song to the early 1950s movie, High Noon. Here, on his wedding day, the Town Marshall (played by Gary Cooper) learns a man he sent to prison is returning on the noon train. The officer is torn between leaving on his honeymoon, as planned, or staying to face the perp. His bride (played by Grace Kelly) begs her groom to give it up. She leaves without him as Tex Ritter wails the theme song - the watchwords of police officers of all time:

"I do not know what fate awaits me,
I only know I must be brave,
for I must face the man who hates me,
or lie a coward, a craven coward,
or lie a coward in my grave" (3)

The bride returns just in time to blow one of the gang members away to save her man, who then out-draws the ex-con. In real life sometimes the perp wins and sometimes the spouse doesn't come back, but to a sworn police officer either one of those situations is preferable than being labeled a craven coward.

TYPES OF OFFICERS:
When it comes to dealing with dangerous situations, there tends to be three types of police officers: Fool, Coward and Hero. Fortunately, the hero type overwhelmingly represents the American police ranks. In a small, treacherous minority are the others. Police officers carry firearms and less-than-lethal tools for two reasons: 1) For purposes of self-protection and, 2) To protect society. Ergo, since society allows police to carry these defensive instruments to facilitate the requisites of the job, it goes without saying that sworn officers are expected to place themselves between danger and members of society when so required.

The Fool is one who temps fate by ignoring training procedures and expertise such as not wearing body armor or, for example, not notifying dispatch when stopping an armed robbery suspect. While apprehension of criminals is an end in and of itself, per se, only a fool attempts a collar at the expense of officer or members of the public’s safety. However, that is not to say that anything short of sacrificing one's life in order to protect/save the life of one you are sworn to serve and protect is not part of the job. This is also not to say that bravado is the same as bravery. There is a difference.

The Coward is one who fails to institute a serious attempt to protect society due to fear or a mindset that equates personal safety over the moral and legal obligation to protect others. Officers failing to place themselves in harm’s way because of such a mindset are guilty of non-feasance at best or mal-feasance at worst. A coward is also one who flat-out ignores suspicious activity in order to avoid chancy confrontations. One of the duties of a Field Training Officer is to weed-out cowards from the ranks. Of course, if the FTO is a coward....

ANY FIREFIGHTER OR POLICE OFFICER WHO DOESN'T BELIEVE THAT
COWARDICE IS A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH, IS IN THE WRONG BUSINESS.

The standard that one may use deadly force if one believes they are about to be the victim of a lethal force assault is well established in law. This doctrine of self-defense applies to cops as well as civilians. Of course, this belief must be based upon something other than pure fear, such as the perp has a gun or a knife. Even then, being afraid the perp might use the weapon is not sufficient. There must be some overt action or non-action such as refusing to drop the weapon, that can only be interpreted as life threatening and immediate. Unleashing a hail of hollow-points without those qualifying conditions is the mark of a coward.

There have been far too many well-documented Rodney King (4) type beatings. These modern day "blanket parties" are acts of cowardice - actions of police officers who are in reality, cowards, trying to prove their bravery/toughness by acting aggressively when there is no chance, they will be hurt. Beating the sh-t out of some murderous scumbag might be the only punishment the perp will receive, but it is not, under any standard, an act of bravery. Besides, as justifiable as it might seem, police are only impowered to apprehend criminals - not inflict retribution.

The Hero is one who realizes an officer's primary duty is to protect and serve the public. This American idol firmly believes they would rather be a dead hero than a live coward and would shun another officer who acted in a cowardly manner. However, this officer is not the fool inasmuch as he/she learns and practices safe tactics and procedures. American policing is the standard of the world, the epitome to which all others aspire. We didn't get that way by unilaterally changing the rules of engagement for egocentric rationality.

Except to those who like to make excuses, there is not a fine line between when prudence becomes cowardice or bravado. An officer advised of a man brandishing a gun in a school must, without hesitation, proceed into the building. The only goal is to find and end the risk. Anything less is cowardice, non-feasance and against all what America stands f or. On the other hand, if the officer is warned of a bank robbery in-progress, rushing in might be a foolish move by endangering innocent patrons of the bank. But, not placing oneself in a position to engage the suspects upon their exiting the bank - even before backup arrives - would certainly be deemed cowardice. Likewise, if a crazed gunman opens fire in a shopping mall, public square or school, duty demands seeking, engaging and drawing fire away from unarmed civilians.

The prudent-heroic persona should be the ultimate goal for officers. One can teach prudence to the heroic type person, but not the reverse. Heroism, like cowardice, is intrinsic and not readily learned. Self-preservation is inherent in all humans, though, unlike cowardice, it is not over-riding to the heroic type. Teaching self-preservation as a primary function goes against the grain of the heroic type.

MENTAL BRAVERY:
Text book ethics stuff is all well and good, but what happens in real life when a sworn police officer witnesses a fellow officer violate the law. Does the LEO arrest the offender? Tattle-tale to the supervisor? Adhere to the "blue wall of silence?" (5) Used to be the answer was: "It depends on the infraction." If the violation wasn't something major, like a class A felony and the public hadn't witnessed it, then it was kept quiet or it was left up to a ranking officer. Problem was, just where do you draw the line? What infractions are actionable? Petty theft? Perjury? DUI? Violating a citizen's civil rights because you were spit on? Turning your back, averting your eyes, not volunteering information are all acts of cowardice.

When it comes to police deviance there are two factors that determine the level of compliance: Peer pressure and trust. Peer pressure dates to grade school and is reprehensible when practiced by trained, sworn police officers who, by their very job description, are individuals. A person who is so mentally weak - cowardly - that he is compelled to go along with the illegal activities of others of his/her group, is not qualified to wear a badge. It's one thing for a bunch of civilians to sneak off the work detail for a beer and an entirely different matter for professional - armed - officers to do the same.

Trust, in the form of reliance, is sometimes difficult to differentiate from trust in the sense of confidentiality. Confidentiality belongs to the "you ain't sh_t if you're not a cop," "good ol' boy," "blue wall of silence " schools. Not conducive to professional stature, this type of trust falsely conveys a belief that if an officer "covers-up" or keeps quiet about improper activity they can be trusted as backup when things get really scary. Professionals who stake their reputation on keeping their mouth shut when under a sworn oath not to, are not worthy of the honor of being one of "America's finest." Officers risking their back-up on a partner who supports the confidentiality mind-set may wind up dead.

Trust in the form of reliance, conversely, is of extreme importance to the functioning of any police agency. Cops, being individualists, sometimes need unquestioning reliance from their fellow officers. When an officer's back is exposed during a lethal force or other dangerous situation, this officer needs to know that his/her partner – backup - can be counted on to defend him/her to the death. Being the kind of officer who has mastered the "blue wall of silence " is not any indication of how that officer will respond under conditions of extreme stress. The only sure method of determining trust by reliance is the oldest application of trial by fire. Then again, an officer who is known for unquestioning honesty, would be the type of officer who couldn't honestly, not take risks to cover your backside.

A few years ago, when cops were underpaid, undereducated and selected more for brawn than mental capacity, a certain amount of "discretion" was expected. Not today. Patrol officers routinely earn a decent living wage, have excellent health care packages and retirement plans that customarily exceeds the general population. The substantial amount of on-going training, education and certification police officers receive has elevated their status from that of tradesmen to the level of professional. All professionals have a code of ethics. A doctor will not treat the patient of another physician unless referred and an attorney won't have direct contact with clients of other lawyers.

POLICE OFFICERS ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF BRAVERY, HONESTY AND INTEGRITY. THIS IS THEIR STOCK-IN-TRADE, FORTE', SIGNATURE, PERSONA, IDENTIFICATION AND WHAT DIFFERENTIATES THEM FROM OTHER PROFESSIONS.

When one police officer violates this trust, this code of morality, all are tarnished. Adherence to or practice of any form of "blue wall of silence " is counter to the code of honesty that is part of each officer's sworn duty – an existence for being. The trust each LEO has in fellow officers must be based on the proposition that truth, not cover-up or silence, will save their career. For a police officer or anyone with sworn obligations, justice trumps injustice. Each law enforcement officer stands as society’s temporary mortal caretaker.

TRAINING:
Training, classroom or on the street, begets predictable behavioral results. All officers must prove to their fellow officers that they are not cowards - that they can be counted on to help a fellow officer under any and all circumstances. Cops must never hesitate to jump into a melee lest they be branded a coward. Civilians, for the most part, are thankful for this machismo as this is what compels LEOs to risk their lives to protect civilians. Besides, if you were a cop would you want a partner that was afraid to jump into a fisticuff to save your backside?

We have come full circle. From the first to wear a badge, LEOs instinctively ran toward danger, including the sound of gunfire. Then, somewhere late in the 20th Century, a mindset developed in the instructor and leader levels that when faced with hazardous threats beat cop should establish a perimeter, notify a supervisor and wait for the SWAT team to handle the matter. In other words, don't take chances - protect yourself first. This was not only unethical, but was a start down a slippery slope to the final belief that “a police officer’s first duty was to go home at end of shift” even if that meant someone you were sworn to protect didn’t.

It took the Columbine tragedy (6) to begin questioning ourselves as to the function and strategy for first responders. Up to that point, but with the best of intentions, many police trainers, in an attempt to save officer's lives, had been teaching a mind-set that equates to protect yourself first - don't take chances - suicide in not in your job description. In response to the publicity of this tragedy, one police chief wrote: "Most officers have families, just like everyone else. Their main goal is to get home safely at the end of each shift, and I agree with that philosophy 100 percent" (7). Police officers are not "just like everyone else" they are the only ones with a sworn duty to protect "everyone else". "[T]o get home safely" might be a great concept for sanitation workers or lawyers, but contrary to what this top cop espoused: the "main goal" is to ensure that those the police officers are swore to protect “get home safely”. There is no mandate that any officer should be expected to sacrifice their life, but it does mean there are certain essential risks that come with the badge and take precedent over the desire "to get home safely". To put it on a more personal level: suppose you're caught in a firefight; what “main goal” would you expect of your backup?

Today, after much reflection, we are back to the original objective of law enforcement – training to confront the situation. Finally, it’s a complex world and maybe we should be restricting our training to the basics. Expecting LEOs to be social workers, medics and OD saviors might be putting too much stress on those charged with enforcing the law with lethal force.

SUMMARY:
The terroristic assaults of 9-11-2001 evidenced true acts of heroism: two naval officers "...turned against the flow of people fleeing to safety and headed toward what appeared to be the point of greatest destruction" (8). At risk to their own personal safety and though severely injured, these officers were responsible for saving lives. This is what America is all about - duty and honor in the face of death. It is also about the responsibility of the citizens to place physical ability over physical size when it comes to carrying out law enforcement functions.

Those with a sworn duty to protect must never stray from the standard to shield the public first and accept the reality that placing oneself in harm's way and sticking to the truth regardless of the consequences is part of the job. United States citizens are unique inasmuch as they intrinsically believe they are secure in their persons and places because America's Finest will not ignore their heroic duties and always act in the most ethical of ways. All LEOs, whether federal, state, local, military, airport, railroad, _____, share one commonality: The Blue Ribbon - a profession that represents the highest level of ethics of any occupation.

AUTHOR:

Chuck Klein is former police officer, licensed Private Investigator (ret.), active member of International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI) and author of: INSTINCT COMBAT SHOOTING, Defensive Handgunning for Police; LINES OF DEFENSE, Police Ideology and the Constitution; POLICE (definition portion of Encyclopedia of Science, Technology and Ethics, Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of Thompson Gale ISBN 0-02-865991-0). Information about his books and e-mail contact is available on his web site: www.chuckkleinauthor.com

Notes:
(1) The Impossible dream (The Quest). Lyrics excerpt from the Broadway show and film: The Man of La Mancha, 1965, Joe Darion https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Impossible_Dream_(The_Quest) Return

(2) The Prestige of Criminal and Conventional Occupations: A Subculture Model Of Criminal Activity, American Sociological Review, Vol. 57, No. 6 (Dec., 1992), pp. 752-770 http://faculty.washington.edu/matsueda/Papers/Prestige.pdf Return

(3) The movie version had slightly different wording that included the character’s name, Frank Miller. Not to offend persons of that name, the wording was changed for the recorded version, made popular by singer Frankie Lane. This revised wording is the version quoted here: Lyrics Link Return

(4) Rodney King was the victim of a brutal beating, caught on video camera, in March of 1991. The four LAPD officers charged in state court were acquitted by a jury. This led to the riots in the spring of 1992. Two of the officers involved were later convicted in Federal Court of violating King’s civil rights and were sentenced to prison. https://www.cnn.com/2013/09/18/us/los-angeles-riots-fast-facts/index.html Return

(5) An unwritten rule in police circles that a fellow officer will not rat-out, tell or report illegal and/or wrong acts committed by a fellow officer. https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Blue+Code+of+Silence Return

(6) There were many investigations (available via a Google search) into the tragic mass shootings by two students at Columbine High School in Columbine, CO on 20 Apr 1999. The first responding LEOs did not enter the building, even while hearing the sound of gun fire from within the school. Just like everyone tuned to network television that day, I saw and heard The Jefferson County Sheriff, in no uncertain words, admit he did not order his men in because he “didn't want them to get hurt.” Return

(7) From a personal email to the author in response to my published questioning of the actions of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s comments following the Columbine tragedy. Identifying the Chief who wrote the email would serve no purpose. Return

(8) Smithsonian Magazine, September 2002 issue. Return

 

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PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS UNIQUE
TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, Part I
 


Published in the Summer 2020 issue of THE CHIEF OF POLICE magazine,
the Official Publication of The National Association of Chiefs of Police.

Chuck Klein © 2020 

Illustration by: R. Boss, Wyoming, OH 

Four score and 160+ years
has witnessed The Rise of the American Empire,
making clear that "...ONE NATION UNDER GOD . . .
WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL" (1)
- protected by our Last Line of Defense - “
SHALL NOT PERISH FROM THE EARTH.
" (2)

PREFACE
The history of rioting, looting, burning and protests over “police violence” has produced endless investigations followed by the same old cries to defund police agencies, ban unions, disarm the cops, make social workers of them and/or additional training. Improving law enforcement might best be found in our LE leaders’ abilities to re-think the issues and apply unique concepts.

RACE 
At the risk of being labeled a racist, the elephant-in-the-room is part of the equation and needs to be addressed. In light of the 2020 nation-wide, white-supported protest/riots this concern as it relates to police can’t be ignored. The issue comes down more to perception than reality. Law enforcement agencies, over the past few decades, have extensively broadened racial and gender mix in relation to their community’s demographic makeup. However, the perception of a protest against excessive use of force by police against blacks might have been as much of a release from quarantining as, consciously or subconsciously, a remonstration against President Trump. Contrary to the Obama administration’s anti-police rhetoric, Mr. Trump, the de facto Chief Law Enforcement Officer, strongly supports police officers.

For whatever reason (Malcolm X, Hollywood stereotyping, prison population statistics, racist agitators, media sensationalism….) blacks have been perceived as violent criminals (3) by a significant number of whites – both Republicans and Democrats (and even some blacks, e.g., Jesse Jackson’s admission of relief when learning it was a white man walking behind him on a dark street in D.C) (4). If fear of police by the black community is systemic; so then is fear by whites of black violence?

The key word is “violent”. To put this in perspective; Jews have always been perceived as “money grubbers”, but monetary criminals are not violent. The facts are clear that blacks have gained huge ground as middle to upper class, law-abiding citizens, but it only takes one broadly disseminated image of a black person violently resisting arrest or reports of black gang shoot-outs to fortify the previous perceptions of blacks as violent criminals. Video depictions of a white LEO choking/beating a black person is just as much about the illegal use of force by the cops - as it is in perpetuating the perception that blacks are criminals and will resist arrest. In other words, the cop might be using illegal force, but the perception blacks are criminals is perpetuated.

Yes, there are racially motivated cops just like there are bad apples in every barrel inasmuch as no one – absolutely no body - is without a limited level of bias. It seems to be a human trait to harbor some level of racial, ethnic, age, homophobic and/or religious prejudice. Most people are reluctant to concede this dormant bias - even when staring into a mirror. Laws, propaganda and public opinion cannot eliminate prejudice - those measures only generate tolerance by suppressing intrinsic beliefs. We can pass laws that forbid discrimination, but a law that says you can’t hate is unenforceable.

The events we’ve witnessed of white police officers exercising uncalled-for use-of-force might not be about ethnic – or other – systemic aversions; rather something far more complex, of which certain issues concerning thoughts are not rectifiable by police officers, or agencies. The past is full of arrest accounts of leaders who imparted their message by not resisting law officers and taking their complaint to the people or the courts, e.g., Rosa Parks (5), Martin Luther King, Jr (6), Linda Brown…. (7).

LEO DEFINED
Law Enforcement Officers [aka peace officers] are a special breed. Our secular one-size-fits-all government cannot just take any person and by subjecting him/her to training, no matter how extensive or sensitive the training is, concoct a LEO. A cop is one who first and foremost wants to be a law-enforcement officer because he/she honestly likes being in a position of being able to help people while at the same time has a strong sense of right and wrong, exhibits ethical leadership and subscribes to a healthy fear of being labeled a coward.

Individual officers are public servants whose daily goal is to strive to serve the public, but only insofar as protecting their rights and "keeping the peace." The current trend has been to reduce police officers to arms of legislative systems that use their (the government’s) enforcement powers for the furtherance of self-enhancing goals.

Though police officers might have the highest of morals and greatest of training, it is attitude that determines success. Attitude is defined as Morale + Knowledge where morale is determined by a desire to exhibit courage, discipline, confidence, an optimistic outlook and a willingness to help others. Knowledge means learned experiences (training) that one must provide for oneself and one's family while conforming to a code of moral ethics. Negative attitudes such as “they don't pay me enough to ---------” can break any and all officers as well as their departments. While on the other hand, officers with positive attitudes tend to think of their job: "you mean they pay me to do this?" Chiefs espousing this belief will create a top-down positive attitude.

HISTORY
If police bias against minorities is universal, as is now claimed; why does it still exist after decades of such failed attempts to train cops with community policing, accreditation, consent decrees, equality indoctrination, less-than-lethal weapons plus additional medical and social responsibilities while lowering entry standards …?

A highly trained veteran law enforcement officer who jeopardizes his/her career and freedom by using excessive force on a person who has capitulated is either a coward … or the officer is a victim of what I’ll call: Accumulative Stress Disorder (ASD). This condition, akin to PTSD (8), appears as a result of years of stress that creates an “us-versus-them” mindset - a loss of reality of how non-cops live and behave. War-zone military personnel, deployed only for months, must be in a kill-or-be-killed state of mind – 24/7. LEOs are active-duty for years, decades, but must transition – everyday - from a criminal catcher to a father to an OD saver to a spouse to warding off attacks (verbal, physical, lethal) to…. (See below UPDATE to this webpage) 

“Cops witness the worst things in America. They answer the 911 call at 3:20 a.m. and see things so horrible they can’t tell anyone because if it gets around there will be imitators. They see the violent parents and kids watching television, checked out at age 8. They see what meth does. They’re often poorly trained and have to get everything right, and they assume between the pols and public opinion no one really has their back except the unions that too often keep[s] cities from weeding out the bad cops so that good cops can thrive.” (9) And after that they are expected to turn-off, become the good neighbor next door, attend a PTA meeting, be in the mood to procreate – and do it all over again the next day, everyday.... 

As society becomes more sophisticated, additional responsibilities are being expected of the beat officer. Today, the street cop must expertly handle: marital disputes, drug intervention, first aid, crowd/riot control, the mentally disturbed, various weapons, Narcan, radio, restraint devices, traffic violations criminal investigations, arrests all the while cognizant of lurking snipers…. By ignoring the ASD factor, society might be demanding too much of these special, but human, protectors.

The highly publicized death of a black man by a white LEO in Minneapolis, 25 May 2020, brings up an unanswered question: is it not possible that MPD officer, Derek Chauvin, was unable to recognize the reality of extensive pressure to the neck of George Floyd due to Chauvin being a victim of ASD and had nothing to do with racial bias?

All police officers receive a state certified training, yet, even on a per capita basis, the incidents of questionable force in larger metropolises far, far exceed those violent encounters reported in small towns and counties. Ergo, it must not be the training, but other factors. Evidence can be found in the THE BADGEsuicide rate of LEOs that continues on an increasing level (10). Added to those statistics are the high level of divorce. Though statistics are conflicting, “… the divorce rate for officers is 60-70 percent. A staggering number when you really consider it. Approximately one-quarter of the officers who are married will still be married to that same spouse at the end of their careers.” (11).

However, there is one other aspect that has been ignored by the media and police, per se: The Criminal Disparity Factor. In the big cities many elements make-up the population including, but not limited to, education levels, tension due to close-quarter living conditions, poverty, belief that police are ethnically bias/unfair, age…. Large crowded metropolitan areas that consist of ethnic enclaves are ripe for producing groups of spontaneous protestors/rioters when an incident, justifiable or not, ignites outpourings of resentment against authority by those who oxymoronically believe government is the cause and solution to all problems.

In small towns and counties - not adjacent to big cities – the frequency of use-of-force incidents are significantly lower because the above conditions are not in play. Other than personal observation and having policed and lived decades in both low and high density communities, this writer is not aware of any relevant and current studies comparing the level of police use-of-force by “big-city kitties” versus “local-yokels/county-mounties/smokies,” but it does appear that if for no other reason than a lack of congregated numbers, citizens tend to be more respectful of law officers in the open country.

SOLUTIONS
To best address current and future law enforcement issues, it is suggested the National Association of Chiefs of Police, in conjunction with the FOP, FOPA, National Sheriffs’ Association and other like organizations ban together as the Police And Citizen Unification Panel (PACUP) to:

1) Address Accumulated Stress Disorder
First the PACUP should create an index for ASD, i.e., a rating system to determine the level of stress an officer has faced. Conditions should include: age of the LEO, years of service, crime rate where served, shift factor (such as day shift on week days equate to less stress than mid-shift on weekends), population of jurisdiction, education/training level and population density of beat. Second, a preventative ASD conditioning should be required, such as: For every ___ months of active duty, patrol officers shall rotate to observe and assist at a social service agency for ___ days. This out-of-uniform exposure is to re-acclimate the officers to civilian society – to experience how the “them” live from the “them” side. Upon completion of each social service tenure, the officer should be required to submit to his/her superior a written report of the experience. Stress is part of the territory of LE and cannot be eliminated. But by taking periodic “civilian” breaks, the accumulation of stress is disrupted.

2) Return Policing to Its Basic Functions
As a unified voice, the PACUP would be most influential in resisting politically mandated responsibilities including, but not limited to: enforcement of non-criminal acts. Together they can return policing to its foundations – undertakings and procedures directly related to the basics of enforcing the laws.

3) Establish A Reality Check
The PACUP might endeavor to have produced a “Scared Straight” video/YouTube that depicts a cop (and accomplices) exceeding use-of-force authority; then being arrested, surrendering the badge and finally exhibited behind bars. Required periodic viewing will surely send the message to recruits - and current less-than-brave officers - that cowardly behavior resulting in death or great bodily harm to protectees will yield years of playing drop-the-soap with those who’ve been victimized by cowardly cops or LEOs suffering from ASD.

4) Training
The latest feels-good approach to “police violence” is de-escalation training. Perhaps we’ve been targeting the wrong people. It might be more beneficial, in the long run, to go to the root of the problem: Civilian Training.

The PACUP, through legislative pressure and media influence would be in the most advantageous position to write and design a course in the realities of American jurisprudence and enforcement that would be taught in our elementary and secondary schools. Such a course would also be most beneficial by utilizing this opportunity to project that police do not have the perception that certain classes of citizens are criminals or should be treated any differently. An example of educating youth is found in the success of the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle program. (12)

For these reasons it is necessary that the head of any police training division be a committee of two: one a civilian the other an experienced LEO. The civilian must be a real civilian not a nouveau civilian as one large city did. This mid-west metropolis, at the urging of its city council, established a civilian head of the police academy. They then filled that position with a recently retired career police officer. The officer, to his credit, was an excellent officer and had served the city well for over 25 years. But he was a civilian only in the narrowest of terms. He had been a police officer since reaching age 21 and had only been retired a matter of days before accepting the new position. His experience as a civilian amounted to less than one year!

The Coronavirus pandemic coupled with anti-police sentiment is creating a significant problem for police leaders in hiring recruits. Political pressure that focuses more on the qualifications of social interaction rather than enforcement of laws could be detrimental to protecting citizens. The PACUP might be the only voice in keeping the focus on traditional LE functions.

5) Independent Review Boards
Inasmuch as this has been tried over and over again it is necessary to allow community interaction. The criteria should be:

a) A limit of one review panel so as not to subject involved officers to endless, repetitive, investigations and testimony. Extensive and redundant investigations demoralize the rank & file which is not conducive to community relations. This special panel is not to be in place of, or in conjunction with, any city, county, state or federal grand jury investigation.

b) Full subpoena powers – anything less is counter-productive and a waste of time.

c) Investigatory powers only for major incidents involving police conduct/misconduct and is not to be in place of, or in conjunction with, a department’s internal affairs division.

d) Report directly to and only to the highest elected authority of the community.

e) Members must be comprised of a mix that is representative of the community in respect to race, national origin, age, gender, religion, financial status and education.

f) Members of any such Independent Review Board must be required to spend a limited amount of time observing police at work, i.e., riding in patrol cars, attending academy classes and hold a minimum level of formal education.

6) Maturity
Raising the age limit to 25-years upon appointment would allow youthful police applicants a chance to demonstrate if they can be responsible citizens. A person who has held a full-time job where they have to meet a starting time every day for at least a few years is a good demonstration of reliability. Time as a civilian, on one’s own, is a great test of whether one will succumb to peer or other pressures to violate laws (especially laws involving moral turpitude). Time also yields a person’s willingness to be involved in some form of community/public service. By age twenty-five life patterns, inasmuch as ethics and morals are concerned, are fairly well established. By this age most recruits will have held a job, faced the honesty and ethics question regarding illegal activities and/or associating with those who do. (13)

7) Civilians
Police agencies, contrary to certain elitist's positions, are not islands unto themselves. Though the military might be separated and detached and, under certain conditions, autonomous, police departments are not. Police officers and police agencies are made up of civilians working for civilians and addressing civilian problems. It is only under the extreme conditions of widespread civil unrest that police may completely distance themselves from the civilian accountability - and then only temporarily.

Too often police isolate themselves from the community by associating only with other police officers. Working different shifts and having the same interests makes it easy to stay with your own kind. But the rewards will be greater if a balanced social circle is cultivated. This doesn't mean LEOs have to forsake their partner or even any police functions. Just by being part of the civilian scene as a member of one of the many service clubs, (Kiwanis, Lyons, etc.) will not only be personally rewarding, but will show the community that they are one of them and really care.

As a taxpayer each officer has the obligation to support what is best for the community. Of course, in reality exercising First Amendment rights might be disadvantageous to one’s career. Thus, the importance of being a member of a civilian organization allows an LEO to unofficially encourage fellow civilian members of to press their opinions.

TO THE LEOs OF ALL RANKS
We don’t live in a utopia of peace and tranquility where the “book” covers all contingencies. Police work is eight hours of improvise, seat-of-your-pants responsibilities and common sense; things that can’t be put in the book - a book in and of itself.

If there is one lesson to learn that will serve you for your entire life, it’s to know when to walk away, to let it go, that every infraction/interaction as a LEO or spouse, parent, neighbor… doesn’t have to end in your controlling the results. Policing is just as much about protecting society from wrong-doers as it is about protecting wrong-doers from over-zealous policing. The wisdom of this message has served me well: There had been recent news reports of a fake cop pulling people over to shake them down for money or, in the case of females, rape them. It’s 3am, I’m in full uniform and driving the department’s minimally marked cruiser. I clocked a car at 20+ over the limit and activated the siren and single dash-mounted flashing light. The driver ignored it, but slowed down whereas I pulled next to the car, lowered my window, turned on the interior light while motioning for the driver to pull over. The driver, I could now see, was an attractive young woman. She looked at me, shook her head and sped away. I had three options: run her off the road, radio for a road block or let her go. I chose option three.

If (when) events spiral out-of-hand - insurrection, riots, foreign invasion, martial law - the major issue is, who are you really obligated to serve: The public (per se)? Individual citizens? The agency that signs your paycheck? Your state Constitution? The Constitution of the United States? Yourself and your family? A military officer? None of the above? All of the above – in what order? To a non-LEO the response might be: “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.” (14) Who among us doesn’t have the belief that to the American police officer, when things go sideways history will record: “This was their finest hour.” (15)

UPDATE TO THIS WEBPAGE: Heretofore, the only diagnosis of police who apparently and wrongly impose violence upon civilians were simply labeled "bad cop". Some have likened this out-of-character behavior as an extenuation of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) called “Chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” a condition military personnel continue to experience after combat. I posited there is a difference between “chronic post-traumatic stress disorder” and ASD inasmuch as the absence (usually) of Trauma in the daily lives of a law enforcement officer. Soldiers, once they return home from a combat zone - unlike police officers - don't have to report for duty the next day which is stressful in and of itself. This is not to take anything away from military victims of PTSD, only to properly identify the different criteria associated with the stress of LEOs.

Accumulated Stress Disorder in cops is also not the same as daily (ordinary) stress experienced by bankers, lawyers and/or business leaders who don’t have to worry -as police officer do - about being physically attacked when “taking a break” or when “off duty”. Being in an adversarial position during citizen encounters such as approaching a stopped vehicle, knocking on the door of a domestic detail, or just being approached by someone while walking a beat; these small stressful events accumulate anxiety/tension that might additionally be amplified by home life. Tendered plan for to treating ASD, quite different from PTSD treatments, is outlined in the aforementioned Part I.

This concept caught the attention of Dr. Kenneth J. Manges who wrote in personal correspondence: "Your analysis is correct, and prolonged exposure leads to increased irritability, and in layman’s terms, a 'shorter fuse.' The plan you outlined has merit."
 

 Author: Chuck Klein is former police officer, licensed Private Investigator (ret.), active member of International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI) and author of: INSTINCT COMBAT SHOOTING, Defensive Handgunning for Police; LINES OF DEFENSE, Police Ideology and the Constitution; POLICE (definition portion of Encyclopedia of Science, Technology and Ethics, Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of Thompson Gale ISBN 0-02-865991-0). Information about his books and e-mail contact is available on his web site: www.chuckkleinauthor.com

Notes:
(1) Excerpt from The American Pledge of Allegiance. Return

(2) Excerpt from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Return

(3) How To Show That Black Lives Really Matter, Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., WSJ, July 11-12, 2020. Also: https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/26/us/fear-black-men-blake/index.html; http://www.milwaukeeindependent.com/featured/wanted-vaccine-cure-white-peoples-irrational-fear-black-people/ Return

(4) “There is nothing more painful to me … than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.” Jesse Jackson, 3/10/96. As reported by Steven Goddard, World Press. https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/1996-jesse-jackson-was-afraid-of-black-people/   Return

(5) Civil rights pioneer, Rosa Parks: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/history/african-american-heroes/rosa-parks/ Return

(6) Civil rights leader, Martin Luther King: https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/mlk-topic/martin-luther-king-jr-arrests Return

(7) Brown vs Board of Education, 1954 SOTUS https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/brown-v-board-of-education-of-topeka Return

(8) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been utilized in court pleadings; it is not an excuse, but has been used successfully in mitigation. Mitigation is not a solution. Return

(9) Peggy Noonan, “Of Some Things, Americans Can Agree,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/7 June 2020. https://peggynoonan.com/on-some-things-americans-can-agree/ Return

(10) Suicides of police officers reported in 2019: https://bluehelp.org/. Return

(11) Quoting: Law Enforcement Officer, 2013. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/better-divorce/201911/divorce-emergency-responders-and-special-circumstances Return

(12) https://eddieeagle.nra.org/about/ Return

(13) Brain Maturity Extends Well Beyond Teen Years. NPR, 10-10-2011 https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=141164708#:~:text=Brain%20Maturity%20Extends%20Well%20Beyond%20Teen%20Years%20Under%20most%20laws, maturity%20until%20the%20age%2025 Return

(14) Lyrics of the 1960s Bob Dylan song, Blowin’ in the Wind http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/blowin-wind/ Return

(15) From British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill speech, 1940: “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.” https://winstonchurchill.org/resources/speeches/1940-the-finest-hour/their-finest-hour/ Return

 

****************************************************

PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS UNIQUE
TO LAW ENFORCEMENT Part II

Chuck Klein, ©  2020


Published in the Fall 2020 issue of THE CHIEF OF POLICE magazine,
the Official Publication of The National Association of Chiefs of Police.

 Illustration by A. Levine, Cincinnati

“Hope for the best, plan for the worst.” (1)


PREFACE
Of course, we all hope for the best. Planning for the worst has always been part of the LE job description. Heretofore, the worst being riots, insurrection, rampant crime and other common police issues including budget cuts. That was then … now, a new play-book could be more about enormous economical reductions not just shuffling funds from one agency to another. When taxable income plunges by huge amounts for extended periods of time, something has to give.

From a monetary standpoint, the Covid-19 pandemic is (or will be) a worst-case scenario due to the unprecedented drop in the nation’s money supply caused by massive unemployment. During catastrophic events, out of work citizens - consumers - not only don’t contribute to the economy via income tax, but spend less which yields lower sales tax collections and a drop in corporate dividends. Though most governments have “rainy-day” funds to cover such short-term emergencies, a significantly long crisis or one crisis followed by another, followed….

A silver lining - if such a term could be applied to the Coronavirus pandemic and the George Floyd (2) protests/riots - would be the opportunity for a re-look at contingency planning for the future of what may well happen if things go from sideways to upside-down. In other words, exigent planning now to cover future devastating conditions.

YESTERDAY'S TACTICS
Though a national police force or martial law have been touted to handle a monetary induced crime crunch, it is somebody else’s plan – not an American style of LE strategy. We have enough “national” LEOs in the form of FBI, ATF, DHS and others who can never replace the local connectivity of home-boy cops. Invoking martial law would only be a temporary and regional fix inasmuch as there aren’t enough troops to police every town, city and county. Besides, the Posse Comitatus Act (3) restricts the government in the use of federal military personnel to enforce domestic policies within the United States. National Guard troops are not under this restriction and their numbers are not sufficient to police large areas or for long periods of time. Martial law is only for when all else fails – and it means the military is in charge above all political leaders and civilian LE. If martial law is ordered to your jurisdiction the OIC, in response to a police chief’s question, “where do you want us, sir,” will be: “We don’t want you, go home.” Having solid civilian LE contingency plans in place are best to stave off such drastic measures.

Police leaders might be in for a vis-à-vis confrontation with their political bosses over significant loss of agency funding and a redefining of what, who and how traditional police officers and their agencies operate. Though the George Floyd death ramped up calls for de-funding police agencies, it was more about re-distributing funds from a department of police to other departments such as health, homelessness, drug treatment and other matters of community interest. What was being proposed, is instead of sending a LEO to answer a disturbance report, community leaders or mental health specialist should be dispatched. An entirely new bureaucracy from which money for these additional responders (and their training) would come from the police budget. Perhaps an unarmed social worker can professionally handle a domestic dispute, but if violence or firearms are involved serious injury or death becomes a greater risk not only to the responding social worker, but to the subjects of the call and others (4).

Politicians need the legal ability to reward their ardent followers – it’s a reality that isn’t going to go away. Traditionally, that method has usually been by hiring their supporters to fill law enforcement and courthouse positions. These high-paying political appointments serve the political parties quite well – during peaceful times. However, when conflicts arise between politics and crime the appointments become tenuous and politics usually trumps law & order which tends to lead to chaos. Modern civil service plus merit selection and good government reforms, have muted the practice of political patronage in many cities and states, except for the highest ranking - decision making - heads of departments. It’s one thing to gift a job to a lower echelon cop who still has to answer to the Chief, but to have the top cop beholden to a politician is a different matter. (5)

TODAY'S REALITIES 
In a conflict-ridden America the enforcement or non-enforcement of laws has become a means of embarrassing political opponents – victims (the law-abiding public) be damned. In 2020, we witnessed political rigging of police agencies in Portland, Minneapolis and other cities after the George Floyd death. Their mayors and city councils not only restrained police activity, but demanded President Trump not send federal agents to protect federal property (6) or assist local police departments in riot control. Allowing “protesters” and even rioters free-run of a community might be great for vote-getting, but not everyone is part of this equation … the other inhabitants of these cities were excluded protection. These fellow tax paying citizens’ rights to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (7) were infringed.

When a city mayor orders his officers not to intervene to prevent “protesters” from committing crimes or instructs a department to ignore or crack-down on certain crimes for political motives, we have lost America.

During the great depression of the 1930s America was isolated and in control of its own destiny. Though bread lines looped around corners in every city, people retained faith, trust and generally pulled together. Today, world events coupled with over 330 million of us, rallied by political discord, along with a real fear of deadly viruses and worst-case scenarios takes on a new definition. The 21st Century divisiveness is indicative of possible unconscionable levels of crime due to massive loss of law enforcement funding.

In preparation for the most devastating of conditions, police leaders might consider a new plan A and also a plan B, C….

PLAN A
The Federal Government is the only entity that has the right and power to issue money – pay the bills and run a debt. Unemployed workers during a financial crisis create a chain reaction - a lack of sales taxes, renters unable to pay rent followed by landlords withholding real estate taxes…. Cities, counties and states that can’t meet their emergency services payroll, due to this loss of revenue, will need federal funding.

Congress has the power to issue vast amounts of funds to local and state coffers – by increasing the national debt. Where does this money come from? Who pays and who owes? Turns out, no one. For all intents and purposes - it’s the proverbial free-lunch. When the federal government spends/gives-away more money than what it takes in, it merely prints additional currency and/or issues electronic credits - it’s akin to running-a-tab or putting it on a credit card that never has to be paid. An increased national debt means our dollar is worth less (lower international buying power and higher inflation). However, during a world-wide crisis, if all the other nations are in the same boat, it washes – makes no difference - as other countries’ debts are also higher and will need to, likewise, “print more money”. Of course, at some point inflation becomes rampant, but by then it is hoped the crisis prompting the “free money” will have passed and things will return to normal. The rub is, an influx of credit to mayors and governors without a qualifying string attached, might result in these funds being dispersed for programs, departments or pet projects rather than for essential services.

When the nation experiences a catastrophic financial depression and local tax revenue has dried up to the condition where there are no funds to pay for essential services, momentous “cuts” will surely come. Essential is the key word; a term that could have far different meaning to politicians who will be deciding what and how much to cut.

Surely no one will disagree that it is indispensable to have clean water, sewage, trash disposal, fire and police protection. But when money gets tight, how clean, treated, disposed-of and how much fire and police protection will local elected officials deem essential while at the same time other publicly funded programs will be vying for the equivalent shrinking income? Food supplies, a function of private industry, could be ominously impacted by a distribution/transportation disruption due to a pandemic or the fear of any catastrophic event including the lack of police protection. Financial depression is not the only worst case that can result in loss of police protection. Politicians grand-standing by issuing stand-down orders, commands to enforce or not enforce select statutes creates chaos and breakdown or loss of essential services.

To best address current and future law enforcement issues, it is suggested the National Association of Chiefs of Police, in conjunction with the FOP, FOPA, National Sheriffs’ Association and other like organizations ban together as the Police And Citizen Unification Panel (PACUP). There is nothing in the Constitution that precludes police leaders uniting with civilian supporters to voice their political beliefs about what’s best for America. PACUP would be in a position to influence significant changes to protect the public.

Police officers and their agencies, local, state, federal are all part of the Executive Branch; they are under the control of a mayor, governor or the President as the case may be and thus orders to stand-down or go-get-‘em is at the whim of these elected leaders while their department’s funding is controlled by their respective legislative branches.

PRIORITIZED FUNDING
PACUP might best influence the Congress to legislate: Upon the declaration of a monetary crisis – a declared national financial depression - all funding for local and state police agencies would come directly from the Federal Government and earmarked specifically for law enforcement officers – The Prioritized Funding Act.

Passage of a federal law that, in the event of a financial national emergency all local, state and federal income shall be prioritized to cover defined essential services. Therefore, if a certain level (yet to be determined) of the GDP, income tax and/or stock market is breached - funding for federal and non-federal LEOs will be prioritized over all non-essential monetary dispersions.

This new mandate is not to lessen funding for other non-police agencies, programs or entities, just that the priority of distribution of all public monies favors law enforcement. During any crisis, politics can sometimes cause delays that result in damage to others, including loss of life. This period of time when bad things are happening is not the time for police to be missing their paychecks while politicians dither over the definition of essential.

PLAN B
We are not a nation of laws - we are a nation of constitutions. Laws, statutes, court decrees, political edicts are subservient to constitutions. When a LEO takes an oath under his or her state’s constitution to uphold state, federal and political subdivision’s laws (8); any interference or attempt to restrict that sworn duty would be illegal, unethical and if ordered to ignore a sworn duty by an elected official, that official is guilty of dangerously evil misfeasance at best or, graver, malfeasance.

Most states not only require LEOs to take an oath to uphold local, state and federal laws, but this is a double edge knife that cuts both ways, i.e., governors and mayors, the LEOs bosses, also must raise their right hand. A typical oath for Mayor is found in the statutes of Portland, Oregon:

“I, (name), do solemnly (affirm or swear) that I will support the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of Oregon and the Charter of the City of Portland and its laws; and I will faithfully, honestly and ethically perform my duties as (office).”

Governors and mayors, as the enforcement branch of our three-tiered American system of government, are sworn to enforce the laws – especially the laws that protect all citizens’ rights to property and safety – not just the ideals of their backers. Elected officials forsaking this sworn obligation can be recalled or voted out of office. But time-consuming voter evocation is of little comfort to victims of an executive branch’s failure to exercise their enforcement powers to control those bent on wanton destruction of life and property.

REVERSE THE POWER - CHANGE THE LEVERAGE
To rectify this imbalance in power, when the Prioritized Funding Act has been invoked:

1) City, village, township divisions shall come under the direct control of the Governor with advice – not necessarily consent - from local elected officials. In other words, only the governor can issue orders to local police officers, thus reducing the possibilities of destructive lawlessness that politically motivated or out-of-control local potentates ignore or refuse to address.

“Situations in which political intervention is questionable include those involving promotions and assignments, planned police response in complex emergency situations, police tactics in dealing with demonstrations and riots, and attempts to turn control of the police over to community groups” (9).

2) State police shall come under the direct control of a coalition of mayors and township trustees, with the advice – not necessarily consent – of the Governor. Here, as a balance, local elected officials will have an equilibrium against an out-of-control governor. In other words, if a governor – who is also an elected official – ignores or refuses to address local lawlessness, the coalition of mayors/township trustees have the right and power to call in the state police.

3) Elected LEOs (Sheriff’s) remain the same inasmuch as they are responsible only to the voters who control their funding mostly by tax levies. This is the third leg of a stability of policing that removes much of the political pressures placed on police Chiefs who are not directly responsible to the voters.


PLAN C
In the beginning, only white male police officers were selected - more on brawn than brain. They were peace-keepers where a thump on the head with a nightstick was how disorderly issues were resolved. Then came: written tests, personal interviews, physical agility/strength, background investigation, polygraph, criminal history, psychologist exam…. Over time, standards have changed from hiring only brute-force men to accepting women, persons of different creeds, colors and those with lessor strength, to allowing some history of drug use or other questionable behavior and to requiring a higher/lower level of formal education. Good or bad, right or wrong, this is where we are, today. Forging future generations is the key to American policing.

LEOs might currently be subjected to excessive training inasmuch as they are required to handle in the blink of the eye more and more and greater and greater complex issues. Training for street officers, where all rookies should begin, must be a return to basics – know and enforce the laws and keep the peace. Probably the best advise that could be given comes from the 1970s hit song, The Gambler:

“You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away…
If you're gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right” (10)

Yes, this is about poker, but adhering to the rules and dealing with people who don’t want to be dealt with is a gamble and over or under playing your hand is sometimes the difference between keeping the peace and disturbing the peace.

The pool of persons interested in a LE career has become void of many desirable candidates due, in part, to negative media coverage of the police profession, per se. This brings up the obvious questions: Do we lower the standards to fill the academy classes? Appease one segment of society while shunning another by reducing quality applicants a solution?

NEXT GENERATION
The answers could be in establishing/defining a set of standards and accepting all police academy applicants that apply knowing a certain number will washout before completion of training – similar to what the army does during draft callups. Washouts can be an asset inasmuch as if properly handled during their unsuccessful, albeit short stint in the academy, they will leave with a positive attitude that will carry over into their civilian life, thus generating a new generation of pro-police citizens. No one is happy about being rejected, but a positive spin and instilling the feeling of being part of the greater good through education and professional guidance can generate decent law-abiding citizens who will become productive workers for other segments of society. In the long run, these “rejects” and their family and friends will not be the ones with a CH.

The recruits that remain in training should be subjected to professionally engineered mental indoctrination (some might call it brain-washing). The goal is to end up with decent, law-abiding, educated, physically-fit officers who know the difference between malum in se and malum prohibitum while having this thought as they begin work each day: You mean they pay me to do this?

SUMMARY
We can’t predict the next crisis, much less it’s type, severity or time, but surely there will be another. The goal of law enforcement leaders is to be prepared, sans political pressure, with ready-to-go strategies in our ever-changing world.

Plans that secure funding under dire conditions, readjusts control and dispersion of officers and addresses the future of law enforcement training is the crux to maintaining America’s security and safety of its citizens.

Police, per se, are not autonomous. They are under the direction of their respective executive branch … that branch’s control is subject to realignment under severe conditions such as when The Prioritized Funding Act is activated. When all else is on the brink of termination, our last line of defense will be needed to not only preserve the peace, but to protect and ensure the functioning of the other essential services, its people, transportation and facilities. Under such extraordinary conditions, LE leaders must be shielded from political intervention as much as law allows. During a crisis it is unfathomable and incomprehensible to expect a police leader to be required to await direction or permission from a political entity – to “fiddle” while watching his/her Rome burn.

This article is written for and targeted to a limited number of a small minority of American citizens. This minute group, the Chiefs of Police, are the heads, the pole position, the point and the leaders of our last line of defense. It is their expertise and steadfastness that has proven time and again to be capable of leading during periods of crisis. Americans know, deep down, their security and safety has been and always will be provided by these leaders no matter what – no exceptions, no excuses.

About the Author: Chuck Klein is former police officer, licensed Private Investigator (ret.), active member of International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI) and author of: INSTINCT COMBAT SHOOTING, Defensive Handgunning for Police; LINES OF DEFENSE, Police Ideology and the Constitution; POLICE (definition portion of Encyclopedia of Science, Technology and Ethics, Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of Thompson Gale ISBN 0-02-865991-0). Information about his books and e-mail contact is available on his web site: www.chuckkleinauthor.com

(1) Lee Child, various Jack Reacher novels. Return

(2) A veteran Minneapolis LEO held his knee on a combative arrestee for an extended time causing the arrestee’s death. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_of_George_Floyd The officer, might have been a victim of Accumulated Stress Disorder, a condition addressed in a previous article of this publication.  Return

(3) 18 U.S.C. § 1385 and as updated in 1956, 1959 and 1994. https://www.govinfo.gov/app/search/%7B%22query%22%3A%2218%20U.S.C.

%20%C2%A7%201385%22%2C%22offset%22%3A0%7D Return

(4) ABC News report, 9 Jun 2020 https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/protesters-defund-police-george-floyds-death/story?id=71123610 Return

(5) Practical Politics and the Criminal Process https://law.jrank.org/pages/1696/Political-Process-Crime-Practical-politics-criminal-process.html Return

(6) Article IV, Sect 4 of the U.S. Constitution: “The United States shall … protect each of them [states] … and on application of the[ir] legislature … against domestic violence.” Thus, if any state requests help to quell riots, mob attacks, insurrection, etc. within its borders, federal troops will be sent. It doesn’t say the Federal Government is forbidden from acting on its own to protect property against domestic violence. The clause has also been used, so to speak, in reverse. In 1894, during a country-wide railroad strike, President Grover Cleveland, against the express wishes of the governor of Illinois, sent in federal troops to protect post offices and keep the post roads open (Article I, Section 8 gave the power of establishing and maintaining post offices and post roads). Return

(7) Declaration of Independence. Return

(8) “I do solemnly swear or affirm that I will support the Constitution and Laws of the United States of America, the Constitution and Laws of the State of Ohio, and Laws and Ordinances of the political subdivision to which I am appointed and to the best of my ability will discharge the duties of this office.” http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/4501:2-6-07v1 (Most states have similar wording to Ohio’s oath).

(9) Should politics play a role police administration? 1978, by Donald O. Schultz https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=54494

(10) Excerpted lyrics from the song by Kenny Ro
gers, The Gambler https://www.songfacts.com/lyrics/kenny-rogers/the-gambler

 

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PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS UNIQUE
TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, Part III

Chuck Klein, ©  2021

Illustration by A. Levine, Cincinnati

Published in the Winter 2020/2021 issue of THE CHIEF OF POLICE magazine,
the Official Publication of The National Association of Chiefs of Police.


For the want of political support, a police officer was lost.
For the want of a police officer, morale was lost.
For the want of morale, honor was lost.
For the want of honor, justice was lost.

For the want of justice, freedom was lost.
For the want of freedom, the nation was lost.
For the want of the nation, faith was lost.
For the want of faith, humanity was lost.
(1)


UPDATE
In part I of this series PROBLEMS_AND_SOLUTIONS, I coined the term, (2) Accumulated Stress Disorder (ASD) to address the issue poignantly brought to the world's attention in the (3) George Floyd incident. Heretofore, the only diagnosis of police who apparently and wrongly impose violence upon civilians were simply labeled "bad cop". Some have likened this out-of-character behavior as an extenuation of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) called “Chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” a condition military personnel continue to experience after combat. I posited there is a difference between “chronic post-traumatic stress disorder” and ASD inasmuch as the absence (usually) of Trauma in the daily lives of a law enforcement officer. Soldiers, once they return home from a combat zone - unlike police officers - don't have to report for duty the next day which is stressful in and of itself. This is not to take anything away from military victims of PTSD, only to properly identify the different criteria associated with the stress of LEOs.

Accumulated Stress Disorder in cops is also not the same as daily (ordinary) stress experienced by bankers, lawyers and/or business leaders who don’t have to worry -as police officer do - about being physically attacked when “taking a break” or when “off duty”. Being in an adversarial position during citizen encounters such as approaching a stopped vehicle, knocking on the door of a domestic detail, or just being approached by someone while walking a beat; these small stressful events accumulate anxiety/tension that might additionally be amplified by home life. Tendered plan for to treating ASD, quite different from PTSD treatments, is outlined in the aforementioned Part I.

This concept caught the attention of Dr. Kenneth J. Manges (4) who wrote in personal correspondence: "Your analysis is correct, and prolonged exposure leads to increased irritability, and in layman’s terms, a 'shorter fuse.' The plan you outlined has merit."

Preface (to Part III)
There are 900K +/- law enforcement officers in America. Combined they make over 36,000 arrests per year (5) of which a tiny few are, at best, questionable. However, it has been these miniscule and highly disseminated acts that generated a misplaced animosity toward the LEOs and those who train and direct them. The result of this over-reaction has been appeasement – a movement by non-LEOs to scale-back (reallocate/reduce) funding, quantity of enforcers, statute enforcement and/or protection of property and persons. In other words, some people of power want to muck up the most effective, principled and admirable policing system the world has ever known.


“If the history of the 1930s teaches us anything,
it is that appeasement … would be an open invitation to new acts of aggression….”
(6)

Regardless – it is immaterial – that’s the system we live in. On the other hand, it doesn’t mean we can’t create new ideas and concepts that will generate changes to the rules, laws, the media, legislatures and the courts that are favorable to those charged with the enforcement of the law.

With the unprecedented number and types of challenges facing law enforcement, it might be said that the continuation and survival of the world’s most honored civilian police agencies – the American police departments - could come down to one word: Ideas. The concepts and notions presented in this treatise are not necessarily suggesting incorporation, rather to stimulate the reader to expand these philosophies to a pragmatic level.

The creative process is the distinctive progression of change, development and evolution unique to human life. The basic formula is simple to grasp and most creative type persons already, unwittingly, utilize most of the practices. Most everyone is somewhat creative, but many idea producers do not understand the process or have never given much thought to their successes causing them to ofttimes have difficulty consistently coming up with new ideas on demand. There has never been a reliable test to determine one's creativeness any more than an examination can measure intuition.


Problems arise, not from entertaining new concepts,
but from failing to shed old ones.


ORIGINATING IDEAS:
Creating ideas is tantamount to solving problems, but it is only the second phase. The first step is recognizing the problem. The final stage, which is not part of the creative process, is putting the solution into action. The greatest ideas are for naught if they cannot be comprehensively disseminated (accepted) by the recipient, thus ending in resistance: “What we have here is a failure to communicate” (7). Communication is always problematic due to inborn restraint and the inability to define and present a new proposal in an understandable presentation - possibly requiring additional idea production of to how win over the target listeners.

Idea: n A mental image, concept, or notion not previously envisioned. Creativity: n (1875) 1: the quality of being creative 2: the ability to create. Also: The ability to make or otherwise bring into existence something new, whether a new solution to a problem, a novel method or device, or a fresh artistic object or form (8). Additionally, ideas are defined as a mental image, concept, or notion not previously envisioned. This would include re-structuring/re-formatting/changing an old version to the new idea.

Nothing is more frustrating to a police leader under the strain of escalating crime, than fending off political attacks or any other type of attack while facing a deadline for solving issues. For those charged with bottom line responsibility (or those aspiring to be so charged) having to produce new concepts and unique tactics can be Twinkie-consuming pressure. Knowing how to enhance and stimulate idea production is indispensable to success and can go a long way in reducing stress.

Much has been written about people who are creative - those who produce ideas - but little about how they actually arrive at new concepts, theories or a different way of viewing old notions. The term, creativity, is easily defined, however, a technique for achieving this highly acclaimed attribute is not readily found. If coming up with ideas is the goal; how does one create ideas? Idea production, like any other manufacturing process, is subject to and dependent upon an identifiable pattern. It makes little difference whether the creator is writing a book, seeking a solution to an assembly line problem or looking to save lives and prevent/solve crimes; the process of inspiration fabrication is the same.

THE LATENT PSYCHE CONCEPT (9)
The formula for creativity production is comprised of six distinct and separate steps, the Latent Psyche Concept. Latent, because it deals with the ideas and thoughts hidden away in the back of the mind. Psyche, for the involvement of the entire mind including the memory section, the intellect and the subconscious. Concept, because this word best defines the goal of seeking an idea, abstract notion or new outlook.

1) Identification
Identifying the problem (raising questions) and establishing goals. What do I wish to accomplish? Is it morale, ethics, over-bearing supervisors, political pressure, crime in general, a specific violation of statutes or…?

When identifying the predicament, it is important not to try to pursue detailed solutions to complex problems, i.e., if the problem is complex, seek ideas to one portion of the obstacle at a time. It is not necessary to work each section all the way through the Latent Psyche Concept before beginning the next section. The subconscious can juggle many tasks at once. What is important is to define the goals by identifying each problem. A visual list - something that can be periodically reviewed - helps keep the goals in focus and acts as a stimulant for the mind.

2) Information
The collecting of raw materials. Whether it is new research or data found in your own storehouse of general wisdom and knowledge, Information is essential. Care must be taken not to clutter the mind with useless data. Keeping a calendar and day sheet of things to do will free the mind for creativity.

Part of research includes learning what the other side is planning and requires ideas to best prepare responses. Military leaders have often used this tactic in predicting an enemy’s means and motives. A great example was the out-loud musings attributed to General George Patton as he watched his adversary fall into a strategic trap: “Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I read your book” (10)

3) Melding
Digesting, sorting and collating - working over - Information in the mind. In other words, actively trying to come up with an idea. The solution might be readily available and on the forefront of conscious thoughts. Brainstorming or group think-tank sessions are forms of Melding.

Oft-times, during this stage, the realization that not enough Information is available and a return to that phase is necessary. Trying to cross the river before the bridge is in place is convoluted and non-productive.

4) Latent Psyche
This is the crux of the concept. Mountains of Information can be accumulated and Melded with any number of problems, but without this stage new ideas are hard to come-by. During this interval the subconscious portion of the mind forces Identification to consort, fraternize and - Meld - with Information. Uncomplicated by conscious thoughts, and all its taboos and negatives, the Latent Psyche "mixing-it-up" stage is a playground for creativity.


Call It Magic, Pavlovian Action, Supernatural,
God's Intervention Or Whatever;
The Latent Psyche Concept Works.


The amount of time the subconscious requires to develop an idea or view the problem from a different perspective is indeterminate. Some problems can be solved in seconds, while others might take overnight or even weeks. LEOs in a hostage situation, for instance, have the unique problem of creating new ideas in a very limited time frame. Old practitioners of this process, such as writers, ad execs, used to say "sleep on it" as a way of allowing the subconscious to act. This could be good advice for them, but to those on a life-or-death deadline there might not be enough sleep-time….

Therefore, a new method was needed to permit the subconscious, the Latent Psyche – the hidden powers of the brain - to come up with a creation. The trick is to have a switch or instantly available gimmick that would turn the Latent Psyche mode on almost at will. It has to be something that creates a concentration level high enough to block out all conscious thought of the project at hand. Of course, it has to be simple enough that its involvement didn't disrupt the project. Driving across town to the gym for a work-out would hardly be conducive to time well managed. Hours needed for "sleeping on it" or for delving into a hobby that forces a stoppage when things are just getting fun is also not favorable to creativity.

Some possibilities immediately come to mind: focused, yet mindless, subconscious-stroking activities might include playing simple video games, especially if they can be accessed without leaving your keyboard. However, complicated video games might require memory space and analogy time which will crowd the mind with useless Information. Health issue notwithstanding, choking down Twinkies or savoring a cup of joe can also disrupt on-scene Information over-load to allow the brain some melding time. This switch, trick or gimmick is not set in stone and can be different to the situation at hand.

The card game, solitaire, is an excellent method for luring the mind into relaxed mode. There is no commitment to finish the game, save it or move on to the next level such as what other contests or engineered distractions might demand.


A Deck Of Cards Kept at Hand
Can be Used Anytime a Block Appears
Or a Fresh Approach is Needed.


Solitaire with the physical cards or an on-line version is not retentive inasmuch as the memory portion of the mind isn't compromised. Other diversions, such as hobbies, require thought process and memory action that might interfere with the Latent Psyche process of the current problem. In addition, when things aren't going well with a hobby, a negative mind-set can become counter-productive. Another alternative is to leave a radio on - volume very low. Focusing on a favorite song during stage four can sometimes serve as a mental picnic.

5) Creation
The birth of the idea. The "Eureka" moment. The discovery or solution to the problem can be a single word, the key to a character's dilemma or the resolution to a complex law enforcement issue. It can also be a fleeting instant such as when the suddenly crystal-clear answer, amid a mind spinning with Melded Information, just as suddenly re-Melds. The light bulb that turned on to shine upon the creation can just as quickly inadvertently be switched off.

Therefore, it is imperative that the idea or solutions are written down or somehow saved immediately. Even saying the revelation out loud can, in a manner of speaking, save it to memory. This latter tactic is most useful should the idea come in the middle of the sleep-night or while occupied with other consuming tasks such as any everyday function. Sans preservation of the Creation the idea producing machinery, once set-in motion, will continue to collate thereby risking the loss of the "Eureka" innovation. This is why it is important to be at a keyboard when the Creation is born and not at the gym or hobby room. It is vital to protect (write-down or save to memory) all ideas as they emerge. The first new concept might not be the best, but in conjunction with later innovations, it tends to foster the winning idea. Sending yourself a text message or vocalizing it into your handheld device works well.


Ideas, solutions and discoveries
are usually found under the rock.
Great ideas, solutions and discoveries
are under the rock that’s under the rock.

 

6) Reverberation
To confirm the pragmatic aspect of the Creation it is necessary to rehash the issue. Just because an idea was produced doesn't necessarily mean that it is the correct or best idea to solve the identified problem. An idea has been created and the urge to celebrate by making use of the Creation is very strong. However, good business practice mandates bouncing the new thought around. The creative process of the Latent Psyche Concept is capable of producing many ideas - some better than others. It is during this stage that the good ideas are sorted out from the not-so-good ones.

Ideas beget ideas: Many times, an idea seeker will create a Creation only to later have to acknowledge, if to no one other than him/herself, "I should have written/done it this way." Saying the new work out loud numerous times acts as a check and balance by letting the brain hear the concept from a different perspective. Reverberating, or bouncing the creation off another person(s) saves a lot of time and potential embarrassment. Looking at the idea from this oblique angle gives time to make observations such as asking, "is this the best idea? what if...?" which leads to confirmation or back to any of the other phases - Information, Melding, Latent Psyche.

THEORY & PRACTICE
Many creative people believe that ideas are the result of association - the connecting of one piece of information with another. Ideas formed by stringing together visual or mental stimuli still utilize the Latent Psyche Concept. These stimuli are the Information that Melds with Identification and though an idea might come quickly, it still is created in the dormant/hidden/undeveloped… portion of the mind - Latent Psyche. Some suggested practices that stimulate idea production:

* Join organizations, groups or clubs (Kiwanis, Lions, other volunteer) that are not of your circle of friends and acquaintances. Interaction with people of diverse backgrounds inspires creativity;

* Attend political meetings counter to your beliefs - not to argue your views, but to try to understand theirs from their perspective.

IF THE IDEA JUST WON'T COME: START OVER.
Practitioners of the Latent Psyche Concept sometimes experience a fast-forwarding or skipping steps. But in reality, the subconscious had automatically processed the supposedly missed steps. For many, getting started - putting down the first words, admitting there is a problem - is sometimes the hardest part. Therefore, it might help to begin with familiar portions and let the Latent Psyche work on the beginning.

Group brainstorming, thinking-outside-the-box, off-the-wall discussions is an informal tangential technique to solve problems before they become problems. It might be most helpful if PACUP (11), or select members thereof, regularly meet to conduct such sessions. A diverse group of law enforcement savvy, free-thinkers, bouncing ideas back and forth between themselves, is a productive method of creating solutions to issues yet to be imagined. In 2020, the world experienced the Coronavirus pandemic for which no one was prepared. There will be other “demics” some of which will directly or indirectly impact law enforcement. The goal of PACUP’s hand-picked assembly would be to conceptualize theoretical and abstract crises – from which formulated plans can be readied.


Leaders harbor visions of forthcoming years;
visionaries envision decades hence.

SUGGESTED QUESTIONS (step one of the Latent Psyche Concept)
The following are some questions that directly or indirectly impact police policy, but might best be addressed by police leaders. And yes, I realize most of these questions already have answers, but that doesn’t mean they are the best solutions for today … or tomorrow.

Though these questions are not necessarily solvable by the LE community and we might not have the wherewithal to implement solutions to all problems, we are in the best position for conceptualizing unique scenarios creating conditions that might fall outside the direct line of LE. Utilizing the powers of PACUP to tender solutions to contain/solve dilemmas and promote the successful practices of law enforcement. We most likely all experienced a little game played with our first FTO – “what would you do if….” It was meant to get us to think, not only of the proper and legal response, but to think outside the box – to come up with solutions that were unique to the situation. When confronted with an emergency, civilians call 9-1-1, but we are 9-1-1. Today, the call to 9-1-1 is to provide solutions that include:

1) Responsibility
a) Federal funds with strings-attached are not a gift. Who determines the quid-pro-quo? How do we negotiate better conditions?

b) If federal and state grants/income are the result of taxes collected from the citizens, are they not entitlements? In other words, if LE agencies are tasked with protecting the source of the income (the taxpayers) are the LE agencies not entitled to this money and if entitled, by what right do bureaucrats have in attaching conditions?

c) Should police focus more on solving crimes, preventing crime or social servicing? Who should decide the priorities?

d) When enforcing the law results in injury to civilians, what level of accountability should be placed on the officer and/or department in relation to parents, school boards, school teachers and their union who failed to instill the knowledge and lessons of the laws?

e) Should state and local police agencies become autonomous – a de facto 5th branch of government (the U.S. Constitution does not preclude this, though some state constitutions might)? In other words, should the chief of police be elected (same as a sheriff) and thus be responsible only to the citizens or should the chief be appointed by a special board of “experts” to serve for a limited time (a lame duck) or life-time? In most jurisdictions, the prosecutor, mayor and attorney general are elected – why not the Chief?

2) Riot Control
a) America was founded on a riot, e.g., the Boston Tea Party. Are we (America, per se.), ready for a revolution? Should we be? Is there any condition or point in which LE should join/promote a revolution?

b) How much control should police use to stop property-damaging mobs? We’ve tried dogs, water cannon, cordoning off, flash-bangs and other physical devices with limited success. Way back in cowboy days, when an unruly subject was resisting arrest, they threw a couple of ropes around him. The concept led to a modern-day “rope trick:” the net. The problem was, how to remove the net, especially if the subject needed immediate medical help. Tomorrow’s rope/net could be inflatable jail cells, electrified barb wire, or…?

c) Who should determine the acceptable level of a crowd/mob: an elected local, state or federal official? A special panel? The local, state, federal LE head? Must police wait until a person or property suffers damage before acting?

3) Standards
a) Should hiring standards including, age, mental acuity, physical size and/or race be regulated on a national, state or local level and who should make this determination: elected officials, the head of the police agency, a panel of citizens...?

b) Training criteria and what rookies are trained to do - or not do - should include: CPR, choke-hold, Narcan, fires, lethal force, domestic disputes, drug/suicide interventions, psychology, public relations, enforcing laws….

c) Is Accumulated Stress Disorder ASD (12) real and if so, who should establish testing and treatment criteria?

d) Will lowering standards act as a form of appeasement and thus a magnet to attract cop wannabees?

4) Review Panels
a) Should review panels be made up of peers only or comprised of a group that includes a representative number of demographically correct residents, “politically correct” residents, elected officials (both parties or only the controlling party), LEOs (of rank and/or street-level officers)?

b) Would a review panel work best if done on a daily – weekly – basis?

c) How about rotating review boards comprised of officers from mixed departments, e.g.: Agency A reviews agency B while agency C reviews agency A while agency D reviews agency B…. This rotating of agencies will keep at bay the mentality of: “you cut my agency some slack and we’ll cut your agency some slack”.

SUMMARY
Every problem has a solution, including the problem of discovering the solution. Ideas, ingenuity, creativeness are the backbone of American industry, education and law enforcement; it’s what made this nation the success story of the millenniums. The twenty-first century finds law enforcement under unprecedented pressure where the protection of our liberties is in the hands of the police leaders to come up with answers to old and new problems as well as solutions to questions that have yet to be asked.

Appeasement, accepting unacceptable conditions that are, for example but not limited to: restrictions against stop & frisk, ignoring the broken window theory (13) and for the sake of securing funding, are never acceptable when lives and duty are in the balance. Fearing old concepts prevents new ones – problem solvers envision where they want to be not what they fear. Therefore, the solution to accepting unacceptable situations is to create ideas and concepts that become acceptable (appease) to those who are making the conditions unacceptable. Now, let's see, what's a good title for this treatise; red three on a black four....

 

From Ohio and West Virginia
to Montana and Maine;
From Texas and Colorado
to Vermont and Tennessee;

This is America, the land we love, And we are the thin blue line that God entrusted to protect thee and thou and you and me.

About the Author: Chuck Klein is former police officer, licensed Private Investigator (ret.), active member of International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI) and author of: INSTINCT COMBAT SHOOTING, Defensive Handgunning for Police; LINES OF DEFENSE, Police Ideology and the Constitution; POLICE (definition portion of Encyclopedia of Science, Technology and Ethics, Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of Thompson Gale ISBN 0-02-865991-0). Information about his books and e-mail contact is available on his web site: www.chuckkleinauthor.com

NOTES
(1) The author's rendition of For Want of a Nail, "a proverb having numerous variations over several centuries, reminding that seemingly unimportant acts or omissions can have grave and unforeseen consequences.” Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_Want_of_a_Nail
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(2) I coined the term in PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS, UNIQUE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, the complete reference is included. www.chuckkleinauthor.com/Page.aspx/377/POLICE-ETHICS-and-LETHAL-FORCE-in-the-21st-CENTURY.html
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(3) Mr. Floyd died after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by an officer’s knee in an episode that was captured on video, touching off nationwide protests. https://www.nytimes.com/article/george-floyd.html
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(4) Dr. Kenneth Manges is a Forensic Psychologist a consultant and recognized vocational expert covering PTSD and other such conditions. His analyses have been documented for their clarity and scientific rigor. Well regarded in the litigation arena, his evaluations have been consistently upheld in both state and federal courts. https://www.kenmanges.com/#
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(5) Study from The Washington Post, 22 June 2016. www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2016/06/22/study-finds-1100-police-officers-per-year-or-3-per-day-are-arrested-nationwide/
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(6) President Harry S. Truman in a radio and television address, Sept. 1, 1950.
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(7) The line is from the 1967 movie, Cool Hand Luke. Spoken first by the warden, (actor Strother Martin). https://www.quotes.net/movies/cool_hand_luke_2469
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(8)Webster's 9th New Collegiate Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, publisher, 1983.
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(9) Excerpted from the author's treatise: THE LATENT PSYCHE CONCEPT, A Formula for Originating Ideas. General Science Journal http://www.gsjournal.net/ Mar, 2015; Berkeley Electronic Press https://works.bepress.com/chuck_klein/1/
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(10)The line is from the movie, “Patton,” and most likely Hollywood script writing, though it is indicative of leaders who became successful by studying the opposition’s means and motives. Actor George C. Scott (playing General Patton), while watching his adversary, Nazi Field Marshal Erwin Rommel fall into Patton’s trap, utters to himself those words. The real General Patton was known to study his enemy and use salty language.
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(11)The National Association of Chiefs of Police, in conjunction with the FOP, FOPA, National Sheriffs’ Association and other like organizations ban together as the Police And Citizen Unification Panel (PACUP) as presented in the article titled: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS UNIQUE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, PART I (The Chief of Police Magazine, Summer 2020).
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(12)Accumulative Stress Disorder (ASD) is a condition akin to PTSD. It appears as a result of years of stress that creates an “us-versus-them” mindset - a loss of reality of how non-cops live and behave. War-zone military personnel, deployed only for months, must be in a kill-or-be-killed state of mind – 24/7. LEOs are active-duty for years, decades, but must transition – everyday - from a criminal catcher to a father to an OD saver to a spouse to warding off attacks (verbal, physical, lethal) to…. Please see Problems And Solutions, Unique To Law Enforcement, Summer 2020 issue of The Chief Of Police Magazine.
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(13)The theory is visible signs of disorder and misbehavior encourage further disorder and misbehavior, leading to serious crimes. It was notably implemented and popularized by New York City mayor Rudolf Giuliani and his police commissioner, William Bratton, during the 1990s. Psychology Today Magazine https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/broken-windows-theory
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Bibliography
The New Encyclopedia Britannica 1979 Vol III, Pg 227
The Creative Process, Brewster Ghiselin 1952, pg. 12
The Creative Process, Brewster Ghiselin 1952, pg. 113
The New Encyclopedia Britannica 1979 Vol. VII, pg 754

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PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS UNIQUE
TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, Part IV

Chuck Klein, ©  2021

COMING SOON

Illustration by A. Levine, Cincinnati

Published in the  ------ 2021 issue of THE CHIEF OF POLICE magazine,
the Official Publication of The National Association of Chiefs of Police.


 



THE BADGE