What would you do if you heard those words
coming from behind you? Would you run? duck and cover (that's what I
would do)? Turn around and put your hands up? Pull out your iPhone and
start recording? Just keep walking?
smart-thing to do is stop, turn around with your hands clearly in view
and wait for further instructions or information.
as we have seen over and over on numerous occasions, that is not what
many a "person of interest" has done. Instead, they have run. The
inevitable resulting police chase never turns out well because first
there's always someone around recording an out-of-context scenario and
second the police and their intended "person of interest" are now on
high alert, adrenaline pumping and emotions running high. We've all
seen what happens next on the evening news ad nauseam.
BUT, and this is a big but (no pun intended), why do we see so many incidents of blatant and inappropriate behavior from police? How much more of this is happening that we don't see? Is it regional in nature or endemic to all PDs? What kind of training are police given to address the issue?
Lots of questions, yes, but important ones. Absolutely, the overwhelming majority of men and women in blue are good, decent, well trained officers of the law. So in my never-ending quest to make the earth a better place than I found it, here are a few suggestions for police officers across the nation:
1. Make more of an effort to use nonlethal force, i.e. tasers, etc.
2. Assume every single thing you're doing is being video taped whether it be in a dark alley at 2 A.M. or in broad daylight on a heavily traveled city street.
3. When you and your backup do finally have the guy down and cuffed, stop beating and kicking the crap out of him. You did your job. You got him. Let the courts do the rest.
4. Face the fact that you and possibly your fellow officers may be just a tad prejudice. This is especially true for those of you who fight crime in areas where a large percentage of the perps are minority.
5. You have public relations departments. Use them. Get them to bombard the media with all the good things you do. YouTube for example has countless videos of police officers doing extraordinarily good things. Those things need to make their way onto the evening news and into daily papers.
6. And finally to police administrators: do more to get rid of the bad apples who are spoiling the barrel. You know how the public is always screaming about getting bad teachers out of the schools? Well the same holds true for police. Get the bad ones out of uniform.
Tough to do? Yes. Easy for a 'civilian' like me to sit here and say what you should do? Undoubtedly. But, still. The police do not deserve the bad press they're receiving so if there's something here that can turn the tide of bad feeling then it's worth the criticism I may or may not face.
Good luck...and remember, nothin's easy!