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National Police Shootings; a training issue?

Updated on July 7, 2015

National Training Programs for Police May be Required

The numerous police shootings being reported nationally continue. My heart still is troubled by the officers who are making the same or similar bad judgement calls, which should go against everything they have been trained in Police training. Shooting someone fleeing their car, without knowledge of any impending threat toward yourself or anyone else is not a wise decision. It is also one that I know is not trained in Police and Sheriffs offices across the country. At a time when we need more good than bad, the heavy boot of further rampant criticism falls upon the neck of the law enforcement community.

In thinking about how change occurs it reminded me of Oklahoma City Bombing and then later 9/11. We never fully know the changes that would have to take place to make our world in America "safe again". It took a new department of Homeland Security, a new task force on internal threats right here in America. A new policy towards the foreign threats within or without a sovereign country. Now we can look back and say we have done better, we have learned, we have Police training, we are in a better position than where we once were, prior to OKC Bombing, and 9/11.

Now its time to recognize that yes we know that most all of our law enforcement men and women serve with a Huge Pride and Dignity to the Duty to Protect and Serve. However we must do our part to dissect what is happening now across our nation, and determine what can be done to prevent these incidents from happening. This can materialize through open discussions, Police Training and development locally, and nationally. Whenever tragic events likes these occur, we must develop a centralized effort to discover, patterns of behavior, and in general policy and procedures regarding our use of force among the law enforcement community. It bears mentioning what may be a relaxed or insensitivity to these matters, and especially an unwritten code of conduct among some officers, that devalue life, especially the life of a perceived criminal. While you should know I love and respect our men and women who serve as Police, Correctional Officers and Investigators, having been all of these; we should never be insensitive to our role, as a servant to the community. To the extent even a service that protects criminals from themselves and their own destruction. Developing rapport and relationships with the community, means just that, know who you are dealing with, stopping by and having a heartfelt one on one with a young person heading down the wrong path. Be that mentor, be that person of respectful authority he or she can look up to, and know that you would be there from them in the best possible way. Despite those individuals who will repeatedly choose a lifestyle of death, drugs, alcohol, and destruction of their own lives and people they come in contact with, how much more should we demonstrate to them, there is more to life than this; we care, we wished you would care enough for yourself to get some help, let us help you.

Many larger police agencies have community officers that work towards following up with police contacts and gang members to be a stand in the gap stakeholder in the community to prevent the cycle of violence and drug and alcohol additions within the cities they serve. It is a daunting task, and in a lot of cases you see little progress or development. When do we say you’re not worth saving, and who decides.

I am fully supportive of all the extra efforts our Law Enforcement Communities provide to our young and old alike to protect and serve them, not just the good, but the bad and ugly. I also fully support their being consequences for our actions, and prison or jail time is one aspect of tough love, and it must be that way in a lot of cases. However, despite how illogical this may sound, instead of pouring people into prison, why don't we pour ourselves into people’s lives, to help, and guide them in some way towards recovery, and sustainability for themselves. These are just some thoughts that have been welling up within me, and thought I would share. I would be interested in your thoughts concerning the subject matter.

D.W. Dobbs

Deaf Sensitivity Training for Police Officers


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