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Thread: 7 reasons the police culture is broken (and how to fix it)

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    Administrator sniper69's Avatar
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    Default 7 reasons the police culture is broken (and how to fix it)

    7 reasons the police culture is broken (and how to fix it)

    7 reasons the police culture is broken (and how to fix it)
    It is time for the law enforcement profession to think, act, train, prepare, lead, and live differently

    The law enforcement profession is an honorable one. The men and women of law enforcement are committed to making their communities safer, and willing to risk their lives to accomplish that mission.

    However, some elements of the culture are broken, and in order to fix it we need leaders and trainers to think differently.

    1. Too many agencies still believe that putting someone in a leadership position makes him or her a leader. We fail to provide leadership training, and then wonder why we have a leadership void.

    The Solution: We need to acknowledge leadership is never about rank, position, or title. Those put you in a leadership position, but they do not make you a leader.

    Next, we need to understand leadership can be learned and can be developed. We should be providing ongoing leadership training to people in all levels of the organization starting with the patrol officers.

    2. Law enforcement in North America still operates on the mindset that the only time you get called into the boss’s office is when you are in trouble. We have a culture where we do not celebrate our daily successes and justify it by saying, “I am not going to pat you on the back for doing your job.”

    The Solution: You can start by celebrating all the things officers do on a daily basis. Celebrate when they solve crimes, work with the community, enhance a training program, complete a critical project, help a fellow officer, or change the life of a young person.

    As the great leadership trainer Bill Westfall preaches, we need to “catch a cop doing something right.” This is not about giving people ribbons and medals for showing up. It is about acknowledging the accomplishments of the men and women in law enforcement with a small ‘thank you’ or a pat on the back for a job well done.

    3. We will risk our lives to save a fellow officer while at the same time ignoring dangerous behaviors like driving too fast, not wearing the seatbelt, not wearing the body armor, not calling for backup and not waiting for backup.

    The Solution: It is time to say “enough is enough.” We need to start by accepting that ignored behavior is condoned behavior. The next critical step to changing this culture and reducing line of duty injuries and deaths is to create a culture off courageous conversations. These courageous conversations need to be peer-to-peer and supervisor-to-subordinate. These conversations demonstrate that we care enough about each other to speak up and potentially save a life, a career, or a marriage.

    4. Officers are too quick to ‘eat our own’ — we tend to be highly critical of other officers’ decisions and actions with limited information.

    We do exhaustive investigations to get to the facts and reveal the truth for criminal cases but when it involves our own, we thrive on rumor and innuendo.

    The Solution: Be supportive of fellow officers. Seek to get all the fact and determine why the officer did what they did at that moment in time. Understand we are all human and sometimes we make less-than-desirable decisions, especially under stress.

    5. Many academies still have a culture where they believe the way to teach new recruits’ respect is to yell and scream at them and punish them with pushups or other physical activity every time they do something wrong.

    The Solution: Teach respect by treating recruits with respect. Have high standards, create the expectation that they will have to work hard to succeed.

    Boot camp mentality in training often results in three groups of students:

    Those who know it is a game and play the game.
    Those who learn that when you are in a position of power and authority, that is how you treat people.
    Those who become subservient in similar situations.

    Groups two and three cause issues for agencies when those officers make it to the field.

    6. Trainers tend to think the key to effective training is stress. As a result, the goal of many drills is to create stress and push people outside their comfort zone.

    The Solution: Understand that training in context is the key to effective training, not stress. Putting people under stress may serve only to stress officers out and may also set them up for failure in the field. The goal of training should be to expand an officer’s comfort zone by instilling a sense of competence and confidence.

    7. Asking for help is seen as a sign of weakness and officers are told, “If you can’t handle the stress of the job, get out of the profession.” We still sell the lie that big boys and big girls don’t cry so suck it up and soldier on.

    The Solution: Create a culture where it is seen as a sign of strength to ask for — and get — the help you need before it destroys you relationships, your career and possibly your life.

    It is time for the law enforcement profession to think,act, train, prepare, lead, and live differently.

    About the author
    Brian Willis is an internationally-recognized thought leader, speaker, trainer, and writer. Brian serves as the Deputy Executive Director for the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) and is President of the innovative training company Winning Mind Training. Brian was a full time police officer with the Calgary Police Service from 1979 to 2004. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution and commitment to Officer Safety in Canada and was named Law Officer Trainer of the Year for 2011. He is also editor of the highly-acclaimed books W.I.N.: Critical Issues in Training and Leading Warriors , W.I.N. 2: Insights Into Training and Leading Warriors, and his latest work, If I Knew Then: Life Lessons From Cops on the Street , are all available through (Warrior Spirit Books). Brian is a member of NTOA, ITOA, IALEFI, and the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. Brian can be reached through his website at Winning Mind Training.
    "To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot 'em."
    Ted Nugent - speaking at the NRA convention April 17, 2005

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    Gunco Veteran hunter_02's Avatar
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    The points as written are OK, but it is my belief that the system CANNOT BE FIXED, RETAINING THE PERSONEL PRESENTLY IN UNIFORM.
    1) LEADERSHIP CANNOT BE LEARNED or DEVELOPED. Leadership is innate. One has it or they don't.
    2) YOU CANNOT 'CATCH A COP DOING SOMETHING RIGHT'. THIS ISN'T THIRD GRADE. You don't 'celebrate thing done on a daily basis.' Help someone? solve a crime? complete a project? Jeez, that's their phuquing job.
    3) BULLSHIT. I'm tired of these asshats 'calling and waiting for back-up' when they stop my baby-faced sister. YOU AFRAID OF HER? Go get a job at a Circle-K.
    4) BULLSHIT No2. 'YOU MUST BE MORE SUPPORTIVE OF EACH OTHER? My gawd, the BLUE WALL is REAL.
    5) GROUP No 1 ARE THE BIGGEST SCUMBAGS. THEY 'KNOW IT'S A GAME'. IF THEY WERE 'MEN' THEY WOULD GO OUT AND GET A REAL JOB; MAYBE DOING WHAT THEIR FATHERS DID FOR A LIVING.
    6) INSTILLING A SENSE OF COMPETENCE AND CONFIDENCE IN SOMEONE WHO IS NEITHER COMPETANT OR CONFIDANT IS PROBABLY THE MOST DANGEROUS THING YOU CAN DO; ESPESCIALLY IF THAT PERSON WEARS A GUN.
    7) THEY DON'T WISH TO 'LIVE DIFFERENTLY. 'THEY' created US vs THEM. We didn't.

    Hunter
    PLEASE READ 'PEELS NINE PRINCIPLESof POLICING' below

    1.To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
    2.To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
    3.To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
    4.To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
    5.To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion; but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour; and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
    6.To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
    7.To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
    8.To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
    9.To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

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    Gunco Veteran Bolt2bounce's Avatar
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    I'm not anti police but the militarization of the police force, is very disturbing and dangerous to both officers and public.. if a large scale collapse of society was to come to pass, a huge portion of the police force would be killed days after, they'd be hunted down and executed… they are essentially a street gang, just organized and authorized by the powers that be… law enforcement is necessary to having orderly society, where there is no Law ! there is rules, rules of the jungle, kill or be killed.. and the biggest band (gang) will run the show.. the single biggest folly in todays police force is the legalized theft.. AKA.. asset forfeiture laws.. what they called asset forfeiture, years ago was a dirty cop or corruption..in office.. today it's business as usual. The problem is OK the cops bust a dope ring (or whatever it is) if it's making money, they take it and use it as they see fit to buy; police cars, guns, radios vests etc etc… SO what message does that send.. hay the more dope dealers in our area the more we can bust them, the more money we can steal. the better our police force will be… it's counter productive to getting rid of the problem, now the force is dependent (in business with them) and Hooked on that easy money…the other HUGE mistake in modern law enforcement is the police force are largely exempt from the stupid laws politicians pass, Cell phone use ,seat belts, carrying a firearm weapon, example,,, the UNSAFE hand gun law in California, OK hand guns have to pass; a safety test to be sold in CA a Drop test etc etc.. but a police officer, is exempt from that law, he/she/it can buy A UNSAFE HANDGUN but the public can't… what does that do to the regular guys.. is makes inequality in their eyes,, and who is the one person who REALLY need a safe handgun ….wait for it….A COP… I've know SO many cops who pay little or no attention to the minor regulation / laws, we all have to follow, knowing that their shiny badge will very likely get them, a pass, no matter what minor offense they are involved with.. Speeding, seat belts, drinking, fighting..etc etc.. don't get me wrong the average cop is a good dude.. usually...I have friends and family who are LEO, and I have Friends and family who would be on the other side if the $hit hit the fan.. also..but I've also stood in a court of law and had a cop Lie his ass off to the judge, it was shocking to me the first time around.. your either "a cop or your little people".. Blade Runner B2B

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    Administrator sniper69's Avatar
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    I'd like to post what a police officer wrote in response to the article on another forum - but would want to ask him for permission first. It makes for some very interesting talking points.
    "To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot 'em."
    Ted Nugent - speaking at the NRA convention April 17, 2005

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