As protestors go out into the streets and chant “defund the police“, there is a lot of talk about police reform.
Or outright abolishing police entirety.
As with all systems of policy enforcement, there is always room for improvement. And truly, policing is no different.
But, it’s obvious that the police will never be outright abolished.
So what are some practical solutions to improve policing?
Lets take a look at 5 practical solutions to improve policing!
The Call to Improve Policing
Obviously with such a complex issue as policing, several tactics may be required. And every department will be different.
Let’s touch on just a few of the ways police interactions may be improved.
To get some insight from the law enforcement perspective… Ray Dietrich of America’s Keeper’s, who has 20 years of experience in policing.
Policing Solution #1: Body Cameras
“I would suggest body cams be implemented within all departments immediately. The truth is, they have protected police more than harmed them. ”–Ray Dietrich Founder of America’s Keepers
It’s true, body cameras are a great way to improve police interactions.
Body cameras worn by police are actually an issue we have looked deeply into in the past.
In fact, in cities where body cameras have been implemented. Use of force cases almost immediately decreased.
Although there may be a few concerns with police wearing body cameras. Overall, body cameras are a very good solution to improve policing interactions.
Not only do body cameras improve the behavior of police, body cameras tend to improve the behavior of those they interact with too.
For more info on this check out our series on body worn cameras:
- Police Body Camera Footage as Evidence in Court
- Are Police Body Cameras a Danger to the Public’s Privacy?
- Why Do Police Wear Body Cameras? [The Benefits from the COPS Perspective]
Policing Solution #2: Reform Discipline
“I would look to reform the discipline and arbitration systems within police agencies. From being an internal affairs investigator, I would tell you there are some cops who get their jobs back who should not, we can do better.”–Ray Dietrich Founder of America’s Keepers
One of the biggest complaints about policing is the lack of repercussions for police actions.
Look, there can be no doubt that there is a need for a working system to discipline police. It’s true, officers who are constantly a problem need to be held accountable.
Additionally, police departments should work together to conduct proper checks on new hires.
How police reform should be handled is a separate topic entirely. However, it’s important to consider when looking to improve the current state of policing.
In my opinion, this type of police reform would have to come from an outside organization. Expecting police to reprimand themselves or other officers properly, is unrealistic.
Policing Solution #3: Increase Training Budgets
“Increase training budgets for defensive tactics, less lethal, and firearms training. You would be shocked how little some agencies can afford to train, and you get what you pay for.”–Ray Dietrich Founder of America’s Keepers
One solution to improving policing, is to improve training. This, of course, would involve allocating more resources to police, not less.
This common sense solution is likely one of the strongest solutions to improve policing.
Improved training leads to law enforcement who are more confident and secure. And more likely to take the appropriate actions in heated situations.
Simply put, increase police training budgets, and you will get better police!
Policing Solution #4: Specialize Policing Units
This policing solution is actually what is largely being pushed forward on the public stage.
Although we see a lot of calls to defund the police. In general, what is being pushed forward is much different.
What is actually being pushed forward by the “defund the police” movement, is a push for specialized policing units.
And frankly, this argument makes a lot of sense. This solution is a more evolved form of solution #3. By specializing police forces, you can specialize training.
Cop of all Trades, Master of None
As the saying goes: “Jack of all trades, master of none”. And, the way most police units operate now, police handle everything from:
- Traffic stops,
- to drug busts,
- pushing a broken down car out of the road,
- or handling domestic disturbances.
Not only is it impossible for an individual police officer to be trained to handle all of these situations perfectly…
But, handling so many different situations in a single day can be very stressful to an officer. And of course, stress can lead to bad decisions.
Policing Solution #5: Learn How To Interact With Police
This one may be an unpopular opinion…
In my experience, learning how to act around police is the BEST way to have a positive interaction with them.
Just as a confident police officer is more likely to use the appropriate amount of force when necessary…
When you are confident in yourself, and know your rights. You are more likely to take the appropriate actions when interacting with police.
From knowing when an officer can search your car at a traffic stop. To knowing how to express your right to be heard in court.
You are the greatest solution to improving policing near you!!!
Bottom Line on Improving Policing
There are many practical solutions to improve policing.
BUT, defunding the police is not one of them.
In fact, defunding police is exactly the opposite of what needs to be done.
Look, police are a necessary part of life! Wasting time working against police is the quickest way to make sure that nothing improves.
And at the end of the day. The only person you are in control of… is you!