Racial tension has been building in America for centuries. From Jim Crow laws to mass incarceration to numerous examples of police brutality, there seems to be a pattern of law enforcement treating people of color with a disproportionate amount of violence. As more incidents come to light, America is seeing the largest civil rights movement to date while people peaceful protest the unjust killings of individuals like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.
There is an obvious need for reform within police departments across the country, and there are varied opinions on how to make this change a permanent one. While many individuals are coming to this discussion with heightened emotions, it is time to find a common ground where everyone can work together to create a safer America for all people. Let’s start by listing just a few steps to improve police training and accountability in the year 2020.
Start with the right tools.
First of all, it’s understandable that sweeping change may seem intimidating to certain police stations, even on an administrative scale. From discharging unqualified officers to new training protocol schedules, chances are you’ll need high-quality software to help navigate the nuisances of law enforcement organizations. There are many challenges within public safety organizations, so rely on orioncom.com to help you keep your team on track at an affordable price. This will be especially important to help plan and implement the new training necessities for public safety.
Implement de-escalation training.
Several recent cases of police brutality involve situations that escalated to deadly force without cause. The first step in training is to encourage de-escalation before the use of force. Anger and confrontation often lead to further conflict. Instead, police should be trained to calmly approach situations and investigate before jumping to the use of force.
Use body cameras.
The use of body cameras is another tool for accountability. While studies have shown that police behavior is not affected while wearing the camera, officers can later be held accountable for their actions. It allows for transparency in cases of police brutality.
Change national standards.
National police standards are seriously lacking. States decide the current rules and regulations for their own police force. However, some officers and lawmakers are hoping to set a national standard for training and accountability for public safety workers.
Learn the law.
Becoming a police officer does not require an advanced degree and officers only spend six months in training. These qualifications are small compared to education for officers in other nations. Certain advocates encourage more time studying the law that these people are enforcing. They also advise engaging in drills and scenarios about specific laws rather than just learning from a desk.
Apply civilian oversight.
Training can clearly be improved for police officers, but we also need to have steps to require accountability for police actions. One way to do this is to get your community involved. Civilian oversight, in regards to policy or complaints, can help regain that trust between law enforcement and the community they’re supposed to be serving.
Contain police unions.
People often argue that there are a few bad cops, not a bad system. But when the system allows bad cops to return to work without consequences, the system has some problems. Police unions have become incredibly powerful. There are many examples of unions getting criminal officers reinstated even after these officers have injured or killed unarmed individuals on duty and were fired. This is how unfit officers stay in the system and continue harming innocent Americans. Finding a way to strip police unions of this ultimate power should be the first step.
Enforce criminal prosecution.
Unnecessary use of force that results in injury or death is a criminal act everywhere except within law enforcement. Even high profile cases are rarely prosecuted and officers are allowed to walk free without any consequences to their actions. We need to have stronger examples of criminally prosecuting bad officers to send the message that excessive force is not acceptable.