Changing Police Culture

This post derives from things such as

http://www.theagitator.com/archives/027259.php#027259

I remember when police officers knew it was a dangerous job, that was part of the package of being a police officer. Now most of the dangers are being transferred to suspected criminals and anyone who gets in the way.

Its nice that being a police officer is less dangerous now, but I’d say the cost of achieving that is way too high. Why do police officers act like they are invading a foreign country when they have a warrant to enter a home? Although actually its even worse, since you’re not supposed to kill civilians in a war.

People that carry weapons must logically be *more* brave, *more* hesistant to use them than people that aren’t allowed to carry them. Part of the Power = Responsibility model. That model is falling into disrepair.

The police officers of today seem a lot more paranoid and a lot more cowardly than those of the past. Maybe its just greater media dispersion and they’ve always been like this, and only with increased technology (such as ballistics armor) are they even more aggressive. But I suspect that psychologically they are in worse shape than they used to be.

I’d like the police to impose or strengthen two aspects of their current training, admissions, and evaluation practices:

Bravery tests – this is the willingness to sacrifice yourself and put your own health and security on the line in the course of your job duties. No cowards should ever be part of physical law enforcement.

Empathy/Humanism tests – this is the capability of appreciating the effects of your own actions upon creatures with identical status to yourself, and the subsequent devotion to carrying out your duties using the best possible techniques (with respect to recognizing the rights and health of others).

If you fail either of these, you are not fit to be a police officer.

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