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April 5, 2012

New Book Guides Police Departments Toward More Effectiveness

By Chief David C. Couper

“The author advocates a police who diligently protect the rights of all people while improving their own procedures and systems and proposes that the proper handling of public protest is one of the hallmarks of a democratic police.”

Summary: A retired veteran police chief provides steps police leaders and departments can take to create effective officers. This new release from CreateSpace Publishing includes stories from the author’s own professional experience as well as personal photos from his illustrious career.

ORDER TODAY at Amazon or at a fine bookstore near you.

See Couper’s recent interview on WISC-TV: WISC Interview

(April 5, 2012) MADISON, Wis. – Cities pay millions of dollars each year to settle police misconduct cases, notes a retired police chief who’s grown concerned about the “militarization of our nation’s police” and has written a book on the topic. He points to examples of racial profiling and gassing nonviolent protesters by police officers who, in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, act more like robots than public servants charged with keeping the peace. The author advocates police officers who protect rights while improving their own procedures and systems.

In Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation’s Police, author David Couper does more than simply point out shortcomings in the system. He offers seven steps police must take to improve and be partners in a democratic society. Couper is well-qualified to offer advice, having transformed the Madison Police Department into a national model, ending the bitter standoffs between protestors and Madison police during the Vietnam War years. In fact, his department’s effective tactics of handling people and crowd control without violence is now known as “The Madison Method.”

The book also delves into Couper’s own rise to success from patrol officer to chief of police, providing the background that shaped his view of police work. His ideal officers are “fair, effective and humanitarian,” he writes. “They can protect our civil rights, work with a variety of people, and take arrested persons into custody with a minimum amount of force.” Couper outlines seven steps for creating an effective police force: police leaders who can envision the future; selecting the finest and brightest to serve; police leaders willing to listen to their officers the and community; professional training and collaborative leadership; continuous improvement; critically evaluating crucial tasks and functions; and police leaders who maintain and continue improvements. Extensive resources, including a law enforcement code of ethics and 12 principles of quality leadership, round out this impressive book about those who keep the public safe.

Author David Couper, chief of the Madison Police Department for more than 20 years and a former patrolman and detective, also served police departments in Edina, Minneapolis, and Burnsville, Minn. In Madison, he led his officers through the successful handling of hundreds of public protests without incident, integrated the department and began a more collaborative leadership style. Couper, who has graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota and Edgewood College, and served for four years in the Marines. He was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church after his retirement and serves St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in North Lake, Wis. This is his third book on policing. He also wrote How To Rate Your Local Police and, with his wife Sabine Lobitz, Quality Policing: The Madison Experience.


For additional information, please visit my blog at

 David C Couper

CreateSpace Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-4575-0870-7                              224 pages                                            $17.95 US




The Book House, 429-14th Ave. S.E., Minneapolis, Apr. 14, 3 p.m.



A Room of One’s Own Books, 307 W. Johnson, Madison, Thurs., Ap. 19, 6:30 p.m.

Arcadia Books, Spring Green, Sat., Apr. 21, 3 p.m.

Prairie Book Shop in Mt. Horeb, Thurs., Apr. 26, 7 p.m.

Village Booksmith, Baraboo, Sat., Apr. 28, 3 p.m.

Crossroads Coffee House, Cross Plains, Thurs., May 3, 7 p.m.

St John’s Episcopal Church. Portage, Sat., May 5, 3 p.m.

Madison Downtown Rotary Club, Wed., May 16, 1 p.m.