Summarizing “Arrested Development”

Book CoverBOOK SUMMARY: Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation’s Police.

Four obstacles have traditionally (and presently) “arrested” the development of our nation’s police and prevented them from becoming the kind of police a democracy needs:

  • Anti-intellectualism – Not understanding the importance or contribution of higher education and not requiring it as a hiring standard.
  • Violence – Quickly resorting to the use of force when less violent approaches could be used.
  • Corruption – Disobeying the law while enforcing it.
  • Discourtesy – Failing to respect all people they encounter regardless of race, color, creed, sexual orientation, or station in life.

The way out of this debilitating situation is for the police to integrate and practice the seven improvement steps:

    1.  Envision.  Police leaders must cast a bold and breathtaking vision to ensure a distinguished future for policing.
    2.  Select: Police must encourage and select the finest and the brightest to serve as police officers.
    3.  Listen: Police leaders must intently listen to their officers and  members of the community.
    4.  Train and Lead: Police leaders must implement professional training and a collaborative leadership style.
    5.  Improve Continuously: Police must unceasingly improve the systems in which they work–everything they do.
    6.  Evaluate: Police must be able to critically assess, or have assessed, the crucial tasks and functions they are expected to perform.
    7. Sustain: Police leaders must be able to maintain and continue improvements to their organizations.

The end result is that communities in our nation will have police who can best serve a democracy such as ours. Men and women who are formally educated, carefully selected, well-trained, effective, controlled in their use of force, honest in their actions, courteous to every person, compassionate, closely in touch with the communities they serve, and led by mature, collaborative leaders.

This all begins with a breath-taking vision of excellence, followed by hiring the right people, and leading them wisely with the goal of sustaining the improvements that are made!

[For more, see “The Twelve Qualities of Police in a Free and Democratic Society.” (CLICK HERE)]


  1. In other fora, I’ve pointed out an apparent split which is of recent origin.

    Constables, who de-escalate, whose mission is to help (not to arrest), who are a presence of the “rule of law’, justice, fairness.

    Blue-coats who serve some remote government (the SWAT-team that gets toys from the feds), who consider citizens the enemy, who desire to practice violence, paralleling the “red-coats” who were derided from the Boston Massacre through the revolutionary war.

    My only disagreement is with “Anti-Intellectualism” in that the purpose of “higher education” tends toward turning constables into blue-coats in most cases. There is practical training, in how to de-escalate, how to help, how to avoid conflict, arrest, when to catch-and-release. But there is also the opposite, how to oppress and avoid violating rights, how to get people to give up their rights, plausible deny-ability for illegal searches. TASER them all and let the prosecutor sort them out.

    I never know when encountering a law-enforcement officer, if I am seen in his eyes as some kind of evil enemy terrorist, or as someone who he is trying to help. And as police are federalized, they are paid to treat me as the former instead of the latter.

    Those who honor their oath to the CONSTITUTION (which includes the bill of rights) in the breach more than the observance.

    If enough police prove themselves to be enemies of ordinary citizens, if things escalate to war, they will be treated as enemies. Whatever quite real honor will be forgotten as it will have ceased to exist.


    1. These are dangerous times. The importance of higher education for police is for them to be able to see the “big picture” (which includes our history, the Constitution and the importance of being helpers and protectors). I hope it all works out. I am getting along in years and hope and pray police will come to the same conclusions I have tried to champion in my life and in this latest (and last) book! Thanks for clarifying how many folks have come to see the police and how unfortunate that is.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.