Published by David Couper
I served over 20 years as the chief of police in Madison (WI), four years as chief of the Burnsville (MN) Police Department, and before that as a police officer in Edina (MN) and the City of Minneapolis. I hold graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota and Edgewood College in Madison. I have written many articles over my years as a police leader. After retiring from the police department, I answered a call to ministry, attended seminary, and was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church. After 25 years leading two Episcopal Churches in Portage and North Lake, Wisconsin, I now serve as Associate Pastor in a growing, dynamic, and Spirit-filled Lutheran congregation in nearby Mazomanie.
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I wonder after all these police killings what percentage general populace has lost faith and trust in our local police forces, and in reaction watch with a more critical eye?
The last data I saw was around 50% — it has been the lowest confidence level since the Rodney King beating in LA in the 1990s. Of course, this is overall — when on controls for race, it significantly drops. See http://www.gallup.com/poll/1597/confidence-institutions.aspx.
As to race, see http://www.gallup.com/poll/179909/urban-blacks-little-confidence-police.aspx.
And as the unwarranted shooting continue it will drop and drop. Somehow this needs to be controlled, one would hope with multi million dollar pay-offs this would force the cities to make some realignments. Still the “Feared for my life” needs to be addressed, YES it is NOT without risks, the fear is there but so is it in firefighting and in the military in a combat exposure as well. If one has true fear for his/her life he/she should pursue a different occupation.