What We Learned in Platteville: Part 2 of 5

IMG_0041“Police Services ‘Outside the Box’ in Kalamazoo.” Capt. Jim Mallery, Kalamazoo Police Department: Also an Adjunct Professor at Ferris State University and also Masters in Public Administration; graduate of Senior Management Institute of Policing.

“The idea of statistics, arrests, citations, dope; completing task mindset; the present ‘culture of organization’ has to change.

“Praise and Recognition. Can police become cynical? You grow a shell; some are proud; you expect nothing but the worst in human behavior; opposite of what officers commit to when they begin policing.

“Danger time: 8-14 yrs of service; cynicism (can lead to depression, suicide, etc.) must be resisted and fought.

“Police are still going to have to make physical arrests; what it comes down to is ‘yellow dot’ vs. a ‘red dot.’ Yellow dots are the world of just 3-6% of population; all these yellow dots doing evil; police deal with the ‘yellow dot’ every day. But we need to find ways to get officers involved with the ‘red dots’ — 94-97% of the population

“Specific cultural implementations in Kalamazoo. We hit the reset button in 2013. For example, we started to read to 5th graders; impacted the community through this; word travels; relationships formed; focused on public safety; focused on patches; the story about our shoulder emblems.

“New code: Our product is service

“Things need to be practiced at least 3 years to become culture; you need to do something 10,000 hours to become an expert; this task becomes an opportunity to build relationships, then attitude becomes prevalent; becomes culture.

www.thegoodcop.org This is a website we developed where you can show appreciation to a good cop in your life.

“The video: a cop who was caught on the fence while chasing a guy running away. Turned out the suspect knew the cop, the cop knew him; they both knew the same thing: he had a warrant out and had done crimes in the past. The guy being chased went over the fence and landed on his back; the cop came right after him over the fence but he got hung up on the fence, suspended over the suspect. The officer saw the guy go into his pocket and pull out a gun. Verbal exchange at that time. The guy gave himself up.

“We heard a report from the cop after this happened; interchange quite amazing. But, it ended well. Attributed to the ongoing history of this cop being respectful to this man throughout their interchanges within community on daily basis. The suspect stated he would not harm him because of this. He could have easily shot and killed the officer right there. Instead, he told cop he had gun and pulled it out of his pocket and laid it on the ground. [extremely powerful real life example of how respect and dignity changes consequences for everyone]

“This is about procedural justice and police legitimacy (building trust).”


Dr. Sabrina Burton, Associate Professor, Dept. of Criminal Justice, UW Platteville.
Dr. Sabrina Burton, Associate Professor, Dept. of Criminal Justice, UW Platteville.

Response: Dr. Sabrina Burton, Associate Professor, Dept. of Criminal Justice, UW Platteville. She was the first woman admitted to the German Federal police group; worked in both intelligence and policing; outstanding background incl. working in Los Angeles while earning her PhD.

‘Interested in applied research; want to produce the kind of candidates needed in policing. To give our students the ability to critically think; this is what is needed most. Policing is more than the law enforcement function. Often communication with people in great distress is the key in this profession; Often presence of an officer is the first response; communication therefore is the first thing. How we teach this kind of communication is essential; what about ‘command voice’ and its use — often a tool to refocus someone. What words have meaning and power?

“How people communicate: over 90% nonverbal; this generation communicates differently, using so much technology. They may not respond the same to language, your presence is very important.”

Questions & Answers:

Mallery: Changes in Kalamazoo: We were told to do this within our capacity: walk your beat and talk to every household. ‘Within our capacity’ [this was the key, redistributing people on duty so this occurred on a very regular basis, whether they liked it or not, and it was key in building community and getting cops familiar with the community. Often, the best use of police resources is to walk 2 hours in a neighborhood.

You can contact Jim at: malleryj@kalamazoocity.org


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