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. View all posts by David Couper
Criminalization of drugs is based on the underlying assumption that only through government coercion can we reduce harmful substance abuse. Other alternatives have not been adequately explored. We fail to confront the brutal realities of the second and third order harm from coercive strategies.
I too believe police need to get out of the drug business. Withdrawal from that endeavor will free up precious resources that can be focused on more effective policing.