Quell the Hate; Stop the Ambushes!

images-2I.A.C.P. Article Shows Alarming Spike In Ambush-Style Attacks On Police Officers.

The data are alarming: CBS News (11/21) reports that after a massive manhunt in San Antonio, officers arrested a suspect. San Antonio police Chief William McManus said the officer was targeted for wearing the “uniform.”

The AP (11/21, Webber) reports “One-third of police officers shot to death on the job this year were purposely targeted by their assailant.”

NBC News (11/22) reports, “127 officers have been killed in the line duty in 2016, a 67 percent jump from the same time last year.”

images-3Police departments around the country are encouraging caution; with Dallas encouraging his officers to pair up with a partner and in Chicago, “police officials distributed a safety bulletin and reminded officers to be ‘extra vigilant’ while conducting traffic stops and field interviews.”

This is my take on the uptick of police ambushes:

This phenomenon was part of policing in the 1960s. As a cop on the street, I had to make a choice — was I going to be part of the problem or part of the solution? I chose the latter. And that was to make sure my contacts, especially in communities of color, were marked by what we call today “Procedural Justice;” that is, unknown

  1. Listen (listen and hear what you are told; the person’s story).
  2. Show respect (treat all persons, even the nasty ones, with dignity and respect).
  3. Being neutral (make your decision-making process unbiased and trustworthy).
  4. Explain your decisions (share how your decisions are made).
  5. Be helpful (show you are interested in the person’s personal situation).

What I don’t hear a lot about today is that the dangerousness of policing can be elevated by police officers who do not practice Procedural Justice; simply stated, they do not show respect for those whom they encounter on the job. I believe disrespectful behavior by some police officers leads to unchecked anger and the potential for attacks on other police officers.

Surely, in this world of social media, the acts of a few bad cops put other police officers in danger.

So, if we want to do something about reducing the dangerousness of policing, it can begin today. Start practicing Procedural Justice. And one more thing for police officers: when you see a fellow officer NOT respecting others, say something, then DO something!



  1. Chief, you hit the nail right on the head. When I hear the news say “There was no connection in the the shooting” I feel that’s a line of BS, it’s all tied to the needless shootings of black people. It’s going to be a long road to regaining the respect all PO’s need and should have. We need the police if we didn’t have them it would be back to the wild west days.


  2. The police have been contributing to the Wild West days since they have been so triggered happy about using their weapons since the Supreme Court gave them carte blanch regarding the phrase “I was in fear of my life” excuse when it comes to using deadly force. Remember when they were searching for that ex-LAPD cop, and a couple of them pull over a vehicle because they thought the suspect was in there and started blazing away? Those two cops had the wrong make, model, and color of the vehicle that they were looking for and just want to kill the suspect if he was in that car. I would rather have the Royal Canadain Mounted Police back in the old days of the West compare to US law enforcement of that time period. The Canadian government in that time period did not want their West to become what the US West was which was why they formed the RCMP which at that time was known as the Northwest Mounted Police.

    We need the police? Funny, I don’t recall the police being on the side of the Afro-Americans and the American workers during the slavery period, the Reconstruction Period, the Sharecropper period, the Jim Crow days, the labor strikes of the 19th and 20th century, and the fear of Communism from 1917 to the fall of Communist Russia where every progressive, liberal, socialist individual/organization was viewed as being pinko leftist. We also don’t seem to have to police on our side when we have white collar crime committed by corporations and wealthy individuals. You also have the Supreme Court saying that the police have no obligation to protect the public, so why do we need them when they can’t or would protect us considering the fact that they took an oath to protect the public even if it meant forfeiting their own life in the process?


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