Yes. we’ve come a long way… but cannot more, much more be done to improve the quality of our nation’s police services?
IF WE CAN, THEN WHO WILL LEAD? I think it’s about time PERF or some private foundation sponsor a national police summit that would identify the best police departments in our nation. I suggest we determine that quality by asking those whom police serve — the customers which would be not only those who are in the mainstream but those most vulnerable in the community served.
We have already have some standards available in the form of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, the American Bar Association’s “Standards Relating to the Urban Police Function,” The Kerner Commission, and I would unashamedly add my “How To Rate Your Local Police.”
The categories could be in various categories from large to small urban departments to those serving rural towns and counties. The idea would be to highlight what can and is being done with regard to high quality policing.
America’s police leaders need something like this. In most instances they know what needs to be done — the problem is they don’t know quite how to lead it and how to sustain improvement efforts.
This would be one way to do this. We should waste time thinking about it but rather let’s DO IT!