Is Law Enforcement Training Affective Enough?

Recent events in the law enforcement arena have highlighted very serious issues concerning the behavior, attitudes, and beliefs of some law enforcement professionals sworn to protect the public. A history of past actions is coming to light, and it paints a dark picture of law enforcement, suggesting that many organizations have a “culture” that does not adhere to the stated values and beliefs of these organizations. There is little doubt that most leaders of these organizations have clearly articulated what values, attitudes, and behaviors their personnel are to follow and practice, yet recent events that suggest those values and attitudes may not be held by all officers. The organizations involved are not limited to one level in government but cut across federal, state, and local agencies. The intense media coverage of these recent events is forcing law enforcement to address issues that have been hidden for some time. Make no mistake, most law enforcement officers are truly on the job to honorably serve the citizens, and they do so with respect towards others and a sense of duty to do the right thing. But the field does need to address the issues of those who have crossed over the line and work to change the behavior, attitudes, and beliefs of law enforcement professionals so that incidents such as those recently documented are not repeated and members of the public, including suspects, are treated properly, fairly, and within the bounds of constitutional law.