Changes to po­lice train­ing greatly needed

The Dundalk Eagle - - BY THE PEOPLE - By MAR­LENE JENK­INS

To the ed­i­tor:

I read your ar­ti­cle – and wow it was a lot to un­pack. You brought up in­ci­dents that I had long for­got (i.e. the Gaines case).

I will try to make my thoughts com­pact as to get to the point: I do be­lieve that this is a good time to look at polic­ing in the 21st cen­tury. But, I have the du­bi­ous po­si­tion of be­ing on both sides of the de­bate. I worked for law en­force­ment for 30 years in a civil­ian po­si­tion. The last sev­eral years, I was tar­geted by what can only be de­scribed as a small ca­bal of cor­rupt sworn (three po­lice and one civil­ian) of­fi­cers. Un­til you are on the los­ing end of a dirty cop(s) you will see life in a whole new per­spec­tive.

I had to for­feit my paycheck in or­der to save my pen­sion and my health. I also saw the in­er­tia of by­s­tanders (both sworn and civil­ian) watch­ing the cor­rup­tion un­fold. It put me to mind a lit­tle of the Floyd in­ci­dent – one makes a bad de­ci­sion and oth­ers seem to go into some sort of sub­mis­sive stu­por. That is why when you noted “of­fi­cers to in­ter­vene when an­other of­fi­cer is us­ing un­nec­es­sary force.” may have some merit but needs some tweak­ing.

In sum­mary I will pin point some thoughts:

1) Polic­ing is a no­ble pro­fes­sion – and the only thing that stands be­tween ci­vil­ity and com­plete chaos.

2) So­ci­ety, at large, seems to be more vi­o­lent and dis­re­spect­ful of law en­force­ment (I never thought I would live to see the day when bricks, frozen wa­ter bot­tles, etc., would be hurled at of­fi­cers. It seems to be a badge of honor to hurt a po­lice of­fi­cer).

3) The po­lice are now be­ing tasked with do­mes­tic ter­ror­ists – and the train­ing needs to ad­just.

4) Mon­day quar­ter­back­ing is a MUST – th­ese body cams and cell phone footage should give per­spec­tive. Why three of­fi­cers could not re­strain Ja­cob Blake – was he that strong? Is their train­ing lax? Why were they walk­ing around with guns drawn? Could they have not jumped him be­fore he got in the car? You see what I am get­ting at.

5) Also, train­ing needs to be con­stant – not two times a year to meet the min­i­mum. Th­ese sit­u­a­tions re­quire in­stant think­ing, which only comes from repet­i­tive train­ing.

In con­clu­sion, I think a panel of peo­ple (ex­perts) and a good cross sec­tion should and could make an im­pact (PS: I would vol­un­teer my per­spec­tive and ex­pe­ri­ences). Not politi­cians try­ing to score po­lit­i­cal clout with the pop­u­lous and check off points. Not just the FOP, where they seem to de­fend ev­ery­one and ev­ery­thing, but per­spec­tives that would make both sworn of­fi­cers and the cit­i­zens they pro­tect and serve safer.

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