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Alex_Krycek

Should Police Departments Be Given More Money?

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Posted (edited)

There has been a big push lately to "defund the police".  One problem that I see is that the police were never funded properly in the first place.  Yes, they are given ridiculous and unnecessary amounts of military surplus vehicles (which they shouldn't have), but that actual salary for a full time officer is around 55,000 a year - quite low considering the cost of living these days and what their job demands.  (Source:https://www.careerexplorer.com/careers/police-officer/salary/)

The issue I see is police are woefully undertrained.  Jocko Willik, a retired Navy SEAL, was on a podcast recently and pointed out that for a 6 month deployment in Afghanistan, the Navy SEALs train for 18 months prior to starting their deployment.  That is not 18 months of BUDS or initial qualification to be a SEAL, but 18 months specifically for that deployment after they have already become SEALs.  So they train 3 times longer than they are actually deployed.

So how much training do police get, on average, each year?  According to Willik, the average police officer (after going through 3 month police academy) trains for just 5 hours per year.  In the vast majority of departments there is no minimum physical or psychological standard like there is in the military, so there is zero accountability. 

The point is, everyone is clamoring to take resources away from the police.  Who are you going to get then, as officers?  Only the worst of the worst.  In fact I think funding needs to be increased, so that becoming an officer is a highly sought after job, and police are given significantly more training to deal with the constant barrage of threatening situations they face each day. 

Take a look at State and Local spending on police over the decades (source: https://www.urban.org/policy-centers/cross-center-initiatives/state-and-local-finance-initiative/state-and-local-backgrounders/police-and-corrections-expenditures#Question1Police)

figure_2_fix.png

figure_3-1.png

 

From a purely objective standpoint, if you pay someone a marginal salary, expect them to work long hours in an extremely high stress environment, give them little to no training to deal with that stressful, environment, what should you really expect as to the quality of the personnel who will emerge from those parameters?  

So what is the solution?  To make police better we need:

1.  Higher compensation.  Make it a highly sought after job with excellent benefits.

2.  Accountability.  There should be federal standards in place for police training that are substantially higher than they are now.  There should be intense focus on officer conduct and a national database to record excessive use of force or abuse of power.  This would include  strict physical and psychological evaluations.

3.  Specialization.  The police should be highly specialized.  Police aren't dog catchers, EMTs, or therapists.  They should have a limited role and train specifically for that role.

4.  Community Interaction.  Police should be required to interact with the community they serve on a regular basis, in a cooperative role.  This would include meeting members of the community, spending time doing community service work with low income people, etc.  This would be part of the overall job description and would serve to build trust and respect.

 

 

 

Edited by Alex_Krycek

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5 hours ago, Alex_Krycek said:

There has been a big push lately to "defund the police".  
...
The issue I see is police are woefully undertrained.  
... 
So how much training do police get, on average, each year?  According to Willik, the average police officer (after going through 3 month police academy) trains for just 5 hours per year

That's the whole point of "defund the police" - they are not trained for many of the jobs they are being asked to do, and money would be better spent on people trained to do those jobs. And we run into problems when people trained in the use of guns are asked to do jobs where guns are way down on the list of solutions to the problem. (When all you have is a hammer, and all that). You use the money to hire people trained for these other tasks. That way, fewer police are needed. Your bit about specialization points to this.

I was reading recently how this has already happened. Once upon a time police were summoned for medical emergencies, and transported people to the hospital. But police are not trained to deal with medical emergencies. When we replaced police and police cars with EMTs and ambulances, we got a better result.

https://twitter.com/JamieFord/status/1272273637173637120

"Defund the police" is applying that same rationale to other aspects of what is now police work. Don't send untrained people with guns into situations where guns won't help, and might make it worse. Send people trained in that particular situation.

(BTW, I do more than 5 hours of training per year as a federal employee. If police aren't doing more than 5 hours then that's a broken system)

 

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4 hours ago, Alex_Krycek said:

 

So how much training do police get, on average, each year?  According to Willik, the average police officer (after going through 3 month police academy) trains for just 5 hours per year.  

 

Where did you get that? (I googled Willik but got nothing)

 

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Hi Alex,

I think the USA could learn something from the North European countries. Your proposals are very much in line with what I know of the police in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and probably also the Scandinavian countries.

Try 'the norden - police' on Youtube (24 Minutes; the part about Prison might be interesting too).

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26 minutes ago, Eise said:

Hi Alex,

I think the USA could learn something from the North European countries.  

I think the US police problem is also linked to our incarceration problem, another difference between the US and Europe. (which may be in that video, which I can't watch ATM)

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2 hours ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

Where did you get that? (I googled Willik but got nothing)

 

His name is Jocko Willink (I spelled his last name wrong).

Here is the video.  The part about training starts at 2:30.

 

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22 minutes ago, Alex_Krycek said:

His name is Jocko Willink (I spelled his last name wrong).

 

Thanks Alex

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The training point is about more than just "recertification" each year being only 5 hours. The US also badly fails up front in preparing cops for their jobs in the first place.

https://work.chron.com/long-train-cop-21366.html

Most local police forces require officer candidates to hold at least a high school diploma


<...>
The length of time required to complete academy training averaged 21 weeks, or 840 hours

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/06/america-police-violence-germany-georgia-britain/612820/

In Germany, for example, police recruits are required to spend two and a half to four years in basic training to become an officer, with the option to pursue the equivalent of a bachelor’s or master’s degree in policing. Basic training in the U.S., by comparison, can take as little as 21 weeks (or 33.5 weeks, with field training). The less time recruits have to train, the less time is afforded for guidance on crisis intervention or de-escalation. “If you only have 21 weeks of classroom training, naturally you’re going to emphasize survival,” 


<...>
In some European countries, the rules are stricter still: Police in Finland and Norway, for example, require that officers seek permission before shooting anyone, where possible. In Spain, police must provide verbal cautions and warning shots before resorting to deadly force.

The rest of that 2nd article from The Atlantic also has good ideas on how to begin repairing our broken system.

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31 minutes ago, Alex_Krycek said:

The part about training starts at 2:30.

The part of the problem starts way before that, "It's OK to put a person in a choke hold, because..."

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, dimreepr said:

The part of the problem starts way before that, "It's OK to put a person in a choke hold, because..."

It is important to distinguish an "air choke" from a "blood choke".  In martial arts, the purpose of a blood choke is to quickly cut off blood supply to your opponents brain, rendering the opponent unconscious.  If released immediately after the person loses consciousness, the person will pass out for a few minutes and then regain consciousness with no injury.  This technique is common in judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and is taught to most armed forces / police department around the world.  In judo, there have never been any reported deaths from a blood choke.  

More information:  "Blood chokes (or carotid restraints / sleeper holds) are a form of strangulation that compress one or both carotid arteries and/or the jugular veins without compressing the airway, hence causing cerebral ischemia and a temporary hypoxic condition in the brain.[6] A well applied blood choke may lead to unconsciousness in 10–20 seconds. Injury or death is plausible if the arteries remain constricted for more than 20 seconds. Compared to strangulation with the hands, properly applied blood chokes require little physical strength."

Why is a blood choke used?  When you have someone who is highly combative, how do you restrain them? An officer could apply a blood choke, hit them in the head or knock them out, or use Jiu-Jitsu or Judo to wrestle them to the ground and attempt to cuff hem.  Another option would be shooting them with a tranquilizer dart (something I think would actually be the preferred option).  Tasers in my opinion have been proven too far dangerous and are basically torture devices.

The problem is again the lack of training.  Any chokehold is extremely dangerous if the person applying the choke doesn't know what they are doing.  This is what happened to Eric Garner and George Floyd, and numerous others.  The officers in the Garner case applied an incorrect chokehold that was basically an air choke, leading to asphyxiation.  George Floyd was the victim of an improperly applied blood and air choke, which Chauvin applied for far too long (possibly because of ignorance due to lack of training).

So ultimately blood chokes (not air chokes) are effective if used by trained martial artists, but again, the US police do not have nearly enough training to attempt to apply these safely.  So either they need to do significantly more combatives / martial arts training or just use something like a sedative projectile (tranquilizer dart) that renders the suspect compliant but wears of after a short time.

 

Edited by Alex_Krycek

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Posted (edited)

No choke holds. Full stop. Blood choke. Air choke. Artichoke. It doesn’t matter. If you’re a cop you don’t choke others. That has to be one of the rules of engagement.

We’re citizens with rights in a free society. We’re not willing fighters entering an octagon for a paycheck. 

Edited by iNow

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, iNow said:

No choke holds. Full stop. Blood choke. Air choke. Artichoke. It doesn’t matter. If you’re a cop you don’t choke others. 

We’re citizens with rights in a free society. We’re not willing fighters entering an octagon for a paycheck. 

Ok, but we're assuming a situation where violent confrontation is occurring.  What does the officer do when faced with a highly combative / violent suspect who isn't armed with a weapon but who is willing to physically fight an officer (potentially to the death), and who is potentially much stronger than the officer? 

Obviously the officer needs a high level of martial arts training to deal with hand to hand combat.  Aikido (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aikido#Basic_techniques) (which relies on arm / shoulder / joint locks is used by many police departments and would be safer). Training officers to a purple / brown / or black belt in Judo / Brazilian jiu-jitsu would be other options.

The martial arts training does need to be there though, if de-escalation is the goal.  Trained martial artists know how to handle violent situations and don't overreact or panic, which IMO are the main causes of inadvertent injury / death.  

 

13 hours ago, Eise said:

Hi Alex,

I think the USA could learn something from the North European countries. Your proposals are very much in line with what I know of the police in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and probably also the Scandinavian countries.

Try 'the norden - police' on Youtube (24 Minutes; the part about Prison might be interesting too).

 

10 hours ago, iNow said:

The training point is about more than just "recertification" each year being only 5 hours. The US also badly fails up front in preparing cops for their jobs in the first place.

https://work.chron.com/long-train-cop-21366.html

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/06/america-police-violence-germany-georgia-britain/612820/

 

The rest of that 2nd article from The Atlantic also has good ideas on how to begin repairing our broken system.

 

Norwegian police training education:  

Education of police officers is the responsibility of the Norwegian Police University College, which is subordinate to the National Police Directorate. The main campus is located at Majorstuen in Oslo, while the secondary campus is located at Mørkved in Bodø. In addition the college has training centers in Kongsvinger and Stavern.[39] Police officer training is a three-year bachelor's degree, where the first and third year take place at the college and the second year is on-the-ground training in police districts.[40]

In 2009, 1990 people applied for 432 places at the college. From 2010, admission is administrated through the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service.[41] The college also has a three-year part-time master's degree in police science.[42] As the chief of police and deputy chief of police are part of the prosecuting authority, they must be a candidate of law to act in such a position.[7] Although there no longer is a formal requirement for such an education, the role as prosecutor effectively hinders others from holding the position.[43]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_Police_Service#Education_and_employment

--------

Interesting - I agree and think that the United States should have similar requirements.  However, this would require significantly more money and would be seemingly at odds with the "defund the police" objective.

 

Edited by Alex_Krycek

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57 minutes ago, iNow said:

No choke holds. Full stop. Blood choke. Air choke. Artichoke. It doesn’t matter. If you’re a cop you don’t choke others. That has to be one of the rules of engagement.

We’re citizens with rights in a free society. We’re not willing fighters entering an octagon for a paycheck. 

I think I'd rather be put in a choke hold by a well trained and well meaning cop (they do exist) than shot by the same.

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55 minutes ago, Alex_Krycek said:

Obviously the officer needs a high level of martial arts training to deal with hand to hand combat. 

So basically you’re suggesting we can only fix this problem by hiring members of the Gracie family to police our streets? Seems unrealistic, but okay. I think more is needed, like federally set bare minimum standards about what is and is not allowed and what happens when those thresholds are crossed. 

58 minutes ago, Alex_Krycek said:

However, this would require significantly more money and would be seemingly at odds with the "defund the police" objective.

The defund the police objective is a poorly framed way of asking for funds to be out to better uses. It’s not at odds, it’s exactly what they’re seeking.  

10 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

I think I'd rather be put in a choke hold by a well trained and well meaning cop (they do exist) than shot by the same.

Yes, who wouldn’t? But why present a false choice / false dichotomy? It’s not like those are the only 2 options available. They could also buy me a cheeseburger or get me engaged with a social worker. 

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, iNow said:

So basically you’re suggesting we can only fix this problem by hiring members of the Gracie family to police our streets? Seems unrealistic, but okay. I think more is needed, like federally set bare minimum standards about what is and is not allowed and what happens when those thresholds are crossed. 

Easy to set limitations on paper.  What about when the situation actually happens in real life?  There needs to be extensive conditioning in place so the officer can handle the situation while under extreme stress.

One aspect of that is martial arts.  It's not unrealistic or far-fetched to require law enforcement to be skilled in hand to hand combat or submission techniques.  Many departments already teach these techniques to some extent.  There just needs to be a higher standard and it needs to be done across the board.  

Absent martial arts, what do officers mainly rely on first?  Their gun.  Which should be the absolute last resort.

Edited by Alex_Krycek

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Posted (edited)

I’m a fan of martial arts. Used to teach them for years (my avatar is a picture of me proving I could do over 100 pushups consecutively the night before I tested from 3rd degree brown belt into my 1st degree black belt... where I also went through over 100 katas and demonstrated my abilities in 20 different weapons forms). 

But you’ve obviously never met a cop in NYC or middle America if you think this Joe Rogan idea of yours is gonna change the issues we’re facing. The cops and donuts joke exists for a reason. 

This problem is systemic, and teaching a few more dudes some arm bars ain’t gonna address it from the core or kill the weed at its root. 

Edited by iNow

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, iNow said:

But you’ve obviously never met a cop in NYC or middle America if you think this Joe Rogan idea of yours is gonna change the issues we’re facing. The cops and donuts joke exists for a reason. 

This problem is systemic, and teaching a few more dudes some arm bars ain’t gonna address it from the core or kill the weed at its root. 

I'm not suggesting the casual level of training that you're referring to.  I agree that the lack of training is systemic, and so the solution should be systemic as well, and that includes serious martial arts training, physical fitness standards, and generally significantly higher accountability for ALL police departments in America.

Logically speaking, that would be fairly straightforward.  Whether or not there's the political will to do it is another issue.

PS:  Thanks for clarifying what your avatar photo is.  On first glance I thought it was a Mark Rothko painting.  

Edited by Alex_Krycek

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3 hours ago, Alex_Krycek said:

I'm not suggesting the casual level of training that you're referring to.  I agree that the lack of training is systemic, and so the solution should be systemic as well, and that includes serious martial arts training, physical fitness standards,

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b08sndpw

I'm not sure if you can listen to this (shame), so let me summarise:

Alfie Moore is a British police sargent with 20ish years of experience, he was trained in martial arts, specifically how to put someone in a swan neck wrist lock "so long as they came at me slowly with a partially bent wrist" and in his career, so far, nobody has.

The point is, it takes many years of dedicated training and specific circumstances to perform said wrist lock at full speed. A far more effective, and less time consuming, method is to learn how to persuade them not to attack in the first place; the art of fighting without fighting...

Quote

without fighting (opposing your opponent's forces) means expending as little energy as possible. Martial arts is about efficiency, not violence, so if you're using more energy than absolutely necessary, you're fighting yourself. Fighting without fighting could also mean that you don't take any abuse or damage.

 

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12 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

A far more effective, and less time consuming, method is to learn how to persuade them not to attack in the first place; the art of fighting without fighting...

Sure, it would be great if we could hire Obi Wan Kenobi to teach the police some Jedi mind tricks so psychotic, drug addled, violent criminals would peaceably comply when verbally persuaded to do so.  

In all seriousness persuasion and deescalation should be the main focus of training.  Physical force should be the last resort.  Deadly force the absolute last resort.   However, sometimes physical force can't be avoided and police need to be adequately trained to use it.  

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10 minutes ago, Alex_Krycek said:

Sure, it would be great if we could hire Obi Wan Kenobi to teach the police some Jedi mind tricks so psychotic, drug addled, violent criminals would peaceably comply when verbally persuaded to do so. 

Well, they could try a tazer.

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11 hours ago, iNow said:

So basically you’re suggesting we can only fix this problem by hiring members of the Gracie family to police our streets? Seems unrealistic, but okay. I think more is needed, like federally set bare minimum standards about what is and is not allowed and what happens when those thresholds are crossed. 

The defund the police objective is a poorly framed way of asking for funds to be out to better uses. It’s not at odds, it’s exactly what they’re seeking.  

Yes, who wouldn’t? But why present a false choice / false dichotomy? It’s not like those are the only 2 options available. They could also buy me a cheeseburger or get me engaged with a social worker. 

 

You insist on removing a potentially less fatal option, regardless of how many options you might hope are available, possibly in some circumstances a (real) dichotomy where it's the least likely to be lethal, and possibly the only one that could save the cop.

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15 minutes ago, Alex_Krycek said:

In all seriousness persuasion and deescalation should be the main focus of training.  Physical force should be the last resort.  Deadly force the absolute last resort.   However, sometimes physical force can't be avoided and police need to be adequately trained to use it.  

You're falling into the trap of, more force is always better and will always be effective. 

 

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24 minutes ago, Alex_Krycek said:

Sure, it would be great if we could hire Obi Wan Kenobi to teach the police some Jedi mind tricks so psychotic, drug addled, violent criminals would peaceably comply when verbally persuaded to do so.  

In all seriousness persuasion and deescalation should be the main focus of training.  Physical force should be the last resort.  Deadly force the absolute last resort.   However, sometimes physical force can't be avoided and police need to be adequately trained to use it.  

Agree. If they aren't trained they may be more apt to reach for a gun....or more apt to use it.

1 minute ago, dimreepr said:

You're falling into the trap of, more force is always better and will always be effective. 

 

When fighting straw men, verbal techniques are no doubt best.

(he said quite the opposite of what you're suggesting)

28 minutes ago, Alex_Krycek said:

  In all seriousness persuasion and deescalation should be the main focus of training.  Physical force should be the last resort.  Deadly force the absolute last resort.   However, sometimes physical force can't be avoided and police need to be adequately trained to use it.  

 

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2 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

Agree. If they aren't trained they may be more apt to reach for a gun....or more apt to use it.

When fighting straw men, verbal techniques are no doubt best.

Wow, it's almost like you haven't read my most recent posts.

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1 minute ago, dimreepr said:

Wow, it's almost like you haven't read my most recent posts.

Dim, it's not that you contradicted any of your own posts...It's you directly strawmanning what you were quoting.

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