In 2015 in the largest 50-cities in the U.S., homicides are up 17%, the biggest 1-year increase since 1993. This increase is reflected in other types of violent crime as well.
Certain high-profile use of force incidents, and in particular, the 2014 Michael Brown shooting death in Ferguson, Missouri, has caused officers throughout the country to withdraw and back off of aggressive proactive policing in favor of merely reactive policing. This so called Ferguson Effect has resulted in criminals becoming emboldened, and a resulting violent crime rise in city after city.
Resistance to lawful police action has become routine, as we have entered an era of antipolice activism.
There are signs that legal order itself is breaking down in urban areas, and police feel there is a total lack of respect for them and the work they do.
The belief in some minority communities, whether warranted or not, is that the police are, in fact, the greatest threat facing these communities. This belief holds despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Place yourself into the position of a police chief in a large urban setting, with a substantial minority community. Your department has had a few minor controversial incidents, and you believe it is only a matter of time before a major one occurs. A review of departmental statistics, along with other information you’ve gathered, leads you to believe your officers are beginning to fall into this Ferguson Effect category. Draft a 1500-word paper directed at your command staff, to provide them guidance and direction on how the department will attempt the delicate balance of aggressive policing in a community that is becoming more resistant, and on a department where officers are becoming more and more fearful of becoming the next Darrin Wilson, the officer involved in the Ferguson shooting. Former Officer Wilson, although literally cleared of all allegations, has spoken in the media about how he has not been able to find steady employment, not only in law enforcement, but anywhere.
. Ultimately, this paper will be used by your command staff as the guiding light toward achieving the vision you desire as chief in this most challenging era. Please remember to specifically address the values that the community has expressed, the values the police department is trying to promote, where the values come into conflict and those that are in common.
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