Monday, April 14, 2014

NRU to protect and serve

I have thought about not posting this's just depressing. It would seem that the LAPD hasn't learned much from the Ramparts scandal, Rodney King, etc., etc.  The worst part, though, is the cavalier way the powers that be excuse, deny and otherwise don't deal with the issues.

I couldn't look away from that little gem, though, after the feds finally submitted their findings on the excessive force allegations in Albuquerque.  This after the community had asked countless times for the district attorney to enforce laws against police officers at least as diligently as against civilians.  Perhaps more importantly to some, after paying out millions in wrongful death suits against the city for actions the district attorney had cleared.  Turns out the APD doesn't really understand the constitutional protections citizens enjoy. For me, though, it is not just the police that require blame, but also the institutions that are in place to solve a problem of excessive force.  This should never have been investigated by the federal government because it should never have gotten past the mayor or the district attorney.  The media should not have made the victims of this excessive force seem deserving in any way.  It should not have taken the umpteenth murder of a mentally ill citizen to strike a nerve with the public (or the blogger anonymous).

Lest you think I lack any perspective on the issue of the police, I offer this one other piece.  I have always said to those who suggested I take up psychology that I would only do it if I could exclusively work to help police officers deal more effectively with crises.  I have never denied the challenging work of the police.  Far from it, I have just wondered at the kind of people police work attracts.  There are those police officers who take to heart "protect and serve" and who believe this extends to all the people they encounter.  But, there is no denying that it is the kind of work that requires emotional and psychological training as much as it requires physical fitness.  Now more than ever, we need to recognize the needs of these public servants and find ways to serve them.  This program is a good start down that road.

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