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by Peter Moskos

March 2, 2015

The President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing

It's out. You can download the 115 page PDF here. I haven't read it yet. I'd be happy to hear any comments from those have about what in it is relevant/important/surprising.


Matt said...

My initial kick to the gut reaction:

1. Most cops are pretty much assholes, and we really wish they wouldn't be.

2. Re-evaluate the people we choose to be hired as cops. More diversity really equates to fewer type-A personalities. (Maybe this should be 1a, but it was stressed to such an extent that double reporting is warranted)

3. Body cameras are probably a good idea, but they really offer more value to police and prosecutors than as an accountability tool, so we are going to slow the fervor for the adoption of that technology.

4. Most cops are sort of mentally ill. Mental illness is bad.

5. Investigative stops are damaging to the community and are a thing of the past to be used sparingly if ever.

6. Cops cannot be trusted to investigate themselves.

7. We really do like cops, really, we suggested that Blue Alert thing, right?

In all seriousness, there is nothing new here for anyone paying attention. A lot of the suggestions are reasonable and worth implementing in some form.

The ideas that worry me most are:

1. The belief that we can find enough people to be cops who are empathetic enough for their tastes yet mentally and physically capable to be the people the other empathetic ones call when empathy doesn't work.

2. The possibility of a DOJ-like group of lawyers who never had an adrenaline dump in their lives investigating serious police use of force.

Peter Moskos said...

Thank you very much! That's exactly the kind of summary I was hoping to get!

I guess I'll have to read the damn thing myself, more or less.

campbell said...

I'm going to push back against 5 a bit. Those stops are a great tool and one that can be used with a lot of success. The key though is 1 up top. The second #1 is also a significant issue and one that's increasingly hard to overcome with the gutting of pensions and other benefits.