What changes could be coming to law enforcement

Published: Jun. 19, 2020 at 7:08 PM EDT
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Amid the instances of officer involved shootings and the intense scrutiny police officers are under, changes are likely coming to law enforcement.

But which ones are needed now and which could help to hopefully stop future incidents?

Protestors have gathered across the country after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The backlash is something police officers feel across the country. Change could start in a couple of ways and start with demeanor.

“More of a compassion. A kindness. An attitude of solving problems and of de-escalating issues,” said Lourdes University professor and former FBI agent Kristin Blochowski.

She says bringing the temperature down might be better than bringing someone to jail. She also says officer recruitment needs to be diverse but also needs to examine the mental side. That needs to be coupled with a better understanding of force.

“At our larger departments they're having a lot more interactions with people of color. They're having more use of force incidents. So that maybe they are being evaluated a little more. At a smaller department you're not having that very often and when something does happen it almost turns into kinda a bigger deal because you haven't been dealing with that on a daily basis,” said Blochowski.

“We've got something else going on and that is that many police officers, not all but many police officers have a fear of black men and black boys. That's a core value of the police subculture in many police departments and sheriff's departments across the country. So long as that's a core value of the police subculture in many places, reforms will be meaningless and not able to take hold,” said Philip Stinson, a BGSU criminal justice professor.

Stinson also notices more and more officers don't live in the communities in which they work. Seeing the people they interact with as an enemy not as a neighbor.

“So long as officers are not of and from the communities where they work every day, I don't think we can resolve that problem,” said Stinson.