OMG! I had to share this as soon as I saw it.
Canada’s police officers are on to something. There is a program started, which arms police officers with a subtle yet powerful tool. They are armed with positive reinforcement. The police force is authorized to reward “the right behavior.” Which may seem like a waste of time on the surface.
Those who know the long-term social and psychological benefits of such a small (and relatively inexpensive) tweak, know that this has the potential to be huge. It can change both how police prioritize their duties and how the community relate (and cooperate) with law enforcement. Not enough to make any significant change? Maybe. What is the alternative? To continue the way things are going now?
- In May, the Washington Post reported over 390 fatal police shootings in the United States in 2015.
- This means there’s about two officer-involved shooting deaths per day.
- This is 2x what the government had recorded over the past decade.
- That same report found blacks to be killed 3x whites or other minorities.
- About 25% of those killed were identified as mentally ill by police or family members.
- The youngest victims 16 years old (though at the time, nine ages were unknown).
- Another Washington Post investigation from August found that black men — who constitute 6% of the nation’s population — account for 40% of the 60 unarmed people who had been fatally shot by police by that time.
Without politicizing this issue, or pointing fingers of blame to either the criminals, communities, victims, legislature, or law enforcement, we have to look beyond what is legal to do what is morally just. What if we could take a page from Canada’s book and begin a Law Enforcement Revolution? What are your thoughts?