The latest trend in the press thinking that they are experts in all things, is the claim that US police training needs to be more like police training in Europe. They claim that police in other countries receive more training than the 6 months that is typical in the US.
police recruits in Japan get between 15 and 21 months of training. Police in Germany get 2.5 years of training. And in Finland, police education takes three years to complete.
So they want to make police training a 4 year degree? What will that cost? I do agree with them that police training is too much like military boot camp. If you train your police like soldiers, you can expect that your police will act like soldiers. I don’t think that the problem is in how long the training is, I think the problem is in the institutional mindset- “War on crime,” the “War on drugs,” that sort of thing. When you think of criminal justice as warfare, you get police who act as if they are on a battlefield.
That’s where my agreement with them ends. The next claim simply tells me that they have never dealt with someone who needs to be taken somewhere, but isn’t going to go. You are assuming that the people who police contact are rational.
As a street medic, and even in the ED, we encounter people who can’t be reasoned with, yet still need to go somewhere or do something. Whether it’s due to mental illness or simply because they are assholes, some people just need to be forced into compliance. Talking only works on people who are rational.
Imagine negotiating with a spree shooter. Someone who believes in what they are doing so strongly that they are willing to gun down a dozen or more people isn’t going to be negotiated out of their act.
You can tell that some people have juts never had to deal with those kinds of people.