We've all heard it and we've all said it, “That's the way we've always done it.” In this episode of the Public Safety Innovators Podcast, Scott Savage and I will discuss why we think this mentality is one of the most pervasive cancers that is affecting the law enforcement profession. This attitude stifles our own growth and negatively impacts our ability to serve our communities, adapt to societal expectations, and rise to the occasion.

Key Takeaways:

  • We must hold fast to tradition while innovating and growing the profession – Law enforcement is a profession steeped in tradition. Our traditions allow us to understand our roots and where we've come from. Yet when viewed through the lens of, “That's the way we've always done it,” our traditions can leave us stuck using tactics, training concepts, and community engagement practices that are no longer useful or effective.
  • There is a significant, and growing, divergence between how the public views law enforcement's job versus how we do – It's hard to ignore that over the last decade there has been growing suspicion and mistrust in the United States for how law enforcement's role is perceived. Regardless of where you stand in your opinion about the legitimacy of those concerns, we all need to come together to agree on one thing; there is always room for us to do better. If the consenting public views our role differently, then we need to be focused on adapting our role in a way that is reasonable and still allows us to meet the objectives of law and order.
  • Law enforcement suffers from a lack of high quality training – The purpose of training isn't just to tick boxes and earn fancy titles. Our training must be focused on tangible outcomes that result in increased skill or changed behavior. Law enforcement agencies large and small are strapped for resources, which often means that quality training falls by the wayside. If we are to see the growth and advancement of the law enforcement profession into the future, then greater resources need to be applied, not less.

Chapter Markers:

  • 00:02:48 “That's the way we've always done it”…
  • 00:07:06 The disparity of the public's expectations versus our own
  • 00:11:50 The racial divide
  • 00:14:19 Implicit bias training is ineffective
  • 00:15:05 What really is de-escalation?
  • 00:19:38 Defunding the police
  • 00:22:00 The problem with “de-escalation” training
  • 00:23:47 The Daniel Prude case in Rochester, NY
  • 00:26:11 Should we reimagine the roles of law enforcement?
  • 00:31:12 It is possible for us to evolve
  • 00:36:05 Our 3 goals for the future of law enforcement
  • 00:37:54 We suffer from a lack of high quality training
  • 00:46:51 Prioritizing training on a limited budget
  • 00:50:29 Officers need to take control of their own training priorities
  • 00:52:54 A student success story
  • 00:56:57 How to connect with Scott and Savage Training Group

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