"If the medical profession used research the way police use research, we’d still be using leeches."

#Opinion

Sun, Dec 14th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

With the recent shootings by white law enforcement officers prompting for calls for police reform, Bloomberg Businessweek's Drake Bennet looks at what an American police department should look like, if it was rebuilt from scratch.

[...] Law enforcement in the U.S. is primarily handled at the local and state level. Globally, the trend has been toward more centralized law enforcement agencies—two years ago the Netherlands consolidated its 25 regional police forces into one—but American policing remains as decentralized as it was when each colonial hamlet first organized its own night watch.

Today, there are 18,500 police departments in the country, and most have fewer than 10 members. They aren’t required to talk to each other, and in many cases, they fail to learn from one another’s mistakes—and successes. “We have national standards for doctors, for attorneys,” says John DeCarlo, a former police chief of Branford, Conn., and now a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “Why not have them for the only members of society who are authorized to use force and violence?” [...]

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