We live in a truly turbulent time. There exists a great unrest amongst the American citizenry regarding the perception of police officers and law enforcement personnel. This development is not unwarranted, as cops have exhibited unlawful and unnecessary behavior. A healthy relationship should exist between the protectors and the protected, but it’s hard to ensure that the dynamics of such a relationship remain beneficial for both parties. Ideas have been discussed as to how to “better equip” officers to deal with tenuous situations, many of which involve more training.
I have to agree with the idea that law enforcement personnel need a more solid background in order to appropriately administer justice. I came across something online that I’ll paraphrase: “It takes six years of school to practice the law, but only six months to enforce it.”
The picture I stumbled upon online does provoke a good discussion: should police officers be required to undergo schooling and a myriad of other tests beyond training at police academies? I believe so. Other countries, and even some precincts in our own country, require law enforcement hopefuls to have a collegiate background; a degree in criminology is the most encouraged area of study, in tandem with basic academy training. The officers who have a broader understanding of criminals, and crime in general, may possess the sight to properly handle situations without being provoked.
An argument could even be made to require cops to have had some military experience, especially if a particular police department uses tanks or similar war-like weaponry. I personally believe no common cop should have access to those weapons, but if the access exists, then I would personally feel more comfortable if said officers had military training. Another point is that veterans are looking for work after leaving the military, and law enforcement is a pretty accepting field. Whether these veterans patrol beats, act as security in schools, or perform some other legal function, they seem to possess a greater understanding of dangerous situations and greater self-control.
Maybe even requiring both would lead to fewer complaints against police and law enforcement personnel. It can’t hurt to be proactive about the situation. The worst that can happen is America getting better prepared police officers.