Los Angeles, CA—Police training has taken a fascist turn here along with our political leadership. One only has to look at the prison population to understand we are in a police state growing by the second into something no rational human beings will want.
Police work is sometimes dangerous. Criminals despite laws and every kind of gun ban still rape rob and murder. We insist of maintaining the miserably failed Drug War keeping illicit profits and government corruption at an all time high. Our liberty and freedom has been at an all time low as a direct result.
We’ve turned street cops into urban commandos raiding homes (many by mistake) at all hours. The result is far more dangerous than the outlawed drugs themselves.
We want our cops alive and train them to take no chances. The hero cop is really an endangered species.
I was trained differently. We had no ballistic vests and carried six-shot service revolvers as we worked the mean streets of Chicago. We understood two things; deadly force was to be a last resort and to weigh the moral consequences of any deadly force used.
We were taught that mental illness often brought on people’s violent reactions and that we need to be as humane as possible. Bringing suspects to justice alive was the goal. Bringing them in dead was always considered a serious failure.
Frankly the average Chicago cop in a busy district could kill as many as 12 suspects a year with complete justification. Instead cops looked for every reason not to pull the trigger. Of course where there was no option whatsoever bullets must fly.
In the early 1970s then, New York City Police Detective and psychologist Harvey Schlossberg became the father of modern police hostage negotiation in American police work. His efforts saved countless lives of cops, hostages and suspects. The result was his hostage negotiation training that really exemplified the sanctity of human life. The negotiator that had the fewest injuries or fatalities on his watch won.
Now cops are armed to the teeth with heavier weapons and are protected with military armor and vehicles. The negotiations end once there is a clear shot, all in the name of officer safety. Schlossberg’s model has been for the most part replaced with military rules of engagement. Modern military training that so many vets have has changed the direction of police agencies to quicker use of deadly force at every level.
Something has gone wrong here. I see no turning back to the days of police heroes like former Chicago Police Superintendent James Rochford. Rochford brought in mentally deranged war vet, Frank Kulak alive after he used bombs and guns killing both civilians and cops. Rochford used his own skill and bravery beyond the call of duty as a negotiator to successfully end this prolonged siege.
Today, Frank Kulak would have been taken out like the Waco, TX Branch Davidians were with firebombs and helicopters under scorched earth rules of engagement.