That is what we practice here in Greensboro today; a newfangled idea in the world of policing here in our fair city. Effective? You be the judge. You see, among all the police bashing and politics that are being dictated to our department by city council and the city manager's office these days are also their ideas of HOW policing should be done. None of these politicians or bureaucrats have one iotas worth of law enforcement experience or training mind you, none! However it seems that our Mayor and her buddies Nelson Johnson, Lewis Pitts and all their little subversives from both outside the department and within the department have been allowed to have great input on police department procedures. In their fantasy world of progressive and even communist politics and philosophies, criminals are to be handled as "victims". It is apparently police officers and all the citizens who support law and order who are at fault. Too many criminals are getting arrested. Therefore, we must comply with the agitators because they who speak loudest must be right. The Greensboro Police Department, a department that has been recognized in the not so distant past as being a national model of law enforcement professionalism and policing techniques has now been reduced to a scapegoat for bad political decision making and a lack of leadership and control at the highest level of government. It's not progressive, liberal policies that are to blame. It's not the lack of control of even the simplest forms of formal government procedure (i.e. running an efficient council meeting). It has got to be the police.
What is procedural justice? There are several definitions that are longer than this article would be. After researching this term, I was able to locate a lesson plan completed by COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services; cops.usdoj.gov). In a nutshell, the basic premise is nothing more than the way police officers have been taught to conduct interviews and public interaction for years. The one addition that I can see is an over-emphasis on allowing citizens to come up with solutions to disputes on their own. This may be effective when officers are attempting to mediate civil or domestic disagreements but again, this is nothing new. However, when you apply this to criminal or public peace situations it rarely results in resolutions, especially if the crime being investigated is a felony and you are attempting to get a criminal suspect to conform to this philosophy. As we have seen in recent Body Worn Camera video, a criminal is only looking for a solution that results in his or her getting away with their crime. For instance, if an officer is attempting to restore peace and order on a crime scene and has given several lawful orders to an individual causing the disturbance to stop or disperse, asking him "sir, is there anything I can say to you to get you to comply" basically undermines the officer's authority and gives the authority to the suspect causing the disturbance. Does placing the citizen in the position of authority help the officer achieve the goal of compliance? Probably about the same as telling your teenager that "this time I REALLY mean it" when he has come home 4 hours past curfew for the umpteenth time. Once reasonable suspicion or probable cause that a law has been violated exists, taking away the officer's authority and giving it to the suspect just doesn't work.
Are we doing this in Greensboro? Examples? Okay; of course this is based on my observations during 29 years of experience and observing successful police officers.
Don't stop for equipment violations.
This one was implemented because our politicians were "appalled" at a New York Times article based on partial and incomplete research as well as information leaked to that reporter by a local left wing extremist "journalist". The findings were later researched to a greater extent and found to be wrong. Though these violations were NC state law it was decided they were being used to target African Americans by our socialist leaning Mayor and Council. The usefulness of these stops combined with investigative technique were invaluable in preventing further criminal activity and locating an otherwise transient group of criminals with outstanding criminal charges. Suspending these lawful stops resulted in also suspending the capturing of these wanted suspects and preventing them from committing other crimes.
Don't use Tasers unless a deadly force or eminent threat exists.
So wait until you are attacked, not when compliance is not imminent and the threat of attack is likely. That makes sense; wait until you are attacked then try to taze him at close range. This results in the greater likelihood of injury to the officer, the suspect and immediately brings the possibility of deadly force into the picture.
The city manager dictating the dropping of charges that a magistrate has found probable cause for and not allowing a Judge to rule on the legality.
Judges and other judicial officials are trained and qualified to determine the lawfulness of an arrest. Mayors and City Managers are not. Quite frankly, some police commanders don't have the policing experience to do so. Apologizing to burglars and paying off law breakers before a judge or court rules on a case is simply asinine. It is a practice that has been prevalent here in Greensboro the past few years and it needs to stop. Local antagonists are being enabled and empowered when they are constantly given in to, reducing the effectiveness of the police to maintain order.
The results of these non proactive actions?
Let's just look at the past few days. 7 shootings in Greensboro this weekend. Last evening, three occupied dwellings fired into over 30 times in a gang type shooting; you know, the gangs we don't have in Greensboro. Officers being called out en mass due to the problems caused by these groups during what should be a time of peaceful celebration of tradition.
Our violent crime rate in Greensboro is up 25%. Try as they may to suppress it, I believe the FBI will soon report that Greensboro is second only to Los Angeles in violent crime per capita. Not New York. Not Chicago. Greensboro, North Carolina.
Is this the way you want your city to be protected? Is this the way you want your city perceived? Do you want a police department that has problems recruiting new officers and maintaining current staff because the Mayor, the City Council, the City Manager and the political agitators want to maintain their cozy relationships? Do you want these same politicians to dictate to the police how they do their jobs based on pushing ahead their progressive political philosophies?
I have previously stated that we are very close to becoming Baltimore. If our District Attorney were to retire and a "Baltimore type" District Attorney steps in, we are there.
Violent Crime Per Capita in the United States of America
1st Los Angeles
Wake up folks!