Resistance to change

This article discusses reasons why police organizations resist change even when confronted with complaints and crises. One important factor is the police culture, reinforced by tradition and training. The author notes that legal remedies often fall short, in part because civil suits aren’t resolved until years after an incident, inhibiting organizational learning and individual responsibility.

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2 Responses to “Resistance to change”

  1. Gunther Says:

    Good article. I am fed up with cops saying its only a few rogue cops; however, they don’t do a thing about them and makes a mockery of that statement. Another thing is that they don’t punish cops for violating their own standards of training such as closing with the suspects too fast and too close to them, not using tactics to diffuse situations, not talking to people, etc..

    Many of the old-timers tell the young cops what they learn at the academy is not relevant to the streets. They may have a point; however, it is no excuse when it undermines the better techniques to defuse a situation. It is a case of old meat contaminating the new meat.

  2. Ashley Says:

    As usual, Professor Armacost makes several excellent points. However, here are a few thoughts on one aspect of the use of force discussion.

    “[Officers] are permitted to apply a level of force that is ‘justified’ (i.e. ‘reasonable’) under the circumstances as they appeared at the time of the confrontation.”

    That’s accurate as a general rule, and most circuits conduct analyses using the moment-in-time standard. However, others evaluate pre-seizure conduct. (That’s the rule here in the Third Circuit under Abraham v. Raso, 183 F.3d 279 (3rd Cir. 1999).)

    As a practical matter, that means a cop can’t provoke a confrontation and then use the facts and circumstances of that confrontation to justify a use of force.

    You’ll have to forgive me for not researching the issue this morning, but I believe the First, Sixth, and Tenth have a similar perspective, the Ninth “kinda sorta” does, and the Eighth seems to want it both ways.

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