During my early career in law enforcement, I had the odd distinction of having two separate police chiefs in two separate law enforcement agencies in two separate states tell me that I was too intelligent to be a policeman. Readers may debate my intellect, as they often do, but I tell this little morality tale not to pat myself on the back of my brain, but to set up the story that follows. Those hapless police chiefs were giving me a more or less backhanded compliment. They weren’t my fans, yet I was so productive they couldn’t fire me without far more mistakes on my part than ten men could make. Yet, they obviously didn’t realize what they were saying about themselves and their own agencies, nor did they apparently appreciate the inherent irony.
My experience has taught me that police chiefs, sheriffs and politicians in general want…
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No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house,
without the consent of the Owner,
nor in time of war,
but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
So states, the Third Amendment to the United States Constitution. While violations of this “forgotten” amendment are considered rare, leave it to members of Clark County law enforcement to show us all there isn’t a right protected by the United States Constitution they aren’t willing to violate.
At least that’s what the allegations of the Mitchell family lead us to believe. In a recent federal lawsuit filed by Anthony Mitchell and his parents, Michael and Linda Mitchell, against the Cities of Henderson and North Las Vegas, former Henderson Police Chief Jutta Chambers, NLVPD Chief Joseph Chronister and officers from both departments, the Mitchell’s claim their Third, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated when officers responded to a domestic violence call to a neighboring residence, and demanded entry into Anthony Mitchell’s home in order to gain “a tactical advantage.” Mitchell, preferring not to get involved, denied the police entry.
The events the Mitchells’ claim happened next are provided in detail at the Courthouse News Service, and are shocking enough to add Officers David Cawthorn, Christopher Worley and Sgt. Michael Waller to the CCCC’s Officer Hall Of Shame.
In fact, it’s a critical factor in improving our nation’s police.
Maybe I can’t get police leaders in the country to read my book, but will they listen to someone like Karl W. Bickel, a senior policy analyst in the COPS office?
I sure hope they will. Here are some of his more important findings about making community policing work. Bickel questions how we are training (and attracting) new officers in his article “Recruit Training: Are Preparing Officers For a Community Oriented Department?”.
“As many law enforcement agencies embrace the community policing philosophy and continue to strive to achieve the goal of full implementation, they may want to examine how their academies are preparing their new recruits. Are they developing collaborative problem solvers? Or, are they creating obstacles to their community policing efforts? Are they creating barriers to bringing their customers, the citizens they serve, improved quality of life…
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