Chief-Turned-Academic Says Police Should Avoid Bullies As Officers


Police leaders should improve the selection process for officers “so that we do not put people on the job who would be bullies,” Prof. John DeCarlo, coordinator of the police studies program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, tells NPR. DeCarlo, a former police officer and chief in Connecticut, says police training now is “very militaristic.” He adds, “We are looking, very often, for big people. Women are underrepresented wildly, and we know that women are much better at talking their way out of bad situations than big guys.”

DeCarlo leads a seminar that draws on ideas from Plato’s “Republic,” in which the police are the guardians, the principles of Sir Robert Peel, the founder of London’s police, and President Obama’s 21st-Century Task Force on Policing. One student comments, “We need police officers to be friendly, get with the community, do their job. So be guardians, not warriors.”

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