“The most important weapon a police officer carries is his or her mouth,” Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of the Greater Manchester Police in England, told 170 police executives from 70 U.S. and Canada police departments meeting in Boston, says the Boston Globe. said Fahy. After two of his unarmed officers were murdered in an unprovoked gun and hand grenade attack three years ago, Fahy said, the vast majority of officers wished to remain unarmed, despite a widespread belief that there are more Internet-inspired jihadis like those who allegedly discussed plans to kill Boston police recently.
Fahy, with New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Chuck Wexler of the Police Executive Research Forum, agreed that the way police conduct their business has never been under more scrutiny. Said Wexler: “At a time when policing has really evolved, and police departments are more inclusive, the issue of the use of force has turned policing upside down. The good part is, there is a recognition we can do better.” The word heard most frequently at the session was de-escalation. Bratton is all for de-escalation. He also thinks the perception that police officers are out of control is a cultural phenomenon that is not balanced and based more on YouTube anecdotes. Video of police officers beating down suspects has become a ubiquitous staple of television news and social media. “What you don't see are the countless situations in which police show enormous restraint when they are deliberately provoked,” he said. “Those videos don't make the news.”