Kalamazoo Public Safety Lt. Christopher Franks (courtesy mlive.com)

Republished with permission from forcescience.org:

For a heart-stopping moment during his foot pursuit of an ADW suspect, a gang member with a long history of violence, Ofcr. Rick McCall was a sitting duck. His gunbelt hung up as he tried to scale a wobbly chain-link fence, pinning him at the top. The suspect lay on the ground 5 ft. below, having fallen when he cleared the wire. Looking up at the officer, he grabbed the butt of a semiautomatic and pulled it from his waistband . . .

Then as he raised the gun, he recognized who’d been chasing him. “McCall!” he exclaimed, “I didn’t know it was you!” He laid the gun on the ground and after McCall extricated himself from the fence, submitted to handcuffing without resistance.

McCall of the Kalamazoo (MI) DPS had arrested his near-assailant at least three times before. Chatting amiably on one of those occasions, they’d discovered they share the same birthday, a trivial coincidence the officer used to build rapport and a sense of respect between them.

Now walking to McCall’s patrol car, the suspect remarked, “Out of all the cops, you’ve always treated me decent.”

The R-word–Respect–is the lynchpin of an award-winning initiative in police-community relations underway in Kalamazoo, a diverse city of 75,000, with demographics and crime problems typical of today’s urban areas.

The approach there exemplifies a creative style of policing that capitalizes on conscious, surprising service as well as dedicated crime-fighting to build trust and cooperation for local law enforcement. And as demonstrated by Rick McCall’s dicey fence encounter last fall, officers are proving to be as much the beneficiaries of this quiet revolution as the city’s civilians.

As departments nationwide seek new ways to burnish their image with their constituents in the jarring wake of Ferguson and Baltimore, the growing successes of Kalamazoo’s community engagement practices are well worth examining.

BRAND BUILDING. The acknowledged driving force behind KDPS’s efforts is Capt. Jim Mallery, a 24-year department veteran who was named to head the agency’s Operations Division and its 153 patrol officers in 2013. He says he inherited something of a stagnant leadership culture and a “lot of new officers starving for direction” after a study of traffic stops revealed that minorities throughout the city were being targeted disproportionately for enforcement.

Mallery holds a degree in business administration from Western Michigan University and is the son of entrepreneurial parents who have run a profitable antiques mall for some 30 years. The idea of conducting patrol with a business perspective in mind intrigued him.

“I wanted officers to look at the department as a service business,” Mallery says. “Our product is the service we provide to our citizens and visitors. The emblems of our product are our badge and our shoulder patch. We build the reputation of our brand and customer loyalty to it contact by contact.”

The top priority of patrol is–and always should be–fighting and reducing crime, Mallery emphasizes. But informal polling convinced him that on average Kalamazoo officers rarely spent more than half their 12-hour shifts in enforcement activities. “That leaves plenty of time to find opportunities to provide exceptional service,” he told Force Science News.

“I wanted them to look for ways to serve that people don’t expect–something that would make my mother say, ‘Wow! I didn’t know cops did that.’ “

In group work sessions and 1:1 conversations with supervisors and officers across seven weeks in the fall of 2013, Mallery conveyed his concepts. Communication techniques for building rapport and de-escalating conflicts were rehearsed in Verbal Defense & Influence instruction led by Force Science graduate Gary Klugiewicz of the Vistelar conflict management training group.

Mallery’s foundational concept was drilled and re-drilled: In both enforcement and service contacts, “everyone–everyone–needs to be treated with dignity and shown respect. Even in a use-of-force situation, after force has been appropriately used there’s a definitive moment when the subject deserves to be treated as you’d want a member of your family to be.”

The first groundbreaking Wow Moment of Service came that December.

BUS TROUBLE. With the outside wind chill temperature below 0, some 20 passengers waiting for a long-delayed Greyhound bus connection were about to be kicked out of the Kalamazoo transportation depot because it was closing time. The irate passengers, some who’d been traveling all day and some with small kids, balked; the attendant on duty wouldn’t budge; cops were called to deal with the troublesome impasse.

When Sgt. Dave Juday and Ofcr. Larison Stuglik failed to persuade the attendant to allow an officer to stay with the group and lock up after the bus came, they didn’t just abandon the passengers to wait outside for more than two hours in the biting cold.

Instead, at Stuglik’s suggestion, Juday went to a nearby maintenance garage for the local transit system and convinced the supervisor to loan him an out-of-service city bus they could use as a warming shelter. Another responding officer, Kyle Ahrens, brought the stranded group food and water from McDonald’s, paid from his own pocket.

In continually speaking with their “guests,” the officers learned that two highly emotional college-age girls were trying to get to a hospital a hundred miles away to be with their dying grandmother. With clearance from Mallery, Stuglik volunteered to drive them in her patrol car, since the awaited Greyhound was still just a distant and uncertain hope. When the officers explained this special treatment to the other passengers, the group rose up in a standing ovation.

“Later, Sgt. Juday told me this was one of the most profound moments in his 13-year career,” Mallery says. “That night had a positive impact on all the officers’ hearts–the nobility of our job, our profession and what it stands for.”

PROFUSION OF WOWS. Since then, with officers urged to “look for every opportunity,” Wow Moments have flowed in a cascade of impromptu creativity, usually small, compassionate touches that cumulatively “build the brand.”

• After officers busted the operator of a marijuana grow in an apartment house, they passed out coloring books to the children of other tenants. “The residents were very thankful,” Mallery notes.

• At a crime scene where a burglar had kicked in a couple’s front door, officers used wood and tools that were in the house to fix the frame, then replaced the hinges, rehung the door, and moved disrupted furniture back in place. “Awesome,” the homeowner told the local media. “None of that was required of them. They’re not carpenters or movers.”

• A sergeant encountered an English tourist who told him “she was enamored with the wail of our police sirens.” She was “ecstatic” when he helped her install the sound as a ring tone on her phone.

• A woman was “very shaken up” when her car was egged as she stopped at an intersection. Responding officers had her drive to a precinct station, where, to her gratitude, they thoroughly cleaned her vehicle inside and out.

• A couple showed up at the courthouse to get married, only to find the building closed because of a blizzard. Huddled in the DPS lobby next door trying to figure out a Plan B, they were approached by an officer heading to his shift who happens to be ordained to perform weddings. To their delight, he conducted a quick ceremony in a conference room before roll call.

As motivation, Mallery enthusiastically describes legions of such incidents, along with examples of praiseworthy enforcement actions, in a back-patting bi-weekly bulletin that’s distributed to all Operations personnel. Officers are as eligible for formal commendations for Wow Service, including the city manager’s coveted All-Star Award, as for traditional police work, and can be recognized too with uniform ribbons and gift cards.

“Building a good brand is like maintaining a good marriage,” says Mallery. “You have to work at enhancing and solidifying it day after day, in small ways as well as large.”

AMPED UP CONTACTS. The captain has introduced a series of other innovative methods for significantly expanding positive police/citizen contacts. “Policing in a smarter way,” he puts it. These include:

Neighborhood canvassing. In a geographically designated area of Kalamazoo, two teams, each consisting of a sergeant and an officer, are assigned to go door to door for a block apiece during each shift. After a seven-day saturation, the process is moved to a new territory. Mallery estimates it will take more than a year to cover the whole city.

“They tell people they’re there just to get connected to the community, not to conduct any investigation,” Mallery explains. “They try to get a feel for how people view the neighborhood, what they think about the police service they receive, how we might improve. The goal is to be cordial–and listen. The reaction is very often the same: ‘I didn’t know you did this.’ “

Sometimes the return on this time investment is immediately tangible. As a team left one home where the adult male had initially seemed stand-offish, the man pressed a note into the sergeant’s hand. He’d written the name of the gunman in an unsolved gang shooting.

“I couldn’t believe you’d make us do this,” one veteran cop told Mallery. “I was at the point where I thought everyone was a shithead. Now I realize you can find good people even on the most hardened blocks. You’ve rejuvenated my career.”

Follow-up calls. Twice a month, sergeants are required to follow up on calls in their sectors, to elicit feedback on the service rendered by officers and the department. “In the private sector if you have a beef, you want to talk to the boss, and in policing, sergeants are the first level of leadership in contact with citizens,” Mallery explains.

These personal solicitations allow KDPS to “get a gauge on our product” from more than 400 “customers” each year. Most are complainants, victims, or witnesses. But Mallery insists that recent arrestees be interviewed too.

“No discipline comes from this, no entries in an officer’s file,” he says, “just a teaching moment if we get bad feedback.” (Of more than 100 arrestees contacted, incidentally, only seven have voiced negative comments, Mallery says.)

Operational explanations. When a major incident–like a shooting, a raid, or an extended SWAT call-out–provokes a high-visibility police presence, supervisors are expected to go door-to-door in the vicinity to explain to residents what happened. “If six or eight squad cars show up at 2 o’clock in the morning,” Mallery says, “people maybe alarmed and wild rumors can start.” Candid communication can be calming and reassuring and help build trust in what he calls the “police/community partnership.”

Downtown meet-and-greet. Starting last month, one officer at a time is pulled in from other areas of the city to spend an hour walking with a permanently assigned officer in Kalamazoo’s downtown mall area between 10 AM and 11 PM, chatting with business people and visitors. The idea, Mallery explains, is to greet people in a friendly manner under everyday circumstances, not on a traffic stop or a call for service when they might be in their worst moments.

“In debriefings,” he says, “every officer has come back with a positive story. In the past, it would have been all negative–the problems they had with drunks, and so on. Now they love this assignment, and some citizens say they’ve returned to shopping downtown for the first time in years because they know more police are there.”

RECOGNITION. Last November, KDPS received the first annual Community Partnership Award from the Vistelar Group for “outstanding community relations, customer-oriented service, and non-traditional problem solving.”

Interviewed later by a news reporter, a sociology professor from a local university who specializes in studying race and ethnic relations noted that “compared to many other communities, [Kalamazoo police] are taking issues very seriously to make sure we don’t have a Ferguson on our hands.”

“Front-line officers and sergeants have embraced the initiatives with results that have far exceeded any expectations,” Mallery says. “They deserve the credit.”

So far, he acknowledges, the city has not been tested by a racially explosive encounter, but there have been officer-involved shootings that still could have spun bad.

Officers shot and killed a subject who was wielding an Airsoft gun, for example. Quickly afterward, Mallery’s troops conducted a “specifically targeted walk-and-talk” in which officers showed residents in the vicinity photographs of an Airsoft gun and a real weapon so they could better understand how a mistake-of-fact shooting could occur.

Moreover, crime in some of the most troublesome neighborhoods, including gun violence, has sharply declined, with some observers crediting the new policing approach with having an impact. For a newspaper report on this improvement, click here

“IT’S TIME.” Of course, much work remains to be done, Mallery admits, and his fertile mind is honing other initiatives he’s eager to try. Changing a culture, he says, is a matter of “eating an elephant one bite at a time.”

“Jim Mallery has made officers believe they can change things,” says Gary Klugiewicz, who keeps in close touch to provide support and brainstorm ideas. “Cops don’t only have to be enforcers, they can also be what Mallery calls ‘guardian servants.’

“Any department or any individual officer can buy into this approach. They just have to decide it’s time. With everything that’s going on these days, this is where policing needs to be.”

————–

For more information, Mallery can be reached at: malleryj@kalamazoocity.org. To watch a free 35-minute podcast about the changes he has effected, CLICK HERE

For information on Gary Klugiewicz’s Verbal Defense & Influence training, go to: www.vistelar.com

Recommended For You

51 Responses to Policing In Kalamazoo – Doing it Right?

    • In my short policing career I was able to do a small fraction of what Officer McCall accomplished and it does feel good.

      But like anything corruption ruins all.

  1. Sounds like real positive policing. It highlights a rather sad fact, that customer focused thinking is an anomaly in governmental services. Here’s hoping it becomes more commonplace.

  2. I’m just finishing up paramedic school and looking at law enforcement, probably Texas state troopers. Would love to do this kind of police work.

  3. The underlying thing I hear in all of this is no “us vs them” thinking.

    Here’s something that I’ve thought about from time to time: no one has or will ever write a protest sign saying “Kill the Fire Department”. Why? Because people almost exclusively have positive interactions with firemen.

    With most police departments, it’s the exact opposite. You never interact with a cop except when they’re giving you a speeding ticket, or something like that. Kalamazoo going out of their way to generate positive interactions is extremely smart, and something to be emulated as widely as possible.

    • Well, unlike firemen, police don’t get to kill every single fire they put out, so the metaphor isn’t quite complete (especially since there’s an elevated level of arsonists in the FD community)

      • Here’s a newsflash: firemen won’t and don’t save every structure that’s on fire. Sure, we might get to squirt water on it… but if we’re late, lots of the structure might be gone by the time we get there. Especially among volunteer departments, where there is a delay in our getting to the station to get the trucks and then drive back out to the fire.

        Still, our department does things like the above article. We had a medical call recently where the man of the house had pulled apart a deep wound from a knee replacement operation only a couple of weeks prior. He was suffering from arterial bleeding when we arrived. That was obviously the first priority to treat, then the ambulance service arrived and we got him packaged and they transported him to the hospital.

        After the ambulance left, we (the 6 firefighters left at the scene) investigated what had been so important that the patient would have strained himself to the point of opening such an operational wound on his leg. Following the blood trail, we found his basement flooded, and the family possessions in boxes being overtaken by rising waters.

        We got his possessions out of the water and attempted to clean the drains before we left the scene. It seemed to be the neighborly thing to do. Little things like this go a long, long way to getting “atta-boy” letters in the mail, unsolicited.

        • Good Job! I would say I wish there were more cops and firemen like you, but I think there actually are and we just don’t hear about them.

    • I’ve had many positive interactions with the law enforcement community.

      Examples even include tickets; if I earned it, I’m not about to blame the cop and if they’re polite with part with “Be safe, officer” and “Thanks.”

      However, there are many other types of encounters, e.g:

      Once at about 2100 an officer knocked on a closed business on whose wiring I was working; I’d fairly torn apart my truck looking for a tool and left hatches ajar and stuff all over when I went back in, and he was verifying that I’d not been burgled;

      I’m waiting for,a customer to arrive at their house, and an officer stops behind me and asks what I’m about as its,a high – crime area, to which I reply with a business card matching the sign in the customer yard;

      I once pulled over a cop whose unit had a dangerous mechanical condition of which she was unaware;

      One’ll pull over to render assistance and safety loghtinh when I’m pulled over to help another motorist;

      Every time I get stopped at a sobriety checkpoint in the neighbouring college town, I reflect on the reduced liklihood that a drug frat boy is going to buy me a new truck and,a three week vacation in hospital;

      Hell, every so often Leavenworth County Mounty will stop in for a glass of iced tea, coffee or cocoa depending on the time and season.

      Whose keeping count of all the interactions in which no shooting (good or bad), arrest or even ticket play a part?

      The vast majority of cops are good joes doing a good job; it’s the occasional bad actor, poorly run department and the Blue Wall that’re the real problems.

      • Well, that’s fortunate for you. Seattle is the smallest place I’ve lived, so I guess my perspective is colored by the major metro policing philosophy.

        In any case, from the article, this is the idea I was going for:

        Starting last month, one officer at a time is pulled in from other areas of the city to spend an hour walking with a permanently assigned officer in Kalamazoo’s downtown mall area between 10 AM and 11 PM, chatting with business people and visitors. The idea, Mallery explains, is to greet people in a friendly manner under everyday circumstances, not on a traffic stop or a call for service when they might be in their worst moments.

  4. Wow… that’s a real ray o’ nice.

    Hate to say it, but I hope this works to the benefit of the prep as well, so as to reinforce the point.

    Sure this story ain’t a reprint from the late 1800s…?

  5. When big town cops act like small town cops — like neighbors and protectors — good things happen. When cops act like they’re above and beyond the people they’re expected to serve, Ferguson happens.

    A Ferguson cop made a “good shoot,” a legal shoot to protect himself, and the community went nuts because they view the police as an occupying force, not neighbors or protectors.

    Will big city police forces learn this lesson? I’m doubtful. They have been so inculcated with a bad attitude and so protected by their unions that I don’t think they’re capable of changing.

    “If you’re not a cop, you’re ‘little people.'”

    — Blade Runner

    • I only see them changing if it starts at the top. Some beat cop (not that those exist any more — part of the problem) or patrol officer cannot leave his beat/patrol for an entire day to chat with visitors in a downtown mall area.

      • I think a not-insignificant part of the problem lies with how those top folks get where they are. The leaders of city police departments are, almost always, political appointees. Rural LEO’s are usually led by men and women elected by their people.

        I’d be fascinated to see what would happen if we changed that.

    • I’m not sure the behavior of small-town cops is as a whole, any better than that of those from a large city. There are several employed by the one-horse villages around here who act as though the job entitles them their own little fiefdoms. And in reading old local news articles, on a fairly regular basis small-town cops around here have been caught in the midst of some pretty serious quid pro quo & other corrupt practices. It just seems they aren’t as trigger-happy as large metro officers.

      • Yep. Our city council some time back wanted a police department like the big cities have. Well, we got it. In a town of less than 5k population, we have officers who are just as bad as any from a big city. They ignore things like the Americans With Disabilities Act and other federal law when supporting it would offend someone wealthy or influential, arrest people and invent the evidence afterward, say one thing to citizens and out another in their police reports….

  6. OK, getting back to reality… Some cops may do some nice things occasionally, but virtually all of them blindly enforce blatantly unconstitutional and blatantly immoral laws and continue to harass and destroy the lives of perfectly peaceful people who happen to have the wrong plant or powder in their possession, having harmed not threatened anyone.

    Any arrest can destroy someone’s job prospects and can harm their credit and a host of other problems, even if charges are dropped. Once the arrest gets into the system, it gets propagated to many other electronic systems not to mention Ukrainian mug-shot sites — easy to find by prospective employers. Expungement or any other remedy won’t work, you’re screwed (this from “Arrest-Proof Yourself” by Dale C. Carson, former cop and FBI agent now criminal defense attorney)

    • Three years ago tonight I was driving home from a gathering in northern Maine. It was after midnight as I drove through the small town next to mine, looking forward to a warm bed. My radar detector went off, so I slowed down to the speed limit and came to a full stop at the only stop sign. After about 2 miles the police activated their blue lights and pulled me over. The officer shined his flashlight in my eyes and said “I thought that your driving slowly showed that you had been drinking, but I can see that is not the case.” As I sat there fuming that he just told me the reason for the stop was not valid, he proceeded to keep me there are another 1/2 hour for the “mandatory” paperwork. So much for small town police friendliness. Small consolation: the police chief and several deputies have left under a cloud.

  7. Isn’t it amazing what happens to an organization when people with a brain and a good heart make it into leadership positions?

  8. This is ONE good guy. And I wonder about arresting a criminal several times. My local cops need to be more like this guy. Instead of just being revenue generating jerks…

  9. TL;DR

    Cops being good guys “again”. From what I gleaned it seemed like these people are doing a pretty good job in their community.

  10. Wow, this and more of this.

    The underlying premise that begets the entire movement: recognizing that their product is to serve the locals. That’s awesome.

  11. “…officers are proving to be as much the beneficiaries of this quiet revolution as the city’s civilians.” It’s statements like this that build a wall, instead of a bridge, between cops and their fellow citizens. WE’RE ALL CIVILIANS!

    • Yes cops are civilians too. I hate the CHP families driving around with their license plate frames. Buddy of mine hates it so much as they all seem to get flats…..

      Someday the sheeple may rise up, until then, we get treated the way we allow them to treat us.

  12. None of this is a new idea. The idea of packaging community policing as a ‘brand’ is novel, but always comes full circle to that Golden Rule we all learned in kindergarten. Most human beings are inherently good, and if you do the work- hard, time-consuming, not immediately gratifying work- to bring out the best in people, you get some pretty amazing results. That is true in any interaction between people. Kudos to the KDPS for putting in the effort to build Kalamazoo into the type of community that much of America longs for. Best of luck to them.

  13. So awesome to hear such a good report out of Kalamazoo. Haters are gonna hate, but here’s an honest-to-goodness example of police embracing their role as public servants.

  14. This is the way we used to do it in the 70’s when I was on the force. The cop culture mocked power hungry cops as “badge heavy”. None of them lasted long. And these yellow scaredy cats who pull a gun at nothing and shoot at shadow threats wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes on the force.

    And yes, I extended my 15 minute breaks and 30 minute meals in the coffee shops and cafes where I worked. Because that’s where the people hung out too. I’d park the squad and stroll the business district or the park. I ran the lady in labor to the hospital 20 miles away when the interstate was closed due to blizzard. People with car trouble got a ride to at least a phone and a place to wait for further assistance. “To Protect & Serve” was not just a feel good motto for most of us.

    But the ’60 liberals were taking over the media even that long ago. After watching their attempt to crucify officers in 3 good shoots, and very nearly becoming number 4, I left and seldom looked back. The media lead the shift to “Us vs Them.” And the transition has been so complete that even I no longer trust or admire most cops.

    I love what Kalamazoo is doing. They are also doing one of the absolutely critical things for a “brand”. Advertise! No media covered my midnight ride with the pregnant lady. Even though it was damned heroic! (“Please, lady not yet! We’re almost there. I promise!”) Nobody called them cause we all thought I was just doing my job. But they sure printed an abundance of column inches about the “brutal” officer involved shootings.

    The other thing we must have is quick and effective punishment for those that violate their oath. If you use excessive force during an arrest, 2 weeks paid suspension and an anger management class don’t cut it. You have demonstrated you have no business in a uniform. Termination and any appropriate criminal charges should swiftly follow.

    • Your post reminds me of when I lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There was a Dunkin’ Donuts right where two major thoroughfares merged together, and it was a frequent “cop stop”. One winter when weather was icy over and over, there were cops there almost constantly, which of course led to jokes. But they were being smart: sitting there nibbling on donuts and drinking coffee, they managed to learn about trouble spots due to weather faster than the dispatcher, and when the inevitable traffic tangle began in the icy intersection — often several times a day — they were already on the spot.

      And when one Sunday on the way back from church my roommate and I gave in to the urge for a donut and mocha in the sub-zero weather, we learned that there were officers there as churches let out Sunday mornings — and deacons, elders, and other local church leaders going that way would stop in and share issues or problems among their flocks, allowing the police to intervene in friendly, helpful fashion before situations got out of hand. It also allowed police to pass on information about families in need or trouble, so pastors and church families could intervene before “the law” had to officially step up (in fact when we did food baskets for the needy in the winter, there was always a list supplied by the police, of families too proud to ask for help but still seriously needing it).

      Those cops understood the “To Serve” part of the motto. It’s nice to see that at least a few cops are learning to do that again!

  15. I’m a hater and make no apologies for it. THIS is LEADERSHIP. This makes me smile and want to shake a LEO’s hand, and when the bad day comes, have your back.

    Template and promulgate across the country. Might even start to like them.

    • Man, if government were run like some of the businesses I’ve worked at… If they started on Monday, we’d be scrounging cockroaches for lunch out of the nuclear ash on Tuesday.

  16. Great stuff. There are thousands of different police departments across the country each with different approaches to law enforcement. I suspect that this strategy is not as uncommon as most TTAG readers assume, but obviously, it needs to be common practice in all police departments in the US. If we want this to spread, it is up to us to recognize police departments and individual officers who do the right thing, and stop painting all police officers with the same dirty paint brush.

  17. this made the end of my day a happy one. I think it just fanned the remaining spark of hope in my otherwise bitter and black as sin heart.

  18. “Changing a culture, he says, is a matter of ‘eating an elephant one bite at a time.'”

    That’s a great expression.

  19. Ofcr. Rick McCall was a sitting duck. His gunbelt hung up as he tried to scale a wobbly chain-link fence, pinning him at the top. The suspect lay on the ground 5 ft. below, having fallen when he cleared the wire. Looking up at the officer, he grabbed the butt of a semiautomatic and pulled it from his waistband . . .

    I am glad it all worked out, but I can see this going South in most situations. I wonder how much this hot pursuit stuff is worth it when a high risk is posed to the cops and the surrounding community. I have worked in places where every Monday morning a line of cops and deputies would show up at the office waiting to escort their known criminals ( and our employees) to the local jail to be booked for their crimes over the weekend.

  20. i think the best sentence comes near the end:

    “Cops don’t only have to be enforcers, they can also be what Mallery calls ‘guardian servants.”

  21. I’ve found most cops in MI are decent. Just like every other job , there are those that take their job too seriously, but in the end they’re usually easy to talk to and compassionate in and out of the line of duty. Traffic cops are a$$holes everywhere though, am I right??

    Our cops are the ones that will write you a ticket for 5 over, for going 30 over as long as they see you weren’t being a menace to society. They’re the kind that will let you go on a Dui if they see you are a block away from your house. Generally decent human beings that don’t ask for respect, they earn it through reputation.

    • Where in MI do you get a free pass for DUI a block away from your house?
      OK, 30 years ago, you got a pass for having a badge, and maybe what you say about a “civilian” a block away from his house was true then, but these days they’ll pop a judge for DUI when she’s sitting in her car in a parking space with the engine running for heat in January while she waits for a sober friend to pick her up (the judge was eventually found not guilty at trial).

  22. My favorite part of this lovefest was when, back at the station, Officer McCall let the lil’ gangbanger wear his police officer hat while he sat on the counter eating an ice cream cone while he awaited his Mommy to come pick him up.

    Respect? More like the only thing that spared that officer’s life was a career criminal predator’s significance placed on a random connection. These monsters will murder you over the any imaginable slight, particularly those they only imagined, and they should be banished to a dungeon far away from civilized human beings. You cannot build an effective policing program based on shared birthdays and Kumbaya singalongs.

  23. The community approach of the police officers here is one reason that I really like living in Kalamazoo. I’ve heard some of these stories and more, such as police officers spending their own money on presents for kids. I’ve lived here for almost 8 years now and am very impressed with them.

  24. Maybe because big city folks feel salty about the fact that police chief are appointed and not elected like they should. Maybe because big city PDs act more like a PMC working for the city than public servants. Or maybe civilians are tired of getting arrested, charges not be filed or dropped, only to have the arrest record still remain. Every cop and deputy in the nation has arrested at least one person in their career where the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence or protocol, but because of their ignorance to the statutes in the law, that the unjustified arrest is now following the citizen and has an adverse effect on their lives if they don’t pay the state and lawyers to seal the mistake of the LEO. When was the last time a LEO went to someone house whose charges were dropped, then apologized, and offer to cover the fees for sealing the arrest? Exactly, and know you know why LEOs are hated.

  25. You mean someone told them that their duty is to “Protect and Serve”? It’s written on all their cars, but many seem to forget it.

  26. I am reminded of a lecture given by the crew (rowing) coach at OSU to newly official team members. Everyone was puzzled when he said he was going to talk about policing, and there were jokes about who the criminals were. But he dredged up the definition of policing from a school book his grandfather had used ‘way back when, and told us that it meant to keep tidy, orderly, peaceful, and friendly. Each day of practice, one pair of oarsmen was assigned to “police the area” (the dock, boathouse, grounds, and parking area), which meant everything from raking gravel smooth if there were skid marks, picking up any litter, checking on the condition of door handles, the landscaping, and whatever, and — the significant thing for this connection — rendering aid to anyone in need.

    It was an awesome atmosphere that this generated, as crew members learned to take care of their facility and of each other.

    That’s the meaning of “policing” we need to return to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *