The Changing World of Law Enforcement


WHEN THINGS WERE DIFFERENT, IT WAS STILL A TOUGH JOB

The Night Police anthology is a revealing look at policing in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The book features stories written by two former police officers and based on real-life events. It is the raw truth about crimes and the cops who owned the night and dominated the streets at a time when cops didn't wear body cameras or possess the advanced technology used now by modern-day LEO's.


Law enforcement has certainly changed over time. An article by Paul Merik, The True North of Policing, lists some changes to policing over the years. Take a look at Merik's list and consider the mindset that evoked these changes:

1. Wheel guns - to semi-auto pistols.

2. Hickory sticks - to expandable batons.

3. Hand-written tickets - to automated ticket gizmos.

4. Our word being enough - to needing video evidence to vindicate us.

5. Wearing hats - to not wearing them (and then back to hats again).

6. A preference for police academy candidates with military experience - to requiring a college degree (and then back to looking for military experience).

7. Policy-based on community-oriented policing - to "broken windows theory" (and back to community-oriented policing again).

8. Forming a perimeter around an active shooter and waiting for SWAT - to giving active shooter training - to all patrol officers (and expecting them to run into the building alone if needed).

9. Shotguns in the squad car - to rifles in the squad car.

10. Carrying saps - to carrying ECDs.

11. Chasing criminals - to no-chase policies.

12. No ballistic vests - to wearing Level III rifle plates.

13. A gum-drop rotator on the roof - to an array of LEDs in a light bar.

14. Widespread public support - to a deterioration in public support.

15. An almost universal reliance on radio dispatch - to getting most of our calls on MDCs.

16. Being taught how to do to CPR on someone else - to learning how to apply a tourniquet to oneself.

17. Bullhorns for SWAT negotiations - to throw phones.

18. SWAT teams in a converted bread truck - to purpose-built Bearcats.

19. Hand-writing all your forms in triplicate - to using computer-based reports.

20. Being judged on 'Shock the Conscience' standard - to using the 'Objectively Reasonable' standard.

21. PIOs using spoken words - to using social media.

22. Walking the beat - to sitting in a squad.

23. 35mm cameras - to digital cameras.

24. Line ups and six-packs for ID-ing the bad guy - to using DNA evidence.

25. Honest mistakes are seen by few - to honest mistakes seen by the whole world.


Merik's list shows some dramatic changes in law enforcement over the years, and yet community members long for something different. While LEO's face the ongoing challenges with community relations and unprecedented scrutiny from the public, they are also seeking change. We applaud the officers dealing with the challenging situations all over our country and admire them for standing tall, strong, and brave in these challenging times.


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If you can’t get enough of true crime podcasts, documentaries, and police procedurals, former law enforcement officers Chris Berg and Paul James Smith has written a book that you’ll be unable to put down. The Night Police (March 24, 2020) is a no-holds-barred, unflinching fictionalized version of real events that Berg and Smith experienced firsthand during their time in law enforcement in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. A look behind the curtain of the gritty world of policing, this is a book that will have readers turning pages and leave them wanting more. Click Here To ORDER BOOK


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Source: 25 ways policing has changed (and why you should embrace it) https://www.policeone.com/police-jobs-and-careers/articles/25-ways-policing-has-changed-and-why-you-should-embrace-it-0N2nPTGDLStK83ML/

© 2020 by Chris Berg & Paul James Smith.