Hello, everyone. I hope you have enjoyed our first month of weekly updates and are learning more about JCSO. This week I want to talk about policing philosophies and the changing environment of law enforcement. In the wake of negative police-related events over the past few years, a national trend being discussed is a transition from a “Warrior” mentality to a “Guardian” mentality in law enforcement.
I have been working on two programs that reinforce this change. The first is Procedural Justice and Police Legitimacy and the second is Fair and Impartial Policing. According to a report by the Police Executive Research Forum (2014), procedural justice is a means to attain legitimacy and can be defined in four issues:
People want to tell their side of the story.
Officers need to make decisions on legal principles and facts, not on personal opinions or biases.
People want to be treated with dignity and politeness and have their rights respected.
People react favorably when they believe the authorities are trying to do what is best with who they are dealing with.
Legitimacy is the idea that “the police ought to be allowed to exercise their authority to maintain social order, manage conflicts and solve problems in their communities.
These concepts are not new if we look at the history of policing. In the 1820’s, Sir Robert Peel, who is credited for creating the concept of modern community policing in the UK, identified these principles:
The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.
Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
This sounds like procedural justice and police legitimacy to me!
Fair and Impartial Policing is a concept developed by Dr. Lorie Fridell. According to Dr. Fridell, “The Fair and Impartial Policing program applies the modern science of bias to policing; it trains officers on the effect of implicit bias and gives them the information and skills they need to reduce and manage their biases” (p. 2).
Many police officers have practiced these concepts on a daily basis for many years. However, there have been a few who wear the uniform that have not held these standards. It is our goal at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office to build and maintain public trust. We will do this by policing in a fair and impartial manner to maintain procedural justice and improve police legitimacy.
Thank you for listening. I will be checking in again at the end of March.
Sheriff Corey Falls
Fraser, C., & Tyler, T. (2014, March). Legitimacy and Procedural Justice: A New Element of Police Leadership. Retrieved February 25, 2016, from http://www.policeforum.org/assets/docs/Free_Online_Documents/Leadership/legitimacy and procedural justice - a new element of police leadership.pdf
Fridell, L., Dr. (n.d.). Fair and Impartial Policing. Retrieved February 25, 2016, from http://www.fairimpartialpolicing.com/training-programs