I grow increasingly concerned that after the protests subside over the horrific death of George Floyd, the energy will be dissipated. I’ve spent much of my career as a journalist looking at the structure of governance and I offer these initial thoughts on where to look and continue to fight for change above and beyond the Black Lives Matter, the ACLU and others.
These groups are important, but they also recognize that much of their energies have to be directed to these organizations as well.
While there may be an effort to push federal legislation, much of the real work will be done on the state and local levels as well as on the individual department level.
That would include training and accreditation as well as insurance to underwrite the risks posed by law enforcement activities.
So I’ve compiled a preliminary list of organizations we should watch or interact with as the nation moves toward a better tomorrow. Please note that this list goes beyond watching Law & Order, Chicago PD and all of the CSIs.
Some of organizations often have model laws and policies and educational tools that are used by police departments and their civilian management.Some of these entities have issued statements on the ongoing protests over police brutality; others have not. But I’m not ready to read anything into that yet.
A particularly good resource is the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks legislative action in the states.
The National Conference of Mayors:
National League of Cities:
The National Association of Counties:
The National Governors Association:
The International Association of Police Chiefs:
Other places to check for meaningful change will be with the liability insurers that underwrite the risk for police departments, law enforcement officers and local and state governments. Insurers are often the hidden regulators that force organizations to improve operations, training and education. The Atlantic ran an interesting article in June 2017, illustrating the power insurers can wield. (How Insurance Companies Can Force Bad Cops Off the Job)
To end this initial list, start examining the accrediting bodies for law enforcement. One of the largest is the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.