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Since I’ve been in the arena, for what it’s worth I’ll comment on the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis. This is the second major incident that indicates there is something wrong with the training model and the hiring model of the Minneapolis Police Department. Every police department and sheriff’s office in the United States should be looking at this incident and assessing their training and hiring model. They should be asking themselves; “Could this happen to us?”
Training is expensive and it should not stop after an officer graduates from the academy. In-service training should continue on a regular basis for officers and supervisors. In-service training is expensive, but the lack of in-service training could cost lives, not just dollars. In-service training also allows trainers to assess a department’s officers on a regular basis.
The hiring process may only produce ten or twenty qualified candidates out of the 500 applicants that began with the written test. Lowering your hiring standards will not improve your department. Some candidates will do well on tests and in training, but will not do well out on the street. FTO’s (Field Training Officers) should weed out candidates that cannot handle the stress, are prone to making poor decisions, and have poor verbal skills. If those shortcomings do not improve during the FTO phase of their training, they will become worse when they start working without direct supervision. If they end up with another officer, especially one that had the same issues in training, it could end in tragedy.
In this incident, fully knowing it was being videoed with bystanders encouraging action, officers stood by as Chauvin put his career at risk. He was in an unsafe, career-threatening situation but his fellow officers let him keep digging a hole instead of saving him.
I haven’t seen video of an officer saying to Chauvin, “Hey we got this. Let’s get him up and in a car.” Chauvin seemed to freeze, and his buddies needed to care for him and in turn care for the arrestee.
I do not understand why Mr. Floyd was not placed in the car on the passenger side rather than walking him around to the driver’s side of the car and placing him face down on the pavement. Once you make an arrest and the sooner you get a suspect in handcuffs and in the back seat it becomes safer for the officer and the suspect.Published in