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Police Reform: What Is It & Will it Work?

There has been a renewed spark toward reforming the police. This came about after an African American named Tyre Nichols was brutally beaten up by several police officers and later died in the hospital. The police officers involved were fired due to their violating policies and protocols according to NBC News.


This has been the latest of numerous incidents where police have conducted questionable actions, violence against suspects, and violations against policies the police department has. 


While calls have helped bring forth the topic of reforming the police, defining reform on the police varies along with debates on whether such measures will work or not.


Reforming the police tends to mainly focus as The Brookings Institution points out on changing the rules that deal with police behavior and increasing punishments for those that break the policies to dissuade officers from committing such actions.


But some other flaws and weaknesses need to be highlighted according to the various groups.


In the same article by Brookings, it states that change will come if more police officers have a college education, good personalities, and hold back their biases. 


“The most recent findings indicate that just 30 percent of police officers have a four-year degree. Despite admitting that they had no way of measuring success, sixty-nine percent of police departments reported that they have implicit bias training.”


A different organization called Police1 gives several different points on police reform. These include hiring more police officers, increasing training, having more adequate equipment, and understanding what cops can and can’t change.


“We have long understood the nasty effects of othering, of dehumanizing, and self-fulfilling prophecies. Real reform means pressure to apply that understanding even to cops. Real reform means accepting that change is hard and expensive – but it’s worth it if you do it right. Communities say they want reform now, and those communities express their priorities with their wallets as well as with their will.”


While other points can be made on police reform, there are debates on whether reforms can help reduce or permanently eliminate these kinds of incidents from happening.


One article by Mother Jones pointed out that despite reforms being signed into law in many states across the country, some police officers have either ignored or used loopholes to avoid getting punished for violating these reforms. 


“But officers in at least half a dozen cities have allegedly violated those policies or carved out major loopholes. These flagrant workarounds throw into question how effective reforms are at controlling violent police behavior.”


In a different news story, NBC News reported that police reform is effective for one county in the state of New Jersey which was once one of the most dangerous places to visit in the U.S. due to the high crime rate.


“In just nine years, burglary is down 77%, arson is down 68%, murder is down 66%.”


Initially, police reform should be focused on a few issues as only time and politics will tell whether it was effective or not.


In the meantime, prayers and sympathies have been and continue to be given to victims’ families who have suffered from such incidents as Tyre Nichols whose family has just recently held a funeral for the man.

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Tags: #usa #police #reform


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