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To Protect and Serve

Cover of To Protect and Serve

To Protect and Serve

How to Fix America's Police
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American policing is in crisis. The last decade witnessed a vast increase in police aggression, misconduct, and militarization, along with a corresponding reduction in transparency and accountability. Nowhere is this more noticeable and painful than in African American and other ethnic minority communities. Racism—from raw, individualized versions to insidious systemic examples—appears to be on the rise in our police departments. Overall, our police officers have grown more and more alienated from the people they've been hired to serve. In To Protect and To Serve, Norm Stamper offers new insights into the conditions that have created this crisis, reminding us that police in a democratic society belong to the people–and not the other way around.
To Protect and To Serve also delivers a revolutionary new model for American law enforcement: the community-based police department. It calls for citizen participation in all aspects of police operations: policymaking, program development, crime fighting and service delivery, entry-level and ongoing education and training, oversight of police conduct, and, especially relevant to today's challenges, joint community-police crisis management. Nothing will ever change until the system itself is radically restructured, and here Norm Stamper shows us how.

American policing is in crisis. The last decade witnessed a vast increase in police aggression, misconduct, and militarization, along with a corresponding reduction in transparency and accountability. Nowhere is this more noticeable and painful than in African American and other ethnic minority communities. Racism—from raw, individualized versions to insidious systemic examples—appears to be on the rise in our police departments. Overall, our police officers have grown more and more alienated from the people they've been hired to serve. In To Protect and To Serve, Norm Stamper offers new insights into the conditions that have created this crisis, reminding us that police in a democratic society belong to the people–and not the other way around.
To Protect and To Serve also delivers a revolutionary new model for American law enforcement: the community-based police department. It calls for citizen participation in all aspects of police operations: policymaking, program development, crime fighting and service delivery, entry-level and ongoing education and training, oversight of police conduct, and, especially relevant to today's challenges, joint community-police crisis management. Nothing will ever change until the system itself is radically restructured, and here Norm Stamper shows us how.

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About the Author-

  • Norm Stamper was a cop for 34 years, the first 28 in San Diego, the last 6(1994-2000) as Seattle's police chief. He is credited as the architect of the nation's first community policing program and has a PhD in leadership and human behavior. He is the author of Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Expose of the Dark Side of American Policing (Nation Books, 2005). He served as a founding member of President Clinton's National Advisory Council on the Violence Against Women Act, and as an advisory board member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, along with numerous other boards dedicated to violence prevention, drug policy reform, and social justice. He has been called as an expert witness in approximately 20 police misconduct cases. He has written essays and opinion pieces for such publications as the New York Times, the Nation, time Magazine, the Guardian (UK and US), Playboy, the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union Tribune, Penthouse, American Police Beat Magazine, and YES! Magazine.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 11, 2016
    Prompted by the many well-publicized police misconduct cases of recent years, this book outlines a blistering structural critique of U.S. law enforcement, along with a strategy for “fundamental” and “radical” change in how the country polices its citizens. Stamper (Breaking Rank), formerly Seattle’s chief of police, writes well-sourced, easy-to-read prose that cites both personal experience and current research to argue for a “community-driven system of policing.” The book offers opinions on many hotly debated issues, including the drug war (Stamper is for legalization), officer body cameras (it’s complex), and civil asset forfeiture and police militarization (strongly against). Stamper injects a remarkable amount of personal pathos into the subject, going so far as to admit mistakes in—and apologizing for—his handling of the 1999 World Trade Organization (WTO) protests. His work could have benefited from looking at policing in other countries. By emphasizing institutional change, Stamper makes a brave attempt to answer the common question (one asked whenever another unarmed African-American is shot by police), where are all the good cops? Agent: Sarah Smith, David Black Agency.

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To Protect and Serve
To Protect and Serve
How to Fix America's Police
Norm Stamper
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