This practical guide to policing reform presents a call to action to address a threefold crisis in policing – a catastrophic loss of trust between police and the communities they serve; a sharp increase in violent crime after decades of decline; and a serious recruitment and retention challenge depleting police departments across the United States. The authors also recognize that, while these issues are now top of mind, policing needs far-reaching reform in order to respond to changes in society and its expectations, changes in crime and other threats to public safety, new technologies, and developments in best practice. Most reform to date has been piecemeal, as the book describes. The time has come to take a comprehensive look at every aspect of policing.
Kathleen O’Toole is a career police officer, lawyer, and PhD. She rose through the ranks and served as Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety, Boston Police Commissioner, Chief Inspector of Ireland’s national police, and Seattle Police Chief.
Robert Peirce is an international policing consultant and former diplomat and secretary for external relations in the Hong Kong government. Both worked on policing reform commissions in Northern Ireland (1998-9) and the Republic of Ireland (2017-18)
A Crisis is an Opportunity
Seven Fundamental Questions
All Policing is Local
A Pathway to Community-based Policing Reform
Chapter One: How to Reform Policing in Divided Societies
Race in Policing
Why Northern Ireland?
‘Community Policing’ Belfast Style in the Mid-1990’s
The Independent Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland
Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland
How to Reform Policing
Chapter Two: Four Decades of Policing in the United States
‘Crime Fighters’ – Us versus Them
1990’s Massachusetts – Steps in the Right Direction
More to be Done
Chapter Three: How to Define Policing
Crime and the Community
Policing as Community Safety
Policing as a Service
Policing and Human Rights
Chapter Four: How to Recruit Police
Girls Don’t Become Cops
How to Recruit Diversity
Why Join the Police?
The Workforce Crisis in Policing
Recruitment and Retention
Chapter Five: How to Train and Educate Police
The Academy Then
Beyond the Academy: Training in the Community
Use of Force and De-escalation Training
Less Lethal Force
The Importance of Respect
Integrated Scenario Training
Continuing Professional Development
Chapter Six: How to Organize a Policing Service
The Primacy of Patrol
Small Police Departments
Disband? Compton and Camdem
Merging Police Departments
Hierarchies and Delegation
Integrating Sworn and Non-sworn Police Personnel
Chapter Seven: How to Achieve Multi-Agency Cooperation
The Criminal Justice System
Multi-Agency Information Sharing: A Boston Example
Chapter Eight: How to Police the Police
Consent and Accountability
Performance, Discipline, and Complaints
A Tripartite Model of External Oversight
Chapter Nine: How to Lead a Policing Service
Who Should be Chief?
The Command Team?
A Police Board?
Openness to Advice
Chapter Ten: Time to Act
Bob Peirce and Kathy O’Toole have more experience than almost anyone else in America and Europe in designing reforms for policing and implementing them successfully. This book is a superb analysis of how to do the job even in the most difficult situations, recognizing from the very beginning that good policing is not something which is done to a community but is the outcome of the aspirations of citizens in every open society, working with them to get the best outcomes. Peirce and O’Toole show how you can get the best protection for those aspirations and human rights. Their approach is the key to good policing everywhere. It offers answers to many of the most difficult political questions that will confront us in the years ahead.
Kathy O’Toole and Bob Peirce have written an important, impactful and timely book that addresses the urgent reform needs of the police profession and the growing demands for these reforms by the public, the media, the politicians and indeed the police themselves. I have had the opportunity over the years to work on numerous occasions with both of them on policing issues in the United States and Great Britain. They are both consummate professionals whose advice and recommendations are an important addition to the raging debates about police reform and how best to return the policing of democracies to the Peelian Principles of Policing first promulgated by Sir Robert Peel in 1829 when the Metropolitan Police Service was created to police London. Seven Ways to Fix Policing NOW is a valuable addition to the reform debate and the many crises that policing is now facing. As the authors’ state "Out of crises comes opportunity". Now is the time to embrace that opportunity and their book provides a clear vision about how to do it.
Kathy O'Toole and Bob Peirce have written an important and timely work on police reform. They bring years of international experience and expertise to help the reader better understand the complexity of policing, past and present. They search for solutions by understanding past lessons and looking forward to the challenges awaiting us in the 21st century. Seven Ways to Fix Policing NOW is a must-read for every current and future police leader.