Saturday, June 20, 2009

NYPD - Double Tragedy

The recent shooting of an off duty black officer by an on duty white officer in New York is a double tragedy for the NYPD. First the shooting death, second in the fact that what should be a time of grief and mourning has become a time of open hostility. What can be learned to proactively avoid this type of tragedy in the future? First, training philosophy; nothing in any field of study supports the idea that during a tense, uncertain, rapidly evolving circumstances any one will do what you TOLD them in in-service a few months ago. Training for this type of event must be universal (everyone on the organization receives the same training). AND it must be designed in a manner to be practical and become reflexive. To do this, training must be repeated regularly and continuously with short training intervals during roll call. The stakes are too high to do otherwise. Second, organizational social environment; “ The profession of law enforcement requires an personal anima (inner way of being) that sees all people as people, is rooted in integrity and expressed as unconditional respect for all.” If an organization allows condescending, and disdainful attitudes, words and actions it becomes a subversive social contract. This subversive contract creates a smoldering bed of turmoil that will flash into a raging fire with a spark of tragedy. Each organization must begin to take responsibility to develop the integrity of its members and the social environment within.

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