Updated: May 30, 2020
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
Like most institutions in this country, law enforcement's approach to maintaining law and order has not changed much in over two-hundred years. In the last couple of days I have heard various experts say that that police training is an issue...or standards are an issue...or policies and procedures are not being followed. Really? The core problem is in the selection process. Right now, for most police departments, the entry standards are pretty low. Have a clean record...pass some sort of general knowledge test...pass some sort of minimal psychological evaluation. Then move on to a training program. Get through that and then you are given a badge and a gun. Most of them have no business being given this sort of authority.
It's Not The Training Stupid
I had to listen to another former law enforcement "expert' try to tell me that the officers that observed George Floyd's murder, and did nothing, were just "cowards." Hmmm. How about none of them should have ever had a badge in the first place? Cowardice has nothing to do with it. These miscreants should have never made it out of the evaluation process. No amount of training, or anti-bias training or any other training will turn a miscreant in to a better police officer. All you have is a well-trained thug. The FBI is by no means a great law enforcement agency by any means. What they do have, however, is a much more rigorous evaluation process. It makes it more difficult for miscreants and thugs to get past the initial phase. That is not the case for most local law enforcement.
What Needs To Happen
We can't have it both ways when it comes to law and order. We can't give practically unlimited authority to a group of individuals and then allow thugs and miscreants to populate law enforcement. Obviously, training is not the answer. It comes down to selecting individuals who have the ability to assess and act with a high level of competence that does not exist today. Will this make law enforcement more expensive due to increased selectivity? Yes, however, that is the price you pay for a professional police force. Nothing will change until this step is taken.