Those seeking to destroy the law enforcement profession have finally said the quiet part out loud. It’s not that it was a secret, but law enforcement leaders were either complicit on what was happening right in front of them or completely and utterly incompetent. In some cases, police organizations and even our own leaders have participated in the destruction.
I recently told syndicated radio host Joe Pags and followed this up in a podcast why law enforcement has been the subject of “defunding and defaming” while the DOJ continues to use consent decrees to destroy agencies and the communities they serve and it’s the same thing I discuss in my seminars, although unlike some leaders that I’ve been in front of, Pags and his audience accepted it. The end goal is to essentially abolish local police through a series of “side door” actions.
A recent article in the Washington Post all but announces the implemented plan to destroy the profession. While the byline is in small print, I wonder if law enforcement leaders will finally pay attention.
I can assure you that this is not a new idea and it has been in the works for years and frankly, our own leaders have permitted it.
When they lied about “hands up…don’t shoot,” we didn’t push back.
When they banned “no knock” warrants because Breonna Taylor was not killed in a “no knock” warrant, we just let it happen.
When George Floyd died with lethal amounts of fentanyl in his system, we simply went along with the narrative that a chokehold that never happened, killed him.
We agreed to consent decrees when we know they do nothing but destroy cities.
We marched with the same groups that advocated for the abolishing of police.
We even have law enforcement leaders that say we need to “reimagine” police but it’s odd that no one will ever say what that means.
Here is excerpt from the article:
Advocates for police reform see the moment as an opportunity to hire a new generation of officers and reimagine policing. But as agencies seek fresh recruits, they are getting fewer qualified applicants than in past years — leading some to make the risky move of lowering the bar for hiring to fill their ranks.
Combine that strategy with what the Department of Justice continues to do with their so called consent decrees and you can begin to connect the dots to where all of this leads.
In fact, law enforcement leaders are not only participating with consent decrees, but they are attending DOJ meetings on how to solve the current policing crisis.
Thats akin to Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in a bar.
Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta is third in charge at the DOJ. In April, she met with police leaders to brainstorm how the federal government can help.
Gupta told The Post that any solutions must go “hand-in-hand with police accountability and constitutional policing. … We are only going to be able to expand the pools of people to come into law enforcement when they see this as an aspirational, professional choice.”
I recently interviewed Bob Scales, who continues to speak truth on the damage that the federal government is doing to local law enforcement. I agree with his assessment on the DOJ’s strategy:
1) Target police departments in Blue cities that have had high profile incidents with media scrutiny and pressure from local activists (e.g. Baltimore, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, Cleveland, New Orleans, Louisville, Minneapolis).
2) Launch a “pattern or practice” investigation and issue a scathing report that claims the police department is involved in widespread abuses of constitutional rights.
3) Force the city to sign a consent decree and hire a for-profit monitor who will reinforce DOJ’s messaging.
4) Spend the next decade criticizing the department and forcing the City to spend millions of dollars on ineffective reforms.
5) Create severe staffing shortages that will reduce public safety and ensure that the police department cannot reach compliance with the requirements in the consent decree.
6) Call for a national effort to “reimagine policing.”
What Is Reimagining Policing?
We no longer have to guess what this made up word actually means. Christy Lopez is the former Deputy Chief with the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ. Her idea on reimagining includes removing crime suppression units, removing qualified immunity (something she had at the DOJ), eliminate 911 calls that require a police response, use unarmed mental health professionals to respond to 911 calls, end police deployment to high crime areas, and that’s just what she has put in writing.
Can you imagine what they aren’t telling you?
What Leaders Can Do
To stop this existential threat against law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve will take bold action. I call it courageous leadership and we need to start yesterday.
Reject Consent Decrees
Law enforcement leaders need to acknowledge that nothing good will ever happen with the involvement of the DOJ. We have 30 years of case studies that show it and the idea that we continue to play this game is nauseating. If the DOJ wants to impose a consent decree, simply make them prove it. There hasn’t been one imposed consent decree that a city has not simply agreed to. The few that have challenged the DOJ avoided the scam because evidence must be proven and until now, the only thing the DOJ has been able to prove is that they do great press conferences.
I have spoken and written a lot on the staffing shortages in law enforcement but the hard truth is that we aren’t doing a lot about it other than beefing up our marketing campaigns with tactic-cool videos and fancy websites. Until now, we haven’t really had to recruit so marketing worked but there is a stark difference. I have a series of videoson this topic if you want a better understanding on the issue and for the sake of the next generation of law abiding citizens, I hope we figure this out very quickly.
Set The Narrative
The days are over when communication to the public was a luxury. Every agency needs to provide their community with timely and factual information. When someone or something lies or vaguely discusses “reimagining” police, call them out and demand specifics. As long as the profession continues to rely on the corrupt media establishment to tell the story, our story and our reputation will never be correct. If the media lies about your agency, don’t simply take it but call them out and remove them from the “participation” list. As long as we stay involved with chronic liars (and this includes community groups), nothing positive will be accomplished. Law enforcement has actual kryptonite against the liars but we must have the courage to use it.
We must stop allowing national police organizations to set the tone for your leadership and policy. Many of them are simply bank accounts taking marching orders from the DOJ and they will never say or do anything that goes against a prevailing narrative. That sounds harsh but you can see some specific examples here. Leaders should lead and stop letting million dollar organizations do it for them.
Lead With Courage
The hard truth is that some law enforcement leaders are sitting back and taking all of this in the name of “this is because of the defund police movement.” They act helpless in doing anything to combat this real threat against the communities they serve but they are lying to you.
There are plenty of agencies where the DOJ wouldn’t dare walk into to. There are a ton of agencies without a recruiting problem and there are just as many that are reducing crime in the community they serve.
All of these success stories have one thing in common…THEY LEAD.
Courageous Leadership is not for the faint of heart but it’s for real leaders.
Leaders that pour into their employees with empathy, resources, and training.
Leaders that would never let anyone lie about one of their employees or their organization without setting the lie straight with shaming if needed.
Leaders that aren’t worried about their precious DOJ funding and place doing the right thing in front of everyone and everything else.
Leaders don’t have excuses and they take responsibility for the bad while giving away credit for the good.
Courageous Leadership is not difficult but it’s also not easy.
Lead On & Stay Courageous!
Dr. Travis Yates retired as a commander with a large municipal police department after 30 years of service. He is the author of “The Courageous Police Leader: A Survival Guide for Combating Cowards, Chaos & Lies.” His risk management and leadership seminars have been taught to thousands of professionals across the world. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy with a Doctorate Degree in Strategic Leadership and the CEO of the Courageous Police Leadership Alliance.