Police2Peace and NAWLEE among organizations seeking to change the approach and culture of policing from within.
Faced with rising crime rates and a continuing negative narrative about the police, communities around the nation need public trust and confidence to be restored. In response, prominent police associations have launched initiatives in which the police address the public’s concerns from within the profession. The Pledge and the Promise seek to provide police agencies nationally with the guidance, adherence and culture change which can transform every aspect of police organizations for safer interactions, preventing crime and improving quality of life for the public. And unlike costly external reforms which some activists demand, these new initiatives are completely free.
The National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE), was a founding partner with the Policing Project at the NY School of Law of the 30×30 Initiative. The Initiative seeks to improve the representation and experiences of women in sworn positions in all ranks, the goal of attaining 30% representation by 2030. Currently, women comprise just 13% of sworn officers and 3% of police leaders in the U.S. NAWLEE seeks to change that through training, mentoring, technical assistance, and 30×30. The reason is simple. Not only do female police officers have high favorability ratings from victims because they are skilled at problem-solving and compassionate, but hiring more women as police officers may help to reduce excessive force.
Another initiative is “the Peace Officer Promise” from nonprofit Police2Peace. The Promise is the first community-based initiative to address the issue of harm reduction by the police. Like the Hippocratic Oath which physicians take to do no harm, The Peace Officer Promise is policing’s answer which focuses the police on doing no harm while serving the communities they are paid to protect. The Peace Officer Promise has been featured widely, including in the U.S. Department of Justice COPS Community Policing Dispatch Update. The Richland County Sheriff’s Department was the first to make the Peace Officer Promise on May 3rd, 2022.
“Many organizations are doing their part to help police agencies do better. Recently, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) launched its Trust Building Campaign”, said Kym Craven, Executive Director or NAWLEE. “The Trust Building Campaign provides guidance for police agencies to enhance trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. NAWLEE completely embraces what IACP and Police2Peace have created”, continued Craven.
The “What” refers to NAWLEE, and the 30×30 pledge increasing the number of women in law enforcement to 30% by 2030, as well as the 25 key policies and practices which the IACP Trust Building Campaign provides as guidance for police agencies to adhere to within 36 months.
The “How” refers to Police2Peace introducing the idea of harm reduction into policing nationally and changing the culture of policing from police officers to “peace officers”.
“The Pledge, the Promise and the Trust Building Campaign complement one another by addressing the what and how to fundamentally change American policing so that it works for everyone”, said Chief Jerald Monahan, formerly chief of police for multiple Arizona police agencies and Program Director of the Administration of Justice Studies Program for Yavapai Community College. “Many police reforms make the police the bad guys to prevent bad officers from doing what they do”, continued Monahan. “Or they target single agencies but not American policing as a whole. There’s no hope for lasting change with those approaches”.
Taken together, Police2Peace and NAWLEE see these initiatives as a simple, nationally scalable way to change the approach and culture of policing for all police departments.