Realizing the Future Purpose of Policing

Police Chief Magazine September 2022

By Jim Bueermann, Chief (Ret.), Redlands Police Department, California


I say this knowing full well that U.S. policing faces significant challenges today and tomorrow. Advances in policing have made it so much better than when I was a street cop in the 1970s. The men and women who lead most police organizations today are smart, dedicated people who understand change is inevitable. They embrace the risk and ambiguity that define police leadership today. Street cops are smarter, healthier, and more amenable, too. I believe in the nobility of good policing and have faith that today’s police leaders will resolve the problems in policing with which we are all too familiar. Like most people, I hope we’re able to navigate the changing landscape so the cops and the people they serve collaborate to build peace in our communities. But, as the saying goes, “Hope is not a strategy.”

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