Policing Is Hard

Sam Harris makes the excellent point that most people simply have no idea what it’s like to try to contain a genuinely violent person. Police face the special problem that they usually openly carry a handgun on their hip. So if an officer is overpowered, the aggressor can take the cop’s gun and do extreme damage with it.

Here’s an idea I Tweeted: “Police should think about inviting journalists and community activists to participate in police training. Policing really is an extremely difficult job, and most people can’t easily grasp what’s it’s like to try to contain a violent person.”

Amy Swearer adds: “Having had the unique opportunity to participate in police use-of-force simulation training, I whole heartedly agree. There are two sides to this coin—policing is incredibly difficult work that few civilians fully understand, AND bad cops need to be held accountable. I would also argue that it’s precisely because policing is so difficult that we should be investing in better/longer training and incentivizing more highly educated, well-rounded individuals into police work. We have to treat it like the professional career it should be.” Amen to all that.


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