NYPD Chief Bratton Outlines New Police Training

NYC Police Commissioner William Bratton today appeared before the City Council and outlined changes for the city's police force:

On Monday, Mr. Bratton, surrounded by much of his top leadership, delved into the details of his plan. Every officer would go through a three-day retraining course, on how to talk to an “uncooperative person” in a way that does not escalate into a physical conflict; how to subdue a suspect if the encounter does escalate or if a suspect resists arrest; and how to be sensitive to cultural differences. It would also include a leadership workshop called Blue Courage.

Mr. Bratton said that officers would be expected to retrain regularly in these techniques, as they do with the use of firearms, and that the course would most likely evolve over time.

Bratton also acknowledged the problems with excessive force: [More...]

Yes, he agreed, the department had been too aggressive in minority neighborhoods, engaging in activity that was “not necessary” and eroding trust. Yes, he said, officers had become too focused on numbers, eschewing the discretion they had on whether or not to make an arrest, a key part of the job. “There was a need for a fundamental shift in the culture of the department,” he said, voicing a sentiment shared by many on the Council.

Bratton also said he plans to hire 1,000 more police officers, an idea he had previously dismissed.

I'm biased and a long time supporter of Bratton (his wife Rikki is a long time friend of mine, and I went to his swearing in ceremony in LA in 2002, long post on that here). While I never agreed with his "broken windows" policing theory (that Giuiani took credit for when the crime rate went down) I do know he's fair, a strong believer in constitutional rights and has tremendous integrity. No one can solve the problems with the NYPD overnight, and Bratton has tackled this problem before, but I think New York is fortunate to have him back.

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    Hopefully, NYPD can get others to feel the same (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by nycstray on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 12:26:17 AM EST
    way I did about the NYPD guys in my 'hood (after a time). They used to follow me slowly around the block at 2-4AM while walking Dot after a late night of work*. I wasn't a big fan of NYPD because of many things, but the night shift kinda changed my mind. And that's how cops should be, imo. It would be nice to get cops back to old school, where they watch your back, instead of . . .  Where I live now, they recently brought back the bike cops. Makes a HUGE difference. Starting to remind me of my former late night cops (vs their recent hiring commercial that looks more military/swat only style). If they would just understand, just being there is way more than half the 'battle'. Being part of the community, instead of looking at everyone sideways.

    *And I wasn't the only female on my block taking the pup out for a late night walk.  

    What would really go well... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 10:07:45 AM EST
    with this revised tone is revisions to criminal law...the state legislature and Congress could be of assistance by repealing the bullsh*t criminal laws on the books that lead to such much animosity between police and community.

    iow, a big part of this problem is too large a segment of the population has been criminalized needlessly and senselessly.  Police have to enforce dumb laws, which makes people hate them and refuse to cooperate them in the investigation of real crime.

    Or, Even Better (none / 0) (#13)
    by squeaky on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 10:24:59 AM EST
    The same accountability for lying, cheating, stealing, and other illegal acts that the rest of us have to answer to.

    Yeah, that too... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 10:29:36 AM EST
    equality under excessive and punitive criminal law is better than the current different rules different fools...the ideal would be equality under minimalist essential criminal law.  But if we can't have the latter, we should at least have the former.

    This approach (none / 0) (#2)
    by whitecap333 on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 06:48:52 AM EST
    isn't going to play well in the Heartland, where the great majority viewed with disbelief and anger the orgy of rioting and looting that was permitted to occur in Ferguson.  The commentary in the discussion forums of ABC, CBS, CNN, Politico, The Hill, etc. has been overwhelmingly negative to the insistence that greater "sensitivity" is required here.  Even such bastions of "progressive" thought as the NYT and NPR bristle with hostile comment.  When CNN starts refusing to accept comment on its editorializing, that should tell you something.  To say that Eric Holder and the DOJ are now widely viewed with disdain and distrust is gross understatement.

    Mike Brown was to be the "poster child" for Phase II of "transformational change."  The release of that now infamous video has had a devastating effect on this agenda.  Look at the results of that Rasmussen poll conducted August 15-16: 17% of Whites said they were not persuaded of Officer Wilson's guilt.  This strongly suggests they do not find Wilson's accusers credible.  Railing at them for their "racism" and "insensitivity" is merely hardening their attitudes.  In the Heartland, people still give law enforcement officers, whatever their color, the benefit of doubt.  Reality is knocking.  Time to answer the door.

    It will play well in NYC... (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by kdog on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 08:11:20 AM EST
    I like the change in tone...whether the new tone and training leads to less police brutality and more respect for the communities the police are supposed to serve remains to be seen.  

    Much better than the Kelly tone, to be sure.

    If a call for less violent resolutions and more peaceful resolutions is not the "heartland"'s thing, I'm sure glad I don't f*ckin' live there!


    this isn't about your opinion on Brown (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 10:09:41 AM EST
    Stay on topic. If you want to discuss Brown, take it to an open thread.

    Perhaps (none / 0) (#15)
    by whitecap333 on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 10:57:41 AM EST
    you might be kind enough to delete the comment.  It contains a serious error, anyway.

    Hopefully (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 08:07:13 AM EST
    One with a lock on the outside

    Wow (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 08:56:19 AM EST
    Your personal knowledge of Bratton gives me hope, Jeralyn.

    I am not optimistic that he can make major changes in the attitudes of NYPD soldiers..  Not that they were great before Giuliani, but after he called them his personal army, and gave them the green light to do as they please and let the judges sort it out, it will take a gargantuan effort to humanize the NYPD.

    At least I have better feelings toward Bratton, which is huge.

    Thanks for that Jeralyn.

    I left NY (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 09:00:22 AM EST
    Before Rudy.  Glad about that.  Got to see him lose once.  Liked that too.  Glad that era is no part of my memories of NY.