Speak Your Mind: Policing and Race


“Speak Your Mind” is a PAR webpage feature that allows you to offer insights about big questions in public administration. The responses serve as a community forum for discussion of specific editorial contributions, and the format provides a platform for exchange of different ideas about how we think of public administration as a professional and scholarly enterprise.

PAR‘s March/April 2017 edition (Volume 77, Issue 2) features a symposium on policing and race. In the introduction to the symposium, guest editors Drs. Charles Menifield and James D. Ward argue, “This symposium contributes to the discussion by offering paradigms from multiple disciplines and providing the most up-to-date research at the intersection of public administration, law enforcement, and public policy.”

To access the content of the symposium, visit our Wiley site. PAR has also created a PowerPoint featuring the symposium’s content:

Given the complex nature of policing problems facing the United States and variety of perspectives provided in the symposium, we welcome your feedback on the following question:

In your view, based on the content of the symposium and your personal experience, what are the causes and solutions of the police-involved shootings that have plagued American cities?

One response

  1. Based on the manuscripts in the PAR symposium, as well as the book reviews, perspectives, commentaries, and my own research, it seems abundantly clear that there are at least two solutions. First, law enforcement agencies either do not have enough funding for continuing education of officers or they are choosing to use their funds for other things. I am inclined to believe that the former is more likely the case. Nonetheless, I believe that the evidence supports the notion that law enforcement officers are not completed educated when it comes to things like cultural competence, implicit bias and so forth. I believe that these sort of trainings will better equip officers to engage persons from diverse backgrounds. Second, I believe the literature is pretty clear that a culture exists within police departments that support the adage “protect and serve,” but not from the perspective of the community. When an officer makes a mistake, the tendency is to protect and serve the image of the officer and the law enforcement agency.

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