Can Our Nation's Police Be Improved? A Veteran Police Chief Thinks So

A veteran chief of police has published a new book on the four obstaces that prevent our nation's police from improving. He provides seven necessary steps that will free them from their "arrrested development."
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Blue Mounds - Wisconsin - US

Feb. 8, 2013 - PRLog -- Over a decade after David Couper had retired from a long and satisfying career as chief of police in Madison, Wisc. one of the professional organizations to which he once belonged asked him to come to Washington, D.C. and participate in a forum to discuss how to improve our  nation’s police. After Couper completed a 30 plus year police career he went off to seminary in the Episcopal Church and was now a pastor, but he agreed to come to Washington and participate. The status of police in America was a concern of his. When he left policing he thought it would continue to improve. But it didn’t happen. And after attending that summit conference consisting of police chiefs from our nation’s largest cities, Couper knew policing was in trouble. On the way home, he jotted down some notes on why he thought police this was so and what could be done about it. Those notes became the foundation of his third book, "Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation’s Police."

         Couper personally knew many of the chiefs sitting around the table that day in Washington, and his expectation was that by this time our nation’s police leaders would be willing and eager to discuss the ways in which they can improve as a profession. He was wrong again.

         Arrested Development looks at Couper’s long experience of working closely with and leading people in both police station and parish. He admits that he could not have written this book upon his retirement from policing. He sees our nation’s police continuing to struggle over and over again with four recurring and major obstacles which have literally tended to “arrest” their development:  anti-intellectualism, violence, corruption, and discourtesy.

         Couper believes that if each one of these obstacles aren’t overcome, we are going to continue to experience serious trouble controlling our police, keeping them honest, and protecting our civil rights. The book provides an overview of police history, how he came as a very young man to lead and reform the Madison police for over two decades. And he lists the seven necessary steps police need to take in order to remove the four obstacles and improve their service. He goes on to tell us about one of the most critical things police must do in any democratic society and ways to do it better – the proper handling of public protest.          

         Couper believes police can change and improve. And there are enough police in our nation’s ranks today that believe that, too just as he did as a young patrol officer many years ago. In many cases, what prevents police from overcoming their obstacles to improvement is the absence of quality leaders in their ranks; leaders who believe in the nobility of police work that is accomplished with both fairness and effectiveness.

Check out an interview with Couper at: and his blog at:

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Tags:Police, Improvement, Reform, Quality, Leadership
Industry:Security, Government
Location:Blue Mounds - Wisconsin - United States
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