I write this article as a former military police soldier who spent 5 years on active duty.
De-funding the police is a common theme in America today. I would argue rather than de-fund the police America should overwhelmingly fund the police. De-funding the police only brings about lack of training and bad hires. Psychological, intelligence and physical traits would suffer.
24 hours of additional training per year.
The average police officer receives an initial 6 months of training before they hit the streets. This is comparable to the military’s military police corps. The difference is the training received once the officer is sworn in. Police officers in America receive at best 24 hours of training per year. This is a startling statistic. Military training works in cycles. It is not uncommon for a military police soldier to spend months per year just training.
A military police battalion charged with upholding law enforcement at a Fort is comprised of about 700-1000 soldiers. Local police departments do not have the manpower or the funds to hire and train there officers. Substantial funding would be needed for police to receive the appropriate training on par with the military.
Being a police officer is the hardest job on the planet, especially in America. The amount of stress an officer is under day in and day out can certainly take an emotional toll. Police become desensitized to the world around them. Regular psychiatric evaluations should be required to make sure an officer is stable to perform his or her duties. Being a police officer might not be a 20+ year career as some may not be able to undergo the psychological rigors of the job.
College education is important when looking at potential new hires. Generally, you only need a HS diploma or GED to qualify. I argue a bachelor’s degree should be mandatory for new hires. Why? Not all police will make it 20 years; there should be away for officers to integrate into other fields of police support.
Forget about a degree in law enforcement. Degrees in social work, psychology or sociology may be a better fit. These degrees are a solid foundation for an officer to build upon as they enter different stages in their career. Ongoing education should be a priority for every officer. A master’s in social work or an MA in counseling would give the officer the ability to become a licensed therapist working with the department to perform non-patrol duties.
Policing is a community function of intimacy not an “us vs. them” mentality.
Just as there are nearly 1000 soldiers in a military police battalion not all perform police duties. Local departments would have a wide range of experts to handle the day to day challenges of police work. An officer could move into a more specialized role continuing their careers. These experienced specialists would be able to set the tone for new hires. Policing is a community function of intimacy not an “us vs. them” mentality.
Physical fitness and unarmed combat.
Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang suggested that a police officer should have at least a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). Police like the military would be subject to regular fitness along with hand to hand combat testing. Police must feel comfortable and confident without relying on their firearm.