44. Police & Law Enforcement Testing/Limitations

Physical Tests

Every 12 months (maximum), police officers serving on patrol duty should be required to pass fairly tough physical tests designed to be passed only by the most physically fit one-quarter to one-third of the population of the county or state they are patrolling. Those who do not pass the physical test should be prevented from performing patrol duty or other functions where physical force may be reasonably required and instead be shifted over to other police functions. Perhaps a decrease in pay may be part of the penalty for not being physically fit and an encouragement to become and stay fit.

Psychological Tests

Candidates and current police and other law enforcement officers should be assessed for their mental behavioral qualities so that there is a greater tendency to select people who are more empathetic, caring, sensitive, etc. Police and other law enforcement personnel need to focus more training on the ‘soft’ skills like ethics and integrity, community policing, and mediation/conflict resolution and need to de-emphasize the ‘hard’ skills geared towards firearms, self-defense and health and fitness.

These ‘soft’ skills are important because it is precisely these public servants who are required to be able to act to moderate tense situations with people who either don’t like law enforcement or don’t trust them and who are likely to direct negative comments or physical actions towards them. Law enforcement personnel need to be able to de-escalate such situation and need to be able to prevent the natural human tendencies for their own emotional escalations to contribute to a degradation of civility toward barbaric levels.

Mandatory Counseling

To prevent the appearance of weakness, it is important for all law enforcement officers who are deployed in a capacity which requires interaction with the public, to be required to attend mandatory counseling sessions at least every three months.

Law enforcement personnel in certain high-stress jobs should be reassigned often to different law enforcement area so that they are not constantly in the same environment. This would allow them time to recuperate from any psychological stresses that inevitably build up.

Police Weapons Limitations

Police forces should only be allowed to have enough quantities and types of weapons that would effectively allow them to control relatively large-scale uprisings throughout their jurisdiction. Tanks, grenade launchers should not be necessary for this purpose.  If these tools are required, then the military should be called in.

Taser and Stun Gun Design

Tasers and stun guns (especially for law enforcement usage) should be designed to be obviously different from each other in appearance. Perhaps they should be bright yellow so that officers in the middle of a struggle would be able to minimize the chances that the wrong weapon would be pulled out. It sometimes happens that officers pull out their real gun and fire it before realizing that it was not their intended weapon. A bright color differentiation would be the best way to minimize that risk.

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