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Section 2. Communicating Information about Community Health and Development Issues

Example: The Empathetic Police Academy

Throughout the seven years Susan Rahr served as sheriff in King County, Washington, she reviewed many internal affairs investigations. She thoroughly analyzed the investigations pertaining to excessive use of force and wondered why force was used so quickly and why other ways to diffuse the situation were hardly ever employed. Typically deputies would follow an “ask-tell-make” system. “First ask someone to do something. If they refuse, deputies would tell them. Lastly, if they still refused to do it, then deputies would employ physical tactics. Rahr claims, that doesn’t reflect real life on the street and dignified officers wouldn’t use force so quickly. To her surprise deputies would say they learned those methods at the academy, the state’s Criminal Justice Training Center. In 2012, she decided combat this problem. When the job opportunity to lead the academy came open, she retired as sheriff, a truly prestigious law enforcement post, to take on the responsibility of training fresh-faced police recruits.

Read more about The Empathetic Police Academy.

Contributed by Lia Thompson, University of Kansas, Community Tool Box Intern.