OnPolicing Blog

Welcome to the OnPolicing Series

OnPolicing captures the thoughts of some of the country’s most important voices on contemporary policing. It is intended to stimulate debate about the state of policing and the myriad of challenges involved in controlling crime, disorder, and terrorism in a democracy like ours. The opinions are the authors’ own and may not represent the official position of the National Policing Institute. All comments are welcome—especially contrarian ones. We reserve the right to remove hateful or profane posts.

Please refer to the essay entitled "An Introduction to OnPolicing" for an in-depth introduction to the series by the National Policing Institute’s former president and founder of the OnPolicing blog, Jim Bueermann. If you would like to contribute to the OnPolicing series, please send your 500-1000 word essay to info@policinginstitute.org.

Tracy Miller

Police-community relations

Every day police officers risk their lives to keep our communities safe. Unfortunately, law enforcement’s heroic efforts are often not recognized by local communities.  One way we are building stronger community relationships with law enforcement and highlighting their outstanding work is through an innovative program, OC GRIP. OC GRIP (Orange County Gang Reduction & Intervention…

Eddie Reyes

How do police use VR? Very well

In the very beginning the law-enforcement arena had a difficult time establishing an effective training program. If you can’t simulate a hot situation, you have to train with real weapons that are made safe, the law enforcement officer doesn’t really feel that the training is real and you have to bring in lots of role…

Cameron McLay

Building police legitimacy through measuring and managing performance

These are tough times for those of us in policing… The crisis of confidence and legitimacy that characterizes post-Ferguson policing illustrates a vital lesson for local governments and their police.  We, the police, must hold ourselves accountable for the outcomes of our policing services. We must measure our work and our outcomes based on a…

Patrick Shaver

Documentary helps manage aftermath of shootings

My wife looked at me funny when I told her that I thought we could make a movie. I was a police officer in a big city and she was a nurse, but neither of us were filmmakers. What she said next I’ve rebroadcast when we’ve shown our film across the country: “It’s probably not…

Dean Esserman

Give me a cup of coffee and a conversation over a new-fangled piece of fancy new equipment any day

I keep reading about how drones, artificial intelligence and facial-recognition technologies are going to take our industry of policing to an entirely new level. Technology will improve safety, they say. Cops will make quicker arrests, they argue. The world will be a better place for all, they assure. That’s all well and swell, but from my…

Valarie Findlay

Cyber threats against police

Law enforcement organizations, unlike any other, occupy a unique position in the consequences of cyber threats – often the forefront of investigative, interdiction or enforcement capacity, it’s becoming more common that they are the target. From the operational experience, law enforcement comes into contact with various cyber technologies used for malicious and illegal means by…

National Law Enforcement Memorial

How do cops feel about the American flag?

There is no question that the American flag is intrinsically linked to the men and women who make up the various police forces sprinkled across the United States. Seems only natural, right? Well, consider this. The United States does not have a national police force, which was intentional because the Founding Fathers made sure that…

Kaitlyn Perez

Social media has become a critical part of law enforcement

More than ever these days, people want transparency out of their policing agencies. Here at the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, we have found that being active on social media by showing the good – and the bad – is a great place to start. That means showcasing the outstanding work that our deputies do on…

Chief Holtzman

The barbershop: where real conversations take place

What police department in America is not looking for a way to bridge the gap between the police and the community we serve?  Skipping right to the issue at hand, the trust and relationships between our police and the African American community is an equation we [Chiefs and Commanders] are trying to solve. Like most,…

John Cohen

As mass casualty attacks proliferate, new model to prevent them emerges

On June 14, a lone gunman open fired on a group of Congressmen practicing for an upcoming softball game, wounding six, one critically. The shooter was stopped when two Capitol Hill Police Officers engaged the gunman, killing him. That same day, a disgruntled employee open fired on co-workers at a San Francisco UPS facility killing…

Tammy McCoy Arballo

Making time for yourself when there is no time

Time is unkind. The days are not long enough to meet the never-ending demands of law enforcement careers and family life. It feels like we have never been busier or more accessible than we are at this point in human history. With the dinging from a text message, our focus automatically shifts from dinner with our family to…

John Lane

Officer’s fentanyl crisis discussed

The opioid epidemic continues to stretch across the United States, just as it has been doing in Canada and the United Kingdom. Last month, an East Liverpool (Ohio) police officer accidentally came into contact with fentanyl and overdosed. He was treated with one dose of Narcan at the station and three more at the local…