Time for a Police State Report Card
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It's time we start trying the methodology we've done with teachers the last decade on the police. Officers will need to write a professional growth plan each year and meet with an evaluator to ensure progress is being made. But more importantly, five times per year, each officer will be evaluated on the job for an hour. Two times the observation will be announced and two times it will not be. The fifth evaluation can be a conversation or another on the job observation. Before each announced observation, the officer will sit with the evaluator and explain what their plan, approach, and objective is for the day. They will explain what research they've done, what resources they are using to support their policing efforts, and what experiences in the past may inform their actions on the job. They will state what they expect to happen and how they will collect data as it occurs. The officer will also need to provide data they have already on the area they are patrolling to show that they have background information on the communities they are serving. Finally, they will need to present examples of their questioning techniques that they will use with community members to demonstrate a high level of respect for other human beings.
Then after each of five observations, the officer will sit down again with the evaluator within a week to discuss the event. The officer will need to show evidence of reflection on all of the items they discussed at the pre-conference AND on what happened during the observation. They will discuss what went according to plan and the officer will need to detail what they would have done differently at various points. The questioning techniques used will be discussed in detail. The officer will need to explain whether or not their objectives were met and how they know they were met. The officer will need to rate themselves on the interactions they had with all members of the community. Were they highly disrespectful, disrespectful, respectful, or highly respectful...? Also, they'll need to have their data ready to support any claim they make. The officers will also want to mention at this point any communications via phone, email, or internet they are making with the communities they serve since communication with families is an important factor in one's job performance. And they should also mention whether or not their notes and records are up to date (and probably prove it). The discussion will end discussing the officer's professionalism in the field. A final rating of ineffective, developing, skilled, or accomplished will be awarded at each observation that is ultimately the evaluator's decision. These ratings will determine whether or not the officer receives a raise in 2 or 3 years. Ineffective ratings will result in additional professional development and evaluations the following year.
In between these evaluative observations, police units will attend presentations with independent data analysts to go over overall trends at the national, state, and local level around dozens of metrics. They will be split into partners and small groups to discuss the implications of the statistics shown to them. They will need to develop action plans for how to make improvements on this data and write down questions they still have.
At the end of each year, a government agency will issue a report card for each police department in the state. The state will rate on dozens of metrics which are compiled into one final grade. These Police Report Cards will be made public on a single day of the year and media outlets will report for weeks after on the reports.
Then community groups will gather to discuss the report cards and be involved in developing programs to improve or maintain the grade of the local police department. When officers sit down to write their new professional growth plan, they will need to consider the data from the State Report card and from their previous year of work when writing the plan. And repeat.
Does this sound like too much to you? If it's good enough for teachers, it's good enough for the police. Anything that will stop another Black man from being murdered is not too much. In memory of George Floyd, Tamir Rice, and so, so many more....
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