Stop Police Shootings: Issue Mandatory, Yearly Psych Exam to ALL Officers
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Who: Government of the United States of America / President of the United States
What: Issue a yearly, mandatory, thorough psychological examination of every police officer across the nation to evaluate their mental condition and their ability to make informed decisions—no matter rank or tenure, in order to certify mental stability and justify ongoing active-duty employment.
Why: Senseless and frequent shootings have caused local, national and international uproar, and something needs to be done about it. An ongoing, two-year study by The Washington Post reports the number of fatal shootings by officers increased from 465 in the first six months of 2015 to 491 in the first six months of 2016. How many more innocent people must die before we see change?
We place the power of guns in the hands of people who take an oath to serve and protect. Just think, one day, it could be you or your loved one being bullied, tormented then murdered by an overtly aggressive police officer. Don’t you think they should undergo yearly evaluations of their mental state so that the public remains safe? People who work in hospitals and provide hands-on care to patients are required to take yearly certification exams to prove they are equipped to do their job, after all, people’s lives are in their hands. Shouldn’t the same apply to police officers and any law enforcement professionals whose jobs require them to carry a gun?
We need to see positive changes within the agency and seek justice for all the innocent lives lost, and in order to achieve this, we ask that the law enforcement agency rebuild the people’s trust by complying with the terms of this petition and reconfirm the significance of integrity within the agency and help bring the entire profession together to show that the vast majority of law enforcement officers not only are good, decent individuals, but also will step forward to stop unethical acts by any members of its profession.
When: Implemented nationwide by January 1, 2019, or one year after the petition reaches its goal of 100,000 signers.
How: There are innovative ways of approaching this situation that don’t require excessive costs to administer the examinations. For instance, a partnership can be forged between police departments across the nation and mental health agencies that are funded by the government who can issue specific written and/or in-person evaluations to local police departments in their areas. Another option is offering a thorough online examination that is created by extremely skilled psychologists and behavioral analysts.
There are also alternative options available to help the officers who fail their psychological evaluations to get them back to a state of mental clarity, like music and sound therapy, pet therapy, color therapy, massages, acupuncture, guided meditation classes, etc., all of which are known to have positive and lasting effects on a person’s temperament for the better.
Notes: According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the following Law Enforcement Oath of Honor is recommended as a symbolic statement of commitment to ethical behavior by all officers:
On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character, or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the constitution, my community and the agency I serve.
The IACP says: “Before any officer takes the Law Enforcement Oath of Honor, it is important that he/she understands what it means. An oath is a solemn pledge someone makes when he/she sincerely intends to do what he/she says.
Honor means that one's word is given as a guarantee. Betray is defined as breaking faith with the public trust. Badge is the symbol of your office. Integrity is being the same person in both private and public life. Character means the qualities that distinguish an individual. Public trust is a charge of duty imposed in faith toward those you serve. Courage is having the strength to withstand unethical pressure, fear or danger. Accountability means that you are answerable and responsible to your oath of office. Community is the jurisdiction and citizens served.
It is strongly recommended by the IACP that all agencies adopt the Law Enforcement Oath of Honor. Having officers take an oath will reconfirm the significance of integrity within the agency and help bring the entire profession together to show that the vast majority of law enforcement officers not only are good, decent individuals, but also will step forward to stop unethical acts by any members of our profession.”
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