The Change If You Care Initiative for Police Reform

The Change If You Care Initiative for Police Reform

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Bishop Calvin Hooper started this petition to U.S. Senate and

The Change If You Care Initiative
Bishop Calvin M. Hooper
written June 8, 2020

In America, we have seen a plethora of examples of egregious behavior of police officers against African Americans.  While this behavior is not only against African Americans, the videos that we see, and the news stories that are reported on have one thing in common, and that is the presence of African Americans as the victims of unnecessary police brutality, discrimination, profiling, shooting, and death at the hands of police.

I believe the George Floyd murder was not only wrong, but it was an example that served as a defining moment in our country that something must be done to eliminate these senseless acts at the hands of those who have sworn to protect and serve us.  This has happened far too many times and it cannot continue.  Too many mothers, fathers, and families have lost their children, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, aunts, and uncles at the hands of police officers, not because of a crime committed, but simply because of the color of their skin.

Therefore, I am presenting the Change If You Care Initiative.  This initiative is centered around six objectives that I believe will end the systemic problems that lend to police brutality and unnecessary use of force without the threat of reprimand.  The six objectives form the word CHANGE, and I believe that these objectives need to be implemented in an expeditious manner.  I am confident that we will change if we do care.  The six objectives are presented as follows:

1. Conduct mandatory audits of police department policies in all police departments across the country to identify policies that allow police officers to use unnecessary force without the threat of reprimand, which injures and sometimes takes the life of innocent, non-threatening victims.  Perform annual background checks of all officers, regardless of rank or time in service, to identify behavior or beliefs that could lead to discriminatory behavior on the job.  Also, implement mandatory psychological evaluations of all officers every 5 years. mandatory shift rotations and rotations out of assigned geographical areas every two years so the officer is not in one assigned area of their city for an extended period. 

2. Hasten the establishment of zero-tolerance policies prohibiting the use of discriminatory language, racial slurs, racial profiling, and unnecessary force that causes physical harm, endangers or takes the life of innocent victims, and make the punishment of those in violation of said policies a public record, as a form of public relief to gain the confidence of residents who will know that the leadership of their police force will ensure that their officers are protecting and serving their community and that discrimination against any color of people is strictly prohibited.  Officers found in violation of these policies will have their peace officer license permanently revoked. This will eliminate the potential for the officer to leave the department and be hired on at other departments and potentially displaying the same type of behavior unbecoming of an officer.

3. Allocate funds to ensure that every officer has body cameras and mandate the usage of those cameras when officers are serving in any law enforcement activity (arrest, traffic stop, etc.), and conduct unannounced, random checks of the video footage to ensure officers are in compliance with police department policy and exhibiting fair, nondiscriminatory conduct that is becoming of an officer of the law.    

4. Negotiate with third-party vendors who will agree to provide free, yearly, online training or in-person seminars to officers that teach them how to connect with the communities that they have sworn to protect and serve, how to treat others respectfully and equally regardless of color, how to deal with stress, how to maintain good community relations and customer service training. 

5. Grant recognition to officers who are examples of protecting and serving their communities as a means of reinforcing the commitment to the eradication of discriminatory police behavior, and allow community input regarding police behavior as a way to measure the worthiness of such recognition (for example, a social media page members of the community can go to and post comments about something special the officer did). Also host yearly community forums to address any concerns residents may have, share what is being done for the community to protect and serve the residents, and maintain community confidence and trust.

6. Enact legislation that embraces the objectives above, further codifies the new national standard practices of police departments and tears down the old systems that permitted misconduct under the guise of police authority and makes it unlawful for law enforcement officers to behave in a manner that is inconsistent with the ideology of protecting and serving the community, and make the violation of these practices a felony that is punishable by loss of a job, time in jail, or both.

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