A letter to the American public: There is no such thing as ‘the least’ amount of physical force

The notion of the least amount of force sounds nice, which makes it deceptively easy to believe – however, the concept is inherently flawed
Check out the article. It lays out an interesting discussion on how Use of Force is supposed to be determined when following the laws and policies.
See the article HERE

Here are the five “game changers” for policing this year.

Police 1 has an excellent article about the major issues that impacted Law Enforcement in 2021. See their list below (or you can see the list at their website.)

What do you think? Anything missing?

1. COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic dominated 2021 just as it did the previous year, and it probably doesn’t come as a shock that it tops this list. Tragically, it continues to be the #1 killer of law enforcement officers. According to ODMP, COVID-19 has taken the lives of 289 officers (as of December 2), vastly outnumbering the second and third-leading causes (57 to gunfire, 21 to automobile crashes). This year’s numbers also surpass the total number of COVID LODDs in all of 2020 (253).

The deadly threat also continued to disrupt other areas of the profession. Academy classes were canceled, training events were moved online and major conferences were postponed. But arguably the biggest disruption was over vaccines. Cities like New York and Chicago sparred with unions over mandates for city workers, leading to resignations and legal battles. As departments waited for staff to get inoculated, some, like Seattle PD, had to alter their already-strained staffing model to account for the absences.

Some leaders pushed back; in LA County, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he wouldn’t enforce the mandate, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy invited cops fired over mandates to join PDs in his state, and a sheriff in Washington pulled his SROs from schools over the issue.

No matter what happens come 2022, we are likely to see the ripple effects of this pandemic long after the case numbers dwindle. 


Upticks in certain types of crime – particularly murders – were being reported back in 2020 and that trend, while not as high a spike as was seen last year, has continued to be alarming in some areas in 2021. The New York Times reported the homicide rate, which had its biggest spike last year since record-keeping began in 1960, was still trending up in 2021. Portland (Oregon) broke a grim record for the most homicides in a single year. Austin (Texas) also reached an all-time high. Cities like Las Vegas and San Diego are also grappling with a homicide spike

“Let’s please untie the hands of our law enforcement officers,” Don Osborn, a relative of a victim slain in Portland, told the AP. “I believe if the proper tools were in place for our law enforcement officers, this wouldn’t even have happened.”

Further complicating the issue is PDs facing mounting staffing shortages that they have been struggling with for years. In Portland this year, the city saw fewer cops per person than at any other point in the past 30 years. In Austin and other cities, PDs have been forced to re-route non-emergency calls due to severe staffing woes


In the wake of the George Floyd protests last year, many cities looked at potential reform that would fundamentally change how police officers responded to certain calls or remove them from specific duties entirely – from traffic enforcement to non-violent incidents to “unarmed” response units. Among these, the reform policy that gained the most traction was changing how cities responded to mental health calls, either making them police-free or sending a police officer in tandem with a mental health professional to someone in crisis; the experiment has returned interesting results thus far.

Denver, which has had a form of the program since 2018, saw enough success that New York City modeled its efforts after them. The pilot program, called B-HEARD, reported early results this year. They found subjects accepted help in 95% of cases when mental health workers were involved, compared to 85% when police alone responded.

Other cities are following suit in growing numbers this year, with places like San Mateo (California), Chicago, and Garden Grove (California) launching similar programs. If the success of these pilots continues, it’s likely that more and more cities will adopt this approach. 


The George Floyd case sparked an important conversation about policing in the United States, and the Derek Chauvin verdict undoubtedly will strengthen calls for reform, for better or worse.

Duty to intercede and other self-policing training like early intervention and active bystandership are just some of the hot topics cities are exploring or already have implemented into police policy to develop a culture of accountability in law enforcement.

On the other hand, some reform efforts implemented over the last two years have seen results that have leaders rethinking the changes, which leads us to our last game changer of 2021…


This year, some communities started to think twice about the police reform they approved, particularly when it comes to the “defund” movement. In Oakland (California), Mayor Libby Schaaf said she’d push to reverse funding cuts to the police department and hire more officers as the city grappled with a crime spike.

It was a similar story in other cities. In Portland, officials approved millions in funds for law enforcement amid the city’s record shootings and homicides. In Minneapolis, the site of the George Floyd killing and epicenter for the ensuing summer of nationwide protests, voters shied away from the most radical calls for reform – voting against the removal of the Minneapolis Police Department. Meanwhile, in an effort to address the dwindling numbers of police officers in cities across the nation, the DOJ recently handed out $139 million in grant funding.

Denver Task Force to Reimagine Policing and Public Safety

Overview: The Task Force to Reimaging Policing and Public Safety is a community based initiative arising out of the tragic aftermath of the killing of George Floyd on May  25, 2020 in Minneapolis and the subsequent nationwide Black Lives Matter solidarity protests demanding the structural transformation of policing. This Task Force is the result of conversations from recent town halls with community members, faith leaders, service  providers, elected officials and Denver Department of Public Safety to move toward  action and healing.

At the website there are several videos from the different task force meetings and several different reports available (including the Task Force Report). Take some to explore what the website has to offer.

The website can be accessed HERE
The Task Force report can be accessed HERE

Cop Out: Analyzing 20 Years of Records Proving Impunity | New York Civil Liberties Union | ACLU of New York

In the summer of 2020, the New York Civil Liberties Union obtained a comprehensive database of complaints made by the public to the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), the independent agency charged with investigating complaints about NYPD misconduct. Then in May of 2021, the NYCLU added updated and more detailed information to the database, which now
— Read on www.nyclu.org/en/publications/cop-out-analyzing-20-years-records-proving-impunity

Why Violent Crime Is Rising – Michael Shellenberger

Aariel Maynor (left), suspected killer of Jacqueline Avant (right) with husband Clarence Clarence and Jacqueline Avant may not be household names but they are giants of black American music and philanthropy. Clarence is the former chairman of Motown Records, and responsible for the careers of some of America’s greatest African American musicians including Bill Withers, Babyface, and Terry Lewis. Jacqueline, 81, was president of Neighbors for Watts, an early child care advocacy organization, and a much-loved Beverly Hills philanthropist. Netflix last year produced a film about Clarence, the “
— Read on michaelshellenberger.substack.com/p/why-violent-crime-is-rising

Go read this data analysis that uncovers predictive policing’s flawed algorithm – The Verge

Gizmodo released an analysis that reveals the behind the scenes method about its investigation, co-reported with The Markup, into PredPol’s crime prediction software. Their investigation explained how the software could disproportionately affect low-income, Black and Latino residents.
— Read on www.theverge.com/2021/12/6/22814409/go-read-this-gizmodo-analysis-predpol-software-disproportionate-algorithm