Welcome to Police Procedure. My name is Mark Bowers and I am a 10 year law enforcement veteran who served as a line supervisor in a large full-service metropolitan law enforcement agency. As I rose through the ranks, I learned how important it was to keep my troops updated on the very latest case law and constitutional issues. I developed a system for educating my line-level officers on these issues – something that is sorely lacking in what we like to call “modern” law enforcement today.
Over the years I saw how a lack of education in law enforcement, and indeed an indifference to it by many officers of rank, frequently puts both officers and entire departments in the position of needlessly causing harm to the public.
There was one particular instructor in the police academy that we all really liked, because we could always count on him to shoot us straight. Among his many nuggets of wisdom was this:
Nothing changes in law enforcement for one simple reason. We do things the way we do them because that’s the way they have always been done.
Nothing I learned in the police academy was more true than this statement. Law enforcement agencies are, by-in-large, very resistant to change for no other reason than “because that’s the way we’ve always done it”. Certainly this is not true of all agencies in America, but we all know the departments it does apply to because they are on the news and in social media every single day for blatantly violating the constitutional rights of those they are sworn to protect. THESE are the agencies and officers I choose to shine the spotlight on because I know how they work.
This website is different from other “police outrage” websites in that we examine individual uses of force and constitutional violations based on years of training and experience doing it myself. I admit I am far from perfect, but I left law enforcement for one reason: because of the ridiculous procedural re-writes that have occurred in the last several years allowing law enforcement to justify their actions on a LAWFUL basis. The “thin blue line” is alive and well in this country.