I'll end for now the discussion of militarized policing in cities like Baltimore with a look at what we need in cities----COMMUNITY POLICING. This is a favorite phrase for Clinton neo-liberals installing all the policy creating the brutality and militarized policing to pose progressive. Any pol pushing deregulating and privatizing our public police departments -----AND THAT IS ALL BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL AND BALTIMORE MARYLAND ASSEMBLY POLS-----then they have no intent to install COMMUNITY POLICING. Remember, it is our national Congressional Clinton neo-liberals passing laws at the Federal level that then buy Maryland Assembly pols to install these laws in state assemblies that then make sure city hall pols send the funds to this privatization scheme and city hall makes sure there are no funds for administrative oversight and accountability. THIS IS WHAT HAS MOVED THESE MILITARIZED AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL POLICING POLICIES THESE FEW DECADES----CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA----neo-liberal tag team with neo-cons to build International Economic Zone and Trans Pacific Trade Pact structures. They like to tell citizens in cities that all this has gone too far to reverse----
BUT THAT IS A LIE---IT IS EASY PEASY AS ALL OF THIS IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND ILLEGAL.
1. The first thing citizens at the city level do is GET RID OF POLS SIMPLY DOING WHAT THEY ARE TOLD BY GLOBAL CORPORATIONS AND WALL STREET.
I know my friends in Baltimore and cities across the nation do not have a connection to THE FOUNDING FATHERS. It is important to understand that America's revolution was fought against the very conditions happening today----global corporations exploiting and impoverishing citizens controlled by a colonial aristocracy in England. That is what global corporate rule mirrors-----rich people making the US a colonial entity with no governing rights used simply to make the rich richer. That is why these Founding Fathers wrote a US Constitution that
KEEPS THE RICH AND GLOBAL CORPORATIONS FROM GAINING THIS KIND OF POWER AND GAVE ALL THE POWER TO WE THE PEOPLE----
Privatizing the US military to a global corporate military/mercenary status creates a military force not working for you and me---they work for this global corporate tribunal----they are becoming a foreign force. All of this is unconstitutional and can be VOIDED. Now, take on top of that the fact that these privatized militarized policing corporations coming into Baltimore City et al are these same global military forces that are illegal under our US Constitution----
AND VOILA---YOU GET RID OF ALL THESE PRIVATIZED SECURITY/POLICING CORPORATIONS WHICH WHICH OUR BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL AND MAYOR ARE FILLING OUR CITY
There will be absolutely no discussion of all of this in the coming 2016 elections in Baltimore City for City Council-----Mayor----and replacing our Federal pols Sarbanes, Cardin, Mikulski, and Cummings yet for people wanting to end this police brutality and militarized policing IT IS THE SINGLE ISSUE TO BE ON A CAMPAIGN PLATFORM.
The Founding Fathers Fought the Revolutionary War to Stop the Type of Militarized Police We Now Have In the U.S
.Posted on August 20, 2014 by WashingtonsBlog
Founders Versus Ferguson …Former Congressman – and Cleveland mayor – Dennis Kucinich wrote a must-read post yesterday:
The Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770, was a catalyst toward the American Revolution. Five civilians were killed by the British soldiers. The Declaration of Independence, in condemning the offenses against liberty by George III, stated:
He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.
He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
- For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us
- For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states
Balko starts with the provocative proposition that police as we know them in modern America are unconstitutional. “The Founders and their contemporaries would probably have seen even the early-nineteenth-century police forces as a standing army, and a particularly odious one at that,” Balko writes. “Just before the American Revolution, it wasn’t the stationing of British troops in the colonies that irked patriots in Boston and Virginia; it was the England’s decision to use the troops for everyday law enforcement.”
Balko links that decision to the oft forgotten Third Amendment, which forbids the quartering of troops in Americans’ homes against their will during peacetime. The Third Amendment is rarely litigated, and the Supreme Court has never heard a case primarily concerning the amendment, but Balko argues that it was included in the Bill of Rights out of a larger concern that a standing army could be used for the purposes of enforcing the law. “The actual quartering of British troops in the private homes of colonists was rare…It was the predictable fallout from positioning soldiers trained for warfare on city streets, among the civilian populace, and using them to enforce law and maintain order that enraged colonists.”
In a post headlined, “Militarized Police: The Standing Army the Founders Warned About“, New American notes:
In an essay published in the Wall Street Journal last August, Radley Balko presented chilling and convincing evidence of the blurring of the line between cop and soldier:
Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment — from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers — American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop — armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.
Balko rightly connects the menace of the martial police with the decline in liberty and a disintegration of legal boundaries between sheriffs and generals:
Americans have long been wary of using the military for domestic policing. Concerns about potential abuse date back to the creation of the Constitution, when the founders worried about standing armies and the intimidation of the people at large by an overzealous executive, who might choose to follow the unhappy precedents set by Europe’s emperors and monarchs.
A Google search for the following phrase turns up over 250,000 hits, including articles from across the spectrum, such as Newsweek, Daily Kos, the American Conservative and Truth-Out:
“standing army” Ferguson
The same search yields thousands of images. A comparison of photos of soldiers in war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan and police in Ferguson shows they are virtually indistinguishable.
Someone identifying himself as an 82nd Airborne Army veteran, observing the Ferguson police scene, comment[ed] that “We rolled lighter than that in an actual warzone” …
Remember, the Founding Fathers repeatedly warned against standing armies.
Of course, it would be bad enough if the militarized police forces were only used in genuine emergencies. But Balko notes that the authorities have become “very antagonistic toward the very idea of free speech and the First Amendment“. And militarized swat teams are being used against people who commit copyright infringement … or credit card fraud. They’re being used “for routine warrant service in … nonviolent crimes“.
And Balko notes:
SWAT teams today are overwhelmingly used to investigate people who are still only suspected of committing nonviolent consensual crimes.
And Ellen Brown argues that the police are being militarized to protect of the financial elites:
When depositors cannot access their bank accounts to get money for food for the kids, they could well start breaking store windows and helping themselves. Worse, they might plot to overthrow the financier-controlled government. Witness Greece, where increasing disillusionment with the ability of the government to rescue the citizens from the worst depression since 1929 has precipitated riots and threats of violent overthrow.
Fear of that result could explain the massive, government-authorized spying on American citizens, the domestic use of drones, and the elimination of due process and of “posse comitatus” (the federal law prohibiting the military from enforcing “law and order” on non-federal property). Constitutional protections are being thrown out the window in favor of protecting the elite class in power.
Postscript: The Founding Fathers also fought the Revolutionary War for other reasons, such as stopping:
- The type of spying which the NSA is doing
- The type of banking which the giant banks are practicing
- The type of crony capitalism which the government and Wall Street are engaging in
If Maryland had a functioning Maryland Attorney's General and Baltimore State's Attorney's Office that would be where the contest to Constitutionality would come for both Maryland Assembly laws and Federal laws. Since there is not a lawyer in Maryland's Bar Association not tied to these global corporate policies because they are becoming rich from them----it moves to Baltimore City Council and MAYOR to end all these contracts and declare this deregulation Unconstitutional and go to FEDERAL COURT TO VOID THESE POLICING PRIVATIZATION LAWS PUSHED BY BALTIMORE'S MARYLAND ASSEMBLY POLS.
Yes, Baltimore City Hall needs to VOID laws put into place by Baltimore Maryland Assembly pols.
Below you see the next thing a Baltimore City Council and MAYOR needs to do to install COMMUNITY POLICING----
2. Use Federal funding for COPS in the way the US Constitutional requires a and not as Obama and his US Justice Department writes these grants for Federal funding.
Obama is doing to this program what he has done throughout his terms-----as with HUD funding used to subsidize global corporate development downtown while killing public and low-income housing downtown-----so too does this COPS program fail to create a REAL community policing structure. It creates the same DATA BASE POLICING CREATED IN BALTIMORE UNDER O'MALLEY THAT IDENTIFIES GANG ACTIVITY FOR A BROAD LIST OF COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES. This was for what Anthony Batts was known in Southern California and it creates all of the tensions and fuels violence including against police officers.
THIS COPS PROGRAM FUNDING CAN BE USED FOR ACTUAL COMMUNITY POLICING STRUCTURES AND DOES NOT HAVE TO ADVANCE THE GOALS OF GLOBAL CORPORATE MILITARIZED AND MARTIAL LAW POLICY.
All of this Federal funding in Baltimore has only been used to advance the surveillance/militarized structures of policing in the city and that needs to stop.
The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office)
is the component within the U.S. Department of Justice dedicated to the concept that trust and mutual respect between police and the communities they serve is critical to public safety. This concept is the foundation of community policing and ensures that police and community stakeholders partner in solving our nation's crime challenges. Community policing is a law enforcement philosophy that focuses on community partnerships, problem-solving and organizational transformation. The COPS Office mission is to advance public safety through community policing.
When police and communities work together, they more effectively address underlining issues, change negative patterns, and focus resources. The COPS Office plays a critical role in executing the attorney general's Smart on Crime Initiative by focusing on fairer enforcement, crime prevention, and the improvement of relationships with minority populations.
The COPS Office is committed to helping the field advance the field. Over the last 20 years, the COPS Office has pioneered crime analysis through the funding of community policing officers, resources, training and technical assistance. The COPS Office partners with law enforcement, businesses and other federal agencies to enhance policing activities and outcomes. Please visit our Resource Center and the Grants and Funding page to learn more about our current resources.
It was the same conditions of massive corporate fraud and government corruption back in early 1900s that gave us FDR and progressive policies that included POLICE REFORM. The idea that police are only supported when they support the citizens in a community was the standard. When I hear Baltimore City Council pol or the MAYOR state over and over----we need citizens to come forward with information regarding crime at the same time these pols are the face of militarized and zero tolerance policing----YOU KNOW THIS IS A SCAM.
The third policy needed to move Baltimore City towards COMMUNITY POLICING:
3. Eliminate all of O'Malley's and Obama's data stat and complex police technical planning AND SIMPLY HAVE POLICE OFFICERS IN COMMUNITIES HELPING CITIZENS WITH DAILY LIFE. A police officer knows all of this crime and violence comes from people not having jobs SO WORK TO GET PEOPLE JOBS----The idea that the police department works for the MAYOR and not the people is what Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons have in place to make this dynamic impossible.
So, a police officer looks at white collar crime and government corruption as the source of community crime on his beat AND HE/SHE DOES NOT TOLERATE IT.
The emphasis becomes police focused on Constitutional rights of people in their daily enforcement.
Below you see an arbitrary set of descriptions for a Political Era vs Reform Era policing strategy set in play around the FDR era. The fraud and corruption Political Era is replaced by a heavy dose of POLICING BY THE BOOK. Neither of these approaches are right---it is a pendulum swinging from one extreme to another. The discussion by this writer is a good one and I like the reference at the end to a Sir Robert Peel's Nine Policing Policies.
Barney Fife of Mayberry said it right----a sheriff doesn't serve strictly by the book---he is the friend of everyone in town and most serve with his heart.
Evolution of Policing-The Reform Era Of Policing America
The BADGE GUYS.com
After the corruption and chaos resulting from the Political Era of policing exemplified by “Boss” Tweed and the Tammany Hall machinery; pressure rose to reform the administration of policing, along with the mission focus within policing. Technological advances such as cars, radios and telephones dramatically influenced how policing was performed and changed the relationship between police and the citizens being served.
Reform Era Of Policing America – Just the Facts, Ma’am
The reform era of policing America was heavily influenced by the Progressive political movement which emphasized government reform and regulation of society to improve the living conditions of citizens. In policing, this was reflected in removing police from political control to a more centralized and standardized, non-partisan bureaucratic agency. Standards for police qualifications and education, an impartial and independent civil service board to oversee hiring, firing and disciplinary review were established in many jurisdictions with an emphasis on scientific inquiry and methodology to measure performance and efficiency. This era is best exemplified by the character “Joe Friday” on Dragnet (a 1950’s and 1960’s Police show) saying: “All we want are the facts,” which is more popularly remembered as
“Just the facts, Ma’am.”
While the Political Era of policing emphasized close relationships and contact between police and the communities they served on foot patrol with very little oversight from command structure, the Reform era put police officers in patrol cars, with much closer supervision by their chain of command. The emphasis moved from resolving community problems and political influence to the more narrow focus on fighting crime and “impartially” enforcing laws through autonomous police science. Measurement of officer activity, such as traffic tickets issued, number of calls answered and number of arrests made became the driving force behind policing, often to the exclusion of the quality of community relationships or the impact of police methods on solving problems faced by the community being served.
The emphasis on statistics increased pressure on officers to minimize time spent on calls. It also minimized contact and interaction between law abiding citizens to focus on apprehension of criminals, patrolling in cars to deter and detect criminal activity and led to the development of specialized units to address problem areas not being addressed through patrol methodology, such as vice, narcotics and SWAT. The emphasis on efficiency, specialization and measurable performance detached policing from a holistic approach involving community partnership to a narrow, more bureaucratic, “take a number” approach. It also changed citizen response to policing; more responsibility was handed over for issues normally handled through family and community intervention. Rather than a partnership, for citizens, policing became autonomous experts to rely on to solve even relatively minor problems, relieving them of previous levels of involvement and responsibility of community oversight.
Reform Era Policing-Field Experiences
During my tenure as a Sheriff’s deputy, I observed both positive and negative aspects to the influences of the Reform Era. The positive aspects were the increased emphasis on policing being a profession with standards of competence, education, training and performance. In spite of some political influence in selection for hiring, firing or promotion, the civil service board or union provided checks and balances which ensured some measure of recourse for individual officers, as well as the community, in the event of unfair treatment.
The negative aspects of the Reform Era was the emphasis on defining policing as enforcing the law with insufficient regard for the impact of police methodology on the citizenry. Often, the institutional attitude became an adversarial “us versus them” including law abiding citizens, justified by the idea that “citizens just don’t understand”.
While the increased level of training improved competency, it also tended to create the view that citizens could not make rational decisions about police activity or their own safety because they didn’t have the specialized training that the police had. In addition, citizens were often discouraged from being involved in any aspect of dealing with criminal activity, ostensibly due to fears of “vigilantism” or the citizens themselves being injured. This also led to the very ignorance of policing that reinforced the view that citizens could not effectively review police decisions.
While on patrol, I often heard comments like: “I’m not a social worker” as justification for poor people skills with victims and citizens on the margins of society. Those officers frequently resented having to deal with calls for service that didn’t fit neatly into the “crime fighter” mode of policing, such as dealing with runaway children, the mentally ill or family disputes.
There was often a disconnect between a sense of accountability with citizens over laws being enforced justified by the attitude that police didn’t make the laws, they just enforced them. Waco, Ruby Ridge and the disarming of citizens in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina are among many disturbing and uncomfortable incidents of enforcing laws without regard to the impact of that enforcement on citizens and the community. To be fair, this is not just a problem to lie at the door of policing. There is plenty of blame to pass onto both the citizenry and those they elect, some with dubious competence and character, making the laws police are enforcing.
Reform Era Policing-What Can Be Learned?
Reforms from the Political Era significantly helped reduce the level of corruption and provided improved measures to deal with police abuses, even though imperfectly. That said, too often, the proverbial baby is thrown out with the bathwater during attempts to reform. In my professional opinion, while reforms improved many aspects of policing, it overlooked and de-emphasized the fundamental pillars of policing attributed to an early icon of police, Sir Robert Peel, the founder of the Metropolitan Police in England. He was attributed with “The Nine Principles of Policing” which presciently captured the best of each era of policing. Perhaps returning to fundamentals will restore balance needed in the complex world of policing.
Sir Robert Peel’s Nine Principles:
1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.
3. Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
4. The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionally to the necessity of the use of physical force.
5. Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.
7. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police: the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.
What impacts of the reform era have on the focus of policing? Did an important connection with the public and police get lost during the Reform Era of policing? Do you think it’s of value to rethink the crime fighter versus social worker aspects of policing? I welcome your thoughts and comments below.
4. Stop pretending to be hiring from the community when you are bringing in people that fit a global security/policing model.......get rid of higher education standards as we do not want technology-driven policing driving all policing actions.
Anyone living in Baltimore's underserved communities know how this program below worked out----the community policing policy of hiring police from citizens living in the community they served became bringing people from around the nation to Baltimore to live in a community after which they would be hired as a police officer. In most cases these recruited new citizens would be tied to militarized policing and may very well have been employed by global security corporations in the past. So now we hear Baltimore citizens in underserved communities shouting AGAINST ALL THESE POLICE FROM PLACES OTHER THAN BALTIMORE.
Knowing Eric Holder could care less about civil rights or police brutality in the US because he is a global corporate lawyer working to install Trans Pacific Trade Pact and International Economic Zone policy----I knew right off the bat what this policy would look like as did the executives with this BLACK MEDIA OUTLET.
When people in Baltimore say there are not citizens in these underserved communities that have the requirements needed to be a police officer----whether it involves criminal record or education attainment---
I SAY THAT WOULD NOT BE TRUE IF ALL OF THE BOGUS CRIMINAL RECORDS ARE CLEARED AND WE REMOVE THE COLLEGE DEGREE REQUIREMENT FROM BEING A POLICE OFFICER.
Clinton and Obama neo-liberals pushed this new rule of police officers having degrees to 'professionalize' the coming privatized police force. Baltimore City Council and MAYOR followed suit ---if security and policing was going to be about computer surveillance, drones, and computerized grid deployment as ALL GLOBAL SECURITY AND MILITARY CONTRACTING OPERATIONS ARE-----then these police need college degrees----
AG Holder Announces $124 Million Community Police Hiring Grant
Sep 29, 2014
By D.L. Chandler News One for Black America
Attorney General Eric Holder (pictured) announced on Monday a $124 million hiring grant in the latest of the Justice Department’s goal to improve the quality of police forces nationwide. Alongside Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Director Ron Davis, the pair enacted the grant in support of strengthening community policing.
The grant will fund around 950 officers at 215 law enforcement agencies across the nation. The grant money is especially focused on three key areas: increasing community policing; bolstering crime reduction; and increasing public safety.
Both Holder and Davis issued statements regarding the grant, detailing the finer points and emphasizing its grand goal of supporting officers already in place in these communities as well as new hires by way of securing salary and crime reduction efforts.
From Attorney General Holder:
“These targeted investments will help to address acute needs – such as high rates of violent crime – funding 75 percent of the salary and benefits of every newly-hired or re-hired officer for three full years,” said Attorney General Holder. “The impact of this critical support will extend far beyond the creation and preservation of law enforcement jobs. It will strengthen relationships between these officers and the communities they serve, improve public safety and keep law enforcement officers on the beat.”
From Director Davis:
“The COPS Office is pleased to assist local law enforcement agencies throughout the country in addressing their most critical public safety issues,” said Director Davis. “Funding from this year’s program will allow many cities and counties to focus newly sworn personnel on issues related to violent crime, property crime and school safety.”
Referred to as the COPS Hiring Program, the grants will be awarded to state, local, and also tribal law enforcement agencies to hire or rehire from within the communities they serve. As explained by Holder, up to 75 percent of the entry-level salaries and basic benefits of full-time officers will be funded over a period of 36 months. The local agencies must match a minimum of 25 percent local funds with the federal maximum of funding capped at $125,000 per officer.
Grant award recipients for the 2014 portion of the program were selected for plans they submitted regarding strategies, exhibiting a financial need, and the rates of violent crimes in their communities.
COPS has provided funds to more than 125,000 officers serving 13,000 national agencies to date. It has also funded several organizations over the years with more than 700,000 people receiving training via its programs. Those individuals include government leaders, community organizers, and police officials among others. The COPS program is in its 20th year, providing more than $14 billion in hiring efforts among national agencies.
5. Eliminate barriers to citizens from communities being hired as police officers. How well a police department operates comes from the top-----the administration and policies set by commanders and Baltimore City Hall.
Does having a college degree really have anything to do with getting rid of racist police officers or is that just progressive posing?
THAT IS JUST PROGRESSIVE POSING. SINCE CLINTON AND OBAMA NEO-LIBERALS SPENT THESE SEVERAL YEARS DISMANTLING ALL AVENUES OF AMERICAN CITIZENS ACCESSING 4 YEAR UNIVERSITIES WE KNOW WHERE THIS GOES.
I don't even what to make this an issue of how many black citizens have 4 year degrees although that is an obvious start. I want to remove this idea that the public sector needs to be professionalized in order to operate. Baltimore City is run by the very neo-conservative Johns Hopkins----Ivy League policies killing the American people so it is not the degree-holding public employees----
IT IS THE BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL AND MAYOR CREATING THE LAWS AND ADMINSTRATION PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYEES FOLLOW.
If you are creating an International Economic Zone and all the autocratic surveillance, spying, drones, and SMART CITY technology used in lieu of people---all you need on the police department rolls are people with technology degrees to operate these systems. Same goes for drone warfare and privatized K-12.
IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN POLICY TO SUBSIDIZE HIGHER-EDUCATION TUITION FOR ALL PUBLIC EMPLOYEES---SO WE ALREADY HAVE A LADDER TO CLIMB---THE PROBLEM IS THEY ARE TAKING AWAY THAT LADDER.
THIS IS NOT A STEP TOWARDS COMMUNITY POLICING.
Requiring Officers To Have College Degrees Could Reduce Racist Police Shootings, But Will It Reduce Number of Black Cops?December 2, 2014 | Posted by Taylor Gordon
Memorial in honor of Michael Brown
Credit: Christian Gooden/Post-Dispatch/Polaris
As the headlines rage about police abusing and killing Black children, the nation has been posed with a serious question: What needs to be done to make law enforcement more effective and prevent more police killings of unarmed Black men?
The immediate answer for many people is to increase racial diversity, but some are suggesting that higher educational requirements for officers are just as essential if America has any hope of changing the face of its police force.
“The sad truth is that we as a society don’t expect, nor do we encourage, our best and our brightest to become police officers,” The Daily Beast columnist Keli Goff recently wrote.
Goff explained that once a person graduates from college, they are often encouraged to go into fields that offer higher rates for entry level pay and actually require a college degree in order to apply.
“I want to be clear. I am not one of those people who believe anyone with a college degree is by definition smarter than those without one,” Goff continued. “…But I also believe that having too much of the same worldview is rarely a good thing.”
Currently, a vast majority of police officers do not have college degrees and about 1 percent of police agencies in the U.S. require a four-year college degree, according to a 2013 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Multiple studies have suggested that officers with college degrees are able to perform better than other officers and were even less likely to make racially biased mistakes that other officers made, according to USA Today.
Another study cited in Police Chief Magazine indicated that officers with a four-year degree were able to perform just as well, if not better, than officers who had 10 years of additional experience.
These studies are exactly what encouraged the Plano, Texas Police Department about eight years ago to make a four-year degree a requirement for those who wished to join the force.
“An average patrol officer spends most of the time on dispute resolution,” Louis Mayo, executive director of the Police Association for College Education, told USA Today back in 2006.
Mayo added that a college education can give officers “a broad perspective that makes them much more effective.”
Many of the departments that did require college degrees in the past have been forced to change these requirements in recent years after struggling to recruit enough officers.
In 2012 the median pay reported for police officers was $56,980 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and this number included top ranking leadership positions that make far more than the average patrol officers.
Many departments, like the Philadelphia Police Department, reported entry-level salaries for officers that were closer to $46,000.
These salaries simply aren’t competitive enough to attract many college graduates or to convince citizens to apply for a job that requires them to put their lives on the line on a daily basis.
Many have suggested that the entry-level salary for police officers should be increased to justify making a four-year degree a requirement, but this comes with its own set of problems.
For one, there is no guarantee that higher pay will be enough to attract college graduates, as the Plano Police Department discovered when they still had a degree as a part of their recruiting requirements. The department lowered the educational requirements because they couldn’t seem to fill all the vacancies in the department with the higher requirements.
Then there is the issue of racial diversity and how making a college degree a requirement could drastically impact the amount of African-Americans on the police force.
With a disproportionately low amount of African Americans attending college and even fewer graduating from four-year universities, there are concerns that making a college education a requirement could whitewash police forces across the nation.
This would be particularly troublesome since police forces are already struggling with racial diversity.
Other departments have turned to incentivizing recruits to get a college education, but not making it a requirement to join the force.
The police department in Los Angeles offer recruits higher entry-level pay if they have graduated from a four-year university and offer additional bonuses for those who speak multiple languages, according to USA Today.
“Police officers need the (college) degree, not only for what it brings to individual officers and their departments but also for what the degree brings to policing,” Georgia State University criminal justice professor Robert Friedmann wrote in an essay.
For now, it seems like higher education requirements may not be a practical solution in larger cities that are faced with hundreds of vacancies every year but it could serve as a plausible part of the solution to police brutality in smaller cities.
6. Hire the staff in the court system needed to keep these court records accurate and build a pathway for citizens wanting to protest failure to expunge in a timely manner. All of this is simple constitutional requirements to Due Process that is ignored in Maryland because there is no public justice staffing.
In Baltimore, Baltimore City Council and Maryland Assembly pols pushing the worst of deregulation and privatization of Baltimore's police department try hard to pose progressive as Baltimore citizens become enraged at the level of injustice so they come up with progressive posing policy that means very little. We saw that with the BAN THE BOX laws that were sold as protecting people filling out job applications.
Employers now have immediate access to all job applicant's history with no need for this BOX on employment applications. This law was written by ALEC---global corporations.
The same is true with the law below. The idea that we need a law to expunge a criminal record of someone not even charged or convicted of a crime shows how unconstitutional Maryland's laws and enforcement has become. The Baltimore City Council and MAYOR can take the time to expunge ALL ZERO TOLERANCE BOGUS CHARGES AT ONE TIME. They have had the power since the O'Malley mass jailing policies to remove these records of people simply picked up and put into jail for no reason. This still happens in Baltimore today. Many of Baltimore's black men fall into this category and simply removing this opens lots of people living in underserved communities to be police officers in that community.
Much of this comes from lack of public employees doing these corrections-----some of it has to do with using zero tolerance to force citizens out of Baltimore City.
The Maryland Assembly is gutting funding of court administration which is taking Baltimore in the wrong direction.
These new progressive posing laws come at the same time all public housing and public service programs are slated to close---which is why all these bogus charges were left on people's records as ALL BALTIMORE POLS KNOW.
New state laws to help Marylanders clear arrest records
Weekend story. Many more people will be eligible for expungement under changes to state law coming
Oct. 1. The law will expand the t
Lloyd Fox / Baltimore SunEric C. Broyles, Esq. is the key note speaker at the Expungement Fair held at the New Shiloh Baptist Church. Many more people will be eligible for expungement under changes to state law coming Oct. 1.
Eric C. Broyles, Esq. is the key note speaker at the Expungement Fair held at the New Shiloh Baptist Church. Many more people will be eligible for expungement under changes to state law coming Oct. 1.
(Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun)
Alison KnezevichContact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
New laws will help more Marylanders have arrest records expungedTavon Wheeler believes his arrest history is holding him back.
Over the years, the 31-year-old Baltimore man has been charged with violations such as disorderly conduct and having an open container of alcohol.In each instance, court records show, the charges were dropped or postponed indefinitely, or he received probation before judgment. But they have remained on the public record, where prospective employers can find them online.
So when he found out he could have many of the charges expunged — removed from public view — it gave him motivation to press forward.
"This is a blessing," he said.
Under new state laws that take effect Thursday, many more Marylanders will be able to clear minor charges from their records — and, officials say, fare better in the employment market.
The legislation, approved this year by the Democratic-controlled General Assembly and signed by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, is part of a national reassessment of the tough-on-crime, mass-arrest mentality of the 1990s and 2000s, in light of the far-reaching consequences it has had on many communities.
Maryland expungements double in past decade
Jin KimStudies show that minorities, who are more likely to be arrested, have been affected disproportionately.
"It's obvious that interaction with law enforcement is not just a criminal justice issue, it's an employment issue," said Caryn Aslan, senior policy advocate at the Job Opportunities Task Force in Baltimore. "A large segment of our working population is effectively unemployable as a result of a prior blemish."
Legislatures across the country are passing "ban the box" measures to limit the ability of employers to ask job applicants about their criminal records, reconsidering restrictions on applicants for food stamps and other benefits, and allowing the expungement of some charges to make it easier for those with criminal backgrounds to get a fresh start.
(Alison Knezevich)The Maryland laws will expand the number and types of charges that can be expunged and for the first time give people the ability to hide certain misdemeanor convictions.
The number of expungements has grown steadily in Maryland over the past decade, from 15,800 in 2004 to about 33,800 in 2014, according to legislative analysts.
There is no official estimate of how many people will be eligible to cleanse their records under the new laws, but advocates expect a substantial number. About 73,000 criminal cases were dropped in district courts in Maryland last year, but they still left a mark that could be viewed by the public.
Advances in technology have given employers and landlords easy access to such information. Even if a person is not convicted, records of interaction with law enforcement can hurt a job search.
"People who aren't attorneys may not necessarily know what all those things mean," said Lonni Summers, a staff attorney with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service.
Under one new law, people may seek the expungement of convictions for offenses that are no longer a crime, such as possession of small amounts of marijuana, which was decriminalized last year.
People will also be able to shield convictions for certain misdemeanors, including disorderly conduct, prostitution and trespassing, from public view. Police and certain licensing boards will still be able to access the information.
Another new law repeals the so-called subsequent conviction rule. People may have eligible charges expunged even if they are later convicted of another crime.
"It's almost a no-brainer; if you're not convicted of something, you should be able to have it expunged," said Del. Jill Carter, a Baltimore Democrat who sponsored the bill.
Critics of the new laws say employers need as much information as possible about an arrest history when deciding who to hire.
"It's too late when somebody steals $5,000 or $10,000 from you," said Del. John Cluster, a Baltimore County Republican.
Cluster, a retired county police sergeant, said the shielding law went too far by allowing people to shield multiple offenses.
"It goes to character, whether you can trust that person," Cluster said. "My concern is that people are going to be trusting people [and] they really don't know their full background."
The Maryland Chamber of Commerce opposed the changes.
"Fundamentally, we do not agree that government should tell businesses how to run their business," said Deriece Pate Bennett, a lobbyist for the chamber. She said businesses should be able to gather as much information about prospective employees as possible for liability and safety reasons.
The Maryland Multi-Housing Association opposed an initial version of the shielding measure because it would have allowed people to hide misdemeanor theft convictions from view, according to association lobbyist Tommy Tompsett.
Once theft was removed from the legislation, the association supported the bill.
"The misdemeanors that are in there shouldn't necessarily be an impediment to housing or employment," he said.
A growing number of states are helping people make fresh starts. In a report last year, the Vera Institute of Justice said at least 31 had passed measures since 2009 to expand expungement or seal more records. The New York-based group, which studies and proposes solutions to problems in the criminal justice system, says more states have passed such measures since then.
Policymakers have "connected the dots," said Ram Subramanian, an author of the report. "If they are going to reduce the recidivism rate" — the rate at which ex-convicts reoffend and return to prison — "they should not prevent people from getting housing, getting an education, getting employment."
Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby has supported second chances for nonviolent offenders, hosting events such as a community day in July at which people could learn how to bounce back from a criminal conviction.
Professor Michael Pinard, co-director of the Clinical Law Program at the University of Maryland's law school, said bipartisan support is growing for the idea of being "smart on crime," not just tough on crime.
"Many people with many ideological differences agree that we are spending an exorbitant amount of money on our criminal justice system and we get very little in return," Pinard said.
A criminal record can be a significant barrier to employment, Pinard said, especially for minority job applicants. "Sometimes the real punishment takes place after the person exits the criminal justice system," he said.
Wheeler was working as a parking garage attendant years ago when the company discovered he had an arrest record. He said management placed him on probationary status.
"For almost a year, I worked with no benefits," Wheeler said.
The legal and nonprofit communities are planning outreach events to teach people about the new laws. An all-day expungement and shielding clinic is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday at New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore. Participants will receive an overview of state policies and get help filling out court forms.
People lined a sidewalk outside the New Shiloh Baptist Church's Family Life Center in Baltimore one morning last week waiting to attend an "expungement fair" hosted by Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake.
Participants heard from attorneys and met with employers who were willing to hire people with criminal histories.
"You need to develop a narrative and it's got to be your narrative, not what society says or somebody else says," attorney Eric Broyles told the crowd.
7. IF YOU ARE NOT SPENDING MONEY TO BUILD A SYSTEM OF OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY OF COMMUNITY POLICING AND JUVENILE CRIME PREVENTION ACTIONS THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY SYSTEM----TO GIVE A HISTORY OF INTERACTIONS OF YOUTH THROUGH ADULT----YOU ARE NOT COMMITTED TO COMMUNITY POLICING.
Know who knows what community policing looks like? THE CITIZENS IN UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES. I hear plenty of good ideas from REAL community leaders not tied to simply installing public policy being handed down from Obama and Clinton neo-liberals at the national level.
One of the best movements for community policing and juvenile criminal prevention IS CREATING THE STRUCTURE OF OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY THAT FOLLOWS ALL OF THE GROUPS TIED TO THIS PROCESS. Everyone in the city knows that the approach to these policing and juvenile prevention policies mirrors all funding and programs sent from Baltimore City Hall -----they throw a few million dollars at the problem----create several corporate nono-profits categorized as 'social' so corporations can get a tax deduction-----and simply allow all of it to die because there is no Baltimore City agency tasked with following all the work being done in the communities-----no one accumulating all the data-----providing a long-range data set for an individual juvenile-----
IF A POLITICIAN KEEPS THROWING THESE NON-PROFITS AND FUNDING PRETENDING THIS WILL HELP WHILE GUTTING FUNDING AND JOBS IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR THAT WOULD BE THIS OVERSIGHT----THEY COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THE SUCCESS OF ANY PROGRAM.
Below you see the basic steps for ANY COMMUNITY INTERVENTION INCLUDING POLICING AND JUVENILE CRIME PREVENTION----and you see how detailed and complex this oversight and accountability is. There is not a single example of this including Baltimore City Hall CITI STAT---- that creates this kind of look at issues that are not development oriented. We don't want to use this as a research application but it is a good tool for designing a public sector oversight of all the various interventions from all kinds of different community sources.
PLEASE STOP ALLOWING BALTIMORE POLS TO SIMPLY THROW MONEY AT THESE ISSUES----THEY DO NOT WANT TO SEND THE MONEY OR HIRE THE PEOPLE NEEDED TO DO THE JOB RIGHT BECAUSE ITS ALL ABOUT SHOW ME THE MONEY WALL STREET DEVELOPMENT.
Designing an intervention, and doing it well, isn't necessarily an easy task. There are a lot of steps involved, and a lot of work to be done, if you are going to do it well. But by systematically going through the process, you are able to catch mistakes before they happen; you can stand on the shoulders of those who have done this work before you and learn from their successes and failures'.
Designing Community Interventions
Adapted from "Conducting intervention research: The design and development process" by Stephen B. Fawcett et al.
•What is an intervention?
•Why should you develop interventions?
•When should you develop an intervention?
•How do you develop an intervention?
You've put together a group of motivated, savvy people, who really want to make a difference in the community. Maybe you want to increase adults' physical activity and reduce risks for heart attacks; perhaps you want kids to read more and do better in school. Whatever you want to do, the end is clear enough, but the means--ah, the means are giving you nightmares. How do you reach that goal your group has set for itself? What are the best things to do to achieve it?
Generally speaking, what you're thinking about is intervening in people's environments, making it easier and more rewarding for people to change their behaviors. In the case of encouraging people's physical activity, you might provide information about opportunities, increase access to opportunities, and enhance peer support. Different ways to do this are called, sensibly enough, interventions. Comprehensive interventions combine the various components needed to make a difference.
What is an intervention?
But what exactly is an intervention? Well, what it is can vary. It might be a program, a change in policy, or a certain practice that becomes popular. What is particularly important about interventions, however is what they do. Interventions focus on people's behaviors, and how changes in the environment can support those behaviors. For example, a group might have the goal of trying to stop men from raping women.
However, it's clearly not enough to broadcast messages saying, "You shouldn't commit a rape." And so, interventions that are more successful attempt to improve the conditions that allow and encourage those behaviors to occur. So interventions that might be used to stop rape include:
•Improving street lighting to make it easier to avoid potential attackers
•A "safe ride" program giving free rides so people don't need to walk alone after dark
•Skills training on date rape and how to avoid it, so that women will practice more careful decision making on dates with men they don't know well, especially in regard to using alcohol and drugs
•Policy changes such as stronger penalties on people who commit rapes, or that simplify the process a rape victim must go through to bring the perpetrator to justice
Why should you develop interventions?
There are many strong advantages to using interventions as a means to achieve your goals. Some are very apparent; some possibly less so. Some of the more important of these advantages are:
•By designing and implementing interventions in a clear, systematic manner, you can improve the health and well-being of your community and its residents.
•Interventions promote understanding of the condition you are working on and its causes and solutions. Simply put, when you do something well, people notice, and the word slowly spreads. In fact, such an intervention can produce a domino effect, sparking others to understand the issue you are working on and to work on it themselves.
For example, a grade school principal in the Midwest was struck by the amount of unsupervised free time students had between three and six o'clock, when their parents got home from work. From visiting her own mother in a nursing home, she knew, too, of the loneliness felt by many residents of such homes. So she decided to try to lessen both problems by starting a "Caring Hearts" program. Students went to nursing homes to see elders after school once or twice a week to visit, play games, and exchange stories.
Well, a reporter heard about the program, and did a feature article on it on the cover of the "Community Life" section of the local newspaper. The response was tremendous. Parents from all across town wanted their children involved, and similar programs were developed in several schools throughout the town.
•To do what you are already doing better. Finally, learning to design an intervention properly is important because you are probably doing it already. Most of us working to improve the health and well-being of members of our community design (or at least run) programs, or try to change policies such as local laws or school board regulations, or try to change the things some people regularly practice. By better understanding the theories behind choosing, designing, and developing an intervention, you will improve on the work you are currently doing.
When should you develop an intervention?
It makes sense to develop or redesign an intervention when:
•There is a community issue or problem that local people and organizations perceive as an unfilled need
•Your organization has the resources, ability, and desire to fill that need, and
•You have decided that your group is the appropriate one to accomplish it
The last of these three points deserves some explanation. There will always be things that your organization could do, that quite probably should be left to other organizations or individuals. For example, a volunteer crisis counseling center might find they have the ability to serve as a shelter for people needing a place to stay for a few nights. However, doing so would strain their resources and take staff and volunteers away from the primary mission of the agency.
In cases like this, where could does not equal should, your organization might want to think twice about developing a new intervention that will take away from the mission.
How do you develop an intervention?
So, people are mobilized, the coffee's hot, and you're ready to roll. Your group is ready to take on the issue--you want to design an intervention that will really improve conditions in the area. How do you start?
Decide what needs to happen
This could be a problem that needs to be solved, such as, "too many students are dropping out of school." However, it might be also a good thing, and you want to find a way to make more of it happen. For example, you might want to find a way to convince more adults to volunteer with school-aged children. At this point, you will probably want to define the problem broadly, as you will be learning more about it in the next few steps. Keep in mind these questions as you think about this:
•What behavior needs to change?
•Whose behavior needs to change?
•If people are going to change their behavior, what changes in the environment need to occur to make it happen? For example, if you want people to recycle, you'll have much better results if there is easy access to recycling bins.
•What specific changes should happen as a result of the intervention?
You don't need to have answers to all of these questions at this point. In fact, it's probably better to keep an open mind until you gather more information, including by talking with people who are affected (we'll get to that in the next few steps ). But thinking about these questions will help orient you and get you geared in the right direction.
Use a measurement system to gather information about the level of the problem
You will need to gather information about the level of the problem before you do anything to see if it is as serious as it seems, and to establish a standard for later improvement (or worsening).
Measurement instruments include:
•Direct observations of behavior. For example, you can watch whether merchants sell alcohol to people under the age of 21.
•Behavioral surveys. For example, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asks questions about drug use, unprotected sexual activity, and violence.
•Interviews with key people. For example, you might ask about changes in programs, policies, and practices that the group helped bring about.
•Review of archival or existing records. For example, we might look at records of the rate of adolescent pregnancy, unemployment, or children living in poverty.
The group might review the level of the problem over time to detect trends--is the problem getting better or worse? It also might gather comparison information-- how are we doing compared to other, similar communities?
Decide who the intervention should help
In a childhood immunization program, your interventions would be aimed at helping children. Likewise, in a program helping people to live independently, the intervention would try to help older adults or people with disabilities. Your intervention might not be targeted at all, but be for the entire community. For example, perhaps you are trying to increase the amount of policing to make local parks safer. This change of law enforcement policy would affect people throughout the community.
Usually, interventions will target the people who will directly benefit from the intervention, but this isn't always the case. For example, a program to try to increase the number of parents and guardians who bring in their children for immunizations on time would benefit the children most directly. However, interventions wouldn't target them, since children aren't the ones making the decision. Instead, the primary "targets of change" for your interventions might be parents and health care professionals.
Before we go on, some brief definitions may be helpful. Targets of change are those people whose behavior you are trying to change. As we saw above, these people may be--but are not always--the same people who will benefit directly from the intervention. They often include others, such as public officials, who have the power to make needed changes in the environment. Agents of change are those people who can help make change occur. Examples might be local residents, community leaders, and policy makers. The "movers and the shakers," they are the ones who can make things happen--and who you definitely want to contribute to the solution.
Involve potential clients or end users of the intervention
Once you have decided broadly what should happen and who it should happen with, you need to make sure you have involved the people affected. Even if you think you know what they want--ask anyway. For your intervention to be successful, you can't have too much feedback. Some of these folks will likely have a perspective on the issue you hadn't even thought of.
Also, by asking for their help, the program becomes theirs. For example, by giving teachers and parents input in designing a "school success" intervention, they take "ownership" for the program. They become proud of it--which means they won't only use it, they?ll also support it and tell their friends, and word will spread.
Again, for ideas on how to find and choose these people, the section mentioned above on targets and agents of change may be helpful.
Identify the issues or problems you will attempt to solve together
There are a lot of ways in which you can talk with people affected about the information that interests you. Some of the more common methods include:
•Informal personal contact - just talking with people, and seeing what they have to say
When you are talking to people, try and get at the real issue--the one that is the underlying reason for what's going on. It's often necessary to focus not on the problem itself, but on affecting the cause of the problem.
For example, if you want to reduce the number of people in your town who are homeless, you need to find out why so many people in your town lack decent shelter: Do they lack the proper skills to get jobs? Is there a large mentally ill population that isn't receiving the help it should? Your eventual intervention may address deeper causes, seeming to have little to do with reducing homelessness directly, although that remains the goal.
Analyze these problems or the issue to be addressed in the intervention
Using the information you gathered in step five, you need to decide on answers to some important questions. These will depend on your situation, but many of the following questions might be appropriate for your purpose:
•What factors put people at risk for (or protect them against) the problem or concern?
•Whose behavior (or lack of behavior) caused the problem?
•Whose behavior (or lack of behavior) maintains the problem?
•For whom is the situation a problem?
•What are the negative consequences for those directly affected?
•What are the negative consequences for the community?
•Who, if anyone, benefits from things being the way they are now?
•How do they benefit?
•Who should share the responsibility for solving the problem?
•What behaviors need to change to consider the problem "solved"?
•What conditions need to change to address the issue or problem?
•How much change is necessary?
•At what level(s) should the problem be addressed? Is it something that should be addressed by individuals; by families working together; by local organizations or neighborhoods; or at the level of the city, town, or broader environment?
•Will you be able to make changes at the level(s) identified? This question includes technical capability, ensuring you have enough money to do it, and that it is going to be politically possible.
Set goals and objectives
When you have gotten this far, you are ready to set the broad goals and objectives of what the intervention will do. Remember, at this point you still have NOT decided what that intervention will be. This may seem a little backwards to your normal thinking--but we're starting from the finish line, and asking you to move backwards. Give it a try--we think it will work for you.
Specifically, you will want to answer the following questions as concretely as you can:
•What should the intervention accomplish? For example, your goal might be for most of the homeless people who are able to hold jobs do so by the end of the intervention.
•What will success look like? If your intervention is successful, how will you know it? How will you explain to other people that the intervention has worked? What are the "benchmarks" or indicators that show you are moving in the right direction?
•Finally, what are the specific objectives you want to achieve? When you are writing down your objectives, be as specific as possible. State how much change you want to see happen in what behaviors and activities. By whom? By when? ◦For example, you might say, "By 2010 (when), 80% of those now homeless (who) will be successfully employed at least part time (change sought)."
Learn what others have done
Now, armed with all of the information you have found so far, you are ready to start concentrating on the specific intervention itself. The easiest way to start this is by finding out what other people in your situation have done. Don't reinvent the wheel! There might be some "best practices"-- exceptional programs or policies--out there that are close to what you want to do. It's worth taking the time to try to find them.
Where do you look for promising approaches? There are a lot of possibilities, and how exhaustive your search will be will depend on the time and resources you have (not to mention how long it takes you to find something you like!) But some of the more common resources you might start with include:
•See what local examples are available. What has worked in your community? How about in nearby places? Can you figure out why it worked? If possible, talk to the people responsible for those approaches, and try to understand why and how they did what they did.
•Look for examples of what has been done in articles and studies in related fields. Sources might be professional journals, such as the American Journal of Public Health, or even occasionally, general news magazines. Also, look at interventions that have been done for related problems--perhaps they can be adapted for use by your group. Information and awareness events, for example, tend to be general in nature--you can do a similar event and change what it's for. A 5-K race might be planned, for example, to raise awareness of and money for breast cancer, to protest environmental destruction, and so on.
•National conferences. If you can, attending national meetings or conferences on the problem or issue you are trying to solve can give you excellent insight on some of the "best practices" that are out there.
Brainstorm ideas of your own
Take a sheet of paper and write down all of the possibilities you can think of. If you are deciding as a group, this could be done on poster paper attached to a wall, so everyone can see the possibilities-- this often works to help people come up with other ideas. Be creative!
Try to decide what interventions or parts of interventions have worked, and what might be applicable to your situation
What can your organization afford to do? And by afford, we mean financially, politically, time, and resource wise. For example, how much time can you put into this? Will the group lose stature in the community, or support from certain people, by doing a particular intervention?
When you are considering interventions done by others, look specifically for ones that are:
•Appropriate - Do they fit the group's purpose?
•Effective - Did they make a difference on behavior and outcome?
•Replicable - Are the details and results of what happened in the original intervention explained well enough to repeat what was done? Unfortunately, this isn't always the case--many people, when you talk to them, will say, "Oh! We just did it! "
•Simple - Is it clear enough for people in your group to do?
•Practical - Do we have the time and money to do this?
•Compatible with your situation - Does it fit local needs, resources, and values
Identify barriers and resistance you might come up against
What barriers and resistance might we face? How can they be overcome? Be prepared for whatever may come your way.
For example, a youth group to prevent substance abuse wanted to outlaw smoking on the high school campus by everyone, including the teachers and other staff members. However, they knew they would come up against resistance among teachers and staff members who smoked. How might they overcome that opposition?
Identify core components and elements of the intervention
Here is where we get to the nuts and bolts of designing an intervention.
First, decide the core components that will be used in the intervention. Much like broad strategies, these are the general things you will do as part of the intervention. They are the "big ideas" that can then be further broken down.
There are four classes of components to consider when designing your intervention:
1.Providing information and skills training
2.Enhancing support and resources
3.Modifying access and barriers
4.Monitoring and giving feedback
A comprehensive intervention will choose components for each of these four categories. For example, a youth mentoring program might choose the following components:
•For providing information and skills training, a component might be recruitment of youth and mentors
•For enhancing support and reinforcement, a component might be arranging celebrations among program participants
•For modifying access and barriers, a component might be making it easier to volunteer
•For monitoring and giving feedback, a component might be tracking the number of young people and volunteers involved
Next, decide the specific elements that compose each of the components. These elements are the distinct activities that will be done to implement the components.
For example, a comprehensive effort to prevent youth smoking might include public awareness and skills training, restricting tobacco advertising, and modifying access to tobacco products. For the component of trying to modify access, an element of this strategy might be to do 'stings' at convenience stores to see which merchants are selling tobacco illegally to teens. Another element might be to give stiffer penalties to teens who try to buy cigarettes, and to those merchants who sell.
Develop an action plan to carry out the intervention
When you are developing your action plan, you will want it to answer the following questions:
•What components and elements will be implemented?
•Who should implement what by when?
•What resources and support are needed? What are available?
•What potential barriers or resistance are expected? How will they be minimized?
•What individuals or organizations need to be informed? What do you need to tell them?
Pilot-test your intervention
None of us likes to fall flat on our face, but frankly, it's a lot easier when there aren't very many people there to watch us, and when there isn't a lot on the line. By testing your intervention on a small scale, you have the chance to work out the bugs and get back on your feet before the crowd comes in. When doing your pilot test, you need to do the following things:
•Decide how the intervention will be tested on a small scale
•Evaluate your results
•Pay particular attention to unintended consequences or side effects that you find when you evaluate your work
•Use feedback from those who tried the intervention to simplify and refine your plan
Implement your intervention
If you have followed all of the steps above, implementing your action plan will be easier. Go to it!
Constantly monitor and evaluate your work
When the wheels are turning and things seem to be under control, congratulations! You have successfully implemented your intervention! But of course, the work never ends. It's important to see if the intervention is working, and to "tweak" it and make changes as necessary.
Designing an intervention, and doing it well, isn't necessarily an easy task. There are a lot of steps involved, and a lot of work to be done, if you are going to do it well. But by systematically going through the process, you are able to catch mistakes before they happen; you can stand on the shoulders of those who have done this work before you and learn from their successes and failures.