Militarizing police 
is a slippery slope

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Not Freida Cook - Am a Relative - Patrick Rodgers - Ferguson, Missouri has been the classic “Chinese Fire Drill” of law enforcement incompetency since long before the day of the shooting. 

First, with a population of 70% minority, the Police Department should have been using Community Policing philosophy in dealing with all stakeholders of the community.  Community Policing in it’s simplist definition is nothing more than Police and Citizens working together to build a partnership for problem identification and solving.  If that partnership exists, the direct result is a level of trust that can withstand negative incidents.  The people would have trusted their partners (Police)and been patient while a thorough investigation of the shooting was conducted.  Instead, in Ferguson, there was no partnership, no trust and widespread dissention and concern by the public. 

Second, was the infusion of outside agitators, local street hoods and the have not element, which attached themselves to the legitimate protest group.  They then broke away and rioted, looted and burned. 

Thirdly, was the failure of law enforcement to have a Strategic Mutual Aid Agreement in place for a disaster event, natural or man made.  Had such an element existed, a Standard Operating Procedure would hae been in writing and have been practiced in annual exercises.  This Plan would determine whih agencies would respond, with what equipment and who would be in charge (Chain of Command).  A central staging area would have been located at the Incident Command Post and specific assignments and geographic areas of responsibility would have been given to the responders.  All of the responders would have had previous training in mob and riot control tactics and know exactly what to do in various types of encounters which presented themselves.  Logistic arrangement would have been established at the Command Post as well as regular media releases to keep the public appraised of what was happening.  A dusk to dawn curfew should have been declared from the moment the riot started.  Anyone on the streets who failed to disperse after an unlawful assembly order was given would have been arrested on the spot.  The standing by and watching businesses being looted would never have happened. 

Moral of the story is, there is adequate blame to go around in Ferguson.  Regardless of how the shooting investigation turns out, after the politicans and media leave Ferguson, the Police and Citizens will still be there.  It will take many years of hard work by both side to heal the wounds, that is if the town wants to heal them.  It should be noted, there are many communities across the country where similar discord exists and much work remains to be done in resolving those issues and assuring safety and security for all citizens.



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