To the Editor:
During the summer of 2020, many protests for racial justice and civil rights erupted all over the country. Many of these protests were an ongoing series of street demonstrations calling out police brutality and racism that tragically highlighted the murder of George Floyd.
In November of 2020, the California Police Chiefs Association and Peace Officers Research Association of California introduced legislation where either higher education should be required for new officers or the minimum of 25 years old for an age requirement.
Despite the long hours, officers have many duties and are expected to resolve many serious issues at a high standard. With this new legislation, it calls for the increase in training and credentialing to reduce the use of excessive force by police.
I do agree with this legislation, because with these new requirements it will allow for officers to decrease police brutality, be more problem-oriented and have a better relationship with the community. It will build officers to be better leaders and help them identify best practices.
Requiring the four-year degree will also allow officers to have more positive influence and a better understanding of criminal procedure.
The data demonstrates that college-educated officers have been seen to have fewer citizen complaints, are less likely to be terminated for misconduct, and are less likely to use force in encounters with subjects. It has also been seen that college-educated officers excel in areas such as policing and report-writing.
I believe that having a college degree and the age requirement will allow officers to have a better understanding of how to address certain situations, especially when it comes to making split-second decisions to protect the health and safety of the public in dangerous situations.
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