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How US Police Training Compares with the Rest of the World


Professor Pigworth
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I was just reading an article about the tragic shooting by police of a 15-year-old girl in LA. She was shot by a stray bullet whilst in a dressing room at a department store. Police were firing at someone they thought had a gun.  Only after killing him (and the girl), police discovered that he never had a gun. 

Although tragic, such occurrences are not exactly rare in the US. 

Could this have happened in any other country?  Yes, but it's much more likely to happen in the US with its well-established gun culture and fear by police that a suspect might be armed.  And, perhaps even more importantly, it happens because American police officers aren't as well trained as the police in other countries, which leads to conflicts quickly escalating.  

What is the solution to the excessive number of people being killed by police and also the alarming number of civilians killing each other?  The easy answer is to just do what other countries do. 

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How US Police Training Compares with the Rest of the World

 

More people are killed by police in the US than in any other developed country, and there are growing calls for improved training to reduce the use of lethal force.

We've looked into what training US police officers receive, and how it compares with other parts of the world.

How many people are killed by police?

About 1,000 people a year are killed by police officers in the US, according to an independent project that tracks police violence. Most are shot dead.

The majority of the world's police forces carry firearms, but no developed nation uses them against their citizens as often as officers in the US -- and disproportionately against African-Americans, compared with the percentage of the population they represent.

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Part of this is to do with gun culture -- the US is home to around half of the world's civilian-held firearms.

In 2020, fewer than 10% of people killed by police were recorded as unarmed.

Rashawn Ray, professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, says: "In most states people can carry guns either on their body or in their vehicles, so that escalates things for police -- they instantly perceive that anyone can be a threat."

 

In the same year, officers killed more than 20 times as many civilians -- and some argue the use of force is disproportionate to the threat, with better training needed to de-escalate situations.

Prof Ray says: "Nine out of 10 calls for law enforcement have nothing to do with violence at all, and while they definitely encounter violent situations that could escalate, often... it's police officers who are escalating the situation."

How long does police training take?

There are around 18,000 police agencies in the US, but with no national standards on training, procedures and timescales vary across the country.

On average, US officers spend around 21 weeks training before they are qualified to go on patrol.

That is far less than in most other developed countries, according to a report by the Institute for Criminal Justice Training Reform (ICJTR).

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The report looked at police training requirements in more than 100 countries and found that the US had among the lowest, in terms of average hours required.

Also, many other countries require officers to have a university degree -- or equivalent -- before joining the police, but in the US most forces just require the equivalent of a high-school diploma.

In England and Wales, it has recently become mandatory for officers to have an academic degree.

Maria Haberfeld, professor of police science at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says: "Some police forces in Europe have police university, where training lasts for three years -- for me the standouts are Norway and Finland."

Finland has one the highest gun-ownership rates in Europe, with around 32 civilian firearms per 100 people -- but incidents of police shooting civilians are extremely rare.

What type of training do police get?

US police academies spend far more time on firearms training than on de-escalating a situation -- 71 hours against 21, on average, according to a 2013 US Bureau of Justice Statistics report.

And in the US, the escalation of force is at the discretion of the officer, whereas in countries such as Norway and Finland, there are more rigorous rules as to what is considered justified use of force.

Prof Haberfeld says: "Most of the training in the US is focused on various types of use of force, primarily the various types of physical force. The communication skills are largely ignored by most police academies.

"This is why you see officers very rapidly escalating from initial communication to the actual physical use of force, because this is how they train."

 

ICJTR executive director Randy Shrewsberry says more emphasis also needs to be put on mental-health training -- both for when officers are responding to suspects and for officers themselves.

"Police officers are up to five times more likely to kill themselves than to be killed by homicide," he said. "We'd like to see a greater emphasis on police officer mental-health training. Currently, they only get a few hours of training -- if any -- on self-care."

The US spends almost 1% of its GDP on policing -- and some activists are calling for this to be cut and directed to other services.

But Mr Shrewsberry says: "Unfortunately, when we look at defunding or budget cutbacks, training divisions are often the earliest to be hit."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-56834733

 

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, foster said:

The American way is to want better but refuse to fund what’s needed for that better to occur. 
 

Police should be better trained. The problem is nobody wants to spend the tax money necessary to make sure it happens. 
 

What exactly do you feel is lacking in the training that law enforcement receives? Be specific.

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1 hour ago, foster said:

The American way is to want better but refuse to fund what’s needed for that better to occur. 
 

Police should be better trained. The problem is nobody wants to spend the tax money necessary to make sure it happens. 
 

Stop buying military grade weapons with tax payer money and instead spend that money on training. 

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First time I ever happened to speak to a British cop was around the turn of the century. There was some trouble next door with some woman being locked out by her abusive boyfriend or something like that. She came to my door asking to use the telephone so she could ring the police. Later this policeman showed up at my door to, I think, also use my phone. Anyway, my previous experience with the police was always in the States, so I know you have to be all "Yes, sir" and "No, sir" and Sorry, sir" with them and not do anything to set them off like a bulldog. And this was always in the suburbs, mind you, not in the city or any dangerous sort of area, that I lived. Some are all right and calm and reasonable from my experience, but a lot of them are mad-doggish and not so bright between the ears.

So when I spoke to this British cop for the first time, it was sort of shocking. I was even feeling a little uneasy at first sight of him because I was instinctively (based on previous experience) expecting him to start yelling or barking at me or something. But he actually sounded really intelligent and normal and polite. No gun, either, by the way, which is nice because that meant I wouldn't be killed if I said or did something wrong. That's always a plus, ain't it? Oh, and while he was on the phone, I remember him looking at my record collection and remarking on Nick Cave's album "Murder Ballads," which he said he liked.  That really took me aback, because, well, it's all about murder, but he was cool enough not to take the lyrics seriously.

Anyway, I had the impression that he'd had a good education -- probably university educated -- so, I don't know, maybe US cops could benefit from a higher education as well.  Also, more police training, like the article says.

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4 hours ago, f8ta1ity54 said:

Stop buying military grade weapons with tax payer money and instead spend that money on training. 

I was just recently in France and a group of their anti-terrorism force VIGIPIRATE pulled up to grab lunch at the cafe next door. They were kitted out in appropriate gear, automatic weapons, vests, etc - but arrived in mini-vans. 
 

That would never fly here. 
 

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5 hours ago, f8ta1ity54 said:

Stop buying military grade weapons with tax payer money and instead spend that money on training. 

WTF controls the police departments where these incidents occur?

Yes, right.   Book it.  Tell the liberal oligarchs to stop spending money on cronies and inefficient programs.   There is enough tax money collected to solve all of these problems.  And fix your voting places.  

Lefties just need to stop blaming everyone else and govern better.

Whining losers.

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Just now, FanBack said:

WTF controls the police departments where these incidents occur?

Yes, right.   Book it.  Tell the liberal oligarchs to stop spending money on cronies and inefficient programs.   There is enough tax money collected to solve all of these problems.  And fix your voting places.  

Lefties just need to stop blaming everyone else and govern better.

Whining losers.

One again I cut through the BS and provide workable, centrist, non- partisan solutions. 

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18 hours ago, Professor Pigworth said:

I was just reading an article about the tragic shooting by police of a 15-year-old girl in LA. She was shot by a stray bullet whilst in a dressing room at a department store. Police were firing at someone they thought had a gun.  Only after killing him (and the girl), police discovered that he never had a gun. 

Although tragic, such occurrences are not exactly rare in the US. 

Could this have happened in any other country?  Yes, but it's much more likely to happen in the US with its well-established gun culture and fear by police that a suspect might be armed.  And, perhaps even more importantly, it happens because American police officers aren't as well trained as the police in other countries, which leads to conflicts quickly escalating.  

What is the solution to the excessive number of people being killed by police and also the alarming number of civilians killing each other?  The easy answer is to just do what other countries do. 

.

How US Police Training Compares with the Rest of the World

More people are killed by police in the US than in any other developed country, and there are growing calls for improved training to reduce the use of lethal force.

We've looked into what training US police officers receive, and how it compares with other parts of the world.

How many people are killed by police?

About 1,000 people a year are killed by police officers in the US, according to an independent project that tracks police violence. Most are shot dead.

The majority of the world's police forces carry firearms, but no developed nation uses them against their citizens as often as officers in the US -- and disproportionately against African-Americans, compared with the percentage of the population they represent.

spacer.png

Part of this is to do with gun culture -- the US is home to around half of the world's civilian-held firearms.

In 2020, fewer than 10% of people killed by police were recorded as unarmed.

Rashawn Ray, professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, says: "In most states people can carry guns either on their body or in their vehicles, so that escalates things for police -- they instantly perceive that anyone can be a threat."

In the same year, officers killed more than 20 times as many civilians -- and some argue the use of force is disproportionate to the threat, with better training needed to de-escalate situations.

Prof Ray says: "Nine out of 10 calls for law enforcement have nothing to do with violence at all, and while they definitely encounter violent situations that could escalate, often... it's police officers who are escalating the situation."

How long does police training take?

There are around 18,000 police agencies in the US, but with no national standards on training, procedures and timescales vary across the country.

On average, US officers spend around 21 weeks training before they are qualified to go on patrol.

That is far less than in most other developed countries, according to a report by the Institute for Criminal Justice Training Reform (ICJTR).

spacer.png

The report looked at police training requirements in more than 100 countries and found that the US had among the lowest, in terms of average hours required.

Also, many other countries require officers to have a university degree -- or equivalent -- before joining the police, but in the US most forces just require the equivalent of a high-school diploma.

In England and Wales, it has recently become mandatory for officers to have an academic degree.

Maria Haberfeld, professor of police science at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says: "Some police forces in Europe have police university, where training lasts for three years -- for me the standouts are Norway and Finland."

Finland has one the highest gun-ownership rates in Europe, with around 32 civilian firearms per 100 people -- but incidents of police shooting civilians are extremely rare.

What type of training do police get?

US police academies spend far more time on firearms training than on de-escalating a situation -- 71 hours against 21, on average, according to a 2013 US Bureau of Justice Statistics report.

And in the US, the escalation of force is at the discretion of the officer, whereas in countries such as Norway and Finland, there are more rigorous rules as to what is considered justified use of force.

Prof Haberfeld says: "Most of the training in the US is focused on various types of use of force, primarily the various types of physical force. The communication skills are largely ignored by most police academies.

"This is why you see officers very rapidly escalating from initial communication to the actual physical use of force, because this is how they train."

ICJTR executive director Randy Shrewsberry says more emphasis also needs to be put on mental-health training -- both for when officers are responding to suspects and for officers themselves.

"Police officers are up to five times more likely to kill themselves than to be killed by homicide," he said. "We'd like to see a greater emphasis on police officer mental-health training. Currently, they only get a few hours of training -- if any -- on self-care."

The US spends almost 1% of its GDP on policing -- and some activists are calling for this to be cut and directed to other services.

But Mr Shrewsberry says: "Unfortunately, when we look at defunding or budget cutbacks, training divisions are often the earliest to be hit."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-56834733

What are you?  Stupid?  Hater.  Go pound sand up your ass.....

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18 hours ago, Professor Pigworth said:

First time I ever happened to speak to a British cop was around the turn of the century. There was some trouble next door with some woman being locked out by her abusive boyfriend or something like that. She came to my door asking to use the telephone so she could ring the police. Later this policeman showed up at my door to, I think, also use my phone. Anyway, my previous experience with the police was always in the States, so I know you have to be all "Yes, sir" and "No, sir" and Sorry, sir" with them and not do anything to set them off like a bulldog. And this was always in the suburbs, mind you, not in the city or any dangerous sort of area, that I lived. Some are all right and calm and reasonable from my experience, but a lot of them are mad-doggish and not so bright between the ears.

So when I spoke to this British cop for the first time, it was sort of shocking. I was even feeling a little uneasy at first sight of him because I was instinctively (based on previous experience) expecting him to start yelling or barking at me or something. But he actually sounded really intelligent and normal and polite. No gun, either, by the way, which is nice because that meant I wouldn't be killed if I said or did something wrong. That's always a plus, ain't it? Oh, and while he was on the phone, I remember him looking at my record collection and remarking on Nick Cave's album "Murder Ballads," which he said he liked.  That really took me aback, because, well, it's all about murder, but he was cool enough not to take the lyrics seriously.

Anyway, I had the impression that he'd had a good education -- probably university educated -- so, I don't know, maybe US cops could benefit from a higher education as well.  Also, more police training, like the article says.

Yeah. It's really nice for you for the cop not to have a gun...until you have a situation where you're facing someone with a weapon. Also, imagine your job being to serve and protect people, and not having adequate means to protect those people or yourself should you encounter a situation or individual(s) that pose a threat?

Always the retards that don't want guns or police until they become threatened or become a victim...then it changes the way they see things.

 Could we implement a better training program and maybe have a lower tolerance for problem cops that abuse their power and are overly aggressive/violent? Sure

We also need to make it crystal clear to anyone that commits or is suspected of committing a crime to comply with police, or run the risk of things going south.

And as far as the racial component...the missing piece of that is that blacks have been programmed to hate police and see them as the enemy, and that if you get stopped by one, you will get murdered. This makes blacks much more resistant, non compliant, and aggressive/violent towards these officers that have a duty to protect others, along with themselves.

It's something that requires effort on all sides if things are to improve. But truth be told, this ranks pretty low on the priority list of things needed to be fixed in America if you're looking at the numbers of those affected.

The best way to start unifying and repairing the divide in America is to stop injecting race into each and every issue. You poison the well on one side and maybe both whenever this is done, and that works against what you're trying to accomplish if the goal is bringing people together and fixing problems.

This also needs to be taught to our so called "leaders" and "elected" officials that have an obligation and responsibility to do right by the people they represent. I actually believe they are well aware, and that they actively work against what's best for the people so that they can stay in power and have reasons to spend money and resources, which benefits themselves and their lobbyist pals.

Abolish the corruption in the media and our government and I believe most problems would go away. They are the source for much of America's plight 

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23 hours ago, foster said:

The American way is to want better but refuse to fund what’s needed for that better to occur. 
 

Police should be better trained. The problem is nobody wants to spend the tax money necessary to make sure it happens. 
 

You are always a "more money for government guy". The money government wastes is sinful and legendary. I would encourage you to speak to anybody who bids government projects or fulfilment bids and You'll learn a lot. Government doesn't solve problems, it CREATES problems.

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22 hours ago, f8ta1ity54 said:

They could clearly work on de-escaltion and excessive force.

Oh yes, allow a criminal to take control of a situation and then put themselves at more personal risk. Thats just stupid. If the CRIMINALS de-escalated I assure you ploice shootings would all but disappear. People like you create friction with police and I would submit that THAT is what creates police shootings

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22 hours ago, Professor Pigworth said:

because I was instinctively (based on previous experience) expecting him to start yelling or barking at me or something

I’ve had a few interactions with cops over the years. Never had (or expected) the cop to yell or bark at me. 
 

but, with you, it was “instinctive”. Sounds fishy to me.

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1 hour ago, Very Wide Right said:

Oh yes, allow a criminal to take control of a situation and then put themselves at more personal risk. Thats just stupid. If the CRIMINALS de-escalated I assure you ploice shootings would all but disappear. People like you create friction with police and I would submit that THAT is what creates police shootings

People like you enable despicable behavior by the police. Cops are clearly not well trained enough. 

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34 minutes ago, jc856 said:

People like you enable despicable behavior by the inner city thug.

Nope. I explain why the behavior happens, not that I support it. I even offer policy changes that would make those communities safer for police. The right just wants a police state but only in the ghettos, not the suburbs.

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I fully support more training for police. But, that means more funding, not less. Yet, liberal politicians are destroying cities with this whole “defund the police” craziness. I can’t believe that there is any sane person out there that could have believed that “defunding police” was ever just a good idea. Just politicians selling their own voters out to look good in the latest craze fad. And voters to dumb to realize that. 

Ed Oliver is my adopt-a-Bill

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12 minutes ago, Nuke said:

I fully support more training for police. But, that means more funding, not less. Yet, liberal politicians are destroying cities with this whole “defund the police” craziness. I can’t believe that there is any sane person out there that could have believed that “defunding police” was ever just a good idea. Just politicians selling their own voters out to look good in the latest craze fad. And voters to dumb to realize that. 

Most of the people saying "defund the police" are activists, not politicians. There really haven't been any radical changes. 

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