Challenges and Changes in Police Work

A police car in Washington, D.C.
A police car in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Challenges and Changes in Police Work


I recommend reading the whole article. This police officer has gone through the last twenty years, some of the most turbulent years in the history of policing. His observations are enlightening and intelligent.


James Pilant


A Frontline Officer on Challenges and Changes


Entering my third decade in policing, I had an epiphany about how much my profession has changed since I learned to write reports on manual typewriters in my 1989 recruit class. Like every other industry, policing has seen such dramatic changes that what we imagine for the next 20 years is as surreal as the idea of people travelling to space on paid space shuttles was two decades ago. Two decades ago society would not have tolerated the idea of conducting business from home and having meetings as avatars in virtual environments, yet many businesses now operate this way.


Law enforcement has evolved from paper reports and filing cabinets, to body worn cameras and global positioning in a digitally connected universe. Most North Americans use smart phones that connect them immediately with information that we could not have imagined in previous decades. Police officers now must assume that an action they take in the street may be replaying in the media before they get back to the office to write a report about it.


In the 24 years of my own policing career, I’ve had a front-row seat to the changes that have occurred and have witnessed how these changes present challenges that cross every industry and  confront administrators in both the public and private sectors. Two decades ago administrators made decisions about what information to release, whereas now they must manage information that is already out there.


– See more at:!


From around the web.


From the web site, The Thin Blue Line.






On a police networking site recently, the above question sparked a mass

of interesting responses from all ranks and many from outside parties.

Here at

we are asking the same questions. We would be particularly keen to hear

from front line officers from all forces with their informed views.

Imagine you had the opportunity to have your views heard, without

recrimination, by Theresa May and Nick Herbert. We will collate the

responses and forward them to Theresa and Nick and let you know the

outcome. We will also be asking these questions on other forums such as Police Oracle and would be keen to elicit the support of police blog sites.



Tom Cavanagh and Restorative Justice

Tom Cavanagh and Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice, Culture of Care in Schools, and Restorative Practices in Schools: Increased interest since Friday’s events

Interest in the work of restorative justice in schools has increased since the events of last Friday. Here is an outline of what I offer schools. Restorative Justice in Schools Educators and policymakers’ interest in Restorative Justice is growing as they learn that the results of zero tolerance policies are not working. In fact, the capacity of students and teachers to respond to wrongdoing and conflict in a nonviolent way is lacking. As a result, some schools have adopted restorative justice practices. However, these practices are generally used outside of the classroom. This training is unique in that it focuses on building the capacity of teachers and students to respond in a caring and peaceful way to wrongdoing and conflict in the classroom.

Restorative Justice, Culture of Care in Schools, and Restorative Practices in Schools: Increased interest since Friday’s events

I have taken an interest in the Restorative Justice movement. I am well aware that it is not a panacea for society’s problems in criminal justice but it seems to me like a useful tool for community maintenance and building.

Mr. Cavanagh provides a service that teaches schools how to use restorative justice. This is a very positive step. As he remarks above, the no-tolerance policies of the last few years have been disasters. I’m not going to mince words about no-tolerance. it removed judgment and intelligence in discipline to avoid controversy. It is the job of administrator in schools to deal with controversy. Tossing out thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of students, is a disaster for the country and for them.

The field of criminal justice is full of difficulties. It is full of controversy and ridiculous coverage by the media. We need new ways of thinking. It’s time.

James Pilant

From around the web –

From the web site, Restorative Justice Online:

What is restorative justice?

Restorative justice is a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused or revealed by criminal behaviour. It is best accomplished through cooperative processes that include all stakeholders.

Practices and programs reflecting restorative purposes will respond to crime by:

  1. identifying and taking steps to repair harm,
  2. involving all stakeholders, and
  3. transforming the traditional relationship between communities and their governments in responding to crime.

From the web site, Restorative Justice Online, there is a useful introductory tutorial on the subject.

From the web site, National Association of Youth Courts, we find a paper by Tracy M. Godwin. Here is an explanation of the paper’s purpose.

This paper provides a brief overview of restorative justice principles and addresses several key issues the focus group members identified that serve as a promising foundation from which teen courts can begin to move toward integrating more restorative justice-based practices within their programs. Key issues discussed include how youth courts can rethink the role of victims and the community within their programs, how youth courts can alter the way that their proceedings and practices are structured, and how youth courts can rethink and redefine sentencing options so that they are based on the restorative justice philosophy.

And finally, from the web site, And Yet It Moves:

And still the question remained… what exactly should I do about it? Obviously they lose the credit for the assignments, but what else? What is an appropriate punishment? This is where Restorative Justice provided an interesting and useful answer. My understanding of the process, limited to just my experience using it today, is that it centers around a series of questions that the transgressor tries to answer:

“What happened?”
“What were you thinking about at the time?”
“What have you thought about since?”
“Who has been affected by what you have done? In what way?”
“What do you think you need to do to make things right?

What I like about this approach is that it puts the work of figuring out the situation and facing its full complexity on the transgressor. Instead of the authority figure giving a lecture or handing down a punishment that the student endures, they are forced to grind through the whole thing themselves. Of course, as they work on it I can set the bar higher if an answer isn’t satisfactory, and I did have to do that several times today.

For example, one student started out equivocating on the very first question, “What happened?” And instead of getting into an argument about it, I just said, “Well, some of the evidence I have indicates that you’ve done more than just use the posted solutions for ideas or reference.” I put the results of my diff on the table and then I let him try again at answering the question. So this is not a way that people get off the hook for what they’ve done.



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Ethics Bob has a book out!!

The Ethics Challenge

The newspapers (and our blog) are full of unethical politicians; the sports pages full of rule-breaking players and parents; the business news full of sleazy companies and greedy CEOs; the education pages full of students who cheat on exams.  What’s a person to think?
Perhaps you really do have to cheat to win.  Perhaps you need to shade the truth to get ahead.  Good people hear that “everybody does it,” and wonder.

The Ethics Challenge

It is a great pleasure for me to offer a plug for Ethics Bob’s book. Please go the web site (click the link above) and consider buying a copy.

James Pilant

This is a video from the same author –

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Your Rune For June 23 is Laguz/Flow (via Witches of the Craft’s Blog)

I have a rune?

James Pialnt

Your Rune For June 23 is Laguz/Flow Laguz/Flow You wish for unity and fusion, consolation and satisfaction of all your emotional needs. This is a time of cleansing and reorientation, a time of contacting your intuitive wisdom, where you find all the answers. Immerse yourself in that inner knowledge, for you will find there, whatever it is you need. … Read More

via Witches of the Craft's Blog