Cover: Training the 21st Century Police Officer

Training the 21st Century Police Officer

Redefining Police Professionalism for the Los Angeles Police Department

Published 2003

by Russell W. Glenn, Barbara Raymond, Dionne Barnes-Proby, Elizabeth Williams, John Christian, Matthew W. Lewis, Scott Gerwehr, David Brannan

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On June 15, 2001, the City of Los Angeles signed a consent decree with the United States Department of Justice. The consent decree is essentially a settlement agreement that aims to promote police integrity and prevent conduct that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. This study is the result of the mandate of one paragraph that requires an independent examination of police training in the areas of use of force, search and seizure, arrest procedures, community policing, and diversity awareness. The authors suggest that the first essential step to improving police training is to establish and communicate a common foundation for police performance — a redefined professionalism. The overarching recommendation is that the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) adopt a concept of police professionalism that incorporates the tenets of corporateness, responsibility, and expertise as the mechanism for guiding the development and execution of its training, to include training in the areas of use of force, search and seizure, arrest procedures, community policing, and diversity awareness. The five primary recommendations are

  • Establish an LAPD lessons-learned program.
  • Introduce and maintain consistently high quality throughout every aspect of LAPD training.
  • Restructure the LAPD Training Group to allow the centralization of planning; instructor qualification, evaluation, and retention; and more efficient use of resources.
  • Integrate elements of community-based policing and diversity awareness training models throughout LAPD training.
  • Develop training on use of force, search and seizure, and arrest procedures that meets current standards of excellence.

This report was prepared for the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Department by RAND Public Safety and Justice.

This report is part of the RAND monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of RAND from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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