What Makes a Good Cop

What advice would you give to your younger self?Lieutenant Tony Ryan (Ret.) joined LEAP early on, more than a decade ago. He did it because he knew that bad policies like the War on Drugs were destroying communities and making policing a more dangerous job. He couldn’t stay silent, because good cops like Tony speak up for what’s right. They see law enforcement as an honorable profession, and they rise to meet the challenge – working toward bringing policing back to what it should be: protecting and serving.
Tony quickly built a reputation as one of our hardest-working speakers. In his tenure with LEAP, Tony served as the law enforcement voice of Colorado's Amendment 64 campaign to legalize and regulate marijuana, one of the first states to succeed in doing so, and on LEAP's Board of Directors. His incredible stories of nearly 40 years in policing made him a staff favorite – Tony's been stabbed (more than once), shot in the chest, broken a hand and a foot, was first on the s…

Statement: What the Guilty Verdict for Laquan McDonald's Killer Could Mean for Policing

Friday last week, Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder for killing 17-year old Laquan McDonald in 2014. Van Dyke is the first Chicago PD officer to be convicted of murder in 50 years. Below is a statement from the Law Enforcement Action Partnership's executive director, Major Neill Franklin (Ret.). 

"I believe the guilty verdict for the officer who killed Laquan McDonald could reflect the early stages of a coming wave of change in American policing. Departments around the country are doing a better job of improving transparency and accountability than ever, but substantial record-keeping isn't yet mandatory in all departments and only a few agencies have the benefit of an effective, independent, civilian review board. I'm hopeful that if organizations like LEAP and others working on police reform continue to push these issues forward, more police will come to understand accountability is in their best interest because it builds tr…

One Simple Way to Reduce Deadly Traffic Stops

The following is an interview with Law Enforcement Action Partnership representative Det. Vince Felber (Ret.) of the Akron Police Department in Ohio. He left policing after 20 years of service and now works with LEAP to educate people about the effects of the justice system on communities living in poverty and how they impact police officers' ability to do their jobs. 
Mikayla Hellwich & Monica Westfall: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you did in law enforcement? 

Det. Vince Felber (Ret.): I started in 1992 doing patrol, working one of the poorer sections of Akron, Ohio, a city of 200,000. After four years on the street, I spent two years working in the forensic science crime scene unit. I moved on to the detective bureau -- investigating property crimes, burglaries. While there, I spent some time working in the pawn unit and also got involved in a couple of homicide cases. One of those cases gained national interest. I did a number of TV programs -- me and …

Surviving the Badge: One Officer's Commitment to Healthier, Better Police

The following is an interview with Law Enforcement Action Partnership representative Special Agent Bobby Kimbrough (Ret.). He left the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2016 and now runs a program called Surviving the Shield, which helps law enforcement cope with the stress and trauma of their work. As a LEAP speaker, he focuses on improving access to PTSD treatment for police, opposing arrest quotas, improving police training and community relationships, procedural justice training, addressing racial disparities in the justice system, and improving transparency and accountability in policing. 
Mikayla Hellwich: How does the nature of policework impact the wellness of officers?
Bobby Kimbrough: I started over 30 years ago as a Winston-Salem police officer. I was first an officer with the state, and retired a special agent with the Department of Justice. 

Looking back over my life and the men and women I worked with, I notice the people we were when we were hired – five years later – we&…

Statement: Trump Strongarms Struggling Nations Into Escalating Global Drug War

How to Use Data to Combat Bias in Policing

The following is the second half of an interview with one of LEAP's newest representatives, Commissioner Branville Bard. He spent the majority of the last 25 years with the Philadelphia Police Department and has gained attention for implementing crime reduction and police training programs. He was appointed Commissioner of the Cambridge Police Department in Massachusetts in 2017.Read Part I.
"We work for the public and we need to be transparent and really show that willingness to submit to the public, at all times, at all costs!"

Monica Westfall: You wrote a dissertation entitled: “Racial Profiling: Towards Simplicity and Eradication,” and in it you provide metrics to use in measuring the individual stop habits of officers you believe would eradicate racial profiling. Would you care to discuss these metrics in general? 

Commissioner Bard: 
First, the ‘Towards Simplicity’ part in my dissertation, came from – when you research racial profiling, you’ll see that a lot of the sch…