Showing posts from May, 2019

The Unintended Consequences of Police Militarization

The following is an interview with LEAP speaker and retired Det. Sergeant J. Gary Nelson, who spent his law enforcement career with the Scottsdale Police Department in Arizona. He's a licensed mental health counselor and an expert on the ways in which police militarization has impacted the relationships police have with communities. 

Roshun Shah: When did you start to notice police militarization in Scottsdale? What did that look like then, and what does it look like now?

Det. Sgt. J. Gary Nelson (Ret.): I can't pinpoint a time when I started noticing it — probably the late 80s to early 90s, but I wasn't really thinking much about it. Militarization as a global issue was simply the SWAT-type operation with long-guns, military weapons, and tactical teams. It was beginning to replace normal or traditional policing, always with the justification that it was for safety. For example, in search warrants, the vast majority of which involved narcotics — it became more standard proce…

"I'm very much a proponent of trying to change the warrior mentality into that of a guardian."

The following is an interview with LEAP speaker and Commander Marc Buslik, who has spent the last 39 years in the Chicago Police Department. He talks about how far policing has come in building better relationships with communities and the work that still needs to be done.

Roshun Shah: What drew you into police work, and why did you join the Chicago Police Department? 

Commander Marc Buslik: When I was in college in the mid-1970s, my plan was to graduate and go into the Peace Corps. I grew up in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago along the north shore of Lake Michigan — an upper middle class, Jewish community. 
A couple friends told me they were going to go take the test to become a Chicago police officer. I really had no interest, but they convinced me it was a changing time, and the police department had a better pension plan than the Peace Corps. So, I wound up doing that and met a lieutenant in the police department, who was also one of my professors. He got promoted to deputy super…

PRESS RELEASE: LEAP Endorses Landmark Drug Treatment Bill

For Immediate Release: Wednesday May 8, 2019
Contact: Mikayla Hellwich


Full list of endorsements (PDF) | Bill text (PDF) | Fact Sheet (PDF)
Today, a nonpartisan and cross-disciplinary coalition of organizations and public agencies are endorsing the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act of 2019 to provide funding and resources to address the opioid crisis as a public health emergency. The Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), a nonprofit group of police, judges, and other criminal justice experts who support evidence-based drug treatment methods and harm reduction services, joins hundreds of organizations and state, local, and tribal agencies in endorsing the legislation.

"By focusing on enforcement for so long, we've largely disregarded the needs of people who have become addicted to drugs. We need to stop writing policy based on wh…