community controlled police & building trust

I’m slowly edging out of the blog closet by linking my online personas and calling your attention to two of my essays on my academic blog Race, Politics, Justice. These include a review of an article by Madison activist M Adams and her collaborator Max Rameau advocating community controlled police and a more reflective essay about the problem of creating trust when structures promote distrust.

Anyone who has been working on this issue knows that the problems of police violence and racial disparities in policing are difficult to address because they are so deeply connected with fundamental structures of inequality. We also seek constantly to maintain our understanding of the good intentions of many actors in the system and the complex interactions that constrain everyone while also maintaining a critical perspective and willingness to work for improvement and justice.

Author: olderwoman

I'm a sociology professor but not only a sociology professor. I keep my name out of this blog because I don't want my name associated with it in a Google search. Although I never write anything in a public forum like a blog that I'd be ashamed to have associated with my name (and you shouldn't either), it is illegal for me to use my position as a public employee to advance my religious or political views, and the pseudonym helps to preserve the distinction between my public and private identities. The pseudonym also helps to protect the people I may write about in describing public or semi-public events I've been involved with. You can read about my academic work on my academic blog --Pam Oliver

5 thoughts on “community controlled police & building trust”

  1. Are local activists pushing for discipline and training reform (especially the protections written into union contracts), where you are? Seems like a good, material, first step…


    1. Local activists are arrayed into several factions/formations. One group, dominated by older professionals [Black] is emphasizing the need to simultaneously to improve police training and policies while educating young people on how to act if stopped by the police. It is the younger more radical formation that calls for community controlled police. White reformers are also arrayed on a continuum with a lot of us talking to both the older and younger formations (and they talk to each other, actually) as well as to public officials. Being overtly anti-union is not a winning play in this town. I have a post in progress about training etc and police perceptions which will eventually show up on my academic blog, when I get it done. Events keep unfolding so fast it is hard to keep up.


      1. Ya, I think contract reform is actually a better way forward than abolition. Police unions are wildly popular, with lefties because unions, and with righties because give the heroes all the privileges.

        So for libertarians or other folks more likely to see that union protections are a hugely operative (and eminently changeable!) institutional constraint here, I think it’s a better tactic for us to negotiate incremental reforms in discipline procedures whilst maintaining basic collective bargaining rights, etc.

        Incidentally, this would have been a better tactic for Walker to take than abolition. This can be applied structurally across public sector unions, reforming due process and other privilege procedures to make discipline and dismissal easier while maintaining the union itself.


  2. I think that you and your commenters have come up with sensible and viable solutions that can move our nation toward a future that has built trust in the communities that police are vowed to protect.

    Recently, I blogged about how we as a nation can move forward from last week’s tragedies. The title of my post is “Black&Blue: How We As A Nation Can Change.”

    If you would like to take a look, my blog is called:

    Liked by 1 person

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