- Law enforcement commission calls for more study
- 2020-07-31 19:53:16 (GMT)
- josiah bartlett center for public policy <email@example.com>
Why do cosmetologists need 220% more training hours than police? The Broadside| July 31, 2020 Police accountability commission punts big reforms After 45 days of study, the governor’s Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community and Transparency on Friday recommended that New Hampshire spend a lot more time studying police practices and accountability. The anti-climactic report did contain some immediate action items, including: Increase the N.H. Police Standards Training Council staff Abolish the part-time police academy; Create memoranda of understanding between school districts and law enforcement agencies that would guide the behavior of school resource officers; Standardize the state’s required annual police training; Double the minimum hours of annual training and including issues such as bias and diversity and use of force training; Increase scenario-based training; Provide the Ethical Policing is Courageous (EPIC) and Active Bystandership Law Enforcement (ABLE) training developed by the New Orleans Police Department; Adopt uniform training for SWAT teams that includes mental health and de-escalation training; Adopt nationally accepted standards for school resource officer training. However, the report stopped short of recommending broader reforms such as repealing laws that grant police immunity from civil lawsuits, barring union contracts from including procedural protections not afforded average citizens accused of crimes, making police discipline files public, and mandating the use of body cameras. It’s surprising and disappointing that such relatively obvious and uncomplicated fixes, some of which we recommended in our police reform proposal this month, were left out. The commission recommended further study of six issues, including the collection of non-biased data during police interactions, the use of qualified immunity, the use of choke holds, and the provision of mental health service responders instead of law enforcement for 911 calls. To pursue the ongoing study of these important issues, it’s critical that the state lean heavily on community members who do not have law enforcement backgrounds. There’s a real risk that study committees peopled largely with law enforcement professionals would lack the outside perspective necessary to conduct impartial and unbiased reviews. Law enforcement input is essential, but it should not dominate the process. The published record of the commission’s work reveals that members affiliated with law enforcement offered informed and insightful proposals for improving training and standards. Without their input, these positive reforms might have been overlooked. Yet many of the more aggressive proposals for achieving large gains in accountability were made by members not affiliated with law enforcement. Unfortunately, a lot of those proposals were not included in the commission’s final report. That leaves a large opening for lawmakers in next year’s session and for local governments starting this summer. To share this essay, link to our blog post. The Broadside is sponsored this week by Join the Granite State Taxpayers Aug. 11 for their 30th Anniversary event featuring Grover Norquist. Click the logo above for info. Why do cosmetologists need more training than cops? If you want to become a police officer in New Hampshire, you have to undergo 684 hours of training at the N.H. Police Academy. That’s less than it takes to become a licensed barber, and less than half as long as to become a cosmetologist. Most people probably don’t think of police as being subject to occupational licensing, but that’s what the training and certification process amount to. And the level of training required to become a police officer is much less than is required for people entering many other occupations, none of which carry a gun and have the authority to use lethal force. State law requires barbers to have 800 hours of training at barber school or 1,600 under the supervision of a licensed barber. We could be wrong, but we’re pretty sure no one’s ever been gunned down on the street by a hair dryer. To become a cosmetologist requires “1,500 hours of training in a school of cosmetology” or 3,000 hours over two years under a licensed cosmetologist. That is, it takes 220% more hours of training to become a licensed cosmetologist in New Hampshire than it does to become a police officer. It takes a bachelor’s degree and 900 internship hours to become a licensed dietician. It takes a four-year degree and three years of supervised professional experience to become a landscape architect. It takes 600 hours to become an esthetician, just 88 percent of a police officer’s required hours. Either the required training period for police officers is low, or that of many other licensed occupations is far too high. Or both. One prospective to keep in mind when thinking about these requirements is that the state has an interest in maintaining a relative low barrier to entry for police officers. It’s hard enough to recruit officers in some communities. Raise the bar too high and artificial shortages will result. Established and licensed occupations, on the other hand, have a strong incentive to erect high barriers to entry to reduce competition and artificially inflate wages. They regularly petition the Legislature to increase licensing requirements to produce these two effects. Additional hours of police training may or may not be needed. But when those hours are compared to training requirements in other occupations, it’s obvious that the discrepancy cannot be explained by the relative danger to the public posed by the particular occupation. The state needs to do more than rethink police training requirements. It needs to rethink the way it approaches all occupational license requirements. To share this essay, link to our blog post. Items of Interest New Hampshire Sununu: N.H. is ready for NASCAR event this weekend Judge’s ruling makes it easier for Libertarians to get on ballot Sununu signs bill requiring medication-assisted treatment in jails N.H. could become first state to allow flying cars on its roads Sununu lifts ban on reusable bags during pandemic Rents outpace income growth in most counties Governor’s commission delays recommendation on school resource officers Nine testing sites close as hospitals pick up testing duties State won’t notify public of most COVID-19 cases in businesses Municipalities seek a financial lifeline State reviewing ventilation systems of LTC homes with outbreaks In N.H., county prosecutors wield power but often run unopposed Demand for guns outpaces Sturm Ruger’s production Unruly tourists straining Conway budget during pandemic Mask ordinance wins committee recommendation in Keene New England Pfizer executive targets end of year for COVID-19 vaccine More seals means learning to live with sharks in New England More Maine beach restrictions added after new shark reports Mass. Senate approves review of state seal and motto Vermont reports first COVID-19 death in more than a month Dunkin to close 800 U.S. stores as pandemic hurts sales R.I. to remain in Phase 3, with further restrictions on gatherings Maine House speaker drowns out rivals in race to take on Susan Collins Mass. Teachers Association pushes for remote instruction only this fall Conn. sweeping police accountability bill has some officers threatening to leave the job Maine green lights school reopening in all counties After mail ballot flood, ’almost impossible’ for R.I. to know winners on Election Night Maine Republicans want to ease restrictions to boost tourism Juneteenth recognized as state holiday in Massachusetts Topsfield Fair canceled for only third time in its 200-year history Maine’s first recreational pot sales likely to start in December Vermont sees unexpected revenue boost after July tax filings Vermont Progressive Part asks for write-in votes to beat candidates on own ballot The Good Life Yankee’s Guide to the N.H. Seacoast Boston Museum of Science reopens Boston Magazine’s best restaurants, bars, chefs in Boston On the Broadside Bookshelf Share the newsletter with your friends! Enjoy The Broadside? 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