After Christopher Dorner’s Rampage, How to Build Community Trust in Police
By Sunil Dutta, Ph.D., Course Developer and Instructor of Homeland Security
LAPD officer Dr. Sunil Dutta, a Master’s in Homeland Security course developer and instructor at Colorado Technical University, recently published an op-ed for the Washington Post discussing the ongoing challenges police officers face in order to maintain public confidence. The issue of community-based policing is a critical topic for current and aspiring criminal justice professionals to consider – particularly in light of instances like those involving Officer Dorner.
Dr. Dutta’s op-ed originally appeared in the Washington Post on Feb. 15.
Christopher Dorner, the former L.A. police officer who died Tuesday after allegedly going on a murder spree, said racism was behind the Los Angeles Police Department’s decision to fire him in 2009, after he accused another cop of kicking a mentally ill man. In a perverted mission of vengeance, Dorner allegedly killed two civilians and two officers.
“I know I will be vilified by the LAPD and the media,” Dorner wrote in an online manifesto. “Unfortunately, this is a necessary evil that I do not enjoy but must partake and complete for substantial change to occur within the LAPD and reclaim my name.”
Given its history of scandal, the LAPD has spent a decade building a kinder, gentler organization and making significant strides in community-based policing. Even past detractors, including civil rights lawyer Connie Rice, admit that the LAPD has changed since the early 1990s. But people still associate the department with events of 20 years ago: the acquittal of officers accused of beating Rodney King, the subsequent L.A. riots and the resignation of Chief Daryl Gates.
The department’s problems aren’t all in the past, either. Continue reading...
Sunil Dutta, Ph.D., is a police sergeant with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and course developer and instructor of Homeland Security at Colorado Technical University. Dr. Dutta earned his Ph.D. at the University of California at Davis and a Master’s degree from the University of Florida. He also earned his Master’s degree in Homeland Security from the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security (NPS/CHDS) and is a criminal justice authority published in The Nation, Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and many other mainstream news sources.
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