A Letter from RP’s Managing Director
To Our Readers,
The last time I checked there were 12,092 police departments and 3,155 sheriff’s departments in the U.S. This is not counting campus and tribal law enforcement, railroad, airport and harbor police, state police and federal and military agencies. There are dozens of law enforcement training academies of varying degrees of effectiveness that support these law enforcement departments and 128 associations and organizations that claim to function in the interest of law enforcement. But, there is no association that contributes to the requirements that would qualify policing as a profession as there is in medicine (American Medical Association), law (American BAR Association), nursing, pharmacy, accounting, social work and many other professions. Rectifying this deficit would be a positive development in efforts to professionalize policing and to thwart efforts to “reimagine policing.”
Professionalization is the process by which providers of special services create and control the market for their services. Professionals must be adequately educated and trained to provide recognizably distinct services. While there are no specific requirements there are several characteristics deemed essential for an occupation to claim professional status:
Some amount of higher education specific to the elements of the occupation must be mandated.
Members must participate in a continuing education program as a basis for reaccreditation.
There should be a body of knowledge relative to performing the occupation derived from scientific research.
It must possess an educational journal that contains these scientific theories and knowledge.
A profession should be altruistic.
A profession might be assessed to the extent to which public and political authorities accept its credentials as necessary to provide a specific type of service – something that is lacking in certain agencies today. Society rewards professions for highly valued work with relatively high levels of pay, they have power and authority, security and status and the support of their community.
Be strong and be safe,