Rank and File: Reflections on Emerging Issues in Law Enforcement

In August 2017, 40 rank-and-file officers met for a roundtable to discuss their roles in implementing their agencies' community policing policies and operations. The officers came from departments across the country and explored a wide range of issues from the viewpoint of those who work on the ground. The meeting provided insights and recommendations for ways in which officers, law enforcement leaders, and communities can work together to reduce crime - in particular illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and violent crime. They also discussed the need to support officer morale, safety, and wellness and explored emerging issues such as the growing opioid epidemic, providing forthright assessments of the current state of policing. This report intends to capture the experiences, opinions, and ideas of the participating officers; and, it should be noted, the officers’ quotes that follow do not presume to speak for the more than 800,000 agents of law enforcement working nationwide. By including and emphasizing the views and impressions of the rank-and-file, this publication offers a glimpse into the daily routine of a unique and demanding profession.


Author: Mary-Jo Robinson and Christopher Smith

Federal Sponsor Agency: COPS Office

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Publication Date: December 2018

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