The Chicago Police Reform Essays VIII (of VIII)

Part VIII: Police Partnerships


Approximately two years ago, I was of the belief that I could still fix policing from the inside, if I were the Police Chief. I applied to the superintendent position for the Chicago Police Department. Part of that application involved answering essay questions. I am posting the answers to those questions, here, in an eight part series of eight minute reads, one each day. I had not yet evolved to the place where I am with the formulation of the Civilian-Led Policing framework, but there is value here in the development of the thoughts leading up to it. Some more on that is explained in a piece titled, We Know How to Fix Policing in America. We Do.

Find the rest of the series here: Part I; Part II; Part III; Part IV; Part V; Part VI; Part VII

Describe your experience in working on terrorism-related matters. In particular, please address:
How to enhance information gathering, analysis and making relevant information operational, through sharing with other law enforcement partners in Chicago and elsewhere.
How would you develop ties and relationships with other law enforcement actors around the world?
What is the best approach to engaging with federal partners?

I began my work in anti-terrorism at the age of 17, when I entered the Marine Corps and spent my four-year enlistment in the Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team (FAST), the Marine Corps’ global quick response team for prevention and first response. Site security (hardening targets from terrorist attack) and the importance of plain language communication (to prevent confusion when multiple agencies have to coordinate, a lesson reinforced by 9/11 response errors) are important skills from that military experience that translates well to policing. Because you cannot solve everything like the military, domestic issues with terrorism are very different.

On the streets of Chicago, domestic terrorism is a continuing threat much more so than international terrorism. Right-wing groups are the most likely perpetrators, followed by eco-terrorism (Watson, 2002), but an individual is significantly more likely to be injured by just about anything else other than terrorism. Education is the overwhelming need for police because education is what will keep us acting ethically. Officers need training to observe street level behavior, collect intelligence, and realize that racial profiling can blind officers to suspicious activities, forge meaningful relationships, and networks with every culture in the community. Education also allows us to form intelligent responses and prioritize needs to best serve the community. An example of this is found in the human response to lone wolf terrorists, to be scared and to spend resources finding them and preventing their attacks. The human response allocates resources away from known concerns, to witch hunts. The research is clear that, despite the political peril, nothing can really be done beyond relying on the officers and detectives already working on the types of crimes the lone wolves intend to commit (Barnes, 2012, p. 1661). A much better use of resources to mitigate the threat of terrorism is to enhance security for, “controversial businesses (abortion clinics), public buildings with large numbers of people (mass casualties), infrastructure systems and services (water treatment, mass transit)” (Wood Jr., 2012, pp. D-95/96) in addition to, planning coordinated responses to those locations in the event of an emergency.

Intelligence

It can be tough to see the big picture in regards to terrorism, for that is the point of terrorism, to make us change or response out of fear instead of rationality. To avoid poor decisions, we have to rely on intelligence and analysis. We have to devote resources to those specified locations because, domestically, “the number one target was military facilities, followed closely by targets in New York City. The third most frequent target was mass gatherings, like the Boston Marathon, nightclubs and bars, and shopping malls” (Zuckerman, Bucci, & Carafano, 2013). Smartly approaching terrorist threats reinforces the community policing model because the relationships with people are essential; it has been shown that friends and family members of future terror suspects often spoke of or reported their suspicions. Knowing those community members to report to and assess the threat is intelligence at its core. Intelligence through relationships will also provide us with the knowledge needed to form non-punitive responses. The improvement of anti-extremism efforts to provide alternatives to at-risk individuals, avenues to air grievances and be heard, proactive mental health screening and counseling, community outreach and education about the warning signs of extremist activity, and other yet to be developed ideas that, “besides potentially preventing future violence, also have significant spillover effects. Stronger communities, a more robust civil society, and a more vibrant political discourse are all important ‘goods,’ notwithstanding any direct link to counterterrorism” (Barnes, 2012, p. 1661).

Building Partnerships

Chicago is in a unique situation in regards to terrorism and its response. The city is an important asset to the country and thus at a significantly elevated risk of being subject to international terrorism. Currently, exactly what that means is cloudy. “Much work needs to be done to understand what role local law enforcement agencies are playing in the national homeland security strategy, and which factors are conducive to agency adoption and implementation of homeland security measures” (Randol, 2012, p. 320). To contribute to eliminating ambiguity, policy and procedure shall be developed in conjunction with agencies such as DHS (which united over 22 federal agencies), FBI, CIA, and ATF, to ensure that there is timely intelligence to our officers and back. These partnerships enable the agency to focus on the protection of life, property, and efficient resource utilization, without sacrificing the freedoms and liberties of our citizens and be prepared to respond with and incorporate into the shared resources.

During graduate school, I introduced a practice called “virtual voice” for the purpose of clear communication using virtual teams for global partnerships via conferencing software and document collaborations. These skills work for building those global partners, as well as for the local partners on the other side of Chicago’s unique position, the closest major agency for many surrounding jurisdictions. In particular, for Illinois, it was, “found that many small agencies did not have enough internal budgetary resources to address the planning, training, and equipment components of terrorism preparedness” (Randol, 2012, p. 319). Partnerships to provide these surrounding jurisdictions with services is needed for a full major incident preparedness plan. Those partnerships include training, facilities, response plans, equipment, and most importantly, intelligence gathering and sharing. Exchange of information is another lesson learned from 9/11 that many agencies have not been able to earnestly implement. Remedying the information shared, ideally through a collaborative intelligence network and shared database, is a top priority


Michael Wood Jr. is a police management scholar who after spending a career in the USMC and Baltimore Police Department, took to dismantling the blue wall of silence and creating the pathway to reform; a model called Civilian-Led Policing. His fight for justice has included leading the historic Veterans for Standing Rock action in December of 2016, standing on the front lines of civil rights protests, opposing money in politics, and weaponizing privileges to elevate the voices of others.

LinkedIn

Civilian-Led Policing


References

Ajzen, I., & M., F. (1977). Attitude-Behavior Relations: A Theoretical Analysis and Review of Empirical Research. Psychological Bulletin, 84, 888–918.

Amnesty International. (2015). Deadly force: Police use of lethal force in the United States. New York, NY: Amnesty International Publication.

Barnes, B. D. (2012). Confronting the one-man wolf pack: Adapting law enforcement and prosecution responses to the threat of lone wolf terrorism. Boston University Law Review, 92(5), 1614–1662.

Brucato, B. (2015). Policing made visible: Mobile technologies and the importance of point of view. Surveillance & Society, 13(3), 455–473.

Csaszar, F. A. (2012). Organizational Structure as a Determinant of Performance: Evidence From Mutual Funds. Strategic Management Journal, 33(6), 611–632.

Davis, F. D. (1979). Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use, and User Acceptance of Information Technology. MIS Quarterly, 13, 319–340.

Elzie, J., Sinyangwe, S., McKesson, D., & Packnett, B. (2016, January 6). Independent Investigations and Prosecutions. Retrieved from Campaign Zero: http://www.joincampaignzero.org

Fullan, M. (2013). Stratosphere: Integrating technology, pedagogy, and change knowledge. Toronto: Pearson.

Hughes, F., & Andre, L. B. (2007, October). Problem officer variables and early-warning systems. Retrieved from The Police Chief: http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=1313&issue_id=102007

Loyens, K. (2013). Why police officers and labour inspectors (do not) blow the whistle. Policing, 36(1), 27–50.

Martı´n-Alca´zar, F., Romero-Ferna´ndez, P. M., & Sa´nchez-Gardey, G. (2012). Transforming human resource management systems to cope with diversity. Journal of Business Ethics, 107(4), 511–531.

Najdowski, C. J., L., B. B., & Goff. (2015). Stereotype threat and racial differences in citizens’ experiences of police encounters. Law and Human Behavior, 39(5), 463– 477.

Randol, B. M. (2012). The organizational correlates of terrorism response preparedness in local police departments. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 23(3), 304–326.

Russo, M. (2012). Diversity in goal orientation, team performance, and internal team environment. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 31(2), 124–143.

The Guardian. (2016, January 1). The Counted. Retrieved from The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-police-killings-us-database

Venkatesh, V., Morris, M. G., Davis, F. D., & Davis, G. B. (2003). User Acceptance of Information Technology: Toward a Unified View. MIS Quarterly, 27, 425–478.

Walker, S., Alpert, G. P., & Kenney, D. J. (2001). Early warning systems: Responding to the problem police officer. Washington D.C.: National Institute of Justice, U.D. Department of Justice.

Watson, D. L. (2002, February 6). The terrorist threat confronting the United States. Retrieved from FBI: https://www.fbi.gov/news/testimony/the-terrorist-threat-confronting-the-united-states

Weitzer, R. (2015). American policing under fire: Misconduct and reform. Society, 52(5), 475–480.

Wood Jr., M. A. (2012). PLA Law Enforcement Career & Promotion Guide, Baltimore. Charleston, South Carolina: CreateSpace.

Wood Jr., M. A. (2015, August 3). A Response to Fred Bealefeld & Gregg Bernstein — How Law Enforcement Gets it All Wrong. Retrieved from Michael A. Wood Jr.: http://michaelawoodjr.net/michael-a-wood-jr-in-the-news/a-response-to-fred-bealefeld-gregg-bernstein-how-law-enforcement-gets-it-all-wrong

Zapotosky, M. (2016, January 6). In push to reform police work, officers examine their own biases. Retrieved from The Washington Post: http://wpo.st/rf621

Zhao, J. S., Lai, Y.-L., Ren, L., & Lawton, B. (2015). The impact of race/ethnicity and quality-of-life policing on public attitudes toward racially biased policing and traffic stops. Crime & Delinquency, 61(3), 350–374.

Zuckerman, J., Bucci, S., & Carafano, J. J. (2013, July 22). 60 Terrorist Plots Since 9/11: Continued Lessons in Domestic Counterterrorism. Retrieved from Heritage: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/07/60-terrorist-plots-since-911-continued-lessons-in-domestic-counterterrorism


If you enjoyed this story, please click the 👏 button and share to help others find it! Feel free to leave a comment below.

The Mission publishes stories, videos, and podcasts that make smart people smarter. You can subscribe to get them here. By subscribing and sharing, you will be entered to win three (super awesome) prizes!

Like what you read? Give Michael Wood Jr. a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.