A New Paradigm in American Policing?
Future Perspectives on Current Trends
Joseph A. Schafer
The New Paradigm in Policing Symposium
Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority
November 29, 2011
Schiller Park, IL
Current Realities
 Approximately 250 municipal & county LEAs in Cook &
collar counties.
 Problems with American model of provincial policing.
 2010 PERF study found:
 Slight majority of agencies had less money in FY10 vs. FY09
 Among those with cuts, average loss of 7%
 Most anticipated budget cuts in FY11.
 Among all agencies 3% sworn and 1% non-sworn cuts in FY10
along. ¼ agencies expected to shrink in FY11.
 Reduced travel, reduced training, delayed tech/capital upgrades.
 47% of chiefs reported services in their communities had
Examples of Current Realities
 Illinois State Police
 ~10% budget reduction 2008 to 2010
 ~20% reduction in sworn staffing
 Chicago has used furloughs
 Naperville has cut programs and laid off personnel
 Schaumberg has created mechanism for lateral hire of officers laid
off due to financial exigencies
 In all of the above, questions arise:
Effect on crime, clearance and arrest rates?
Effect on quality of service to the community?
Effect on safety, injuries, fatalities, and property loss?
Are “minor” crimes and property offenses being overlooked so
agencies can focus on violent crime?
The Challenges for Today and the Future
 Past efforts and models cannot be sustained, at least for now.
 Will that capacity return?
 Our nation’s system of provincial policing reflects our love of
local governance, control, & accountability.
 It is also expensive, redundant, and inefficient.
 Parallels to London in the 1820s before the birth of “modern”
 What implications can be seen for futures thinking,
leadership, organizational change, and the advancement of
professional policing?
Futures Thinking
 Considering possible, probable, and preferable futures
 “The purpose of futures studies is not to know the future but to make
better decisions today.”
Jerome C. Glenn
 Similar to retirement planning
 Not answers, but options
 Yet the longer we put off action, the more constrained our options
We can’t solve
problems by using
the same kind of
thinking we used
when we created
Barriers to Futures Thinking in Policing
 Reactive profession – tend to focus on tradition and past
 Budgetary limitations and personnel shortages
 Inadequate skills and training
 Policing is still mired in the challenges of today, while carrying the
baggage of the past (Bill Tafoya)
Exploring The Future of Policing
 Founded 1991
 Established 2002
Developing a Long View
 As budgets & services shrink, what should be the focus of
 Police do more than fight crime
 How do agencies maintain 15 years of success in reducing
 What do “success” and “value” mean in 21st Century policing?
 What overall CJS value might be achieved by emphasizing
policing (not necessarily police officers) over prisons?
What Should Local Policing Look Like?
 Core services
 Structure
 Cost & value
 Out-sourcing & privatization are not always better or more cost
 Is it wise to out-source public order and visible deterrence to the
private sector?
 But do all services require fully trained and equipped officer?
 (Agency) size does not always matter.
 Is it time to rethink how we use patrol, investigations, and special
units, as well as how those three relate to one another?
What are the paths forward?
 Awareness that futures studies includes defining preferable
 Life is not fatalistic
 The future brings both challenges and opportunities.
 Dialogue within your own agency about possible, probable,
preferable futures
 Proactive
 Creating a culture/tradition
 If not you, who?
The 21st Century Police Leader
 Ask the difficult questions and seek answers from diverse audiences.
 Challenges are rarely unique; decisions should not be made in a vacuum
 Take an active role in developing coalitions that will enhance and
mobilize public safety resources
 Swiftness and certainty often trump severity
 Be a true leader, not simply a manager or administrator
 Find opportunity within the current crisis
 Work to empower those who work for you
 Be honest and transparent with officers
 Engagement in decision making normally results in greater “buy in”
 Define and pursue a future for your agency based on rational choice and
evidence, not simply tradition and inertia
 Understand and monitor the evolving trends in crime and policing
You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something build a new model that makes the
existing model obsolete.
-R. Buckminster Fuller
Dr. Joe Schafer
Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
[email protected]

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