Why The NPA is a Good Idea

professionThere has been an ongoing debate about whether policing is a profession, simply a calling or just a job. In the United States professions are defined as occupations that have common educational requirements, national accreditation, ongoing training requirements, a single code of ethics, and exacting certification requirements. None of this applies to policing, at least not in a uniform manner.

If we were to apply the current standards for police training to the medical field we would be disheartened to learn that the term ‘doctor’ would have different meanings in different states. If everyone in the medical field was called a doctor, regardless of training, you might end up with a veterinarian when you actually need a surgeon.

The creation of the NPA opens the door for policing to become a profession. By having national standards and national accreditation, police officers in any city could laterally transfer anywhere in the country. In addition, when an occupation is raised to the level of a profession, the pay gets better.

Recent events have caused the public to have their lowest approval ratings of police in decades.frustrated police If you talk with officers it is easy to feel their frustration. They work hard every day, but still feel that they don’t have public support. Further, they state this is resulting in a lowered level of cooperation and a lower solve rate.

Because the NPA will listen to public concerns about the police and develop training programs to address them, public support for the police will improve. National certification will give the police more gravitas with the public and in court.

regionsIt is important to know that the NPA does not need to be located in only one place. It could easily be a single entity in terms of leadership, but still have regional academies. Such an approach might serve to further connect the public with the NPA and make it easier for chiefs and sheriffs to visit, since the academy would likely be closer.

The NPA would also serve a financial purpose. Local and state academies cost a lot of money to maintain and operate. moneyMany small departments cannot afford an academy at all, and are forced to accept recruits who have attended private police academies….often in situations in which the recruits had to pay for their training themselves. The NPA would largely eliminate these inequalities between departments.

Trust between the police and the public is a topic that cannot be overstated. In a democracy trust is fundamental for police organizations. humerous policeResearch shows the the single most important factor in determining whether or not the police will solve a crime is their relationship with the public. The NPA would go a long way towards building that trust. It follows then that we could expect the NPA to help improve the solve rate, furthering public confidence.

Just last week we talked with the chief of a large West coast department. He complained that all of his recruiting efforts were expensive and largely ineffective. Where in the past thousands of applicants would apply for 100 positions, these days he often has trouble finding enough qualified applicants to fill a class. The NPA will help with this by expanding the applicant field.

Returning, for a moment, to the DoD (from the previous post) and our nation’s veterans. The Pro American Party strongly supports the idea of creating a path for qualified separating veterans to go directly into the NPA.military-police In such an instance, departments could easily go to the NPA to recruit those candidates that best meet their needs. As an improvement to the current recruiting process, these candidates would already have a track record at the academy, allowing departments to be much more successful in finding good recruits as they would be able to see and compare recruits according to their department’s standards and needs. It would be better for recruits as well. Recruits would be able to evaluate all offers and go to the department of their choice.

This would not prevent departments from selecting their own recruits and then sending them to the academy. Even when departments chose to send an entire recruit class to the NPA they would enjoy substantial cost savings as compared to a local academy.

A National Police Academy? Is This a Power Grab By the Federal Government?

In our last post we talked about forming a group of stakeholders to help determine the types of training required at the National Police Academy. This group was comprised of law enforcement professionals, the public, and others, whom we called infrastructure. As the post ended we left it up to ‘leadership’ to merge all of the competing needs in this training in order to present a comprehensive training program. So, who is leadership?

There are two groups already in place that will provide the leadership and direction for this initiative. The first is the National Sheriffs’ Association. sheriffsassociation2They have been providing training and leadership in law enforcement circles since 1940. Their stated goal is to raise the level of professionalism in law enforcement, making them a perfect choice for this task. The NSA’s Center for Public Safety will take the lead in this effort.

The second is the International Association of Chiefs of Police. iacpFounded in 1893, the association’s goals are to advance the science and art of police services; to foster police cooperation and the exchange of information and experience among police administrators throughout the world; to bring about recruitment and training in the police profession of qualified persons; and to encourage adherence of all police officers to high professional standards of performance and conduct. Within the IACP, the Training and Professional Services Division will be the lead division.

Initially these two groups will provide 25 members to the leadership committee. The NSA will provide 15 members and the IACP will provide 10. The NSA has more selections in recognition that sheriff’s are the only elected law enforcement officials in our country. The group will elect a chair (from the NSA) and a vice-chair (from the IACP) who will then appoint the other leadership officers with the advice and consent of the remaining members.

Although this initiative will be led by the NSA and the IACP, funding will be provided by three federal agencies that already have a mandate to help law enforcement and our labor force. These agencies include the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Defense. Of note, the DoD has the responsibility of helping veterans find employment in civilian life when they separate from active duty.
Note: Although these agencies will provide funding, neither they nor the federal government will have any control or authority over the management and operation of the NPA.

no big governmentFor those of you with an understanding and knowledge of the origins of law enforcement in the United States you will know that unlike virtually any other country, our nation made a determination, from the very beginning, to have local control of their police forces. There is nothing in this initiative that would change that. Individual cities and departments can opt in or out of this training as they choose. This initiative is limited to training and in no way affects the control or authority over or of any department.

This initiative is designed to address common training needs across the country. It is not intended to eliminate the need for localized training. Even departments that send their recruits to the NPA might still need to provide training for local circumstances. Examples of individualized training needs might be for communities with a high number of immigrants or those that have critical infrastructure (e.g. water systems) that need to be protected.

Next post:  Why the NPA is good idea.

A National Police Academy? How? Why? Who?

officer at schoolThe Pro American Party strongly advocates creating a National Police Academy (NPA). Such an academy is in the best interests of all Americans and provides us with an opportunity to greatly improve the collective training of police officers throughout our nation. In our view sending officers to this academy should be voluntary on the part of each department, as should accepting officers from this academy. We believe the training and results will speak for themselves and that departments will naturally gravitate to the NPA because they will see it is in their own best interests to do so.

police relationsSo how does one start an Academy? When beginning from scratch the best place to start is by talking with the stakeholders. The first group should be comprised of current law enforcement professionals. In our view this group is further broken down into executive, management and line officer sub-groups. The executive level group would be comprised of those personnel who have leadership and vision functions within departments. The management group would be comprised of different levels of supervisors who are responsible to translate the vision of leadership personnel into operational reality. The line officers are those who work the streets and have a direct connection with citizens.

Each of these groups, within their communities, function in their own way and face different pressures, from both inside and outside their departments. Thus they each have a unique contribution to make to the design of the NPA.

minority communityThe second group of stakeholders is the general public. This group should be representative of our country…meaning that we will need persons from each of the races and cultures that can be found within our nation. We also need to represent different socioeconomic groups, because each group has different types of interactions with the police and therefore unique viewpoints.

The last group of stakeholders is ‘infrastructure’. It should be comprised of representatives of other government agencies (at local, state and federal levels) and the business community.

puppy k9Once representatives of each of these groups is selected their mandate will be to determine the types of training and skills today’s police need to function properly within their communities, from each group’s individual point of view. It will then be the job of the leadership of the NPA to design the program so that it merges the requirements of this combined group into a cohesive and comprehensive training program.

Note: The stakeholder group should meet once a year to discuss if/how training needs have changed based on the events that have taken place in our country in the past year.

Next Post: Why do we need the NPA, what are its advantages and where will these officers come from?

The Pro American Party Honors Our Military With Action, Not Just Words – Tenet #11

Soldiers w RiflesThose citizens who have chosen to enter the military will have exposed themselves to the dangers and horrors of war; perhaps the most meaningful way possible to honor our country.

This service will be recognized in three ways.  First, honorably discharged military members who served during peacetime who transition to non-military government jobs will receive one dollar an hour over the hourly fee of their cohorts for the rest of  their lives.

mil dog at funeralSecond, honorably discharged military members who served during a time of war who transition to non-military government jobs will receive three dollars an hour more than their cohorts, for the rest of their lives.

These extra payments are a meaningful way for a grateful nation to express its gratitude.

VAThe VA will continue to exist and will focus on finding ways to help veterans with PTSD and other service-related physical and mental injuries.

Veterans with combat-related injuries are free to use the VA or any other qualified medical or psychological professionals, based on preference or availability.

Monthly survivors benefits (Dependency Indemnity Compensation) will remain as currently provided.  However, as the third way to honor our veterans, a surviving spouse or dependent will now be authorized a $50,000 lump sum payment that will be remitted within 30 days of the date of death.

 

Who Should Pay for Corporate Pollution? – Tenet #10

pollution

Tenet #10 reads as follows:

“Businesses whose operations pollute the environment will be taxed at a higher rate to provide a fund available to the government to mitigate the effects of the pollution. The goal of the government shall be to ensure the quality of the air, water and land to sustain future generations of citizens. If a business provides and implements a plan that fully mitigates all negative environmental effects, no additional tax will be necessary. When determining the rate of this punitive tax, long-term environmental and public health risks will be, at minimum, a part of the factors to be considered.”

Do you think any CEO of a polluting corporation lives in the pollution zone?   The answer is no.  Okay, so we know CEOs don’t live in the areas where their corporations pollute.  Given that, can you guess what one demographic best determines who DOES live in that zone?   Okay two guesses.   Race is the best predictor and poverty is next.  Surprised?

water pollution

Given that the Pro American Party is being created to protect all Americans, including non-white and poor Americans, this is simply unacceptable.

If you study this issue, you will be sad to learn that there is a term used to describe this problem … Environmental Racism.   The problem of Environmental Racism exists for two  reasons.   First, poor, non-white communities simply cannot fight corporations inside our legal system.   They do not have the resources.   Second, they also can’t move away from the pollution as families of more means would do.   They are stuck when corporations, whose executives live miles away, decide their neighborhood would be a good place to send their pollution.

This is another example showing why the Pro American Party so strongly believes our government has a duty that is more than just providing a military.   Sometimes the enemy is within, and all Americans, and our environment, deserve to be protected from them.

For more information please look at the following article by Bryce Covert: http://www.thenation.com/article/race-best-predicts-whether-you-live-near-pollution/

 

 

Making Math Meaningful – Really?? Tenet #9

 

sexy math

The Pro American Party presents Tenet #9:

“The Congress shall create a committee that surveys all U.S. businesses on a yearly basis for the purpose of determining the educational and technical skill needs within their work forces. These needs will be broadcast to all secondary and higher level schools, including private and technical schools so that programs can be created to meet those needs.”

We seek to answer the age old question: “Why do I need math?”

There are two primary goals for this tenet. First, we want to make sure schools are teaching those classes that will result in jobs for Americans. Second, we want to help parents when they have that inevitable discussion about why it is important for their children to learn math, history, geography, etc.

Let’s use math as an example.  The following is a copy of an article written by in Math Learning on August 14th, 2013

Lots of children dream big and we love that about them! Kids want to be sculptors, veterinarians, zoo keepers, pilots, baseball players, dancers — they are only limited by their imaginations. As parents and teachers, our job is to give kids the tools they need to realize these dreams. Math learning is one of those tools, as shown by our list of 7 cool jobs that require math.

Looking for ways to motivate your dreamer in math? You can encourage your child by talking about how a [insert dream job here] needs math in their job. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

These 7 cool jobs all require math learning

1. Animator

In animation, math and art go together like peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. Trigonometry helps rotate and move characters, while algebra creates the special effects to make images shine. Even artists have to pay attention in math class!

2. Game Designer

Designing board or video games is a cool job. Who wouldn’t want to playtest Candyland, Monopoly, or Clue? Every game designer needs to have a good grasp of game theory – a branch of applied mathematics. Aspiring video game programmers should also study trigonometry, physics, and calculus. Chances are, board game designers will need to know probability, even if they won’t be designing math games.

3. Robotics Engineer

Robotics engineers design, test, and maintain robots! It’s a growing industry and the employment outlook is sunny. Before you quit your day job and run off to design a house-cleaning robot, hit the math books. Most Robotics Engineers have a master’s or doctorate. According to the article, “Learn About Robots” robotics may be the most inter-disciplinary of engineering endeavors.

4. Roller Coaster Designer

Roller Coaster

As you ride a roller coaster through loops, dives, and dips, you’re busy wondering if you’re going to lose your lunch, not calculating velocity. But there are many different curves in a coaster and roller coaster engineers need to understand the mathematical properties of these curves, as well as physics, kinematics, and material strength. Like all cool jobs, roller coaster design is competitive — there are only 100 roller coaster design companies in the U.S.!

5. Jet Fighter Pilot

The thrilling life of a jet fighter pilot seems worlds away from the math classroom. Movies like “Top Gun,” show pilots streaking through the sky in futuristic birds, not calculating how much fuel they have left or figuring out the direction and speed of the wind. But pilots have to complete major math problems on the fly, and when they’re zipping through the air at 700 mph, math skills are life saving.

6. Sports Announcer

What is his batting average? How many bases has he stolen? When those sports personalities give the play-by-play, they have to pay attention to the numbers: percentages, player stats, the clock. And sports casting is done live, which means there’s no room for errors.

7. Professional Photographer

We think of shutterbugs as artists, not mathematicians. But professional photographers need mad math skills. They have to calculate depth of field, determine the correct film speed, shutter speed, aperture, and exposure — and more. And to capture the moment, they need to do it all in a matter of minutes. Who knew so much math went into one photograph?

– See more at: http://www.dreambox.com/blog/7-dream-jobs-that-require-math#sthash.44NV0J8Z.dpuf

 

For even more math-related jobs that kids will love, click on the following url: http://startingwright.cs.wright.edu/Teacher/ingut/21-seriously-cool-careers.pdf