OnPolicing Blog

Welcome to the OnPolicing Series

OnPolicing captures the thoughts of some of the country’s most important voices on contemporary policing. It is intended to stimulate debate about the state of policing and the myriad of challenges involved in controlling crime, disorder, and terrorism in a democracy like ours. The opinions are the authors’ own and may not represent the official position of the National Police Foundation. All comments are welcome—especially contrarian ones. We reserve the right to remove hateful or profane posts.

Please refer to the essay entitled "An Introduction to OnPolicing" for an in-depth introduction to the series by the National Police Foundation’s former president and founder of the OnPolicing blog, Jim Bueermann. If you would like to contribute to the OnPolicing series, please send your 500-1000 word essay to info@policefoundation.org.

Jennifer Tejada

Mindful Leadership

Statistics on police health and wellness suggest police training and support programs have failed our profession. Police reform measures also seem to have overlooked a key ingredient in the matter of officer performance. Policing is considered a stressful and emotionally and physically demanding profession. We have succeeded in training our law enforcement officers on the…

John Rosiak

Five Things to Consider Before Posting Cops in Schools

Cops in schools: It’s a contentious issue in contemporary American society. Some people feel that we desperately need to place a sworn, local law-enforcement officer in schools, in addition to regular school security officers. Others are wary that such appointments lead to increases in arrests, with a disproportionate impact on students of color and students…

Christine Gardiner

How Educated Should Police Be?

Several years ago, I wrote an article based on my dissertation in which I made the comment that Orange County police officers were “particularly well-educated” — many with a bachelor’s or master’s degree. It was obvious to me that they were. I had worked with them in California. I talked to them. I knew them….

Fred Burton

Do Uniformed Police Increase Risk?

Recently, at a speech and follow-up discussion with the global security department of a major multinational company, an interesting and lively discussion ensued over the topic of whether the presence of uniformed police officers increases the risk to a venue or location. The topic was raised in light of the police killings in Dallas and…


CALEA Accreditation – A Platform for Excellence and Reform

The Police Foundation’s mission is to advance policing through innovation and science. We pursue this mission by consistently seeking opportunities to impact the profession we were created to serve. Many opportunities to impact policing exist – new technologies emerge and evolve constantly.  New tactics and strategies are always debated. New research and analysis on programs…

Tracy Miller

Police-community relations

Every day police officers risk their lives to keep our communities safe. Unfortunately, law enforcement’s heroic efforts are often not recognized by local communities.  One way we are building stronger community relationships with law enforcement and highlighting their outstanding work is through an innovative program, OC GRIP. OC GRIP (Orange County Gang Reduction & Intervention…

Eddie Reyes

How do police use VR? Very well

In the very beginning the law-enforcement arena had a difficult time establishing an effective training program. If you can’t simulate a hot situation, you have to train with real weapons that are made safe, the law enforcement officer doesn’t really feel that the training is real and you have to bring in lots of role…

Cameron McLay

Building police legitimacy through measuring and managing performance

These are tough times for those of us in policing… The crisis of confidence and legitimacy that characterizes post-Ferguson policing illustrates a vital lesson for local governments and their police.  We, the police, must hold ourselves accountable for the outcomes of our policing services. We must measure our work and our outcomes based on a…

Patrick Shaver

Documentary helps manage aftermath of shootings

My wife looked at me funny when I told her that I thought we could make a movie. I was a police officer in a big city and she was a nurse, but neither of us were filmmakers. What she said next I’ve rebroadcast when we’ve shown our film across the country: “It’s probably not…

Dean Esserman

Give me a cup of coffee and a conversation over a new-fangled piece of fancy new equipment any day

I keep reading about how drones, artificial intelligence and facial-recognition technologies are going to take our industry of policing to an entirely new level. Technology will improve safety, they say. Cops will make quicker arrests, they argue. The world will be a better place for all, they assure. That’s all well and swell, but from my…

Valarie Findlay

Cyber threats against police

Law enforcement organizations, unlike any other, occupy a unique position in the consequences of cyber threats – often the forefront of investigative, interdiction or enforcement capacity, it’s becoming more common that they are the target. From the operational experience, law enforcement comes into contact with various cyber technologies used for malicious and illegal means by…

National Law Enforcement Memorial

How do cops feel about the American flag?

There is no question that the American flag is intrinsically linked to the men and women who make up the various police forces sprinkled across the United States. Seems only natural, right? Well, consider this. The United States does not have a national police force, which was intentional because the Founding Fathers made sure that…

Jane Wiseman

Building a Diverse Workforce in Law Enforcement

A worker shortage is sweeping the nation, and law enforcement is no exception. Across the country, law enforcement agencies struggle to recruit, hire, and retain police officers for reasons that span social, economic, and political…

Frank Straub

Counter-Terrorism After 9/11—An interview with Dr. Frank Straub, Director of the Center for Mass Violence Response Studies at the National Police Foundation

Reprinted with permission from the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) – The Hague. Twenty years ago, Frank Straub was a first responder on the scene of the attacks in lower Manhattan. Looking back, we go…

Dean Esserman

Co-Responder Models in Policing: Better Serving Communities

Over the last 30 years, a growing number of agencies have increasingly adopted police-mental health collaboration (PMHC) programs, also known as co-responder models, to provide an enhanced response to victims of crime or people in…

Lashunda Stateson

Putting Unity in Comm “unity”: Overview of Community-Oriented Policing

“We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end.” This is a famous quote from the United States’ 28th President, Woodrow T. Wilson. Yet this quote resonates more…

Allen Schubert

Is Your Agency Leading the Charge?

By now everyone with an interest in law enforcement and mending the rifts in our fractured society has seen the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Those who have sworn to an Oath of Office…

Jim Bueermann

Militias and Police Normalization of Domestic Violent Extremists

It is illegal in all 50 states to form unauthorized private militia groups.[1] However, 36 states allow the open carry of firearms at protests. As a result, groups carrying arms and wearing tactical gear at…