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.

Ed Flynn

Raising Our Standards Above Criminal Culpability

These days, there cannot be many more difficult jobs than being a cop in the United States. It’s reached such a point that in many ways, I can liken it to being a member of the military, serving overseas in a hot zone. I say that because much like in the military, we in the…

Stuart Greer

Lessons from the Battlefield: A Case for Evidence-Based Policing

As twin bombs detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians heroically rushed into danger to save lives.  The first responders found that they were dealing with devastation on a massive scale but utilized everything available to help those that had been critically injured.  One of the…

Debora Black

Leading Culture Change

“The only thing of real importance that leaders do is to create and manage culture.” -Edgar Schein As leaders of law enforcement agencies, we might well debate the accuracy of Mr. Schein’s statement as we daily face threats to the safety of people in our communities, challenges which threaten the credibility of our organization, and…

Dave Thomas

Law Enforcement Must Regain the Public’s Trust

I write this as an African American male and as a retired police officer. There is so much American history that some of America wants to forget. Quite honestly, we Americans have short memories when it comes to uncomfortable reality or truth that interferes with our way of life. For instance, if I bring up…

Travis Martinez

Solving Crime and Enhancing Community-Policing Using Advanced GPS Tracking Technology

As the crime rate continues to increase throughout California with communities feeling the effects of prison realignment and Prop. 47, law enforcement agencies across the state are challenged with finding new strategies to address community concerns. Several police agencies – including the Redlands Police Department (RPD) – appear to have found an effective strategy to…

Frank Straub

Learning Critical Lessons from 9/11, Then and Today

On Saturday (September 10th), I received an email from Jim Bueermann, my boss at the Police Foundation. The email’s subject line was succinct: “Is that you in this photo from 9/11?” I opened the email and clicked on the link Jim had provided; I watched the video, and there I was, kneeling next to a…

Jeff Hadley

Big Time Trouble Won’t Only Happen in Big Cities

If the past year has shown us anything, it’s that crime and terror on a major scale can happen anywhere, not just in big cities like New York or Washington D.C. There were probably a lot of Americans who had never heard of Kalamazoo, Michigan, before an Uber driver went on a killing spree in…

Tim Hegarty

Community-Led Policing

Current models of civilian oversight explicitly separate the roles of the community and the police in the decision-making process. In fact, most civilian oversight exists to address the consequences of decisions already made by the police. The Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing reinforces this separation by recommending “some form…

Ed Flynn

Chief Flynn Discusses Race and Law Enforcement During Presidential Town Hall

Milwaukee Police Chief and Police Foundation Executive Fellow Edward Flynn took part in the nationally televised town hall forum with President Obama on Thursday, July 14, 2016. The forum tackled race relations and law enforcement, two issues that have been at the forefront of the nation in recent weeks. Chief Flynn addressed both the issues…

Ronnell Higgins

If We Open Our Ears and Our Minds, We Can Reconnect with Our Communities

In the business of policing, we often talk about lessons learned. Let me tell you something, from my perspective as chief of the university police, we sure have had ample opportunities to learn some lessons here at Yale University over the past year. Last January, my department came under fire after one of my officers…

Dr. Neeki

Taking Emergency Medicine in the Field to a SMART Level

I left Iran more than three decades ago to escape fanatical religious extremism. As one can imagine, I was greatly disheartened upon seeing such zealotry in my home of the United States that fateful day of December 2nd, when the San Bernardino terrorist attack occurred. I am greatly honored to have been part of the…

Jarrod Burguan

Orlando Tragedy Spurs Memories for San Bernardino Police Chief

With a very heavy heart, I watched the tragic news unfold out of Orlando this past weekend. It was painful for me to hear of the unconscionable loss of life. It made me proud to see law enforcement responding forcefully and effectively to prevent more people from being slaughtered. But it was also an odd…

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…