Demilitarizing The Cops: States Retool Police Training

CBS Seattle

BURIEN, Wash. (AP) — When prosecutor Dan Satterberg used to visit Washington state’s police academy, the seas would part before him. Recruits would snap to attention, backs to the walls, and allow him to pass.

Now, they greet him and start a conversation.

“It takes a lot longer to walk down the halls,” said Satterberg, the elected prosecutor in Seattle’s King County.

The friendlier attitude reflects a campaign underway here and elsewhere around the U.S. to “demilitarize” the police and produce officers who think of themselves as guardians of their communities, not members of an occupying force.

Calls for demilitarizing law enforcement began a few years ago but gained urgency after the violent protests over the shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last summer.

The philosophy was endorsed this week by President Barack Obama’s 21st Century Policing task force. As part of that change in thinking, Obama…

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