DENVER -- Interactions between police and the public taking a bad turn have become a sad reality in the modern world. It’s those interactions that are at the backbone of the book Humane Policing by Darren Spencer, a former marine and law enforcement officer.
“Humane policing is an individual approach to law enforcement where when you are dealing with the person, you deal with them as a person rather than an entity or statistic or previous offender,” Spencer told Anne Trujillo on this week’s Politics Unplugged. “So, you take an approach that allows dignity and gives them a chance to make good choices for both themselves and their family to move forward from a bad situation.”
Trujillo asked why it’s not something that is just done on a regular basis.
“It is a difficult situation and right now,” Spencer answered. “Some agencies are going to a community style policing which is good, but everybody is kind of on edge -- both the community and law enforcement as a whole.”
Spencer says there is a big divide between law enforcement and many community groups right now. He says that divide can only be overcome with mutual respect.
“We need to start appreciating law enforcement more for the sacrifices they make and on the law enforcement side we need to take more time to handle the law enforcement situation in a manner that is conducive to a better outcome,” he said.
Spencer said he had success finding common ground with the people he came across while doing his job.
“Find some common ground that I have with that person in front of me and that way that person could start relating to me as a person doing a job rather than a person in a uniform,” he added. “And it would be anywhere from relating to a topic of clothing or sports teams or anything we could get common ground interaction on that is not on the enforcement side of the law.”