Gascon Interview Highlights
Gascon on Putting Ethics at the Forefront of Los Angeles Police Department Training:
“We developed one of the first real high-quality integrated in-service police trainings in this country. The constitutional overtones of everything we do in policing was at the forefront as opposed to being in the background. We actually took the bill of rights and we posted it in the classrooms where we were having the training… Integrating ethics, integrating constitutional issues, integrating human rights concerns into police use of force – it is not usually done and for many people it was sort of a foreign concept. We needed to get the guys with the 18-inch arms and the guys with the three-piece suits to come together in the same classroom."
Gascon on the Consequences of Overcriminalization in the African-American Community:
“We have the highest incarceration rate of any first-world nation and most of that incarceration rate is impacting primarily the African-American community… The unintended consequences of this process has been that as we overcriminalize our communities we have created a gap where we have removed entire generations of male role models and the impact that has had in the African-American community has been devastating… If you look at the social impact and the social cost in our society over long periods of time, I think it’s untenable.”
Gascon on the Increasing Costs of Policing:
“One of the areas that concerned me greatly was that as we increased the costs of policing we were decreasing the investment in other social services – parks, libraries and other activities and services that should be provided by local government, that actually if done well will eventually have a better impact in reducing crime than the suppression piece or enforcement that law enforcement brings to the table.”
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