Text Of Certificate Presentation Remarks at Press Conference
By Executive Director Louis Mayo
Thank you Chief ________________, distinguished
guests, ladies and gentlemen. It is indeed a pleasure for
me, as Executive Director of the Police Association for College
Education or PACE, to be here to recognize the uniquely high professional
standards of the _________________ Police Department. The
common essential ingredient for improving the police, recommended
by many national commissions, the Federal Courts and other leading
authorities is college degreed police officers.
Although I will briefly discuss the views of many authorities, they
are all consistent with my experiences of over 50 years in policing
with the last 35 years devoted to working at the national level
on efforts to improve local policing, beginning with my association
with OLEA group attached to the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement
and the Administration of Justice in 1967.
The President’s Crime Commission described the police role.
Few professions are so peculiarly charged
with individual responsibility. Complexities inherent in policing
further dictate that officers possess a high degree intellect, education,
tact, sound judgment, physical courage, emotional stability, impartiality
and honesty... mistakes in judgment could cause irreparable harm
to citizens and even to the community. The Commission continues.
The quality of policing will not improve significantly until higher
education requirements are established for its personnel recommending
a Baccalaureate degree for officers.
The Commission added.
It is nonsense to state or assume that the
enforcement of law is so simple that it can be done by those unencumbered
by the study of liberal arts. Officers of any department should
certainly be conversant with the structure of government and its
philosophies. He must be well grounded in sociology, criminology,
and human relations in order to understand the ramifications of
the problems which confront him daily.
This is further supported by the American Bar Association in their
Standards for the Urban Police Function.
Police need personnel in their ranks who have
the characteristics a college education seeks to foster; intellectual
curiosity, analytical ability, articulateness, and a capacity to
relate the events of the day to the social, political and historical
context in which they occur.
The Bar Association continues.
Since a principal function of the police is
the safeguarding of democracy, if the police fail to conform their
conduct to the requirements of law, they subvert the democratic
process and frustrate the achievement of a principal police function.
The Federal Courts have stated similarly.
Thus, police officers are left with their
more essential task which includes social control in a period of
increasing social turmoil, preservation of our constitutional guarantees,
and exercise of the broadest discretion sometimes involving life
and death decisions of any government service. The need for
police officers who are intelligent, articulate, mature, and knowledgeable
about social and political decisions is apparent. .(A) college
education develops and imparts the requisite level of knowledge.
(Emphasis added.) Davis v. Dallas, 777 F.2d 205, 6th Cir.
1985, Certiorari denied to the U.S. Supreme Court May 19, 1986.
To this we add the numerous research studies that show that college
educated officers have much fewer complaints of failure to conform
to the requirements of the law and other abuses of authority.
Finally, I would quote from an editorial from the Atlantic City
Press, Towns that put new police officers without college degrees
on the street are shortchanging their citizens.
For those who state that although desirable, it can’t be done, I
point to the almost 50 cities and counties which have accomplished
this successfully. It is hoped that through the efforts of
PACE all communities can have the professional services of college
degreed officers in the near future. To that end PACE will
offer pro-bono technical assistance.
In conclusion, I would like to quote the National Advisory Commission
on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals: "At the conclusion of this
chapter, a judgment made at its beginning bears repeating:
The most enduring problems in criminal justice are not technical
or financial -- they are political."
I commend the _______________ Police Department and City Officials
for establishing the recommended college degree standards for officers
with the resulting quality of professional service to the people
of this community.
At this time, I would ask Chief _______________ to come forward
to receive for the department the PACE certificate which recognizes
the high professional standards of this department.