Role of law enforcement explored at University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown criminal justice forum
From The Tribune-Democrat:
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – Are law enforcement officers being asked to do too much in their jobs?
Are they trained properly? Are more police officers needed?
Those were the questions that opened the Americans for Prosperity-sponsored Key Issues in Criminal Justice for a Better Future forum Tuesday at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown’s John P. Murtha Center for Public Service and National Competitiveness. They also provided the foundation for the discussion that lasted more than 90 minutes.
Opinions obviously varied among the panelists – Americans for Prosperity State Director Ashley Klingensmith; R Street Institute senior fellow for criminal justice and civil liberties Christi Smith; state Rep. Jim Rigby, R-Ferndale; Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Cowburn; and state Sen. Wayne Langerholc Jr., R-Richland Township…
Smith also emphasized the need for proper training.
“I like to think of this as a little bit of quantity and quality,” Smith said. “We could add another 1 million officers to the Philadelphia Police Department, but if we’re still asking them to do all of the things that are not aligned with the way that they’re trained, and if they do so ineffectively and they are demonized, then that contributes to the negative police-citizen interactions. So I think it’s a little bit of both. We need more officers, but we also need higher-quality officers as well…”