Praise New, Nonviolent Approach to Policing


Target: Mr. Scott Flanagan, Former Special Forces and Police De-escalation Trainer

Goal: Praise new approach to conflict resolution that emphasizes non-violence.

In the wake of countless unwarranted police shootings over the last few years, police forces are attempting to embrace a new approach to conflict resolution that emphasizes de-escalation and nonviolence. This new approach is being taught by former Army Special Forces member Scott Flanagan, who specialized in nonviolent conflict resolution during his service and is a serious breath of fresh air. Hopefully all of this training can change the culture of violence that many police officers subscribe to.

It’s obvious that a country’s police force has a problem when its military has to train it in how to be less violent. The goal of police officers is to protect and serve, yet the training they receive as cadets borders on what the armies receive to fight wars. For example, most officers receive 58 hours of firearms training and only eight hours of training on how to de-escalate tense situations. Flanagan and his co-teacher have said that many officers incorrectly view themselves as warriors and need to be taught to view themselves as guardians instead. They are doing this by pushing a message of service, patience, and open-mindedness.

This program is part of a new initiative by a taskforce that was formed by President Obama following the shooting of Mike Brown by Darren Wilson. The taskforce is made up of former police officers, former military members, and community voices that are seeking to make policing better. This new approach is not without resistance from some officers, but as they say, bad habits die hard. Please sign here to commend Mr. Flanagan for his work and encourage this type of retraining effort nationally.


Dear Mr. Flanagan,

I understand that you are part of an effort to change the mindset and culture of police in this country and I want to sincerely thank you for that. There is a certain sickness that pervades the culture of policing, one full of violence, mistrust, and subversive racism. It’s clear that a country’s police force has a problem when you, a former military member, has to teach them how to be less violent. All of that being said, I think that the work you are doing is invaluable and will save countless lives over the coming years.

Temperance, tolerance, open-mindedness, patience, and service are all important traits in police officers and I sincerely hope that your training can help to foster these. I understand that there has been some pushback and resistance to your methods and teachings, but as they say, old habits die hard. Please keep up the good work and know that you are doing a great deal of good for this country and that we are indebted to you.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: torbakhopper

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