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Book Review: Humane Policing

Humane Policing: How Perspectives Can Influence Our Performance. By Darron Spencer. ​Inspire On Purpose Publishing; available from; 224 pages; $19.95.

The law enforcement profession has been experiencing a lot of criticism lately, due in part to a small percentage of police officers who choose not to follow the rules. While this is not unique to policing, it sheds light on the festering problems. Author Darron Spencer's Humane Policing: How Perspectives Can Influence Our Performance is a well-written quasi-autobiography of one man's experience as a U.S. Marine and sheriff's officer. It advances a new philosophy of community policing and police tactics.

The author chronicles what he learned from the military, what he observed while serving in law enforcement, and the changes he made, which are revealed in the chapter "When Blue Lines Become Grey." His narratives demonstrate why law enforcement personnel should not take shortcuts when going the extra yard is required.

Anecdotes from the author's career serve as a reminder that policing is dynamic, and no two situations will have the same outcome. "Stopping the Growing Trend" is a poignant chapter that applies to school safety officers and security professionals, who face the challenges of securing school environments against potential active shooter scenarios. Spencer's words are real and thought provoking.

This self-published book is written for those in law enforcement, and it applies to security professionals as well. While portions of the book offer advice on dealing with aspects of policing, the takeaway for the reader is that communication and respect go a long way in enhancing citizen interactions. It's sure to resonate with police officers and school safety officers.

Reviewer: Brian L. Royster, Ed.D., is an assistant professor at Saint Peter's University and a retired New Jersey State Trooper. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and a member of ASIS International.