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DCG Articles
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The ‘Language of the Street’ Fallacy

In our Surviving Verbal Conflict® and Winning Back Your Community courses we caution law enforcement officers to avoid using what is called the ‘language of the street.’ The language of the street refers to profanity and other abrasive language often used by the criminal element in some neighborhoods. While most officers agree that using this […]

Chief Harry P. Dolan (Ret.) & Richard R. Johnson, Ph. D. Read More
Verbal Contact and Cover Protecting Your Colleagues and Your Profession

Far too often today, I believe, police officers are being ‘rope-a-doped’ by manipulative people out on the street. Taken from the tactic famously employed by boxing legend Muhammad Ali, the ‘rope-a-dope’ is when a challenging or manipulative person says things that are intentionally crafted to get under your skin, make you angry, and get you […]

Chief Harry P. Dolan Read More
Confronting the “Gypsy Cops” Problem: Understanding State Statutes that Give Legal Protections to Those Who Speak Out

The national problem of “gypsy cops” is not a new one. Toxic officers engage in misconduct in one agency after another over the course of a career and, in the meantime, inflict damage to agency reputation and morale along the way. These officers leave one agency where they are widely known to be a serious […]

Matt Dolan, Attorney Read More
Street Sergeants Leading by Example: The Evidence

Leadership in law enforcement, especially at the street level, is extremely important at a time when there is evidence of de-policing in certain neighborhoods and communities across the country, contributing to rising crime levels in those areas.i There is a strong temptation for many officers, in light of a barrage of negative media attention and […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Improving Police-Minority Relations: The Out-of-Car Experience

In the wake of a significant increase in officer deaths from violent attacks and unceasing criticism by media outlets, political figures and other groups in 2016, citizen satisfaction and confidence in the police in America has actually rebounded from a pattern of decline that has been going on since the early 1970s. In 1968, Gallup Poll data showed […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Political Retaliation Claims by Public Sector Employees

In May of 2016, 6 school district employees received a $880,000 settlement after being allegedly reassigned and having their wages cut for supporting the opposing political slate in board elections in Donna, TX. In October 2016, a former police offer received a $1.6 million settlement after the city’s mayor allegedly caused his demotion from detective […]

Matt Dolan, Attorney Read More
Inconsistent Employee Discipline

Have you ever tried to suspend or terminate an employee for a serious act of misconduct, only to have this discipline reversed by a judge or grievance arbitrator? If so, you are not alone. Current research reveals that 5 out of 10 public employees are successful in having their discipline overturned when challenging their employers […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
The 24-Hour Rule

Information delivered in the midst of a crisis is often inaccurate. It has been my experience that the first wave of information, gathered in a hurried or excited manner, always contains some inaccuracies. Sometimes, as public safety leaders, we have no choice but to make quick decisions based on incomplete information when dealing with emergency […]

Chief Harry P. Dolan (ret.) Read More
A Cell Phone Camera is NOT a “Get Out of Jail Free” Card

The proliferation of recording devices has resulted in a new reality for police officers: encountering civilians who are recording them as they do their job. While the Supreme Court has yet to give law enforcement officers a clear definition of the constitutional right to record (subject to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions), the writing […]

Matt Dolan, Attorney Read More
What Effects do School Resource Officers Have on Schools?

Over the last two years there has been a small, but very vocal, segment of the U.S. population that has raised concerns in opposition to having law enforcement officers permanently assigned to schools as school resource officers (SROs). Those in opposition to school resource officers have claimed that assigning officers to schools has resulted in […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Biased-Based Policing Reports Are Failing the Police and the Community

Recent public opinion surveys have revealed that the vast majority of Americans believe that use of racial profiling by the police is widespread.1 This is deeply disturbing for two reasons. First, it is disturbing because it undermines police legitimacy among the vast majority of our citizens. Second, it is disturbing because the vast majority of […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Getting Rid of Bad Apples: Winning at Arbitration

Research has repeatedly revealed that a very few individuals commit the vast majority of the serious misconduct experienced within public agencies—from law enforcement to the fire service to public schools. For example, one study in Chicago found that only 4.5% of elementary school teachers and administrators were responsible for the falsification of the standardized test […]

Dr. Richard Johnson Read More
Why Officer Demeanor Matters

One could easily argue that the field of law enforcement is currently experiencing a legitimacy crisis in the United States. Gallup Poll data, the most reliable source of data we have, has shown that for the last several years, citizen confidence in their local police has been rather low. In the first quarter of 2016, […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Don’t Get “Rope-A-Doped”!

Boxing champion Muhammad Ali recently passed away and as I was growing up I admired him as a boxer. Besides being a talented athlete, Ali was a master at using psychology against his opponents. One of his most successful psychological tricks was what he called the “rope-a-dope.” The rope-a-dope technique was primarily focused on getting […]

Chief Harry P. Dolan (Ret.) Read More
New focus for officers: Community policing

Public furor over police shootings of black Americans, coupled with the sniper shootings that killed five officers in Dallas last week, may cause police departments nationwide to refocus on community policing principles. Research suggests increasing the presence of officers in communities, on foot or bike, and not in a vehicle, greatly reduces the fear of […]

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Reducing Fear of Crime and Increasing Citizen Support for Police

Extensive research has shown that citizen satisfaction with the police is influenced by their perceptions about neighborhood crime and disorder. Numerous studies have found that citizens had lower overall satisfaction and confidence in the police when they had higher levels of fear of crime in their neighborhood and higher perceptions of neighborhood disorder (such as […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Dispelling the Myths Surrounding Police Use of Lethal Force

Over the last three years there has been growing concern in the public discourse about the use of force, especially lethal force, by the police in the United States. This concern spawned the creation of the Black Lives Matter organization and motivated President Obama to organize a commission on policing in the 21st century. Concerns […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Threats To Surviving This Job

Law enforcement is one of the most difficult, stressful, and dangerous careers an individual can pursue. The threats to your life, however, come from more sources than the knives and guns of evil doers. In fact, less than 20% of the law enforcement officers who died over the last three years died as a result […]

Richard R. Johnson, Ph.D. Read More
Aristotle helps officers in Greer learn to manage conflict

Officers undergoing training on how to de-escalate a tense situation focused on a central question Thursday: How would Aristotle work as a beat cop? Retired Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan shared his answer to that question, developed from his 32 years as a police officer, with a group of about 60 officers from Greer and […]

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Seminar teaches police to deal with verbal conflict

The situation echoed a scene that caught national attention and enraged protestors: two police officers approaching a man on the street selling cigarettes, upset over what he felt was unfair targeting. But unlike the way the 2014 arrest of Eric Garner ended in his death in New York City, this scene ended with Harry Dolan, […]

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Expert to Durham cops: What would Aristotle do?

DURHAM – Harry Dolan wants Durham cops to be more like Aristotle. Dolan, who retired as Raleigh’s police chief in 2012, believes the ancient Greek philosopher’s modes of persuasion – ethos, pathos and logos – can help save careers and even lives. At a day-long workshop Tuesday, he armed Durham police officers with verbal strategies for […]

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Community policing topic of symposium

Police must regularly communicate with the people they serve, as well as have positive contacts with people, in order to gain respect and trust, consultants told Martinsville Police Department officials on Thursday. “Negative contacts with police, if we can knock that out, that’s 50 percent of the battle” to convince people that police are striving […]

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Martinsville working toward “Community Policing”

MARTINSVILLE (WSLS 10) – Police in Martinsville are working to be more involved in the community. Officers there want input from the people in the community to influence how they enforce the law. At a symposium Thursday, speaker and former Sheriff Harry Dolan says this community policing concept began after several high profile cases around the […]

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Durham police trained in verbal de-escalation tactics

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Nearly every Durham Police Department employee is now trained in verbal de-escalation tactics. The announcement was made Tuesday during the final training session led by retired Raleigh police chief Harry Dolan. The purpose of the training is to improve police-community relations, reduce citizen complaints and improve safety for officers and the […]

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New way of policing: Fayetteville police aim to de-escalate encounters

Sometimes, Fayetteville’s Chief Police Harold Medlock says, he can’t sleep, anxious there will an officer-involved shooting. “I wake up at night worried about that,” he said. After the riots in Ferguson, the protests in Chicago and the looting in Baltimore, every chief knows the potential for an explosion. Since 2013, Fayetteville police officers have been […]

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Developing Organizational Performance Leadership