As the rallying cry for police reform continues into 2021, law enforcement departments everywhere should implement more education requirements for their officers. A 2010 study from Michigan State University criminal justice researchers shows that police officers with a four-year college degree are less likely to use force. At the heart of it, higher educated officers resort to violence less. Police departments with more college-educated officers have relatively fewer use of force complaints by citizens and fewer terminations due to misconduct. They also foster better police-community relationships. Given the suggestions of this research, communities will be served better – and less violently – by increasing officers’ educational attainment. This is the sixth in a series of action briefs on police reform.
The CJR Solution: As state, local, and federal law makers, mayors, law enforcement, and other key stake holders consider advancing police reform in their respective jurisdictions: