WWL>Topics>>The Think Tank 1010am, Former Police Chief Ronal Surpas, PhD, Law Enforcement

The Think Tank 1010am, Former Police Chief Ronal Surpas, PhD, Law Enforcement

Jan 25, 2016|

Law enforcement from all over America want fewer people in prison.  Law enforcement from all over America disagrees.  Which side are you on? This hours guest: Ronal Serpas, PhD - Former Superintendent of NOPD, now Professor of Practice, Department of Criminal Justice, College of Social Sciences @ Loyola University

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

A road welcome back we're new into Utah and army. And we we can't look at it as she did. Who. And I enjoyed just like everybody's. Mind or went culture. Or go over her dance girls living tanked. And it's who's the dude goad the pump and and and look at very little prize to build that thing up. Well what are the questions because Rome. Is a good idea bad idea. What's it doing to our 401K. What's it doing to Saudi Arabia warning to still controlled market. Oil and he goes a little old it's kinda complicated and broad Newman we'll have a couple of book page these types ignored their talking about the conservative side of liberal site. Talk about the bird basic question. It's cheap it's a good thing for artists and Louisiana. For the nation for the world 11 o'clock five seconds and remember aptitude for. Talking about all the problems we've reached. Don't we went there I was interviewing. Federal hospital administrator it's. That Medicaid and Medicare were getting help the government. Oh boy I have primary care positions. I don't think they make a lot of money. But the or the eight were. Tore him at a cool suicide at Tora medical complex. And lo and behold we're losing a little like crazy children talk to. President to narrow seat you'll bring university. And Morgan talked to me gambling that some doctor primary care doctors. They are disappearing and win that. Give a good example Medicaid that they can pick up 20300000. New patients without it primary care doctors. Ordered fund Britain. That's our have been looking forward to. A brand new to this gentleman I think he's score wrong oops sure that I think he would be. Believe she's here in New Orleans are brand Truman vehicle foods and guys that. Did chew on that show. And the right kind of raw I've and he was stupid you're traveling you're teaching Warburg and drawing retirement. But I nick captured him in here will lose today it's announcer and former trooper and two and it and community now it has. Professor of practice department crumbled since college. So natural science loyal members. Welcome. A month ago it was a big big big big business. It's a culprit that keeps me focused keeps me grounded out you ban. I'm doing good budget you drawing some retirement. Absolutely you know loyal as a fantastic institution I'm very proud to be there and I'm also very involved in the business of police in the country stow. Helping three different major cities right now work through some issues associated with police leadership homicide investigation those kinds of things. Of the very very involved in a no talk about later which is a unique and unparalleled group of more than a 160 police chiefs. Prosecutors at the federal state local level level who have come together and said. As counterintuitive as it may seem we can reduce incarceration. And reduce crime at the same time. We are actually advised side. And work closely with two different sides of the political spectrum which her quite amazing people one is the Brennan Center and why use celebrants and which is known to be on named after the liberal lion. Sprinkle a justice Brennan and the others Coke industries. Because in this day and age. The ability to make common sense and strong decisions about reducing unnecessary incarceration and giving police and prosecutors the time that narrowly focused on those dangerous offenders. Is making a lot of sense strong bipartisan bill in the senate US senate strong bipartisan bill in the US house and on the coach here this group and will work in the try to give a voice so that political leaders when they face this question can say well. Look at this on paralleled in unique association of police chief from the biggest cities in America to the smaller cities in America. Former US attorney's Dick Thornburgh former two time United States attorney general. From every political walk alike says we ought to be thinking about reducing these mandatory minimums we ought to think about given police more alternatives to arrest we ought to think about. Realigning crimes to today's times now what they were in the eighty's and ninety's when they passed. And we ought to maintain these incredibly close relationship with our communities justice legitimacy training community policing access to great time this is this is a very big moment. In our criminal justice history. Bug we've got people like senator Tom cotton orchard journal today news news bill. That brings fighting to build the bill venture talking about countries. Duke the bio and people whom she reached again. And now there's a big brouhaha you know blow by partisan but you know that kind of slipping back to the conservative verses liberal. And what I've learned in this didn't show over the years. There are sheriffs. There or police chiefs in this state that does with the Sig crime is down right now. Because. Our. The top sentencing and putting everybody weakened and improved. And there or DA isn't police chiefs and Cheryl in this state in this country. That vehemently. Disagree on the other side and each one would apply and fascinating. Both have their study. Both have in fact they have attorney general from the Bush Administration. That disagree with the each other and they. They all other caps that gave Rudolph Giuliani. For fudging numbers or they look what he did his group will get. All of the numbers and studies in print. I think this first off that's actually good the only answer questions here's what I think you have. Disagreement is natural disagreements encouraged but there's some common sense things you know sometimes when you distill passed all the Ph.D. stuff you distill passed all the politics. There are some common sense things we notably true. The first thing we know to be true and our country is at more than two and a half million people in jails and prisons half of them have diagnosed mental health conditions. We also know of those two point six million plus people in jails and prisons two thirds of the meet the diagnosis for drug abuse or alcohol abuse that's a fact that neither side and disagree. The other thing is. 99% of everybody who goes to jail is gonna get out. They're gonna get out it'll stay forever. In what I think kind of cuts through this like a laser beam is we know that we have incredibly high rates of repeat offender. Now when you back up and look at that and say to yourself that the government has reported that about half of the people in federal prison today are there for drug crimes. And only about 7%. Are from violent crimes. So when these people are rolling out criminologists have long suggested that discriminate genetic factors of being in jail right you go in for a petty crime. And the next thing you know you learn more about B and criminal you come back out of all the and the box issue you of all these different issues that make it more difficult for you to be employed. And those people tend to fall into a cycle of repeat arrest for the rest of that would be like. Cutting through that issue. The issue that causes so many police chiefs to agree with this and I mean from every city in America is big and small. In the most dedicated and experienced police chiefs in the history of our country. One of the things we city. Is that police offices if they are given an alternative to rest for people with mental health conditions in drug system drug issues. They will almost always choose the alternative to a rest. But you look at so many cities in America New Orleans is not different or not this or not unlike some of the city's. When I was young police offs in 1980 and you look cutting good figured WW LTV. And we found somebody in the French Quarter or in the from a area or in the Ninth Ward who has suffered a mental breakdown and committed a crime and that process. We could bring in the charity hospital. And they would go to the infamous third floor Fuhrman. And when they would then there they were under the care of medically trained professionals for up to seventy to allow us to determine what was really wrong with them. What do you think we do with that person today in America. We'll bring in the jail the number one provider of mental health treatment and America has often been said to be your county jail. That doesn't mean they're not trying to do a good job but if I need mental health help I don't think I want to go to county jail for a pick probably rather go to hospital. Ari we've got chewed truck or an hour idea all right we got it wrong old Serb former police shoot New Orleans. Now we've all over the hundreds consultant. Team cured by Edgar. You go all you've got questions to subzero 187. Welcome back we have broad picture approach with a former police she New Orleans. And he's everywhere is teaching low embodies some memorable law enforcement leaders to reduce crime and corporation. I can tell you we're building there show him in the gunman closes knows it is controversy. Chief review Roma and I'll bring in some of part callers in the don't get back to might put shouldn't. We will go to Rocco Rocco year old and would police chief Colin roamed Europe. I didn't want anybody. Credit. Column now. On courier so a lot of policeman and Graham and talk about this spring that you know we. And they'll trouble out two years ago. Never had a scratched Wednesday. And the obvious delight that they need people. No street view of what's going on which you like it. Like the bird lol our world under all programs that are well. Or probably able to jail. Ben. And greatest oriental. And just like in general like. Don't call me. Their dog out there that Libya Libya. Opening. On the our paper so that. But Drago appreciative called agro who along the Oakland automotive group and being the rector and when. That's fringe people would call it will we do the shows where the bees do mass shootings. They always say well you know gong group intro bore. The parent can lead to and it always suited him. We're good fruits if fights to EU. I think that would go to school kilts and I think you would say number one and perhaps not only. Number two would probably be applied sends again. He keeps him that somebody can take seriously. In the country and a trip or third. All are you re easy. Isn't that the first question we have as when these things are done and. You know it continues to be the way our nation processes information it's filtered through the lens of political process it's filtered through the lens of the media it's filtered through a lot of lenses that make things cloudy here are some simple truths I think people give Rocco gets. If you have an alternative to someone who's having a mental health crisis rather than arrest it's likely going to be better on how hard is that to figure out. The question about these mash Newton's is when the police investigate those you find more often than not that exactly that's what happened the person had been given clues. They've been leaving q.'s you know those of us a little older Colombo could have figured this out. And mom I've been really given thought to it's you know it's like mass murderer okay honey but the point is. When people talk about that get that information out perhaps we can make a difference. And that's what the mental health community has done up the most recent mass shootings as they stood with law enforcement nationwide and said let's kind of cut through all the lenses. Get to the bottom on the bottom line is if you are family members exhibiting that kinda odd behavior. Let us know. What do we find out in the Lafayette tragedy. That the man had stopped taking his medicine. What do we find out when I was still chief here on the young woman and of cart town. Killed her two babies. Her family said when she was on a Madison she was fine. But in a state. Like Louisiana and in a state of the United States. When you don't have the charity hospitals like he used to have when you don't have these mental health capacities. To give people an alternative and they get off demands but some people could say although they just got to take that themselves. But you know what if you've lived your life in real life with some member your family who was sick or ill. You would never just tend them off to themselves. So. When you think about incarceration reform and you think about all these issues are kind of look around to see who we stand. In October when we announced this in the next day I had a chance to introduce our group to President Obama you know what cities were represented. Chicago New Orleans by me through at all. Detroit. Houston Los Angeles San Francisco Seattle. Denver. These are the police chiefs who are clearly Philadelphia. Are clearly those who have dedicated their entire life to fighting crime not as someone elected to office for six or eight years in a time. These are people have been career. Police offices. The prosecutor's career prosecutors. And the day we sent this letter last week to the house and senate another group of career judges. All came together and said let's get past the lenses basket down to the bottom on facts. Police officers and prosecutors are spending a tremendous amount of time chase and non dangerous people. As opposed to chase and dangerous people. We have a process. Where people are in jail and we're losing sight of the fact that they are gonna come back out. We lose inside the process that a jail that cost forty to 60000 dollars a year and rehabilitation programs that can work cost dollars a day. So forty to sixty depending upon where you are on Contra to our I'd look at that knock down drag breaking news. We're rid or police she broke serve as doomed on school way. All right elegant poured in to view for a long time former police few programs for now well. Law enforcement leaders to reduce crime and courts relations. And consult an old country teachers. Loyola and walked and working in Washington. To to reduce the amount of people we have been present. Achieve win win Agee went over here. Get use to give as they own the show help complete. A guy last week historian wrote a book about that optic. And true. Rise and fall of crime in America back from the fifties to today. And that. Reason we're doing. A lot of of those. I think that all police officers and chiefs and sheriffs want to go find those really dangerous people in our community and hold them accountable so Dele. So did all the chiefs that I worked with Soto all the chiefs in Austin with the other day. But we also can't avoid the simple truth that we are being distracted from that very noble mission that very proud mission to go after the the organized crime to go after the murderers the rapists or robbers because they know the truths and truths are we have been distracted from that daily. In American cities because there are no alternatives. Other than arrest for the neighborhood drop. There is no alternative other and and arrest for the kid that has a few bags of weakness pocket there's no alternatives for arrest. For people that aren't conditions that they've lost the ability to make good decisions. That's not to say. That not myself and all those chiefs that stood together and all those prosecutors listed together we met in the room with the president and their world hundred of us. And if you looked in that audience call you'd seen that Tom bradys the Peyton Manning's American policing for this last generation. How are they all end up in there. I think they ended up in their because they want to make our community safe. Crime today is about half of what was in 1991 myself and many of these other chiefs and prosecutors think we can even drive it lower. We could drop it lower if we had more opportunities for alternatives to rest in dealing with some of these low level offenders. A lot of people only reference my time as the chief of the walls police department. I was chief in Nashville for seven years we went to the state legislature and the chiefs of the big cities in Tennessee. In 2010 week advocated the legislature we gave them if you will political cover. To release low level offenders out of the state prison systems so we can do it. More time. Farm robbers. And this was in a state that was gone broke not every State's unique while the states have gone broke it was in a city that was having financial problems not you leak a lot of cities have financial problems. But you know what happened. The bipartisan support that bill was so strong so fast I testified in April of 2010 and came here in May of 2000 tennis superintendent. And July of 2010 governor reticence on that piece long place. There has been a history of American police to use. Around the country not just this sort ragged. Who have advocated for more time to rest the dangerous and violent offenders by giving up time for those low level offenders who really are taken very valuable that space and prosecution Don. Away from us. But. Do you think it's gonna hold we regret senators and congressmen. Fighting what you and yours put together. California news headline from yesterday in New York or California cop frustrated would catch and release crime. What do wanna talk about that do California gives us a good example. I don't know what the future holes for me or anybody like me. But I do know that often times we don't let the process think more clearly and California here's what's happened. They turned back a lot of arrest practices. And they put a lot of people back in the community. But as would be disappoint to assault. The people who created the laws that match the public's will. Didn't put the money in two. The person who has a mental health problem. And when you'll read those stories out of California and I have very many friends who police chiefs and some of the largest cities in California in fact I was a candidate to be. The chief wanted to watch that is in California. Few years ago and didn't go. Lot of people and they also in the same thing. Look I gotta have some place for these mental health patients to go. And they don't have no place forms so they fixed one problem and exacerbated another problem that's often tough call politics. So what they did is they fix the problem with too many people being in jail. Essentially is what we believe but they didn't fix the problem of where those people who need help we're gonna ago. And it's unusual to hear police chiefs and prosecutors talk like that except we're on the streets we're on the lines were the ones that face those people to 3 o'clock in the morning. Why are you out here doing these you know obscene crazy behaviors. On eleven minutes. And last year I was in jail so here I am now. I mean I don't know that there's any perfect solution ship. But key in to this principle that we're putting out. Is that you have to be able to support the mechanisms that make these people safe in their communities and in their homes as opposed just lock in a month in jail and taken our time. From the dangerous people we need them. Ari Lynn let me take a break your two jags are one that he says government. To order a wrong Serb so former police Steve New Orleans. When we come back we'll ask him locate mental illness let's just say we go back to. Third forward charity. How are we give parents the laws that say yeah you can't. Restrict people would to a mental and sued to when they don't want ago Heidi good turnout for lawsuits. Get past the media like Ronald Rivera. Got a couple of decades ago in New York single handedly. Do assembled. The deed mental. Health system in this country. By shall in the hospital that was one flew over the cuckoo's. Coming back. It may have heard this man rogue server and former police she spoke New Orleans. Now teacher loyal but also consultant all of the country in particular meeting with a group of law enforcement leaders to reduce crime and end it. Incarceration. Of just O'Neal Pineiro got a bad habit of driving and you were how long ago. And we've we've got ten minutes or so. What do what do you think is the most important thing. If you had very limited time to talk to people to tell them to talk. This particular group of law enforcement leaders. We recognize. That dangerous people need to be in jail. We are not suggesting that people shouldn't be held accountable for their chrome behavior. But will we are suggesting from the left side of the spectrum it socially just to find ways to treat people's problems without incarceration. And from the other side of the political spectrum it makes financial sense to ask the question we spend in more than eighty billion a year on incarceration. We know that half the people have mental health diagnosis we know that two thirds of the people are suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. As a financial question does that make sense and a lot of people including Coke industries and other as the San. Now that doesn't make sense and then on the social justice side. People who deserve to be held accountable ought to be held accountable. All of us in this organization has spent a lifetime in the trenches. Bringing dangerous people to justice. But we've also spent so much time bringing people to jail who we all know and our our hearts there's a better alternative. And when cops in this while love be in a cop and is that while love police officers so much. The evidence around the country is overwhelming when they have a choice to use a non arrest alternative for those mental health questions they will do it almost every single time. Because they get it to. So on either end this political spectrum that's why we wanna work with the political process that's what we want to work with the Democrats Republicans independents. As what we wanna work with social conservatives social liberals. The end of the day there's got to be a better way there's got to be a better way. Crime has gone down for a lot of reasons to you know when I was a police chief. A lot of times we'd like to think it was what the police did by themselves but it's never with the police department so does not go to legislature dust by itself it's not what council or mayor of those by itself. It's what we all do together and here we are 35 years after I started policing. At a point. Where whether Europe social conservative or social liberal it doesn't make sense anymore. So what is the ultimate solution not sure but there's got to be a discussion. And we wanna stand with the political process and say here's our voice to we've been in a fight. This is how what we're thank you. We Tuesday. To a 3 June because of drug abuse of what do you think about lead. Natural in that for Tuesday in law enforcement against prohibition. Much to show committee with. Oh cute Cuba. Over a hundred and that the valves and they might have moaned and fuel time. Justice Department FBI and police she share arms. Portrait yeah might be just heaven Bob like moment here because of bonus and on Google like we'll show and think. Hugh Laurie youth and O ports now. I'm thinking of a leap program in Seattle it's phenomenally successful with alternatives to arrest a drug addicted in drug using people cities Seattle so maybe that's warm. Ambulances and a cut outs and knowledge and it looked incredibly real to the public if I don't have an answer everything. Are a more to go back program was hopeful he should have a big part of the problem is on the we have we don't have that in more lead charities not there and then today's litigious society. Skid could soon buy there did they say this child that prop how we get. I think what Haston be considered is that evidence of the amount of dangerous use of force police officers are involved and with people who are mentally incapacitated. Doesn't that make us wanna stop and say something could be going on here better. The process of finding more litigation and maybe that's what our society does but our society does have the occasional opportunity to do really brilliant thanks. And that's what we should be looking for. I think the ultimate. Reality is just like with the sentencing reform bill key to the sentencing reform bill is allowing the judges who are looking at the defendant more discretion. Key to the issue of mental health is not having police officers received the for complexion training which they should get. The key to mental health is not giving crisis intervention training to offices only. That's a great start the key is heaven medical Doctor Who was a trained psychiatrist or psychologist trained and licensed to say. I think Garland needs that's why I think Ronnie needs this that's who should be mic in his decision about how we transact mental health issues in our community. And we have to support. You know you just can't do it with the police receiving very valuable desired needed training. You need to people who understand it as a lifelong career and passion. When we look at police use of force that results in deadly encounters in many many instances. The person had lost the ability to think rationally. And the police are trying to overcome that the escalation in alternatives to 46 SATA or but ultimately. Would that be better if we were kind of way to stop that sooner so you didn't have that going on at 3 o'clock in the morning expecting the best outcome at the worst possible moment. At about 30% in different subject in the agreed to work with this children and young people as a teacher. I was blessed with the opportunity to be appointed at Loyola and on and join at every single day watching a young girl learns great a lot of the Q ration. Ronald Serb. We will be calling you didn't thank you so mud from unreal to draw a beer and come right back actually will make us. Mike Garrett is the former police you are. Probably didn't change suiting my irons out there and in particular conservative parts of those countries used in crime. Macomb on Wacom. But should stay at that one little step in and look it up to make sure routes were. It causes eighty billion dollars. Now it's the reform they did on the crime. Make him big time regardless of crime it is. You like to be taxed I don't. I would like to preempt that money for my family. And for those that think like me. And is really good argument. To start letting some of that non violent Al. Our big time for the 1000 dollar nationwide power raw whole couch conduct code word did salary is book are. BO. OAT. Given golf seven Q our brother Tex to 72881. Text. 72881000. Dollars cash and shall we want to actually loops and for the next code word. Bode for the top of the hour news at 2 PM we never charge for text but individual play and text. Date range don't apply and you leave. Don't got text and her.