I Love Being a Police Officer – But We Need Reform

As part of our efforts to promote professional development among city leaders, each week we’ll be featuring a new TED Talk focused on cities, community issues or local government. In this week’s talk, Baltimore Police officer Lt. Colonel Melvin Russell shares how he is bringing stakeholders together to work toward the common goal of peace and prosperity for Baltimore City.

We’ve invested so much in police departments as protectors that we have forgotten what it means to serve our communities, says Baltimore Police officer Lt. Colonel Melvin Russell. It’s led to coldness and callousness, and it’s dehumanized the police force. After taking over as district commander in one of Baltimore’s toughest neighborhoods, Russell instituted a series of reforms aimed at winning back the trust of the community and lowering the violent crime rate. “Law enforcement is in a crisis,” he says. “But it’s not too late for all of us to build our cities and nation to make it great again.”

Paul Konz headshotAbout the Author: Paul Konz is the Senior Editor at the National League of Cities.