On a lark, I decided to take a Criminal Psychology course at Sac State as an elective. The class was very bizarre. Most of the students were senior year and had put off taking the class because they were afraid they wouldn't be able to pass it. I was still in my freshman year and found the class to be quite easy. You would read about a serial killer, or mass murderer, you know; Ed Gein, Dorthea Puente, etc....and write an essay on their motivations.
Because motivations are part of why people commit crimes, and if you understand that people have motivations to do bad things most of the time, then you know that most people are not out to commit crimes, and you don't have to suspect, say, the little boy 10 feet away from you as having a motive for causing you harm. Therefore, you can take a step back and if you need to negotiate with someone who MAY cause you harm, you know you have a good reason NOT to suspect they are out for your harm and just shoot them like a total dumbass.
(Plus, if you are an officer, you are wearing a bullet proof vest, right? Don't be a pussy!)
These IDIOTS in this class (your future officers) got Ds and Fs on their essays. I got As and Bs. I remember one of the future officers of America seeing my grade; and wide-eyed, he said "Wow, how did you get an A?" I looked at him for a long moment and tried to hide my horror of the future of law enforcement. I think I said " I read about them and completed the assignment."
This guy was afraid of an ESSAY. How was he gonna be a cop? And clearly, the issue here is also lack of COMPREHENSION. A terrifying lack of comprehension of fellow humans and why they do things. All you have to do is realize that a motive is what can cause you harm, not just a gun (unless held by a cop ), and not just a person. Do law enforcement get training in negotiations anymore? Trying to talk to people? Because there are TV shows that can teach you that crap. Isn't that all that's on TV?
Another disappointing fact about that class was general ignorance about appearance and motivations. Keep in mind this was 20 years ago, a big difference in this area as far as how people look. Everyone in the class agreed combat boots, bicycle jackets, mohawks, and tattoos meant you were a nazi skinhead. It was hard to believe that everyone I knew in midtown at that time looked like a nazi skinhead to these future cops of America. So when stuff like this happens, I just think of that wide eyed stare and shudder.
I actually knew someone in the group of people who were criminal justice majors, and I designed them a shirt, which they silkscreened a quantity of. It had something to do with drug abuse, so I drew a bottle and filled it with a needle and a bunch of pills and pillbottles....it was pretty dark :) I'm not sure it was what they wanted, but it was gnarly!