North Carolina Law Enforcement Training: When More is Not Better

North Carolina Law Enforcement Training: When More is Not Better

By Steve Pomper

North Carolina State Capitol, Raleigh (Jim Bowen, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0,)

When divided factions like radical leftists and traditional Americans both support more/better training for cops, you’d think that would be a good thing. But not necessarily. First, ask what each group means by more/better training.

For example, I remember when our department increased its annual Street Skills training, consisting mostly of legitimately more/better training for street cops. Like increasing the duration and scope of firearms training.

They also increased Crowd Management tactics (handy in riot-prone Seattle) and Rapid Intervention/Active Shooter training. Traditional Americans welcomed these and other cop-specific courses because they’re truly more/better training.

But what happens when the radical leftists get to define the more/better training? You get what’s happening in North Carolina—woke nonsense disguised as police training. It’s more, but it’s not better.

Brianna Kraemer at The Carolina Journal reported, “A 16-week course required to become a police officer in North Carolina is changing dramatically in 2025 at the lead of the state’s Department of Justice.”

The more comes from increasing written materials to 4,492 pages from 2,840, the academy to 868 hours from 640, which extends recruit training to 21 weeks from 16. There’s nothing inherently wrong with more training time, but where’s the better? What bang are NC taxpayers getting for their buck?

One more is an emphasis on woke-leaning “de-escalation and dealing with the mentally ill.” Cops already receive this training. But the problem comes when the emphasis goes from de-escalation to the cop is guilty of “failing to de-escalate,” if any incident becomes violent, which is not better. It’s also not better when the police use of force criteria changes for the “mentally ill” even though the threat to officers doesn’t change.

One more time for those way in the back: cops must respond to actions, not the “identity” of those doing the actions—Period!

You may have picked up on my “subtle undertones,” but, yeah, I’m a bit skeptical about any changes in police training, these days. As Rob Natelson recently wrote in The Epoch Times, it’s “the elite extreme left…” that is setting the woke agenda at America’s institutions, including police academies.

He cites a Scott Rasmussen survey that noted three common characteristics of “most people expressing extreme leftist views…:” they are relatively financially well-off, have post-grad degrees, and are “very urban.”

Natelson wrote, “I would have guessed our agenda-setters comprise more than 1 percent [of the population], but as it turns out, they amount to even less than that.” The Tar Heel State is no different.

I remain skeptical because of other aspects of the proposed more/better training agenda. Like this: “The BLET Advisory Group’s approval of revisions to the curriculum in May 2023 that include using gender-neutral terminology when addressing individuals of the public, which falls under the topic ‘Communication Skills for Law Enforcement Officers.’ Additionally, proposed revisions to the Course Management Guide direct instructors to an article defining 64 terms for gender identity.” [first link and bold added]

(In case you’re wondering, yes, my eyes just rolled up into the back of my head).

Cops need descriptors that convey information with accuracy, brevity, and clarity. I recall when some social justices urged our department to change from “black” to “African American.” Aside from the political correctness BS, the lack of accuracy is just stupid. Thankfully, they didn’t do it—yet.

Descriptions must be understood to be effective. I once heard an officer describe the jacket the male he was chasing was wearing as “mauve.” The following radio traffic was hilarious. But, who knows? Maybe it increased some officers’ fashion sense.

Course materials refer instructors to politically partisan sources like “the Human Rights Campaign [America’s “largest LGBT-interest activist organization”] and the Anti-Defamation League [“a leftwing pressure group”].” The ADL reportedly contorts its “methodology” so it can peddle statistics that overstate or understate violence depending on whether it’s from the Right or the Left.

Along with this sociocultural, political ideology poisoning of police recruits, five subjects are slated to be decreased: “first responder, responding to crime victims, crime prevention, patrol techniques, and arrest, search, seizure, and constitutional law.” Do any of these topics strike you as something police recruits need less of?

To be fair, some contend the shortfalls are made up in other courses. You’ll have to excuse the confused squinched face I’m making right now. I’ll remain skeptical.

Of course there is also good stuff included in the training changes. But that’s how woke warriors work. Because I was a cop in Seattle, I saw it firsthand. Officers were exposed to this PC crap before most of the rest of the country.

Their tactics involve hiding CRT/DEI garbage within legitimate police training subjects. Then, as time passes, they slough off the legitimate stuff and replace it with increasing Race Marxist destruction of traditional American policing.

Here’s what I wrote about my (2010) indoctrination in my department’s “police training,” in my book, De-Policing America. Our so-called training didn’t “have liberal scholars such as Cornel West and Tavis Smiley on one side versus conservative intellectuals such as Thomas Sowell and Benjamin Carson on the other, debating the issues. Instead, through a thoroughly leftist PBS presentation (RACE: The Power of an Illusion), cops hear about minority victimhood, white privilege, and how unconsciously (and consciously) racist and bigoted cops are—especially white cops. Don’t even try to argue; to argue also means you are even more racist. The left isn’t interested in your point of view.”

Is DEI/Race Marxism indoctrination of cops happening in North Carolina? I’d like to say I’m not sure but if this curriculum change goes through as drafted, how could anyone conclude anything else? And, once again, Rasmussen’s less than one percent of America— “the radical leftist elite—” wields influence far beyond what it should be, which is zero.

As Kraemer also reported, John Guze of the John Locke Foundation has better ideas to address “police misconduct.” He suggests the rational, “Hiring more police officers and paying them higher salaries….” Something cop-haters scoff at.

Guze explained, “more active-duty police officers… will mean fewer crimes. Fewer crimes will mean fewer and less fraught interactions between the police and the public. Similarly, higher pay scales will attract a larger and better-qualified pool of potential officers.”

I can think of a few other more/better ideas, like allowing cops to enforce the law. I know—and the radical left believes they have the radical ideas. Sadly, in some jurisdictions, those who support enforcing the law have become the radicals. Perhaps, rather than North Carolina adopting woke more/better training, it could focus on some less/bad training for the state’s law enforcers.