The Future of Policing: A Practical Guide for Police Managers and Leaders

The Future of Policing: A Practical Guide for Police Managers and Leaders

The Future of Policing: A Practical Guide for Police Managers and Leaders

The Future of Policing: A Practical Guide for Police Managers and Leaders


As communities continue to undergo rapid demographic shifts that modify their composition, culture, and collective values, police departments serving those communities must evolve accordingly in order to remain effective. The Future of Policing: A Practical Guide for Police Managers and Leaders provides concrete instruction to agencies on how to promote successful policing by proceeding on a course informed by future trends and emerging community forces.

Explores critical variables necessary for decision-making

Designed for typical police departments with common structures, problems, and opportunities, this book offers a unique juxtaposition of real-life examples, futures research, emergent trends, and management implications. Each chapter provides a discussion of the professional literature, current and projected trends, and situations faced by agency executives and leaders. Through this multidimensional and contemporaneous approach, the book explores community and political variables crucial to the decision-making process. It describes methods that managers can employ to explore the future and prepare their agencies for possible, probable, and preferable trends and opportunities.

Provides specific, concrete examples

Drawn from the authors' research, as well as their own instructional and practical experience in the policing profession, this volume goes beyond esoteric, theoretical analysis and instead provides practical and well-grounded strategies for those who aspire to become police managers or current managers wishing to improve their proficiency. Using futures research and methodologies as the foundation for the text, this volume prepares practitioners to meet the challenges of policing and police management in the 21st century.



Alvin Toffler’s landmark Future Shock was published in 1970. As it did with millions of people worldwide, it would have a profound impact on my view of life, and an enduring influence on the ensuing 40 years of my career. Ten years later, as an FBI Special Agent newly assigned to the FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia, as well as a Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland, I began to develop a course designed to teach the concepts and methods outlined in Future Shock. This graduate course was offered in the FBI National Academy (NA) for the first time in 1982.

Until 1991, four times annually when I assumed an operational assignment I taught that course to hundreds of American and international police executives attending the National Academy Program. Before leaving Quantico in 1991, I coordinated the 5-day “International Symposium on the Future of Law Enforcement.” The theme was “PowerShift” in honor of Toffler’s third book, published a year earlier. The NA students who in the prior 9 years had earned an A in that futures course were invited to attend this symposium. Toffler graciously agreed to serve as the opening keynote speaker. Two hundred fifty delegates and 60 speakers interacted for a week, discussing a number of cutting-edge topics including forecasting methodologies, demographics, economics, extremist groups, violence, values, ethics, the role of women, terrorism, and a host of other topics, among them, of course, the role technology would play in the future. The culmination of this symposium was the decision by the delegates to consider an idea that had been percolating in my head for at least a decade—to form an organization dedicated to policing the future in innovative ways. It came to be named the Society of Police Futurists International (PFI). In 2011, PFI will celebrate its twentieth anniversary.

The contributors to this fine book are all members of PFI. Some were delegates of that 1991 symposium; others have served as president of PFI; all are intellectual warriors for whom this book is not their first contribution to the future of policing. They have dedicated themselves to “thinking outside the box” to protect and serve society. I am confident these policing professionals will keep on publishing, speaking in various forums including the classroom, and continue to contribute to the literature on policing. I expect this book will inspire others to also write about the future of policing. In my opinion everyone who cares about professionalizing policing, like . . .

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