For a long time, if you entered any police or sheriff’s department in the country, you would be greeted at the front desk by a sergeant presiding over a large bound book. Everyone who came into the station, every call patrolmen answered—it was all documented in that book, called a blotter.
Michael S. Smith was a 22-year-old corrections officer when, on September 9, 1971, a group of inmates overtook Attica Prison in rural New York City. Officers and civilian employees of the prison were taken hostage as the inmates and state officials negotiated. Three days into the negotiations, Corrections Officer William Quinn died from injuries sustained on the first day of the riot. Quinn’s death made the inmates’ central demand for immunity impossible, and heightened the anxiety both inside and outside the prison.
Jana Monroe never waited for an invitation. As one of the first female sworn officers in California policing, Monroe was “pretty much an anomaly” in her own words. At first she was given traditionally feminine roles – looking after children at an arrest, dealing with juvenile offenders, and talking to female victims, but Monroe wanted more out of the job.
On Wednesday December 3, the National Law Enforcement Museum and The Memorial Foundation, builders of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, hosted the Museum’s inaugural Conversations on Law Enforcement panel discussion entitled When Police Shoot: A Dialogue on the Use of Force at the US Navy Memorial’s Burke Theater. The event provided an opportunity for a national discussion on police training and procedure, and the use of force.