News of Baltimore cop Adam Braskich’s acceptance to Harvard Law for fall 2011 made me pause and daydream. I thought to myself, “If more police officers pursued college and grad degrees, imagine how much safer we’d all feel. Your average cop would be more self-aware, more meditative/rational, less trigger-happy/hot-headed, no?” College gave me the time I needed to slow down and understand myself better, to read loads of great books, and (cue meaningful music) to realize how interdependent the human race truly is.
Yes, I’m a big fan of education, clearly. So, anyway, as I scanned The Sun story about Braskich, I was pleased to understand that far more officers now than ever before pursue higher learning, and that the force encourages it. Of the 2,947 men in blue in Baltimore, 466 hold college diplomas, 32 hold master’s degrees, and two, full-blown PhDs. Those with college degrees automatically command more pay, which seems broadminded of the city. In 2009, a tuition reimbursement program for police went by the wayside, due to budget cuts, but the fact that said reimbursement existed at all lifts my morale.
I’m not saying ever officer ought to aim for the PhD during his off hours, writing a long criminal justice thesis about the frequency of “gray Taurus” car theft in quiet residential Baltimore neighborhoods. But I’m happy to expect that the next time my crappy car gets taken from my curb in broad daylight, I might be met by a couple of quick-thinking cops, currently enrolled in night school philosophy seminars, who know better how to converse with a worried citizen–who know better how to give a care, even momentarily.
Do you think cops might be more effective after earning college degrees?