Local Media Gets a Lesson in Policing 101

Published : Monday, May 20, 2019 | 7:28 PM

Though antagonisms can exist between the media and police, the relationship is often a symbiotic one and the Pasadena Police Department has offered reporters and other media types classes in Policing 101 to convey some of what it means to be a peace officer.

“We’ve provided members of the media with this series known as Policing 101,” explained Lieutenant Bill Grisafe. “The purpose is to share some of our law enforcement experiences that we have on a daily basis with members of the media in order to let them have a better understanding of what we do as police officers.”

The latest installation in the series was on use of force and de-escalation techniques and took place May 20. Another is planned for six months from now, according to police spokesman Commander Jason Clawson.

Grisafe said the police updated reporters on existing law, and some new ones possibly coming out of the state legislature soon, regarding use of force.

The main idea is to present the rank-and-file media with a primer on how law enforcement works in Pasadena, he said.

The goal is transparency and the technique is to allow the media, through different exercises, to experience how the Pasadena Police Department does its job.

“They’ll understand that it’s truly law-based,” said Grisafe.

James Farr, who presents and moderates the talk show “The Conversation Live” on Facebook and Pasadena Media, was a media attendee. His show often tackles police-related issues and Farr said he has been asked if he’s ever done simulation training.

The answer to that question was a negative until he attended Policing 101.

“I’m not here to completely understand them,” said Farr. “I just want to experience some of the things that they experience.”

Farr said his net takeaway from the session was the fact that police are challenged to make decisions quickly.

“I have no experience,” he pointed out. “I have to trust that a seasoned, experienced officer would be able to make that split-second decision.”

In his own simulation training, Farr shot someone pointing a gun at him but also shot someone who simply reached into their pocket and wasn’t armed.

“One of my shootings would have been unjustified,” Farr said. “You have to be sure that what you’re doing is, is the right thing.”






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