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Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption, and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation's Police Paperback – March 20, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Having read more than a few memoirs from retired cops, I prepared myself for the usual mixture of confessional material...  Gratefully, I was completely unprepared for what Couper had to offer... I couldn't help wishing I'd had a chance to serve with and learn from this remarkable leader.

Pierce Murphy, Ombudsman, City of Boise, ID

...a remarkably clear writer, a voice of broad experience in the field of policing...  I know many officers and commanders may disagree with his philosophy, but.. I highly recommend this book for all have made police work their honorable profession [and at the college level] this lucid book should be required reading... Paul McMahon

With our own police departments' behavior becoming ever less distinguishable from "third world" police on the evening news , this book seems to come none too soon. Persuasively and passionately written, it should be in the hands of police departments and community leaders across the nation. Prof. Ken Nelsen

Arrested Development is a remarkable book... Couper identifies the major problems plaguing police: violence, corruption, anti-intellectualism and discourtesy [and the] seven steps... to improve their performance... Bill Lueders



...observers have known for decades that the MPD under Couper's management evolved into a national model... His seven steps for improvement are essential for improving policing and... leadership in general. Arrested Development is a well written and interesting book, with lessons that can and should be immediately applied. Tom Drury. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Author

This is a book that could only be written after I developed some distance from my 33 years as a cop and chief of police. I have always championed for a better, an improved police. This is my last word on the subject. Police improvement has been arrested. It's up to you and me to set them free so they can be the defender of our rights and the protectors of those less-fortunate in our society. A great nation deserves a great police. It can and will happen! --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1470102560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1470102562
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #692,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Couper led the Madison Police Department for over twenty years (1972-1993)and was a visionary leader. During this time, the department successfully handled hundreds of public protests without incident, implemented a collaborative leadership style, and brought women and minorities into the department. He holds master's degrees from the University of Minnesota and Edgewood College. Since his retirement he has been concerned about the militarization of our nation's police and their slow progress which has arrested their development. Couper believes our nation's police can and should be great. Over the years, he has never lost his passion to see this happen. Couper served as a police officer in Edina and Minneapolis before being chosen to lead the Burnsville and Madison police departments. This is his third book on policing.

Since his retirement, he has continued to champion peace and justice issues as a priest in the Episcopal Church, Diocese of Milwaukee.

For more information, visit his blog HTTP://improvingpolice.wordpress.com and Couper's website: http://www.davidccouper.com.

For a short (4 minute) video review check out an interview with him: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IoLKTfPK5c.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson on July 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Having spent 25 years at the Madison Police Department with David Couper as a mentor, the contents of Arrested Development comes as no surprise to me. These are core issues David has been "preaching" for three decades. He is extremely passionate about improving the police profession just as he was in pursuing excellence at the Madison Police Department. Couper has an unrivaled track record of identiying major issues in policing, such as policing crowds and leadership, that gives him credibility with colleagues. Twenty five years later, in 2012, our profession is now just coming to the realization he was absolutely correct about the manner in which we handled crowds (The Madison Method); the way we develop collaborative leadership (Couper's Principles of Leadership); and treating those we serve (customers) with respect, civility and dignity, including those we arrest.

Many Police Chiefs haven't survived or have struggled because of these three issues and the others addressed in his book. By sharing his experience, David hopes his message resonates throughtout the police profession and creates sustainable change. As he knows by his own accounts, sometimes those changes happen one department at a time.

I highly recommend the book to my colleagues. I believe my successes today as a Police Chief for eight years is attributed to the lessons observed, learned and shared by my former boss and mentor. Most of us love this profession and the important work we perform in protecting, serving and leading our communities to a safer tomorrow. Understanding the experiences of those who have preceded us, along with the solutions they offer can only make us personally and professionally better.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By PT McMahon on May 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
David Couper is a remarkably clear writer, a voice of broad experience in the field of policing who directly and unequivocally lays out what we as caring citizens should expect of our police. The author's phrase that sticks with me is" the police are us, and we are the police." They must be boldly led by chiefs with clear standards, goals and expectations. We are all human, we all make mistakes (Couper admits to his share over his 20 years as Chief of Police in Madison WI) but we must continually strive to improve. I know many officers and commanders may disagree with his philosophy, but the lessons, conclusions and beliefs stated by David Couper ring true for me. I highly recommend this book for all have made police work their honorable profession, as well as for the taxpayer citizens who rely on their good work and protection. At the college level, whether in the study of criminal justice, law enforcement, police science or even general liberal arts areas, this lucid book should be required reading. It is a case study of a professional's life experience, full of cogent advice and direction for justice administration.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By dynohubbill on March 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
David Couper brings his years of experience and study to look at ways our police work and the political environment they operate within. He opens a door to a profession that is not well understood, and gives suggestions on how to improve the current state of affairs. Whether you're a professional officer, politician, or engaged citizen, this book is well worth the read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bill Lueders on June 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
The city of Madison owes a huge debt of gratitude to David Couper, who became the Wisconsin state capital's chief of police in 1972 and led the MPD for more than two decades, making it more professional, more responsive and ultimately more respected. Now Couper has added to that legacy with a book that presents his view on policing, in an era in which there appears to be some backsliding from the gains of the recent past.

Couper, now an Episcopal priest, recounts the fierce opposition he encountered in Madison, even from within his own department. He shows how over time he succeeded in transforming the department and outlasting his critics. What he doesn't dwell on is the extent to which he is remembered and celebrated, as the person who turned an ordinary police department into an extraordinary one.

Arrested Development is a remarkable book, in that it sets forth clear principles of enlightened policing that could be adopted anywhere. Couper identifies the major problems plaguing police: violence, corruption, anti-intellectualism and discourtesy. And he explains seven steps that police officials can take to improve their performance -- simple things like vision and training and evaluation that are, of course, more difficult to achieve than to name. Couper is precise about what each step entails, and how it can be realized.

This is a book that may not find a large audience but it could very well find the right one -- police officials in other communities who may be looking to become effective and even visionary leaders too. They couldn't ask for a better example, or a better guide.

Bill Lueders
Madison journalist and author
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jim Scrivner on August 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great read on many levels and for readers with varied interests. It is informative, insightful, balanced and at times, provocative.

For law enforcement executives there is a compelling call to action.

For aspiring leaders of all kinds there are lessons in leadership, the influences and power of organizational culture and implementing sustainable change.

For community leaders it offers ideas on a better direction for the future of police/community relations.

For students of the 1960's and 1970's unrest, there are glimpses and perspectives from a fully involved insider.

Lastly, it is the fascinating story of one man's journey and his evolution as a person and as a leader.
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