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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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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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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.
Chief Jack Morse (ret)
I attended a Chief's Track Panel at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference on October 19, 2013, and Couper's police work, legacy and book, "Arrested Development," were being discussed by a panel of city police chiefs. That, in itself, provides an indication of the significance and relevance of Couper's work in contemporary policing.
Couper presents an impressive, direct and unveiled look into his experiences in the Madison Police Department. He provides his readers with an inside look at his 20+ years as Chief of Police in the Madison Police Department and his "lessons learned." I am grateful that Couper took the time to write his book. I have learned a lot from him.
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.
Madison journalist and author