New York, Jul 19, 2016 - As incidents of violence against police rise around the country, Prison Consultant John Fuller weighs in on issues fermenting for decades. Fuller spent the early part of his life in Los Angeles, alongside frustrated civilians and gang members. He now resides outside Jersey City, NJ, a city ripe for violence against police officers.
“The Los Angeles Rampart Division had a horrible reputation in the 1980’s and 90’s for abusing gang members and civilians,” according to John Fuller, prison consultant since 2004. “It was well known gang members were not only routinely beaten before being arrested by the police, but many were driven into the heart of rival gang territories, dropped off, and left for dead. The current population of South Central understand why the unfortunate violence against police is taking place, though do not believe deliberately assassinating police officers is justified, nor is it a solution.”
Besides consulting with primarily white collar criminals heading to prison for the first time, Fuller is a public speaker, a mentor, and a role model to troubled teens, ex-felons, and current and former gang members. He believes there is hope available but America has to reach out and grab it now.
He states, “I have a very difficult time convincing some young men and women that there are thousands of great police officers. I have friends who are police officers, state troopers, correctional officers, and other law enforcement officials, in spite of my past. I was beat by police in New Jersey and Los Angeles but that is not indicative of all law enforcement, or even most of my experiences with the law. Unfortunately, the experience for those under thirty-five is far different. They were born during the beginning of the crack cocaine epidemic in the U.S. Although their parents may not have been or drugs or incarcerated, an overwhelming majority are also influenced by peers. Many are not afraid to die, with a bleak outlook on life.”
Communities are suffering nationwide due to the disconnect between police officers and citizens, says Fuller.
“I grew up in Keyport, New Jersey, and everyone knew the police because at least 80% lived in our town or nearby. Throughout the country now, police officers can’t identify with citizens because there isn’t a relationship. Police officers live fifty or more miles away and have no connection to these communities. When their radio sounds for a domestic violence call, rarely are they going to an area where they know people on a first name basis. I’m willing to bet the most successful policing communities are hiring from within the neighborhood or have a program in place that fosters a relationship where police are active with its citizens,” Fuller said.
“It’s no secret successful police officers go above and beyond what their badge requires, and it’s horrific they are being killed and injured in the process. These are the men and women trying to find a solution, because they see members of the community and their fellow officers as their brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers.”
“There seems to be no end in sight as we turn on our televisions. Many of us are wondering if the amassing of such images is simply another form of consumer entertainment, a way to pull up a stool and watch the killings take place, over and over,” claims Fuller. “There have been no concrete solutions put in place, while there seems to be a revolving, un-addressed pain. Those who dismiss the issue against police or civilians as ‘business as usual’ will continue to look at the pain of mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, and their children from a safe distance.
“So, let’s turn off our televisions and stop being influenced by media and rage, and find a police force willing to co-exist in our communities, both sides watching each other’s backs. We can make that happen.”