cover image Rethinking the Police: An Officer’s Confession and the Pathway to Reform

Rethinking the Police: An Officer’s Confession and the Pathway to Reform

Daniel Reinhardt. IVP, $18 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-5140-0612-2

Former police officer Reinhardt, who’s now an associate director of student life and applied ministry at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, debuts with a well-intentioned case for police reform. According to Reinhardt, “police brutality against minorities is... a systemic condition of a compromised institution,” and “until police culture changes, police practices will not substantially change.” He identifies a strict “hierarchy of authority” that promotes power abuses, partly by opening up a “deep divide” between line officers and police leadership, and a culture that pits officers “against the rest of society.” As a corrective, Reinhardt proposes a “servant leadership” model—like Jesus, law enforcement officials should be “clothed with humility.” Reinhardt’s insights into the police mindset are sharp and perceptive, though his lack of practical detail and tendency to waffle between depicting police culture as horrific and individual officers as blameless sometimes confuses. For example, Reinhardt recalls how “some of my brothers on the SWAT team regularly referred to the people we encountered during raids as rats,” but he cautions readers against “reacting in anger” against his former colleagues, without providing enough context as to why. Still, this is a worthwhile guide for those seeking an end to police brutality. (Nov.)