GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Issues surrounding policing in the United States have been discussed for years. In recent months, these issues and talk about police brutality have made national headlines, one in Elizabeth City within the past few weeks.
In this week’s episode, we speak with a criminal justice expert about the different arguments surrounding policing and police reform in our country. We explore the roles of mental health, racial profiling, body cam policies and media coverage along with how they affect justice and perception.
We also discuss the training that goes into becoming a law enforcement officer, and how officers themselves feel towards and about these topics and conversations. We look to the future of what policing could become in the United States and the possibility of reaching a middle ground when it comes to police reform.
For this week’s topic, we are joined by criminal justice expert Mike Lawlor. He is a nationally recognized expert on criminal justice reform, which was a major focus of his 24 years as a Connecticut House of Representatives member and as former Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s undersecretary for criminal justice policy and planning in the Office of Policy and Management.
Elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1986 representing East Haven’s 99th district, he chaired the House Judiciary Committee from 1995 to 2011, taking a leadership role in a wide variety of criminal justice reforms, including a law that established rights for crime victims.
He was a founding board member of the Council of State Governments Justice Center, and he’s served on numerous national criminal justice reform commissions. He also led the push for legislation that made Connecticut the second state in the nation to pass a law allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions.
Lawlor authored the 1999 “Connecticut Red Flag Gun Law,” the first state in the country to pass this law and now considered a national model for preventing mass shootings. Lawlor is a member of the City of New Haven’s Board of Police Commissioners.
New episodes of What the Politics?! come every Tuesday. Join the conversation!
We want to hear from you! Send us an email with questions you want to be answered, topics you want to hear and guests you’d like brought on. We want you to feel just as much a part of this conversation as we are!