10 must-listen-to Policing Matters podcasts of 2021

From community policing initiatives to active shooter response, here are some of the most popular Policing Matters podcasts of the year

By Police1 Staff

Each year brings a host of challenges to the law enforcement profession, and 2021 was no different. This year, the Policing Matters podcast tackled mental crisis response and rising crime rates, spoke with top police leaders, and heard from mass casualty experts, all to get a wide view of where policing is going next after a year like no other.

Listen to some of the most engaging episodes from 2021 below, and email us if you have a topic you’d like to see addressed or a guest suggestion.

1. Captain Don Redmond on Chula Vista PD's groundbreaking drone program

With 4,300 missions under its duty belt, the Chula Vista Police Department's drone program isn’t just breaking deployment records, it is also reinventing how law enforcement agencies use UAS and drone technology.

NEXT: How to build the drone of your dreams

2. How the 30x30 initiative aims to advance women in policing

There are approximately 173,000 women in American law enforcement today, but that only represents about 12% of all LEOs. The 30x30 Initiative aims to address this imbalance and is challenging police departments nationwide to recruit classes of at least 30% women by 2030.

NEXT: Police agencies sign national pledge to recruit 30% women by 2030

3. Dr. Frank Straub on the LAPD response to George Floyd protests

The National Police Foundation (NPF) released a report on the Los Angeles Police Department’s response to mass demonstrations and protests that occurred between May 27, 2020, and June 7, 2020. In this episode of Policing Matters, host Jim Dudley chats with the lead author of the report, Frank Straub, Ph.D., about how the report's key findings relate to all agencies as they review their protest response policies and training.

NEXT: Report details LAPD response during 2020 protests

4. Building leadership capital with your cops and your community

In this episode of Policing Matters, host Jim Dudley chats with Pocatello Police Department Chief Roger Schei about how this mid-sized agency in the fifth largest city in Idaho is addressing defensive tactics training, police recruitment, law enforcement leadership and community engagement.

NEXT: 5 ways to become a more empathetic police leader

5. Katherine Schweit on how to end mass shootings

Attorney Katherine Schweit spent 20 years with the FBI as a Special Agent executive. After the Sandy Hook massacre, she was assigned to head the FBI’s active shooter program. Through her extensive experience, Schweit has become an expert in active shooters, mass shootings, and security policies. She is also the author of “Stop the Killing: How to End the Mass Shooting Crisis.” In this episode, host Jim Dudley speaks with Schweit to answer the big question: How can we limit or stop the increasing number of mass shooters?

NEXT: How Columbine gave rise to threat assessment teams

6. Peter Moskos on strategies to reduce violent crime

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, former Baltimore police officer and criminal justice professor Peter Moskos wrote, "mayors, city councils and police chiefs must accept responsibility for dramatic increases in street violence under their leadership." In this episode, host Jim Dudley chats with Moskos, who launched the Violence Reduction Project, about the strategies that cities and communities can use to address the rise in violent crime.

NEXT: Law enforcement strategies to reduce violence

7. How ‘Shop Talk’ is building bridges between the police and the community

The City of Irving (Texas) Shop Talk program is a community outreach program designed for residents who would not normally attend community town halls but have a desire and need to have their voices heard. The program gives police officers the opportunity to talk with barbershop clients and workers to facilitate honest and genuine dialogue. In this episode of Policing Matters, host Jim Dudley chats with Irving PD Officer Jon Plunkett who oversees the program and facilitates opportunities to use barbershops and beauty shops for outreach efforts. 

NEXT: Creating a positive impact: Effective community policing strategies

8. Chief Carmen Best on the challenges facing police leaders

As communities throughout America grapple with how to better serve and protect their citizens while revamping policing procedures, former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best regularly met with community leaders and achieved a decreased major crime rate in 2019. In this episode, host Jim Dudley speaks with Best, who recently released her memoir, “Black in Blue: Lessons on Leadership, Breaking Barriers, and Racial Reconciliation,” about the leadership lessons she learned as Seattle’s first Black woman police chief charged with steering the agency through some of the most critical events in policing history.

NEXT: Why increasing officer morale should be a priority for every police leader

9. Dr. John Violanti on building healthy, resilient police officers

Across public safety, personnel work in conditions that range from boredom to sudden periods of extreme stress. Plus, it’s no secret officers don’t get enough quality sleep or meals and work ungodly hours, as well as excessive overtime. But what are the lasting, long-term effects of these occupational hazards? In this episode, host Jim Dudley speaks with Dr. John Violanti, a noted police wellness researcher and LE veteran, about the increased risks police officers face from stress and cardiovascular disease.

NEXT: The trouble with staying awake: BCOPS study addresses shift work hazards

10. Meet Ernie & Joe, the crisis cops behind the HBO documentary

"Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops" is an HBO documentary showcasing the efforts of two Texas police officers who are helping change the way police respond to mental health calls. The film takes audiences on a personal journey, weaving together these two officers' experiences during their daily encounters with people in crisis as part of the San Antonio Police Department’s Mental Health Unit. In this episode, host Jim Dudley talks to Ernie Stevens and Joe Smarro about the origins of the Mental Health Unit, how the documentary came about and how law enforcement agencies can best tackle the mental health crisis in their communities.  

NEXT: Training day: Documentary provides perspective on police mental health response

What was your favorite podcast from 2021? Email policingmatters@police1.com.

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