The Future of Policing: A Practical Guide for Police Managers and Leaders

By Joseph A. Schafer and others; Reviewed by Dr. Brian L. Royster

***** The Future of Policing: A Practical Guide for Police Managers and Leaders. By Joseph A. Schafer and others. CRC Press,; 432 pages; $83.95; also available as an e-book.

In the early 1930s, former police chiefs August Vollmer and O.W. Wilson exposed the law enforcement profession to three stages of improvement: the Political Era, the Reform Era, and the Community Era. In this new work, authors Joe Schafer, Michael Buer­ger, Rick Myers, Carl Jensen, and Bud Levin have expanded upon the former police chiefs’ research and have written a best-practices text directed toward law enforcement executives.

This well-crafted book, replete with anecdotes, systematically addresses issues such as technology, hiring practices, training, budgets, labor relations, evolving communities, and post 9-11 trends that challenge today’s police departments. The reader will come away with a wealth of information from sections in the book called “Voices from the Field.” These are the words of law enforcement professionals who have shared their experiences, which augment the authors’ own perspectives.

As the title suggests, a hands-on approach provides police managers with up-to-date information on trends and practices. Yet it does not detract from the plethora of theoretical research, which examines policing in the future. More importantly, the authors have provided numerous examples of methods that police departments can use for future research to prepare them for internal and external issues.

The authors have framed their book around five themes crucial for police leaders to adopt and practice. Each theme explores how police leaders should respond to the ever-evolving law enforcement profession. Written specifically for law enforcement executives and police officers striving for advancement, this book will also encourage those dedicated to promoting the police profession through the use of foresight to continue with their futurist ideology. 

Reviewer: Dr. Brian L. Royster is an assistant professor at Saint Peter’s University and a retired New Jersey State Trooper. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association Command Institute for Law Enforcement Executives. He is a member of the ASIS International Crime and Loss Prevention Council.



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