A University of Wisconsin-Green Bay professor believes the “working personality” of school police officers produces an “authoritarian” culture, and that cops distract students from learning rather than protect them, according to several of his op-eds and an email to The Daily Caller on Friday.
“The working personality of the police officer tends toward the authoritarian: defensive, judgmental and suspicious,” professor Andrew Austin writes in Buzzflash. “The presence of armed officers, as well as target hardening and surveillance, make the school feel like a dangerous place.”
Austin is chair of democracy and justice studies at UWGB and focuses on crime and ethnic relations. He accused officers of targeting racial minority students and argues in the Green Bay Press Gazette that school officers’ racial bias is so extreme it actually makes schools unsafe. Austin references sociologist Jerome Skolnick’s “Justice Without Trial” book about police culture and practice.
“Policing American-style requires/encourages aggression,” Austin told The Daily Caller via email. “The attitude is one of perpetual suspicion.” Austin also argued cops are frequent liars while on the job: during interrogations, while in court, and by manufacturing evidence and witnesses accounts.
“School buildings are no place for police officers. Our kids are there to learn, not to be policed.”