Maybe it’s The Barrel: Mindful Policing Gets Real

Founding Editor Barry Boyce speaks with mindfulness trainer and former police lieutenant Richard Goerling on how mindfulness can ground policing in humanity rather than tactics that often result in severe injury and death.

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Listen to the full conversation:   Founding Editor Barry Boyce Speaks with Former Police Lieutenant Richard Goerling 52:12

As protests continue across the United States, video footage of police officers acting in reprehensible ways has gone viral, resulting in widespread criticism of the police and a call for defunding.

Richard Goerling is a certified mindfulness trainer and former police lieutenant, who specializes in teaching resilience and performance skills to first responders. In this interview, he explores the biases that exist in policing—and explains how mindfulness can foster a more compassionate police force. 

The Two Types of Change Policing Needs

“One of the greatest failures of police leadership is the failure to lead a culture—or maybe, more specifically—the failure to lead an ethos that is grounded in humanity, rather than grounded in tactics or grounded in equipment, or grounded in the good old boy network,” Goerling says.

Here are two types of changes he says the policing culture needs to see:

1. Systemic Change

“No matter how the institution of policing evolves, it is still a system. And systems, by their nature, are imperfect. And systems that are imperfect by their nature can and will cause harm…