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Photo by: Chicago Lake Front Traveler

Dispatch: 132?, Beat 132?

Beat 132: yeah, squad — what do ya got?

Dispatch: 132, mental health disturbance on your beat. Moms calling. Son is off his meds — he’s tearing up the place and won’t leave. Are you CIT trained?

Beat 132: 10–4 squad, put it on our box.

Knowing that having more resources and not needing them is better than needing resources and not having them I answer up on the radio. 124, squad, showing us riding with 132.

Dispatch: 10–4. I’ve got you going.

The New Year has just passed and 2020 begins with a cool chill in the air — the type where you can see your breath while talking. Not quite freezing, yet — but anyone who has lived in The City by The Lake during the winter knows what’s likely to come. …


How police officers are best positioned to help unite the country

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1861–1863 American Flag.

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” — Pope John Paul II

Jon Meacham, historian and pulitzer-prize winning author argues in his book, The Soul of America: The Battle for our Better Angels that America has room for the likes of The Klan, who in 1925 and 30,000 strong marched on the nation’s capital; and for folks like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., icon of the Civil Rights Movement and leader of non-violence protests. Meacham further suggests that each era is determined by which of those forces wins out. The Soul, Meacham explains is meant to symbolize life or breath. …


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Photograph by Sebastian Kim / August — The New Yorker

“I tell law students… if you are going to be a lawyer and just practice your profession, you have a skill — very much like a plumber. But if you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself… something that makes life a little better for people less fortunate than you.

Seven days ago The New York Times shared a reflection on the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Associate Justice, examining the transitions which led her to the highest court in the land. The piece was a brilliant observation highlighting that if you want to do good work, necessary work, one must put people — human lives and human dignity at the forefront of their work. While Justice Ginsburg’s life could easily be a case study for every profession, I find, especially in this moment, her life to be an exceptionally bright guiding light helpful in leading law enforcement into a new era of Policing. Understanding that justice was her priority, accepting and learning from our individual errors should happen without delay, and finally; dissent — necessary, especially when the majority’s opinions and behaviors demean human life; are all lessons we should embody as law enforcement professionals. …


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The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is sprawled across the booking desk at a police station as his stunned wife, Coretta, looks on. Photo by Charles Moore, 1958

244 years ago we created a document asserting our own right to choose our own government. 231 years ago that government was established, on paper, under the pretense that justice was superior to all else. Unfortunately, “we” is a misnomer and the government that was established fell short, on justice.

At the conclusion of this introduction is a three-part series of writings suggesting what the Third Wave of Policing should look like to ensure the three most important aspects of modern day policing: police effectiveness, police accountability, and public trust.

A couple years ago I had the good fortune to be invited to lunch with Steve Case, founder of AOL and author of The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future. During lunch Steve spoke at length about him and his peers building the foundation of the internet — getting folks online as the first wave of technology. The second wave, Steve explained, saw companies like Google and Amazon build on top of the Internet to create search, social, and shopping capabilities, while apps like Snapchat and Instagram leveraged the smartphone revolution. Finally, Steve explains the third wave noting that it would be entirely up to us to decide but that we should expect it to be the “internet of everything.” …


Why non-violent protests matters

The phone rings:

Ma: Ju, are you ok?! I just saw what happened at Grant park last night on the news — were you there?

Me: Yes, I was there — I’m fine. One of the first cars on scene. It wasn’t good, Ma. We’ve got a lot of work to do. Let me ring you later. I was at work until 3 am again. I’m going back to sleep.

Ma: Love you, call me later.

Me: Love you, too.

My intent to publish this piece didn’t exist until Saturday morning, when I woke up and saw on social media, non-violent “freedom fighters” ambushed by the police at the Columbus Statue. As I scrolled down, the next title I saw was, “John Lewis Civil Rights Icon” the life and legacy — a reflection of the Congressman who had just passed away after a lifetime of service to our country. …


July 8th, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: @JuliusGivens

I am no longer a member of the FOP. Per the request in my letter, I have signed my separation papers. Being that I previously publicly specified the reasons I chose to leave, it would be inappropriate for me to critique their organization moving forward.

To the thousands of people who have reached out in support, thank you. When you’re climbing a mountain alone and at a steep incline, every extra cheer and well wish is felt in abundance.

To the critics, thank you, too — productive dialogue is a good first step to solving problems. While many of you have made it obvious that you disagree with my position, none of you have laid any concrete counter-evidence on the merit of my position or invalidated my arguments. …


My letter to the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President

Dear President J. Catanzara:

It has been an honor of a lifetime to serve the City as a Police Officer. Nothing excites me more than going to work and ensuring the welfare of our city and its citizens — most days, I cannot get there fast enough.

Prior to being the Police I was of the opinion that police officers must always be guided by truth, reason, and fairness in accordance to the law. As the Police I’ve come to learn that the three most important aspects of policing are police effectiveness, police accountability, and public trust. …


How navigating this quartet of identities has helped me realize that these are times in which great men and women would wish to live

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Chicago Police officer Givens. Chicago, IL

“Givens! Can you print the arrest and case reports for all the guns you got this month? I’m going to put you in for officer of the month.”

With excitement and speed I rush to log into the computer, print the reports, and re-read them all again before handing them in.

A feeling of accomplishment was an understatement. Cloud nine was where I was.

But I wouldn’t be there long.

At 29 years old I am the son of a Black mother that raised six children, alone. Two of my siblings are adopted.

I have a brother that trains everyone from professional athletes to grade-school soccer clubs. Another brother lives out west and is in the process of moving further west to call Hawaii home. The elder of my two sisters founded her first business three years ago and burns the midnight oil every night to ensure it succeeds. My youngest sister, the crown-jewel of our family, just concluded two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, Africa and is now the US representative for a non-profit that serves children in Malawi. …


How we must never forget who we rightly serve: the people.

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Chicago Police officer Givens on the banks of Lake Michigan. Chicago, IL

Nearly two years ago, while running the last few laps of my police academy physical fitness entrance exam, I noticed a woman — in the early mornings of winter, walk to her front lawn and begin to yell.

I was barely maintaining first place during the run, breathing in the cold Chicago winter air and freezing! As a consequence, I was reluctant to slow down, get passed up, to see what she was yelling about. However, when I came around again — she was still there. This time, I heard her clearly: “Y’all didn’t come this far to fail! Don’t give up! …

About

Julius Givens

A Chicago Police Officer committed to the three most important aspects of policing: Public Trust, Police Accountability, and Police Effectiveness.

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