"The major police corruption scandals of the last several decades have had their roots in drug enforcement."
Norm Stamper was a police officer for 34 years, the first 28 in San Diego, the last six (from 1994-2000) as Seattle's police chief. In his 28 years with SDPD Norm rose quickly through the ranks and as a deputy chief served in each of the agency's bureaus. He also served as Executive Director of Mayor Pete Wilson's Crime Control Commission for three years. Norm received numerous awards and citations during his career in San Diego, including the Diogenes Award of the Public Relations Society of America for his leadership in the wake of the Rodney King incident and the subsequent Simi Valley trial verdicts.
As Seattle's police chief, Norm led a process of major organizational restructuring, creating new bureaus of Professional Responsibility, Community Policing, and Family and Youth Protection. Within months his agency had formed one of the country's best responses to domestic violence.
As a cop dedicated to protect and serve, Norm believes the war on drugs has done exactly the opposite for people. "Think of this war's real casualties:" Norm writes in his extraordinary new book, Breaking Rank, "tens of thousands of otherwise innocent Americans incarcerated, many for 20 years, some for life; families ripped apart; drug traffickers and blameless bystanders shot dead on city streets; narcotics officers assassinated here and abroad, with prosecutors, judges, and elected officials in Latin America gunned down for their courageous stands against the cartels; and all those dollars spent on federal, state, and local cops, courts, prosecutors, prisons, probation, parole, and pee-in-the-bottle programs. Even federal aid to bribe distant nations to stop feeding our habit." The war on drugs costs the United States more than 69 billion dollars each year.
Norm was a member of the National Advisory Counsel on the Violence Against Women Act; Police Executive Research Forum; International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Major Cities Chiefs.
Norm earned his bachelor and master's degrees in criminal justice administration from San Diego State University and his Ph.D. in leadership and human behavior from United States International University. He is a graduate of the FBI's National Executive Institute. Over the past three decades he has conducted organizational effectiveness and leadership training and consulting for both public and private organizations throughout North America.
Norm Stamper is the author of Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing,
Nation Books, 2005 (see www.normstamper.com) and Removing Managerial Barriers to Effective Police Leadership,
Police Executive Research Forum, Washington, D.C., 1992.