Police Community Relations, by Dr. Solar


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

Dr. Patrick Solar, Professor of Criminal Justice at UW-Platteville, recently published a book, “Police Community Relations: A Conflict Management Approach”, addressing the Black Lives Matter protests calling for defunding of police and the Blue Lives Matter movements calling for an increase of funds for police, causing rising tensions between the two groups.

The book shows how police departments have changed over time. It also includes possible opportunities to improve the relationship between police and the African-American community, as well as improving relations with any community.

Dr. Solar has 30 years of experience as a police officer, as well as teaching experience in Police Administration. He has experience in Police Community Relations and Criminal Investigations as well. This shows his knowledge on the subject of police matters, as well as ways to change certain issues. 

In an interview with Solar, he said, “All interactions between police officers and citizens involve conflict.” He explains that until society accepts this and starts teaching what really happens between police officers and citizens to our students, these students will never understand how police interactions actually occur.

 Another topic brought up during the interview would be police having programs to interact with the community to try and ease tensions between the community and police, such as barbecues. 

Also discussed was the police’s problem with saying no and responding to every complaint, even if it is not breaking any law. According to Solar, the issue here is that police are not suited or meant to handle these things, as they have no training to handle marital disputes or disagreements. He supports having a separate department to specifically handle these sorts of things, instead of the police. 

Solar’s book could help educate readers about police interactions, especially those who don’t know much about the subject.