The conservative approach to criminal justice:
fighting crime, supporting victims, and protecting taxpayers.

The Role of Police Unions in the 21st Century

| September 12, 2019

Police unions have often benefitted their members in terms of pay and working conditions but increasingly stand in the way of reforms that improve policing and the standing of police in the eyes of local communities.

Key points:

  • Police unions have run counter to the best practices of professional law enforcement standards.
  • Police unions represent party and political ideologies and no longer represent employees.
  • Police unions are designed to enhance membership and survive as an organization.
  • Police executives and police officers need to understand their role in the community and how to promote good policing policy.


SHERIFF (Ret) CURRIE MYERS, PhD, is a Visiting Senior Fellow with Right on Crime. Dr. Myers has a combined 30 years of professional experience as a state trooper, special agent, sheriff, criminologist, professor, and university executive. Dr. Myers ended his law enforcement career as the sheriff of Johnson County, Kansas which serves a population of more than 600,000 citizens in the Kansas City Metropolitan area and is one of the largest sheriffs’ offices in the Midwest with nearly 750 employees and a jail population of approximately 1,000 inmates. He is a nationally recognized expert in criminal justice public policy as well as organizational management and leadership and has spoken at more than 1,000 local, state, and national conferences.

Academically, Dr. Myers has developed and taught more than 25 courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level including disciplines within criminal justice, criminology, organizational management, leadership, ethics, business, and in the humanities. As a senior university executive (school dean and associate vice president), he has rolled out new degree programs, new product lines and program concepts, conducted program reviews, and has development outcomes-based, applied learning curriculum in various forms of modality.