Straight Official got a chance to chop it up with Stan Campbell the Founder of this pretty Dope, Deescalating, Officer Patrol Encounters organization aiming to increase law enforcement awareness and decrease the violence in communities.
SOM: Hey Stan tell me little about yourself?
I was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. My journey in life led me to the Midwest where I pursued a career in law enforcement. I was a supervisor and counter sniper for the SWAT team for ten years. I ran a street crime unit executing over 1,000 drug raids in six years and trained police officers in the proper use of force and de-escalation for 15 years. I retired after 20 years and co-founded a national legal service for concealed carriers to assist in defending their legal self-defense incidents. It is called CCW Safe.
SOM: Why did you decide to start the DOPE movement?
It began with a question presented to me by my sister (Tisha Campbell-Martin) nearing the end of June this 2016. She asked, “What could be done to slow down all of these officer related shootings?” She wanted to share the training I presented to her a year ago; how to properly respond to police officers on a traffic stop. The initial plan was to create videos to share on her social media so citizens understood ways they could make traffic stops safer for themselves and the officer. Prior to releasing the videos we all entered into the month of July and it seemed as if things were spiraling out of control. We had the police-related shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. This quickly was followed by a lone gunmen targeting Dallas police officers assigned to crowd control at a Black Lives Matter protest. These officers (Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens and Michael Smith) were not engaged in any altercations with citizens at the time of the ambush. And then there was the accidental shooting of Charles Kinsey. In the middle of the street of north Miami, while on his back with his hands up, he was shot trying to alert police that his autistic client did not have a firearm. There was more protest, a speech of outrage by the president, riots and the media pushing only one narrative; RACISM. I knew a few videos were not going to be enough. We needed not to just engage in “moment”… We needed to start a movement. This is why D.O.P.E. the movement was created and I decided to use the acronym which stands for De-escalating Officer Patrol Encounters. We needed to created something that speaks to and provides de-escalation tips for police officers and citizens.
SOM: Who and/or what motivates you to keep going even with negative backlash?
My motivation begins with knowing that something needs to be done and people at least listen to those with knowledge. I have been on both sides and have a true understanding of the process of hiring and training police officers. I am a black man who grew up in the ghetto and a father of two adult children. I find myself heart-broken over the amount of deaths on the rise against people of color at the hands of police officers. As a retired police lieutenant with friends and family that I love still active in law enforcement, I’m equally saddened by the senseless attacks and ambushes on police officers. I understand racism continues to be the narrative pushed by large media outlets but I know the problem is so much worse because what is not being addressed it the training and hiring practices of our nation’s law enforcement. Those are large issues that can be dealt with as racism is something that is not on the surface; meaning people hide their true feelings associated with prejudice, racism and bias. It is hard to prove those are motivators or there is no evidence that is presented that racism was a factor in a police use of force. One thing I do know is training records are documented and you can easily prove that an officer had no training in an area or little training in an area. Another issue is citizens don’t understand they too need to be trained in the area of police encounters, their rights and what the officer has the right to do. Altering or addressing those areas will decrease police shootings and citizen deaths. For that reason, I’m not concerned about any negative backlash or pushback. I have the experience and truly recognize that there are a small percentage on both sides that I will never change in mindset; they are stuck in hate. It is the majority who I am trying to reach that need the information and I know if every person does their part to de-escalate lives will be saved.
SOM: What would you say is your biggest accomplishment to date?
My greatest accomplishment has been to bring up two children (one boy and one girl) free of drug abuse & jail, both in college and good citizens with a positive look on life. Second to that is finding my purpose in life which is Dope the Movement.
I am pushing phase one of D.O.P.E. which is citizen training (as they are the most likely victims of these encounters) and pushing the DOPE Pledge” campaigner citizens and officers to accept accountability and provide each with a personal promise of de-escalation to follow. Phase two is developing training and tips for officers and police agencies to add to existing training to promote de-escalation. That training will include lectures on the hiring process, use of force reform suggestions, campaigns on recognizing PTSD with officers and ways to improve hiring practices. I am currently coordinating a two-day “Bridging the Gap Safety Summit” with Compton high school. I am inviting 5 other officers with individual program similar to what I’m doing to teach 800 students in two days. This will present lectures and scenario based training. Some of the topics include how to safely de-escalate police stops and traffic stops, learning about Miranda and your rights and Victimology & PTSD in the urban area. There is other training that will utilize local police officers as well. I am simultaneously running a program called Spectrum Shield which takes 12 boys with autism and teaches them how to interact during police encounters to keep them safe. We put them on a ranch and invite local law enforcement to answer their questions as well as put them through scenarios that allows us to get their true responses to the fear of police to identify what they need to work on to stay alive during these encounters.
SOM: What changes would you like to see made as a result of your Movement?
The primary goal is to save lives on both sides of police encounters; citizens and police officers. Secondary to that I want to share training, tips and information for police officers and citizens to promote de-escalation. I want citizens to recognize the importance of preparing themselves and their children for the possibility of police contact. In addition, why they should not meet the aggression of an officer acting unreasonable, check their own ego and properly report complaints instead of escalating a volatile situation, because at the end of the day there is at least one gun involved and a disagreement should not end in a senseless death.
What sets me apart from the pack is my experience level, my reach through celebrity friends and my amazing team that help me to push my message in a professional & logical manner. The other thing is my freedom to push the truth (not being an active officer who is directed by their agency) and provide real solutions. I am not driven by politics or the influence of financial gain (which clouds the issues). The message coming from a person who is of color, has extensive training and understands the pitfalls & flaws of police training is extremely important.
SOM: What do you do in your free time? Any Hobbies?
When I have free time I enjoy spending it with family, traveling and my hobbies include writing and fine arts.
SOM: Anything else you want to add?
I want to add that no one person can do this alone and I believe all community policing efforts should be supported. There are many officers taking on the fight and doing their part. I need citizens to know the numbers of police deadly force incidents are not as the media presents them. There are approximately 850,000 police officers across the nation and less than .1% (about 900) are involved in deadly force encounters each year (the majority being in response to a weapon or self-defense). I need police officers to accept that they need more training and slow down. They also need to be trained better with dealing with those with mental challenges and de-escalation techniques. I need police agencies to do a better job of identifying officers with problems or those with bad intentions and get rid of them. They additional need to do a better job with hiring the right people for the job and attach cultural diversity standardized testing to the hiring process (as a prerequisite of hire as it is too late to teach them after they have a job).
SOM: Any Shoutouts? What’s your Social Media? I want to give a shout out to my sister Tisha, all those who are sharing the word, part of the movement and the FLEET DJs for their support! Please stay engaged and share your thoughts on my Facebook page (dope the movement) which is a safe place for police and citizens to discuss these topics. Visit www.dopethemovement.com to keep up with my movements and take the D.O.P.E. Pledge. Follow me on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at Dope the Movement.