Howard Rahtz Releases A New Book, Race, Riots & the Police, Making the Transition from Fear to Trust

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Today, police leaders are challenged like never before to "replace fear and distrust with respect and cooperation" in the communities they serve. A must-read for law enforcement, government and community leaders, this book also serves as a tool for every citizen who wants to better understand the issue and effect positive change.

If racism remains a spear pointed at the heart of America, use of force by police is surely the tip.

Nearly 160 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, the rift between white and black remains a significant feature of American life. Howard Rahtz’s new book, Race, Riots and The Police (Lynne Rienner 2016), provides a review of the history of race riots in America from the Red Summer of 1919 to the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore in 2014-2015. The book details not only the role of the police in riots over the years, but provides a clear set of steps focusing on reform to close the gap between police and the African-American community.

A unique combination of experience and expertise positions Howard Rahtz as one of the most credible voices on police reform. A Cincinnati Police Captain (RET), Rahtz was an early practitioner of Community Policing, instructing at the Regional Community Policing Institute and authoring a guidebook for police officers interested in community policing.

A use of force expert, Rahtz was heavily involved in changing use of force policy and training under the Cincinnati Collaborative Agreement. That agreement has been credited with improved police-community relations in Cincinnati, leading Attorney General Loretta Lynch to describe the CPD as a national model for police reform. Rahtz served as editor of the Use of Force Journal published by the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA). His second book, Understanding Police Use of Force, provides a balanced and insightful overview of the use of force in American policing.

In Race, Riots, and the Police, Rahtz draws on his extensive first-hand experience to address this issue. Against the backdrop of the history of race riots in the United States, he offers a realistic approach for developing and maintaining a police force that is a true community partner.

“An excellent book! It covers fresh ground and offers hope of not endlessly repeating the painful mistakes of the past.” —Richard Biehl, Chief of Police, Dayton, Ohio

“Race, Riots, and the Police shows how our tough-on-crime strategies have perpetuated structural racism in our criminal justice system and also changed the nature of law enforcement away from guarding our communities. But Rahtz does not just point out what has gone wrong; he provides a compelling vision of what policing can look like if law enforcement leaders have the political will and the courage to change.”
—Diane Goldstein, Executive Board, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)

“This is an important book ... controversial, but refreshing; creative, yet practical. It affirms the critical role of police in our society, but it is also a call for change. I could not be more enthusiastic in my praise of this compelling work.”
—Gerald S. Reid, University of Cincinnati

"Rahtz, a seasoned police veteran, current officer trainer, and national speaker on police reform, goes beyond a textbook history and draws on current studies and situations to offer solutions. Given the timeliness of this publication, it is wholeheartedly recommended for public library collections. In addition to educating students, police officers, trainees, and government officials, it can also serve as a baseline and valuable tool for citizens interested in learning through his experience, research, and statistics as we see ongoing issues in our communities."
— Joyce McIntosh, The Book List

Howard Rahtz served for nearly two decades with the Cincinnati Police Department, retiring in 2007 as Commander of the Vice Control Unit. He currently teaches at police academies in the area and speaks nationally on police reform. In 2012, his third book, Drugs, Crime and Violence: From Trafficking to Treatment (Hamilton), was favorably reviewed, and like Race, Riots and Police, published just as the topic was making national headlines. He is also the author of Community Policing: A Handbook and Understanding Police Use of Force, which are used by police academies and law enforcement departments across the country.

Lynne Rienner Publishers, celebrating 32 years of independent publishing, is known for bringing high quality, cutting-edge books in politics and the social sciences to the general market.

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Robyn C. Allgeyer
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Howard Rahtz
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