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Podcast: Militarization of the Police?

Podcast: Militarization of the Police?

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Do law enforcement agencies incorporate too many military tactics and equipment in their policing efforts? In this episode, Dr. Bjorn Mercer talks to AMU Criminal Justice program director, Dr. Chuck Russo about the origins of the military and domestic law enforcement as well as the benefits and downfalls of ongoing collaboration.

Learn about the influence of traditional media and social media on politicizing police tactics and how discussions in the classroom can help bring to light many controversial policing topics including militarization, use-of-force, ethics, mental health, post-traumatic stress, diversity, supervision, management, and more.

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Read the Transcript:

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: Welcome to the School of Arts and Humanities at American Public University. My name is Dr. Bjorn Mercer. Today at The Everyday Scholar, we’re talking to Dr. Chuck Russo, Program Director of Security and Global Studies at American Public University, and today we’re talking about militarization of the police. Welcome, Chuck.

Dr. Chuck Russo: Glad to be here. Thank you.

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: Excellent. Important topic. People have been talking about it for, honestly years, I think probably as long as the police have been around.

Dr. Chuck Russo: Correct.

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: And more recently because of the George Floyd killing a few months ago. So I’m just going to jump into it. What does militarization of the police mean?

Dr. Chuck Russo: It really depends on who you ask. This topic, it’s one of those that it comes to the forefront, then it kind of dies down. And it cycles. Every so many years, it comes up and it’s on point with discussion, and then it dies back down.

But let’s start with militarization of the police. We must remember that whenever we think of modern policing for the most part, we go back to Robert Peel and the London Metropolitan Police Department. Now you have to remember, we’re talking about 1800s here. The military and the police share a history, and pretty much the modern police always have. Peel came from British government where he was Under-Secretary of War and Colonies. So when he was tasked to form the London Metropolitan Police, no one should really be amazed that he basically drew upon what he knew.

Now he understood that he didn’t want to just copy the military, but he drew upon that as his point of reference. Like at the time, for example, the British military wore the red uniforms. He went with blue. And we see a same-but-different historically with the police and the military.

Now with the U.S., what we look at and what we see is we refer back to this whole militarization point. A lot of this started around World War I, or just after World War I. The reason why that’s important is because for the first time people could see footage in movie theaters of what was occurring over there on the battlefield.

Also could think of the late teens, early 20s. We had a lot of labor movements coming up to be. I mean, everything from the auto industry to the candy manufacturing industry. We had organized labor, which then brought about essentially union busting.

We started seeing these mass groups of people, disruptive and such, and what the law enforcement started looking at was like, “Hey, we remember from what we saw when we went to the movies from the battlefields of World War I, the use of gas and how effective that was in dispersing people, keeping people down and such.” And domestic law enforcement looked at, quote unquote, that military technology to help in domestic matters.

So, we can go back, again in the U.S., the 1920s. Think about the gangster movies that we all saw growing up as kids. The weapons really were not very different that law enforcement was using at the time to put down organized crime which was growing by leaps and bounds. With the Depression, the bank robberies and such. BARs, Thompson submachine guns. That was normal. Everyone had those, both sides of the coin. The gangsters had it. The bad guys had it. The good guys had it. The military had it.

So, you know, we’ve always had this type of close relationship between law enforcement and the military. Civilian law enforcement and the military been training essentially side by side and training each other. I got involved in law enforcement in the ’80s back when crack cocaine was coming onto the scene and such. And because of what we had going on, many in law enforcement were being trained by the military. That was seen as the most effective means to counter what we were all facing.

We had our designated marksman trained at Fort Benning alongside basically snipers from all branches of the military. Because if you were doing domestic law enforcement or military missions, the marksmanship skills were the same. The field craft was essentially the same. The tactics were the same. The most effective way to get our people trained and up to speed was by relying on the military.

We can jump forward a few more years to the Army’s Human Terrain System of intelligence and policing that mimics U.S. law enforcement’s community policing and problem-oriented policing. The military in their modern day role is tasked with essentially sometimes being the world’s policemen. They have to deal with tasks and deal with issues that basically U.S law enforcement face on a daily basis. Different models of like dealing with neighborhoods and districts, maintaining order, providing guidance, oversight, working with people in the communities to solve perceived issues and resolve problems. It’s the same.

And now because of that, we see law enforcement training in the military. I’ve been trained by the military as domestic law enforcement. I’ve trained with military members in, I think, most every branch alongside them in various settings. And I’ve also trained in the military in U.S. domestic law enforcement. And so, again, the militarization of law enforcement, military and law enforcement have always kind of been together in just various extents and various way, shape and form.

They train together. They learn together. They sometimes end up working in similar operations. So it shouldn’t be a surprise then that technology used by one can and will be used by the other. And that’s what goes back to the initial question you mentioned about militarization.

Right now for conducting this podcast I have Bone Conduction headphones on. It allows me to hear what’s going on around me, yet I’m not getting feedback across the microphone. Now I used these sets when I was doing tactical work in law enforcement back in the ’90s. And that comes from military technology back from, well, General Dynamics in the 1950s. If you think of military technology, you also have things like GPS that we all use. Lots of other different things, such as quick-clot for dealing with traumatic injuries, gunshot wounds and such. As an officer I carried that. Tourniquet technology and such, a lot of this came out of the military.

So in many ways, again, it’s one and the same because of what law enforcement does, what the military does. As such, the technology goes back and forth on both sides. When I was doing a lot of training design, I would go to military trade shows as a law enforcement officer, because I knew the tools and technology that I saw in that environment, in 10 years or so would come to domestic law enforcement.

It’s typically the market. Military gets it first. They buy it all up. They put it into the field and such. Essentially it’s nice for law enforcement, because they also shake it out and test it. That market then dries up and the manufacturers are sitting on this excellent technology without somebody to sell it to. So it makes sense for them to go to a secondary market, which is public safety law enforcement. We’ve seen that, and actually the federal government has actually put funds and process in place for that specifically to occur. It helps with the Defense Department contracts. Those contractors and such, those manufacturers know that once the military market dries up, they’d still have a secondary market of domestic law enforcement in addition to oftentimes foreign governments as well.

Now a lot of times with the news, we hear people talking about the militarization of law enforcement. It’s a little different than what I’ve been speaking about here. What they see are basically weapons, in some respect tactics, how the tools that law enforcement has that came down from the military are used, is usually what is concerning the people.

I’ll give you an example. When I was with my agency, I was issued an M16. It was taken from fully automatic to semiautomatic mode, but I was the first one this rifle was issued to. This was in probably about 2009-10 is when I got it issued. It was a brand new Vietnam-era Colt manufactured in 1972 for the U.S. military that was never, ever issued. It was sitting in a warehouse. And at the time we had shotguns and a few rifles, but the agency did not have the funds to go out and obtain commercial rifles. We got them from the military through their program. And without that program, we wouldn’t have those tools.

There are times when something like that is needed. If you go back to like some of the school shootings that we’ve had in the past, where officers are going up against individuals with, not just handguns, but with rifles and such. To put up a pistol against a rifle, it’s basically the odds are not stacked in your favor if you’re the one with the pistol. So to attempt to minimize additional casualties and such the best tool for the job happens to be a rifle. So we have issues, some people have issues with having those types of tools in an enforcement arsenal. It’s not like law enforcement is talking about fixing bayonets and doing a charge. But for some people, that’s what they have in their mind.

Law enforcement often uses heavily armored military vehicles, but we use them typically in a rescue situation, or to enable us to get tactically closer to a target. Without that, there are times when we’ve had officers bleed out on scene because we could not rescue them.

In my community down here in Florida, we had that situation back in the ’80s. An officer was shot, pinned down, and the offender had a rifle. Law enforcement was not able to get to that officer, and he died on scene. Nowadays, we bring something like a BearCat in, or an armored personnel carrier that we obtained from the military, and be able to get in there, get to that officer, get that officer out of there, and hopefully provide life-saving measures so that officer would still be with us today.

But people, again, they think of militarization, they think of law enforcement tanks rolling down the street and such. It doesn’t have to be like that. If that’s someone’s preconceived notion, that’s what they’re going to think about, and there really isn’t nothing that you and I can talk about that’s probably going to change their mind.

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: You talked about a lot of things, so a lot to go over. And I mean, even going back to, when you talk about the ’20s and when they outlawed alcohol, which crime exploded essentially, because then people wanted to drink. And so-

Dr. Chuck Russo: We created the market.

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: Exactly. I think it’s one of those wonderful and horrible studies of human behavior. Don’t make things illegal that humans naturally want. Again, people will disagree. But when it comes to alcohol, don’t do it. It’s going to make crime go up.

And with the ’20s, and you’re talking about the Thompson submachine guns, it seems like after World War I there was probably what I would describe as an advancement, or it came to fruition of gun technology, which then essentially after World War I, with all those troops coming home and the military having investigated, researched, and then bought all these guns, and they flooded both the police and the gangsters. So then I’m assuming police, as you were saying after World War I, had to deal with risks that previously hadn’t existed, per se, in the first two decades of the 1900s.

Dr. Chuck Russo: Yeah. You know for the war, manufacturing ramps up. We had Browning introducing in the early 1900s several very, very innovative firearms designs, gun designs, that are still being used today. Basically the market was essentially flooded. I mean, you could buy rifle, military rifle, machine gun, BAR, whatever, out of back of a newspaper. You know, send your money in and here you go. Here’s your rifle, enjoy.

But you’ve got to remember the culture was very different back then as far as weapons. There’s always a criminal element and law enforcement has always had to deal with that. I mean, heck, New York City police department in the first few years when they were established, officially they didn’t carry firearms. They were not issued firearms. Officers came to carry their own, and you saw a lot of pocket pistols, and pocket revolvers and such at the time. And then eventually it became the standard issue is a sidearm or revolver. But it wasn’t until, like you said, with the weapons that were available, this stuff was just, I mean, everyone had this stuff. A lot of people grew up with it. And I guess the firearms for the most part were more respected than they are in many ways than they are today.

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: And that brings me, I’m not going any depth on Second Amendment, any things at all. The Second Amendment exists. Fact. So that’s just more of a statement. But I’m assuming, one of the great, great complications of being police in this country is the Second Amendment and the gun culture of the U.S. in the sense that there’s millions, if not hundreds of millions of guns, out there.

And I’m going to just throw out a stat. 95% of the people use their guns 100% respectfully. They love their guns. They take care of them. And then there’s a small percentage that are irresponsible. Not even including the criminal element in that percentage, because they’re criminals. They’re going to do what they do. Being police in this country would be very difficult because you never know who has a gun and what size of gun they have today after decades and decades of gun technology improvement. I mean, the guns today are amazingly effective.

As law enforcement you have to assume that everyone essentially is armed it. Some states even moreso than others. Being down here in the southern states, Florida, you go over to like Texas, Arizona, for example. A large portion of a population is armed.

Then if you go up to states like even Alaska, you expect everyone to be armed, and some really interesting high-caliber weapons because of the wildlife you may encounter at any given time. And in different parts of the country, you have different essentially attitudes, I guess you could say, and the percentage of ownership of firearms.

But with law enforcement, I mean, the way I train the officers and I was trained, is that you treat everyone as they are in fact armed, and they may be, and if everything goes well, it’s never an issue. But you can treat them as if they are armed and still be respectful and polite and all those things. And the vast majority of law enforcement encounters with the population are that way. There’s a small percentage that have result in some type of force, whether it’s physical contact or something else. But really it’s very rare that that actually occurs.

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: That leads us to then the next question, which is tough and there’s no answer. But why is this issue so politicized? Like we briefly talked about it. So why is it that some people on one side think they know exactly what the answer is? Other people on the other side, exact same thing. Think they know that there’s only one way.

So first of all, why is this so polar opposite? Is that just what we see on the news? There’s a different question. Are more people like on the ground, like how is it, say, here in Arizona everybody I talk to, really logical when it comes to most things. So is that politicalization mainly something we see for political purposes on TV versus what’s going on in the ground with your average person who just wants to support the police? They want a safe community, but they do want things to positively change.

Dr. Chuck Russo: Many of the discussions we see in the media, whether it’s TV, social media, on the internet, they’re essentially emotional. If you actually break down, you analyze what the argument is, the individual’s point of view,  or whoever’s being represented, it’s an emotional argument. It’s not logical or factual. There isn’t really a logical or factual basis for it. People’s perception is their perception. It’s often very hard to have a logical fact-based discussion with someone who has an emotional connection with any type of issue. Again, if that’s what they think, that’s what they think.

I mean, we can break out different stats on offenders shot by the police, officers killed. We can start actually breaking down the numbers. And most people aren’t really interested in that stuff. It’s unfortunate because it does provide some very, very interesting data if you look at it. But people are more tied in and actually the emotional argument sells better.

I teach courses in Crime and the Media and different communications courses with law enforcement, criminal justice. And I explain in those courses that in many ways, if we look at our six o’clock news who picks the news stories? It’s the news director and the marketing director. Why the marketing director? We go back many, many years and the news was a highly desired profession. They provided the information that basically drove our society. They provide us facts. They were seen as unbiased, as factual.

Unfortunately, that changed. I go on to explain in some of my courses that really the six o’clock news is no different than “Two and Half Men.” Both have the same goal, to get the most people to watch so that they could charge the most for their airtime, for their commercials. It’s not very different. It’s why you have the marketing director in there.

So we’ve seen local news, at least in my area, that have tried to use the all-good-news format and a more factually based format. And it failed. Their viewership went down. They had to go back to the sensationalism and the emotion. And I can say this because I have friends who work in that business.

And we have an understanding that neither of us ever use names, but we could kind of ask to talk about our respective professions and fields. And we have built trust over the years. I’ve known these people for over 20 years. It’s in their best interest to present the emotional arguments. And so for most people, that’s where they get their information from, the various sources of media.

And nowadays with social media, anyone with a cell phone is an on-scene reporter. It doesn’t matter what the facts are. If the video is good, that’s what the argument goes to, and who gets it out there first, wins. So oftentimes we see the law enforcement playing catch-up with some of these types, in these situations and unable to get ahead of the story because it’s already out there as soon as it happens.

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: And I’m glad you brought up the media, because from my perspective, nobody should watch Fox, CNN, MSNBC. Just don’t watch them, because they don’t present journalism. Fox and MSNBC, if you want to go more on the right and left. They market towards their demographic, and they don’t have to care about the opposite side.

Where journalism is about presenting facts in an unbiased manner and letting people make the decisions, our contemporary cable news outlets threw that away around 2000. You could say a little before that, during the Clinton years, where they just throw it away. They’re like, “You know, we can make enough money. We don’t have to be journalists anymore.” I’m being dramatic. But they’ll say they’re journalists. And if you look allsides.com, which has a media bias chart, you’ll see that, which is interesting, where when you look at something like CNN and Fox, their online content, which is more news-driven is only slightly right and slightly left.

But then when you look at the cable news, it’s way right, and way left, because then, just like you said, when you watch MSNBC or you watch Fox, everything is about emotion. Everything is about talking to the same audience night after night, and getting them fired up because of some injustice… And again, I’m being dramatic here… that is going to destroy America.

Dr. Chuck Russo: It’s playing to the emotion, but it gets people to watch night after night. And in that respect, no matter what your political opinion is, Fox, they’re doing great because the others are all chasing the same demographic. They are the only ones going off in this direction. And from a business standpoint, to me that’s probably makes a lot more sense. You know, go to where no one else is, the waters where no one else is in.

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: It’s true. I mean, so MSNBC, CNN, per se, and then ABC-

Dr. Chuck Russo: Headline News. Are they still out there?

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: Yeah. If you want to throw in like BBC. These are all left-leaning. They’re all chasing that same quote, left demographic, versus Fox. They got it.

Dr. Chuck Russo: Yeah. It may be a smaller, but they got a hundred percent of it.

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: Exactly.

Dr. Chuck Russo: So their share is effectively larger than the other ones battling for, it may be a bigger pie, but they’re all getting smaller pieces of that pie.

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: And that’s why you see year after year when Fox so proudly proclaims, we won the ratings war. Because they do. Because, yeah, they’re the only one as far as that Cable News Network. And for me, it’s more sad because then you go to public areas like airports or bars, and then they will always put on cable news. And that’s where I find the politicalization of the cable outlets. Because then say you go to your local bar and then the owner likes Fox. Great. Fox is the only thing that’s on. And then it’s like, “Well, does my local bar have to become political?”

Dr. Chuck Russo: Yeah, please. I want to be here because I want to get away from everything else. Not be thrown back into the middle of it, you know?

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: And it’s exactly the same thing with airports. It’s like, what’s the most centrist thing you can put on in the airports? Some might say the BBC because it’s English, but then people would say, “Well, that’s too left also.”

Dr. Chuck Russo: I put the weather channel on and everyone’s, yeah.

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: How do you approach these concepts at APUS where many of your students are going into the military, or in law enforcement, or already in the military, or are already in law enforcement?

Dr. Chuck Russo: With my program, with the Criminal Justice program, as one would kind of figure, we have a lot of military in there because they see that as their next career after their military is over. Or we actually have a lot of active law enforcement who are in our degree programs for trying to improve their odds of advancement, promotion, transfer and such. And 85% of my criminal justice faculty are practitioners, have been or are still in the criminal justice system. We have corrections officers, law enforcement officers, probation and parole officers, investigators, retired and or current.

So we have not just the courses that pretty much every university has, but we have the students who are very active in the area already. And we have faculty who have a long history in the area. And the few faculty that we have that do not have the actual field experience do some amazing research in the area of criminal justice. So everybody’s actually actively involved in it.

And the reason why I say that is because I went through and did a poll of, not just my core courses but also the activity of the faculty for the last five years, on issues that are involved, you know, we see basically every day now in the media: use of force, mental health issues, post-traumatic stress. And these that are just basically dominating this few months’ news cycle.

And I came up with 35 pages of when it’s discussed in our core courses. And again, I don’t even go into the elective courses because I’d probably still be doing that poll if I did. Articles that they’ve written in either professional magazines or peer-reviewed journals, speaking engagements on the topics. And again, this is just going back five years. So our program and our faculty actively discuss and have been actively discussing these various issues for the last several years. And we continue to do so, whether it’s ethics, use-of-force, diversity issues, supervision, and management issues. It’s what we do.

And it’s interesting because, again with the faculty makeup and with our student makeup, we actually have students who aren’t in the military or aren’t in criminal justice and they come away more from the discussions that go on than they probably do from the assigned readings, because it’s stuff that they are have some type of background, either they saw it on the news, they read it on, probably not a newspaper, but they read it online, on a computer screen somewhere. And then they get perspectives from various people that are in that field that don’t have to speak a certain way because they’re on camera, a little freer type of environment. And oftentimes we’d say or disclaimers in syllabi and such that said, “We understand that discussions that occur in this classroom are for educational purposes. They don’t necessarily reflect your views, your opinions, or your agency’s views or opinions.”

So people watch you talk free in our classrooms, in our forums and such, and people come away with a lot of interesting information, whether it’s someone, again, from law enforcement or the military didn’t quite see it the way somebody who is basically a traditional student, that’s from the civilian side, saw it and vice versa. And kind of what I alluded to earlier with the news. I don’t want to watch news that just confirms my various perspectives on topics. Give me facts and try to change my mind. I pay more attention to that. This environment that we’ve built with our courses, with our instructors and with our students, they get information that may not necessarily go with their perspective and just agree in-line with their perspective. It enables them to possibly see things different, and if all goes well, to change attitudes and to eventually change behavior. Real actual education.

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: I love that. And it’s criminal justice of many fields. What you’re doing here is instantly seen in the field. I could see how also, like if you’re a police officer furthering your education, there might be a lot of peer pressure while at the job to not have contrary opinions.

Dr. Chuck Russo: Well, years ago there was a lot of peer pressure to why you’re wasting your time going to school. I was with an agency back in the ’80s where I was the only one in the entire agency going back to school to get my degree. It worked out well for me because the Chief pulled me aside and said, “Look, I know what the policy says about tuition reimbursement, but I’d rather give the money to you than to give it back to the city. So I’ll take care of all your tuition, all your books, your parking decal, you’re health fee.” My agency paid for a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees. It was a wonderful thing.

Thank God we’ve gotten away from that now where education is actually seen as much more of a benefit, and actually that’s something we may see coming up out of Trump’s Executive Order, Safe Streets, Safe Communities, I can’t remember the actual name. But I did an article a little while ago on it, what the Executive Order says. It reminds me an awful lot of programs that came out of the ’60s, including the Law Enforcement Education Program, where many officers were able to get their education paid for essentially by the federal government. And we saw a big push in the ’70s and a lot of personnel, I think 300,000 law enforcement officers in the U.S., went back and got tuition reimbursement, and the vast majority of them earned degrees under that federal program.

I can kind of see the same thing happening again, coming out of the Executive Order, because we have data that shows the more educated the officer, the less likely there are to be use-of-force incidents with that officer.

There’s different ways of looking at it and different ways of possibly framing it. But I like just a simple approach. If nothing else, it gives the officers more tools in their toolbox to solve. And if that’s what it takes, wonderful. Let’s get a better-educated police force. It helps all of us in our communities, and personally it helps my program as well because odds are I’ll probably get a lot of them.

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: I love that because college should be about getting people in a room, a virtual room, and being exposed to different ideas. And so, say, me where I grew up and my family, my culture, I might have certain ideas and even at my job, they might support those with that same worldview. And then you go to college and you might be exposed to something different. And that is what it’s about. And just by being exposed to those different perspectives or different people throughout the country that have a slightly different perspective or worldview or life is a good thing.

Dr. Chuck Russo: When we started this session early on I mentioned community policing and problem-oriented policing. As opposed to the way things were years ago, we’re seeing officers at lower levels, a street officer essentially, or a deputy, or a trooper, being empowered and given a bit more authority than they had earlier to solve problems that they’re dealing with. Now we can do training, which to me training is an if-then statement essentially. If this happens, then you do this, and that type of situation response.

Education is different. We’re changing the way… You have a problem. “Okay, well, what really is the problem?” So instead of basically, “Here’s the problem, hit it with a hammer,” it’s, “Here’s the problem. What caused the problem? We may be able to fix it so that problem doesn’t happen again.” And this is where education and having more tools in the toolbox, looking at things differently, all come into play.

For example, like with the mental health issues that we really haven’t touched, briefly mentioned, I think earlier. But a lot of law enforcement calls, and it goes back to a little of what the rhetoric is at the moment with law enforcement. There’s a mental health component of that call, whether that is the sole cause of the call or it’s a compounding issue, or just a variable that is involved in that call.

There’s a lot of times a mental health component in there. We could pull data from our corrections facilities and see how many people in the facility having an actual diagnosis of some type of mental disorder. And how do they get there? They get there through initially a law enforcement context. So we can do math on this and figure this out.

One of the reasons why I got involved with mental health organizations in my area to a point where now I’m on the Board of Directors of one and actually act as a go-between with them and local law enforcement. And I’ve even gone so far as to work on an article where we proposed having a mental health liaison officer within the agency to work with mental health organizations and such, because unfortunately when we see some issues in the media, it’s a law enforcement response to an issue, response to a call, response to a problem. There’s a mental health component, and the problem is not resolved the way everyone wished it was resolved.

It goes sideways, which means then it’s the lead story on the six o’clock news. And we get basically law enforcement has one type of response in the media to those issues. The mental health agency, or whoever was working with the individual or training the individual, the family has this type of response.

And a lot of times you end up with people just pointing fingers at each other and going back to the emotional component of the argument rather than the factual. And part of it is because the one side doesn’t know the other side’s factual component.

Where if we had someone in the middle, essentially like a liaison role, it would expose the mental health side to law enforcement. It would expose law enforcement to the mental health side. And maybe they could work together and at least have a better understanding of when something goes wrong, which it inevitably will, maybe this is why, and let’s work together with solutions and try to solve some of these problems, again before they become the lead story.

And education, again, helps with this. It’s something that, again, I wrote an article on and actually proposed an academic solution as well that we’re working on at the moment.

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: I completely agree. The mental health component to many things, it’s not that it’s ignored or forgotten at all in the society. But for police, yeah, it’s just another thing that is so complicated. Just like the militarization of the police, it’s complicated. Like everything.

Dr. Chuck Russo: Pretty much so.

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: And every issue out there, which people talk about and argue about, there’s no simple solution. Everything is complicated.

Dr. Chuck Russo: Very much so.

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: And so thank you today. Any final words, Chuck, about our topic?

Dr. Chuck Russo: It’s one that even if in the next year or so, it kind of dies down, in three or four years, we’ll probably be having the same discussion again. Because it comes back, and it gets pushed aside. Something else becomes topic of the day, and eventually issues happen, things happen, and this comes to the front yet again.

Dr. Bjorn Mercer: For sure. So thank you so much for being here today. And today I was speaking with Dr. Chuck Russo here at The Everyday Scholar.

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