David C. Couper

David C. Couper

I came to Madison, Wisc. in early 1972 to interview for the police chief’s job. I was 34 years of age at the time and went on to serve as Madison’s chief of police for over 20 years.
During my tenure I brought much change and reform to Madison – a new way to management conflict and public protest, I broke open the employment barriers that kept women and racial minorities from the police ranks, and instituted a new and collaborative style of leadership within the department. The year of my retirement, 1993, I was chosen by my peers to receive the National Police Leadership Award.

I have graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota (sociology) and Edgewood College (religious studies), studied police in Europe, and authored four books on policing and a major article on the role of forgiveness in policing.

I bring to the conversation the perspective of over 30 years as a police officer, detective, and chief. And now, nearly 20 years later, as a priest/pastor in the Episcopal Church, work in international peacekeeping, and a continuing interest in working for peace and social justice. Today, I pastor a small congregation near Milwaukee and continues my 50 year interest in improving police.

My wife, Sabine, and I live in the un-glaciated hills west of Madison near the Blue Mounds west of Madison, Wisc.

My new book (April, 2012) is called, "Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption, and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation’s Police," and is available at Amazon.com in print and electronic versions. I also recently revised and updated "The Quality Leadership Workbook for Police" (2014) and "How to Rate Your Local Police" (2015).

My life today is ordered around being a caregiver for Sabine, maintaining family connections, along with my passions for ministry and improving our nation's police. And, since Ferguson, now more than ever!

Find out what I am currently up to at my BLOG: http://improvingpolice.wordpress.com. On it you will find over 600 posts about improving police, transformation, leadership, training, and a way out of the present crisis in which police now find themselves. It won't be easy, but it can be done!