Letter: Bad apples tend to stay that way

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Hundreds gathered at George Floyd's mural in downtown Salt Lake City on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, following the guilty verdict on all three counts in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.

There has been a lot of commentary in the media lately about improving police training in response to the killing of black young men and, more recently, a young black girl while interacting with police officers. While improved training is laudable and likely necessary, it seems to me that we must also pay attention to how each police department’s applicants are selected to join various departments around the country. If a “bad apple” is mistakenly hired by a police department, would any amount of training turn the bad apple into a competent police officer? I doubt it, since personality traits tend to be stable over time for most people. The only time they usually change for the better is when the person engages in long-term hard work in order to change, usually with professional help.

Steve Ross, Salt Lake City

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