RICHLAND, Wash.-- Seattle's former police chief, Norm Stamper, who's most well-known for being in charge during the 1999 WTO riots, is speaking Friday night in Richland.
Stamper says the handling of the WTO riots was the biggest mistake of his career.
He says his police force was unprepared and never should've used tear gas on non-violent protestors.
Stamper says that experience taught him that the policing of our cities needs to change.
He's now an activist for the modernization of police procedure.
He says the idea that police want the community to be their eyes and ears to keep our cities safe needs to turn around.
He encourages citizens to feel empowered to participate and partner with law enforcement.
"There's so much that communities can do by banding together neighbor, by neighbor, by neighbor and creating a much more formidable response to crime and particularly to the prevention of crime," said Stamper.
Stamper now writes a blog for the Huffington Post about police procedures.
He hopes his experience and hard learned lessons can teach others about community law enforcement involvement.
Stamper's speech begins Friday night at 7pm at the Laborers Hall Local 348, 2505 Duportail Street in Richland.