Managing the Blue Line
Policing the Police
How to Implement, Audit, and Sustain Effective Policing Standards

By Chief Chet Epperson

ISBN: 978-1-955656-54-2


The public supports the police but sometimes needs help understanding how police chiefs, officers, and departments can make questionable decisions when the stakes are high. Millions of dollars are paid by cities each year to settle police misconduct and risk issues. What is happening to our nation’s police departments, and what can communities do about it? In this fast and hard-hitting book, Chief Epperson outlines several steps police agencies can take to improve their responsibilities. At the same time, this book empowers communities and individuals with specific and direct information to manage the blue line.

140 page softcover

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Chief Chet Epperson

Chief Epperson is an experienced 42-year police professional in areas of use of force, internal affairs, officer-involved shootings, supervision, wrongful convictions, practice, policy, discipline, mental health, auditing, staffing analysis, organizational assessments, investigations, and training. Chief Epperson began his police career in 1981 as a police cadet with the Rockford, Illinois, Police Department. Due to the city financial and personnel hiring freeze, Chief Epperson was hired as a patrol officer with the Lake Forest, Illinois, Police Department. Chief Epperson was then re-hired in 1985 by the Rockford Police Department as a patrol officer. Chief Epperson served as a field training officer and trained over twenty-five new officers until he was promoted to sergeant, lieutenant, deputy chief, and in 2006 appointed as chief of police. Chief Epperson was instrumental in the department receiving initial law enforcement accreditation and subsequent renewals for continued compliance with law enforcement standards. He was instrumental in internal police reforms to include an early warning system, community policing initiatives, problem solving, and a robust use-of-force process including supervisory investigations, administrative reviews, and use-of-force review board. Chief Epperson retired in 2015.


Chief Epperson is the president of Americans for Effective Law Enforcement (AELE). Formed in 1966, AELE is a research-driven educational organization that produces and disseminates legal information through traditional seminars, via electronic media and direct contact. On-going experience for the past 7-years as a police practice consultant providing Federal District Court-Appointed monitoring expertise in police consent decrees and a United States Department of Justice Civil Rights police consultant regarding police use of force. Expert in applying constitutional standards, state law, policy, practice and training to police incidents. Retained in plaintiff and defense litigation occurrences. Chief Epperson regularly instructs courses on police use of force, internal affairs, discipline, and risk-management issues. Chief Epperson performs police management assessments on staffing, operations, policy, auditing, investigations, and training.