It is an excellent idea, originally designed by Plato in The Republic as the article notes, and will pay dividends, as this story from the Seattle Times reports.

An excerpt.

At first glance, the 29 recruits who stepped to the stage on graduation day didn’t look much different from past classes whose faded photographs dot the walls of the state police academy in Burien.

But as they prepared to scatter to 16 law-enforcement agencies in places as big as Seattle and tiny as Royal City in Eastern Washington, the newly minted members of Class 689 stood at the forefront of a fundamental change in training the state’s future police officers.

Breaking years of tradition, the academy has shifted away from fashioning warriors in a military mold.

Instead, the academy’s goal is to train “guardians” of communities.

“This is not about preparing soldiers to go to war. It’s a different role,” said Sue Rahr, the former King County sheriff who last year took over as executive director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, which runs the academy.

Class 689, which graduated May 30, still learned the basics of police work, such as handcuffing, writing reports and handling firearms.

But the instruction also included an increased emphasis on expressing empathy, following constitutional requirements and treating citizens with respect and dignity.

Retrieved February 6, 2014 from