Collegeville Trooper’s Response to Gun Violence: ‘One Percent Rambo; 99 Percent Mr. Rogers’

Benjamin Brooks
Image via Tyger Williams at The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Benjamin Brooks.

Benjamin Brooks, a retired Pennsylvania State Trooper who lives in Collegeville, believes that de-escalating conflict before it spirals into rage and violence is key to solving Philadelphia’s gun problem, reported Lynette Hazelton for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The 83-year-old Brooks has spent the past six decades of his career in law enforcement. As a Pennsylvania State Police trooper, he was one of its first Black officers. Brooks now operates his own his consulting firm.

Brooks hews to a main rule: know the difference between reacting to a problem and responding to it.

“We say there are two perspectives,” explained Brooks. “You react when you don’t know what to do. And every time you react, it goes wrong.”

He also knows from his vast experience that responding to Philadelphia’s gun violence will need all stakeholders to get involved, not just the police. This includes the community, politicians, courts, and the district attorney.

“It’s not about arrests,” he said. “Arrest was only one percent of what I did.

“It’s about how to come together as a community. It’s one percent Rambo and 99 percent Mr. Rogers.”

Read more about Benjamin Brooks in The Philadelphia Inquirer.


Law enforcement training regarding deescalation, especially when firearms are present, is becoming a cornerstone of recruit training.

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