Policing, as a topic, is complicated. Many have strong views as to what police should or should not be doing and how effectively they are doing it. Too often policing has become polarized with various perspectives disagreeing as to the future of policing. Black Lives Matter, Defund the Police, and Policing Abolition movements are on one spectrum compared to the Blue Lives Matter Movement or other mayoral or police union initiatives. This is clearly a time to collaborate and learn from the various perspectives to bring hope and change in the future. Lawyers, academics, community members, and police officers alike are all asking the same question: how can we contribute to the national effort to examine and address issues in policing and public safety, including conduct, oversight, and the evolving nature of police work?

This Article seeks to explore the realities of policing in a novel way and make overall suggestions to support effective policing. The Article will examine several policing practices by evaluating the Avengers as a police department in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (“MCU”) and look to the various perspectives in policing to do so. The Article will utilize (and criticize) this fictitious police department in order to touch upon several themes relevant to policing today: the concept of policing (the importance of structure and its leadership team), the community policing philosophy, police training, strategies and tactics used to reduce crime, the policing culture, problem-oriented policing (hots spots and predictive policing), police oversight, implicit bias, use of force, and current recruitment policies in place.

Our perspectives on policing are shared in part by our opinions about what the police are supposed to do and how police go about doing their job. Using one of the highest grossing media franchises of all time to compare and contrast police department practices will allow the reader to get a sense of where we are currently as it relates to current practices and police culture and where we want to be in the future. The infinity stones displayed in Avengers’ Infinity War and Endgame serve as a perfect catalyst to explore the types of changes the readers, as future lawmakers and policymakers, might want to think about in the future. The structure and values of society itself (through the lens of the Avengers’ movies) can shape what police do and how the policing institution is organized. Most importantly, policing is all about relationships—relationships with the community, with other players in the criminal legal system, and within their own departments. The characters in the MCU display those relationships in every aspect and remind us of our own flaws and hope for the future when we collaborate and work together toward positive solutions to an incredibly complicated problem—fixing the criminal legal system.