Accountability in a Police Department and the Community
You are chief of a large urban police department. For years, the city has
maintained an informal practice of settling law suits in which plaintiffs
allege police abuse or excessive force. Even those lawsuits that seem weak on
their merits are routinely settled. The logic for settlement is simply that it
is usually cheaper to settle than taking a case to trial. The city, which has a
population of nearly 3 million people, paid out $150 million in settlements
last year. This cuts deeply into the city’s budget and consequently the police
departments. You are increasingly concerned that unscrupulous people (and their
attorneys) are aware of the practice and have begun to file even more lawsuits
looking for easy payouts. You are also concerned that morale in the police
department has suffered because of the city’s tendency to settle.
Using Chapter Fourteen of Police Administration as a guide, discuss what
procedures, departments, training, and guidance would you implement to
alleviate this problem in the future for your department.
discussion is listed above. Our text is Gaines, L., & Worrall, J.
(2012). Police administration (3rd ed.).
United States: Delmar Cengage Learning
My answer is below
Police liability involves
holding both individual law enforcement, as well as law enforcement agencies accountable for
successfully delivering basic services
of crime control and maintaining order, at the same time, treating people equally, and within the
bounds of law. Police are expected to uphold laws, regarding due process, search and seizure, arrests, discrimination, as well as
other laws relating to equal employment, sexual harassment, etc. In a democratic society, the
political process and elected officials serve to keep
the police accountable and that they reflect the "will of the people” Walker, 2005,
pp. 7-8). Law enforcement needs to be held accountable in order to maintain the
publics “faith in the system” (Walker,2005, p. 42).
Under the Warren Court in the United States Supreme Court case
decisions led to many important changes
in policing with respect to civil rights and constitutional law (Walker ,2005, p. 29). Some of these case are Mapp v.
Ohio, Miranda v. Arizona. Mapp v. Ohio found that
evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against "unreasonable searches and
seizures" may not be used in criminal prosecutions. Miranda v. Arizona
required that criminal suspects must be informed of their right to consult with
an attorney and of their right against self-incrimination prior to questioning
by police. These decisions began to set national standards for policing (Walker,2005, p. 30).
In eradicating this problem in the police department in the city I
will introduce an exchange program with different city police so that police
department can basically learn importance of solving community problems
effectively. This will help the department from making this mistake next time
by creating an understanding regarding the problem at hand. Secondly, I will
consider a regular training and reminder on police ethics so as to reduce cases
of the police unethical action like in this case. This will help in reduce
cases of police using much force to the public and avoid being brutal to the
public. I will also introduce police oversight department that will be
responsible to watch over the operations of the police officers to reduce cases
of police problem in the country.
Finally, I will set up a disciplinary action on any police officer
caught being unethical to their duties and oath. This will help in streamlining
the department. Training all officers in the city the need to follow the due
legal process would help in making things right in the city to avoid brutality
among other problems. I will also advocate for regular transfer to avoid police
being integrated into local terror cartels in a location this will also reduce
integrating police officers into unethical act (Pollock, 2012). Finally, I will
ensure that police officers in the city are being taken for performance
evaluation to see their effectiveness each and every time. This will help in
reduce issues in police department kin community policing process.
J. M. (2012). Ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice.
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Samuel (2005). The New World of Police Accountability. Sage.
Make any changes you feel ncesary, however i need discussion today thanks
Early efforts at police reform often involved external commissions, such as
the Wickersham Commission, that spelled out
reforms but left to the police to implement them, often with limited success.
A series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions
under the Warren Court led to important changes in policing,
with respect to civil rights and constitutional law. Mapp
v. Ohio in 1961 and Miranda v. Arizona in 1966 were two
highly influential court decisions.
Mapp v. Ohio found that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment
protection against "unreasonable searches and seizures" may not be
used in criminal prosecutions. Miranda v. Arizona required that criminal
suspects must be informed of their right to consult with an attorney and of
their right against self-incrimination prior to questioning by police. These
decisions began to set national standards for policing.
Special commissions, such as the Knapp
Commission in New York City during the 1970s, have been used to
bring about changes in law enforcement agencies.
Civilian review boards (permanent external oversight agencies) have also been
used as a means for improving police accountability. Civilian review boards
tend to focus on individual complaints, rather than broader organizational issues
that may result in long-term improvements.
The 1994 Violent Crime Control and
Law Enforcement Act authorized the United States Department of Justice's
Division to bring civil ("pattern or practice")
suits against local law enforcement agencies, to reign in abuses and hold them
As a result, numerous departments have entered into consent
decrees or memoranda of understanding, requiring
them to make organizational reforms.
This approach shifts focus from individual officers to placing focus on police
The police professionalism approach introduced by August
Vollmer and advocated by O.W. Wilson largely ignored issues of
police accountability and how officers should handle situations involving discretion.
Without some guidance or directives, there may be wider disparities in how
citizens are treated by police, including greater potential for abuses.
of force by police against civilians may involve firearms, as well
as other means. Prior to the 1970s, there were generally no written policies or
review procedures regarding use of force by law enforcement in the United
In 1972, New York City Police Department
Commissioner Patrick V. Murphy instituted a new policy that
confined discretion in use of force to situations only where the officer's own
life, or that of other people are in danger. This defense of life rule
replaced the fleeing felon rule.
The 1985 Supreme Court decision, Tennessee v. Garner ruled that police
may only use deadly force to prevent escape when the officer has
probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death
or serious physical injury to the officer or others.
Since the NYPD instituted new policies on use of force, many other law
enforcement agencies have followed suit, establishing written policy that set
guidelines as to when use of force is appropriate.
Procedures may include requiring officers to file written reports following
each incident. For incidents involving firearms or other
use of deadly
force, internal investigation and review is often required. A mechanism in
place for administrative review of other use of force incidents may also be
part of the policy.
Not all law enforcement agencies in the United States had instituted reforms
in the 1980s and 1990s. The United States Department of Justice investigated
patterns of abuse within the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, among
other agencies, and brought legal action to force changes.
Less-than-lethal weapons, such as chemical sprays,
are used as alternatives to deadly force. These weapons also require policies
on their use, along with training on proper use.
Police officers are also encouraged to consider a use of force continuum, and
try to deescalate situations with verbal warnings and persuasion.
Vehicle pursuits are another use of police power that can
involve much discretion on part of the officer. Though, if a pursuit is
resulting in death or injury, the law enforcement agency can be held liable
under civil law in the United States. Vehicle pursuits have increasingly been
covered under written law enforcement agency policy, to help regulate
circumstances and manner that they are conducted.
There are several police
accountability organizations in the United States that intend to curb instances
of police abuse. The organizations may focus on changing legislation, on
promoting awareness or on encouraging people to document incidents police
Walker (2005), p. 23
National Academy of Sciences (2004) p. 15
Walker (2005), pp. 41-42
Walker (2005), p. 43
Walker (2005), p. 41
U.S. Department of Justice (January 2001). "Principles
for Promoting Police Integrity".
U.S. Department of Justice. NCJ186189.
Walker (2005), pp. 45-46
Walker (2005), p. 52
Walker (2005), pp. 54-55
Kennedy, Daniel B., Homant, Robert J., Kennedy, John F. (1992).
"Comparative Analysis of Police Vehicle Pursuit Policies". Justice
Quarterly 2: 227–246.
National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Law and
Justice (2004). Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing. National
Police Accountability and Community Policing - ...
- Similar to Police
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to ensuring the accountability
officers, it is essential to surviving as the leader of a police department
Police chiefs continually worry about abuse of .