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Jan 11th, 2015
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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.

Orisons answer:

In this day and age of technology I would start by getting body cameras for my officers. A police would be put in place that the cameras were to be recording during the whole shift and for no reason would they be turned off. This will give the city solid ground to stand on to fight the lawsuits and counter sue for legal expenses. Once word gets out about people paying for the city attorneys, things will go back to normal and only legitimate law suits will be filed. The next step is preventing those law suits through training and policy to cover the city and department. The text is right in that most cities would rather settle and pay out than fight it in court because it costs less. But once people figure this out they sue for everything because people these days are lazy and looking for an easy payday or way to get rich quick. Having policies in place so that officers are accountable for their actions is very important not only to protect the department but the officers as well. Next would be to hire good officers from the beginning so the bad apples do not have a chance to cause problems. Educating the citizens will also work toward the benefit of the department as it will increase understanding of why we do what we do. In the end  providing the officers with the boundaries and training to keep them out of situations where they will be sued is very important and will help prevent the easy money law suits.

My response not finished

Orison It is amazing the things they come up with. Body cameras are great for officers.  Transparency isn’t always best for officers especially when a police officer does decide to shoot someone. In Rialto, Calif., where an entire police force is wearing so-called body-mounted cameras, no bigger than pagers, that record everything that transpires between officers and citizens. In the first year after the cameras' introduction, the use of force by officers declined 60%, and citizen complaints against police fell 88% (What Happens When, 2014). If they were earing these cameras in Ferguson, MO maybe the results would be different. Do you feel there are privacy issues if police wear these cameras?  Ferguson does have these body cameras but they haven’t deployed them to the policeman.


Gaines, L., & Worrall, J. (2012). Police administration (3rd ed.). United States: Delmar Cengage Learning

What Happens When Police Officers Wear Body Cameras ... (2014, August 18). Retrieved from www.wsj.com/.../what-happens-when-police-officer..

just need to tell good and bad of orisons answer

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