Abolish internal affairs units and outsource their work to external civilian
agencies. We have to incorporate civilian oversight in police misconduct
The Framingham Police Department views all citizens' complaints very seriously and actively pursues investigations into misconduct. For this reason, you must ensure that your complaint is based on fact and you have provided the department with all of the facts to the best of your ability. If you intentionally make a false report to this department, you should know that the false report could result in criminal and/or civil legal proceedings being filed against you.
Every police department has an internal affairs department that is
the center of corruption of any police department. The internal affairs
department decides whether the police have acted appropriately or not
in their interactions with citizens. This results in the police acting
appropriately 99.99%. That's more perfect than God.
The Internal Affairs department is their system of accountability and because they review themselves, the system of accountability is broken.
If these people told the truth, they would be sued out of existence and they know it. They have to cover for those police power abusing yahoos on their staff.
Internal affairs should be a group of citizens that have no particular interest in policing but should have a clear understanding of the U.S. Constitution. . It should never be controlled by the police themselves.
As long as police have existed, officers have been accused of racism, brutality and covering up for their friends. In the past, a lack of accountability often meant that police organizations did not pay serious attention to or even record citizen complaints. As a result, many citizens still don't trust police departments to investigate their own. Similarly, officers do not trust internal affairs investigators or disciplinary processes.
Police serve the community -- any concerns about their integrity must be transparently, expeditiously and judiciously resolved. Relying on cops to police cops is neither efficient nor confidence-inspiring.
Police have slowly started to incorporate civilian oversight in their misconduct investigations.
Police have long resisted external oversight. Some of us say that those who aren't in uniform do not understand the intricacies of law enforcement. Won't civilian investigators be harsher toward officers -- unsympathetic to the challenges faced by beat cops battling armed bad guys?
These self-serving arguments perpetuate archaic policies. Outsourcing misconduct investigations to civilians would directly address community concerns about the "blue wall of silence." Officers who fear retaliation for reporting misconduct would feel more comfortable working with an external agency.
Using sergeants and detectives as internal affairs investigators costs police departments a lot. These supervisors are paid more and have more seniority. Assigning seasoned officers to internal affairs also depletes the number of field personnel who could prevent mistakes and misconduct by patrol officers in the first place. Outsourcing misconduct investigations would be far less expensive and would let veteran supervisors do the jobs they should be doing.
And why shouldn't every police contact with the community -- every traffic stop, every interrogation -- be recorded on video? There's just no excuse for not recording police contacts with the public. Technology has made cameras effective and affordable. Some officers already record their arrests to protect themselves against false allegations of misconduct. This should be standard operating procedure.
The only answer to those worried about police conspiracies is transparency. Only by opening our doors can we build trust, and truly serve and protect.
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