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Quiz. Which of the following IS NOT a new accountability tool described by Walker: Use of force/other critical incident reporting Open and accessible citizen complaint system Police discipline matrix Early intervention system External citizen oversight. Beyond Accountability.
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Quiz Which of the following IS NOT a new accountability tool described by Walker: • Use of force/other critical incident reporting • Open and accessible citizen complaint system • Police discipline matrix • Early intervention system • External citizen oversight
Beyond Accountability How can police, in a democratic society, be accountable to no one? • Civil service tenure for Police Chiefs breeds insularity and virtual autonomy • Definition of good and bad people (and what each deserves) is set by Chief and backed by external constituencies (“tyranny of the majority”) • Facade that police work is governed by rules • LAPD mentality
Example: Operation Rescue • City council liberals passed a resolution to use “vigorous enforcement” against these demonstrators • O.R. group comprised members who looked a lot like the LAPD officers (white, conservative, Christian, “good people”), and thus should have “known better”. • These folks needed to be “taught a lesson” using pain as a deterrent against future challenges to police authority.
Review of Above the Law Police administration can actually encourage, rather than discourage, misconduct. • Organizational culture • LAPD mentality • Tolerance for racism and other biases • Organizational policies • Citizen complaint system • UOF policies (e.g., choke holds) • Organizational performance systems • Rewards systemand lack of discipline
The Big Question • What can we do about it? How can we fix this? How can we hold PDs accountable? Short answer: • We need to focus on organizational change
Walker: New Accountability What is accountability? 2 elements: • Holding LE agencies responsible for the basic services they deliver (Moore book) • Holding individual officers accountable for how they treat citizens • Both are interdependent
Scandal When a police scandal breaks, what is the typical focus? • Individual officers and their behavior (“rotten apples”) What’s the problem with this? • Ignores organizational determinants of police misconduct Can we not hold entire police agencies accountable? • Each branch of gov’t contributes to this, but it’s unclear what strategies/tools each should use
Police Misconduct How bad is it? • Misconduct exists, but much less now than in the past How do we know? • Mostly from investigations into agencies following scandal • See a “scandal and reform” cycle from some large police agencies (NYPD, LAPD) All are reforms doom to fail? • Those that fail to address the underlying organizational determinants of misconduct sure are
New Accountability Tools What are they? • UOF/Critical incident reporting • Open citizen complaint procedures • Early Intervention systems • External citizen oversight (Police Auditor) Where do these accountability practices in policing come from? • Agencies that embrace accountability (and therefore don’t get much media attention)
New Paradigm of Police Reform These tools don’t just exist in a vacuum, but were developed as part of a new paradigm of police reform, which consists of several elements: • Changing police organizations: from rotten apples to rotten barrels • Controlling street-level officers: new tools attempt to change day-to-day functioning of line officers • Systematic collection and analysis of data • Convergence of Internal/External Accountability
Will These New Mechanisms Work? • We’ve seen many reforms fail b/c the subculture is highly resistant to change, and we’ve seen a large number of failures in police history, so it’s easy to be cynical • These new tools have great potential, but it’s too early to tell if they’ll change policing overall.