This paper will concentrate on the internal disciplinary practices in a police department and the matters of the police accountability in current society. The external methods of police accountability will be examined to realize the competence.
Internal Disciplinary Practices
Supervision, performance evaluations, close supervision, early warning systems, internal affairs divisions and professional standards have short comings. Some researchers argue the impacts of active supervision on officer compliance are confusing (Weisburd, Greenspan, Hamilton, Williams, Bryant, 2000). It is not apparent whether active supervisors possess an influence on the street officers or not. The presence of supervisors at calls for service can make police officers follow agency policy and the desires of the complainant. This approach could create anger concerning the attendance of supervisors and even the unwillingness to call supervisors to any argument.
A research of the close supervision asked three major questions. It is important to know how often officers participate in searches, how frequently these searches correspond to constitutional standards, and what clarifies the tendency to act unconstitutionally. The results of the study demonstrate a worrying picture with nearly one-third of searches worked unconstitutionally and practically none observable by courts. Therefore, even whilst there were professional observers, officers conducted unconstitutional searches. If police officers were closely supervised, it is unlikely that regular supervision of officers could change the behavior. Officers are pushing the fourth amendment beyond what is legally allowable.
Standardized evaluation reports have also come in for criticism as means to check officers for corruption, which may be extremely flawed, asserts Sam Walker and Charles M. Katz. For example, many performance estimations do not automatically address the officers’ job. Reports too frequently lack clarity and tend to reflect a number of other ratings. Moreover, special researches suggest that good police officers will cover for their bad colleagues. Thus, these researches are asserting that some sergeants will write nice performance evaluations for the subordinates, even realizing that those workers may be corrupt (Walker, Katz, 2007).
These ideas are similar to the findings of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which has suggested that caution should be exercised when understanding complaint information inasmuch as dispositions, and rates may vary by agency features; for instance the type and size of agency, as well as the measures related to the managing of complaints (Grant, Terry, 2011). They also raise one more question: would more cases be pardoned if constituents were in charge? That is, how proficient are external methods at guaranteeing police accountability?
Accountability is probably the most crucial with police officers due to their right to utilize force when enforcing the law. Unlike many other jobs, officers are constantly faced with chances for corruption, which is performing illegally for individual gain whilst working (Walker, 2010). Corruption may accept many forms. More serious is police brutality and physical abuses, which in fact, are more wide-spread than many people believe.
External methods may accept the type of constituent oversight committees and the courts that comprise rulings in civil suits. When police practices provide rise to unlawful conduct, officer performance may be mandated in the attempt to move the criminal department toward compliance.
Constituent oversight committees comprise the members of a community who perform external reviews of police department actions and advise police conduct. The popularity of these committees has grown recently. There is no single model of oversight. However, most methods may be classified as one of four types.
- Citizens investigate accusations of police misbehavior and advise findings to the chief. These systems are the most costly mainly as skilled investigators should be hired. Usual citizens do not have either time or skills to do so.
- Officers examine accusations and evolve findings; members of the committee review and recommend the chief agree or refuse the findings. These methods are inexpensive since volunteers conduct the reviews.
- Complainants can appeal discoveries made by the police department to members, who review them and then advise their own findings to the chief. This type is inexpensive since it relies on volunteers.
- An auditor checks the process by which the department investigates the complaints and reports on the justice of a process to the public and department. Such types fall in the middle of the price range (Stevens, 2008).
The arguments in favor of oversight committees comprise the existence of widespread police corruption. They are possible since police organizations consistently fail to investigate allegations of misconduct and to punish guilty officers. Other arguments in favor of oversight committees comprise the chances they provide for constituents to voice their opinion, the manner they encourage constituents to be accountable to the community, and the capability to enhance police compliance. Also, these methods often create solidarity between community and police, adding relations initiatives to the effectiveness of community.