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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 155242 Find in a Library
Title: Citizen Review of the Police, 1994: A National Survey
Author(s): S Walker; B Wright
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)
Washington, DC 20036
Sale Source: Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)
1120 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 930
Washington, DC 20036
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report presents the methodology and findings of a 1994 national survey to determine the prevalence of mechanisms for citizen review of complaints against police in the United States.
Abstract: One source of this information was existing reports on citizen review procedures. This was supplemented with telephone interviews with individuals known to the authors to be informed about citizen reviews. Other sources of information were national news media and telephone inquiries to all police departments believed to have some form of citizen review. Also, a mail survey was sent to the police departments in cities ranked 51-100 in population size in the 1990 census. For the purposes of the survey, "citizen review" describes a procedure for reviewing complaints about police misconduct that involves citizens or people who are not sworn officers. Findings show that citizen review of the police in the United States has increased 74 percent since 1990. By late 1994, 66 law enforcement agencies had some form of citizen review, compared with 38 in 1990. This report presents data according to the four classes of citizen- review systems. Under Class I system, people who are not sworn officers investigate citizen complaints. Under Class II systems, sworn officers investigate and review citizen complaints; these reports are then reviewed by citizens, who make recommendation to the chief executive for possible action. In Class III systems, sworn officers investigate and review citizen complaints, and if the complaining party is not satisfied with this decision, appeal can be made to a board that includes members who are not sworn officers. Class IV is a new type of citizen review and includes the use of an independent auditor who has the authority to review the operations of the police agency's internal complaints review process and recommend change. 2 figures, 1 table, and 13 references
Main Term(s): Complaints against police
Index Term(s): Civilian Review Boards; Complaint processing; Statistics
Note: From Fresh Perspectives, January 1995.
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