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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 193796 Find in a Library
Title: Civilian Oversight of Police Behavior (From Police Misconduct: A Reader for the 21st Century, P 409-414, 2001, Michael J. Palmiotto, ed. -- See NCJ-193774)
Author(s): Ronald M. Fletcher
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Prentice Hall Publishing
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
Sale Source: Prentice Hall Publishing
Criminal Justice and Police Training
1 Lake Street
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper outlines arguments for and against the civilian oversight of police behavior, provides examples of civilian-oversight mechanisms, and identifies issues that must be addressed in any such mechanism.
Abstract: Arguments for the civilian oversight of police behavior are that police oversight of employee behavior tends to favor outcomes that serve a positive police image and ignore the seriousness of police misconduct; the public must be able to observe the processing of complaints against the police in order to have confidence that the process is fair; and civilian oversight helps police understand how the community views standards for police behavior. Arguments against the civilian oversight of police behavior are that it would decrease police effectiveness, demoralize officers, and interfere with the police chief's authority; civilian boards would not have subpoena power and would create due process problems for officers that appear before such boards; police organizations must be free to deal with their own organizational problems; and citizens already have access to redress of their complaints through the court system. Issues that must be addressed in any civilian oversight mechanism are the public's right of access to information regarding the complaint and the process, conciliation efforts, who determines the discipline, officers' rights during the process, who receives and investigates complaints, and the inclusion or exclusion of police officers on an oversight board. 6 notes and 5 references
Main Term(s): Police misconduct
Index Term(s): Civilian Review Boards; Complaint processing; Complaints against police; Police corruption
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