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NCJ Number: 65745 Find in a Library
Title: PUBLIC COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE POLICE (FROM EVALUATING ALTERNATIVE LAW-ENFORCEMENT POLICIES, 1979, BY RALPH BAKER AND FRED A MEYER, JR - SEE NCJ-65735)
Author(s): G CAIDEN; H HAHN
Corporate Author: Lexington Books
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ALTHOUGH POLICE TRADITIONALLY RESIST OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE, THE PUBLIC HAS A RIGHT TO COMPLAIN; RECOMMENDATIONS ARE MADE FOR NEW CITIZEN COMPLAINT PROCESSES TO REPLACE PRESENT, UNSATISFACTORY ONES.
Abstract: CITIZEN COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE POLICE MAY OFTEN STEM FROM POOR INFORMATION, YET CITIZENS IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY HAVE A RIGHT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT PUBLIC SERVANTS ACTING IN THEIR OFFICIAL CAPACITY. NEVERTHELESS, NO CHEAP, RELIABLE COMPLAINT PROCESS, BENEFICIAL TO BOTH CITIZENS AND POLICE, EXISTS. BY THE NATURE OF ITS WORK, THE POLICE FORCE TENDS TO BE LOYAL TO ITS OWN, CUT OFF FROM THE COMMUNITY, AND RESENTFUL OF OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE. POLICE WILL CLOSELY GUARD THEIR ORGANIZATION'S INDEPENDENCE TO PREVENT THEIR BEING MANIPULATED POLITICALLY. MOREOVER, THE PRESS AND POLITICIANS TEND TO PROTECT POLICE. USUALLY THE POLICE THEMSELVES INVESTIGATE COMPLAINTS AGAINST THEM, BUT SOME DEPARTMENTS LACK PROCEDURES AND OTHERS PENALIZE COMPLAINANTS. ALTHOUGH THE POLICE OFTEN DO NOT TAKE CITIZENS' COMPLAINTS SERIOUSLY, CITIZENS DO NOT USUALLY COMPLAIN WITHOUT REASON. MORE EFFECTIVE COMPLAINT-HANDLING IS THUS NEEDED. TO COMPROMISE WITH POLICE RESISTANCE TO OUTSIDE REVIEW, AN OMBUDSMAN OR SPECIAL OFFICE SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED TO INVESTIGATE COMPLAINTS BUT WITHOUT RECOMMENDATION OR DISCIPLINARY POWERS. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT INCIDENTS OF POLICE'S SHOOTING BY POLICE BE AUTOMATICALLY INVESTIGATED BY THE COMPLAINT-HANDLING BODY. (PAP)
Index Term(s): Citizen grievances; Complaint processing; Complaints against police; Police attitudes; Police community relations; Police internal affairs; Police internal investigations; Public Attitudes/Opinion
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