Voters in several cities enhance civilian oversight

Voters in Denver, New Orleans, Honolulu, Miami, and San Francisco approved measures strengthening civilian oversight of police last Tuesday, according to this article, while a new civilian police commission was created in Oakland. Given predictions that DOJ civil rights enforcement will be significantly scaled back under the Trump administration, the locus of police accountability seems likely to shift even more toward the local level during the next few years.

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2 Responses to “Voters in several cities enhance civilian oversight”

  1. Scott Prell Says:

    The sense from the news media is that policing will return to the Wild Wild West. In recent history it wasn’t there to begin with. One problem is the question of whether local governments can handle controlling there own policing.

    In one sense local police and government controls 99% of day to day police issues extremely well. It would be reasonable that local police and government can also handle the rare 1% issues that occur. After all “all police issues are local.”

    To compare federal oversight in the last 10 years the DOJ have investigated in some form about 30 local police departments. Now considering that a 2015 BJS report showed that there are about 12,000 local police in the US the DOJ has looked at about 0.25% of the police departments in the US. That is minuscule. Next looking at how the Ferguson Mo incident was handled overall communities may be better served with local oversight.

  2. Gary Cordner Says:

    I agree with you Scott. I guess the caveat is that sometimes local police and their parent government do not abide by the U.S. Constitution, in which case, presumably, somebody needs to step in.

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