If you were in charge of appointing a monitor what qualifications/skills would you look for?
The police reform aimed at improving the culture of law enforcement officers and increasing their productivity may have positive results. Innovations involving the appointment of an appropriate monitor by the court can also be an effective measure. However, in order for such a move to be justified, it is crucial to ensure that the person occupying this position has all the necessary skills and is able to confirm his or her qualification in practice. According to Eterno, Barrow, and Silverman (2017), an experienced monitor could help policemen follow “the basic rules of risk and risk” and control their compliance with job descriptions (p. 191). Otherwise, the involvement of this employee is unreasonable and may be viewed as an experimental step rather than an effective measure.
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For a court-appointed monitor to be a helpful officer, it is essential to have knowledge that could be sufficient to interpret police practice. It is not necessary to have “perishable skills” described by Walker and Archbold (2018) as part of law enforcement training (p. 34). However, to avoid misunderstanding and the incorrect assessment of certain situations, a monitor should have a law degree and working experience among the representatives of relevant agencies.
If I were assigned to find a specialist for this position, I would look for a law school graduate with good recommendations. There is no need to hire a former police officer to eliminate the ignorance of certain issues. Nonetheless, Morgan, Murphy, and Horwitz (2017) remark that a qualified monitor should be familiar with the basic requirements and job descriptions of police officers. Therefore, an employee with a university degree in law and working experience is a suitable candidate.
After all the recent revelations of misconduct in the DOJ and FBI, should they be subject to a consent decree to restore the public’s faith and trust in them?
A consent decree imposed not only on ordinary police brigades but also reputable government departments, for instance, the FBI or the DOJ should not contradict the generally accepted norms of the law. Since in these departments, certain violations were periodically identified and made public, there is no need to hide these cases. On the contrary, legitimate sanctions applied to large government departments should be mandatory practices in order to avoid double standards and censure by the public. According to Chanin (2015), in some US jurisdictions, the Department of Justice deliberately promotes the policy of disclosure and general publication of controversial issues.
This practice may help ensure that high-level government agencies obey the law as much as the police and are able to recognize and correct the mistakes made. If the reverse work is carried out, for instance, the prevention of publications about controversial and ambiguous situations in authoritative departments, it is likely to aggravate the situation and complicate the resolution of conflicts with the public.
Audits conducted by the FBI can be directed to the agency itself to disclose potential violations and, as a result, resolve a number of issues. For instance, Phillips and Jiao (2016) give examples of cases where inspections were conducted by force in the DOJ, which is evidence of the lack of this board’s orientation to follow the generally accepted instructions. If competent agencies are involved in analyzing the practice of large departments, it will make the entire system transparent. As Peled (2016) remarks, sharing information may be useful to strengthen public confidence in the legitimacy of individual departments’ actions. Therefore, the FBI, the DOJ, and other government agencies should not avoid subjecting to a consent decree.
Chanin, J. M. (2015). Examining the sustainability of pattern or practice police misconduct reform. Police Quarterly, 18(2), 163-192. Web.
Eterno, J. A., Barrow, C. S., & Silverman, E. B. (2017). Forcible stops: Police and citizens speak out. Public Administration Review, 77(2), 181-192. Web.
Morgan, T. H. S., Murphy, D., & Horwitz, B. (2017). Police reform through data-driven management. Police Quarterly, 20(3), 275-294. Web.
Peled, A. (2016). Coerce, consent, and coax: A review of US congressional efforts to improve federal counterterrorism information sharing. Terrorism and Political Violence, 28(4), 674-691. Web.
Phillips, J. R., & Jiao, A. Y. (2016). Institutional isomorphism and the federal consent decree: The case of the Los Angeles Police Department. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 39(4), 756-772. Web.
Walker, S. E., & Archbold, C. A. (2018). The new world of police accountability (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.