The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) has issued an important report assessing Justice Department investigations of local police departments for alleged “pattern or practice” of civil rights violations. Particularly important, the report,  Civil Rights Investigations of Local Police: Lessons Learned, contains testimony from current or past police chiefs  or commanders from Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC stating that, despite all the pain and costs of a consent decree experience, their departments are today better as a result of federal intervention. Read the report: perfconsent-decree-report_v4