1. Professor Roger Goldman, St. Louis University Law School (Ret.) is the nation’s leading expert on state procedures for decertifying officers guilty of misconduct.
Roger Goldman, “A Model Decertification Law” (2012):
1. De-Escalation is one of the most important new ideas and practices in policing with respect to police-citizen encounters and reducing officer use of force. The 2012 PERF report is essential reading on the subject.
Read the PERF report: PERF, An Integrated Approach to De-Escalation and Minimizing Use of Force (2012).
2. The Seattle Police Department adopted a de-escalation policy in 2013 as part of the implementation of the Settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Read the Seattle Police Department de-escalation policy:
1. The report on National Standards for Internal Affairs, prepared by the Police Assessment Resource Center (PARC), is the best and most comprehensive treatment of the subject.
Read the report: National Standards for Internal Affairs: Recommendations from a Community of Practice (2008).
2. Darrel W. Stephens is one of the most highly respected figures in American law enforcement. His essay “Police Discipline A Case for Change” is the most thoughtful discussions of how we can improve police discipline.
Darrel W. Stephens, Police Discipline: A Case for Change (2011).
B. Discipline Matrix
1. A discipline matrix is a set of guidelines (very much like sentencing guidelines) to structure police officer discipline and to ensure consistency and fairness.
See the Portland, OR, police department’s Discipline Guide [matrix]: portland-or-discipl-matrix
C. New Jersey State Standards for Internal Affairs Investigations if Citizen Complaints.
The New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice published a set of Standards for police department internal affairs units’ investigation of citizen complaints. Read the Standards: ia-njstandards
D. Education-Based Discipline
1. Education-based discipline involves an alternative to traditional police discipline (e.g., reprimand, suspension) with a program designed to constructively improve an officer’s performance.
Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. Curriculum.
[see also Gender Bias]
1. New Orleans. The 2011 Justice Department investigation of the New Orleans police department found serious deficiencies in the department’s handling of both domestic violence incidents and sexual assault cases. Read the original Findings Letter and the Consent Decree requirements to correct the deficiencies.
Read the section of the Consent Decree (2013) related to domestic violence: nopddomv
Read the entire New Orleans Consent Decree:
1. Duty to Intervene refers to the duty of police officer to intervene whenever they see other officers violating the law or department policy.
Read the PERF recommendation on duty to intervene: PERF, Guiding Principles on Use of Force (2016), pp. 41-43: perf-duty-to-intervene
Read the entire PERF Guiding Principles report:
2. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) standards on ethical conduct states that officers have a duty to report misconduct by other officers.
Read: Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Law Enforcement Officers Ethical Standards of Conduct, Rule 2.6:
3. Read the Duty to Intercede policy of the Madison, Wisconsin Police Department: dutytointervenemadisonwi
1. Early Intervention Systems (EIS) are a police management tool for identifying officer with performance problems and for providing interventions designed to correct those problems.
Read: Samuel Walker, Early Intervention Systems for Law Enforcement Agencies: A Planning and Management Guide (2003).
2. The 2011 Justice Department investigation of the Seattle police department found serious deficiencies with its existing EIS.
Seattle, Department of Justice Findings Letter (pp. 22-23): seattle-eis
Read the entire DOJ Findings Letter on Seattle:
With respect to citizen oversight of the police, the police auditor or inspector general model is directed toward organizational change, which it pursues through audits and public reports on issues it chooses to investigate.
1. The Inspector General for the New York City Police Department (NYPD), created in 2014), publishes detail audits of NYPD policies and practices.
2. The Office of the Inspector General as part of the Los Angeles Police Commission undertakes investigations of the LAPD and delivers public reports on a wide range of issues.
Go to the Inspector General’s web site:
3. The Special Counsel to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Merrick Bobb, directed what was the finest citizen oversight agency in the country. (The County Board of Supervisors discontinued the Special Counsel in 2013). The Special Counsel’s reports (1993-2003) are archived at the PARC web site and are invaluable reading.
Read the Special Counsel’s reports 1993-2003: www.parc.info (Click on “Resources” and then scroll down the left side for “Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department”)
[See also Tasers, ECW; Chokeholds; De-escalation]
A. ABUSE OF FORCE
1. Documented patterns of abuse of force in the Cleveland, OH, police department. The abuses include: No imminent threat; use of guns as weapons; force disproportionate to the resistance; head and body strikes; force against people with mental illness.
Read the section of the findings letter: foreabuse-clevelanddoj
Read the entire Justice Department Findings Letter: (2014): https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/crt/legacy/2014/12/04/cleveland_findings_12-4-14.pdf
2. A report by the Inspector General for the New York City police department (NYPD) identified a pattern of chokeholds by officers and a failure of the NYPD to take meaningful disciplinary action.
Read the report: Inspector General, NYPD, Observations on Accountability and Transparency in Ten NYPD Chokehold Cases (January 2015).
B. USE OF FORCE POLICIES AND PRINCIPLES
1. The 2016 PERF report “Guiding Principles on Use of Force” is the most forward-looking discussion on the proper standards on use of force.
PERF, Guiding Principles on Use of Force (2016).
2. Going Beyond the Supreme Court: The (2016) PERF report Guiding Principles on Use of Force makes a strong critique of the Supreme Court’s decision in Graham v. Connor (1989), and calls on the law enforcement profession to set a higher standard.
Read the section on Graham v. Connor: PERF, Guiding Principles on Use of Force (2016), pp. 41-44: perf-graham-v-connor
Read the entire PERF report:
C. FORCE REPORTING and INVESTIGATIONS
1. The 2015 Inspector General report on use of force policies in the New York City Police Department (NYPD) found that the department did not have a clear and consistent definition of “Force” and the reporting requirements were inconsistent in the department.
Inspector General for the NYPD, Police Use of Force in New York City: Findings and Recommendations on NYPD’s Policies and Practices (October 2015)
2. The Justice Department 2011 investigation of the Seattle police department found “multiple cases” where officers failed to report uses of force.
Seattle, DOJ, Findings Letter, Section on Failure to Report (pp. 15-16): seattle-failuretoreportforce
Read the new Seattle use of force policy (2013):
3. The Justice Department 2014 Findings Letter on the Cleveland police department documented the serious deficiencies in the reporting and investigation of use of force incidents.
Read the Section of the DOJ Findings Letter: inadequateinv-cleveldoj
4. The Justice Department 2014 Findings Letter on the Albuquerque police department documented the systemic failures in the reporting and investigation of use of force incidents.
D. FORCE, USE OF FORCE REVIEW BOARD
1. A Use of Force Review Board (UFRB) is an administrative process in which police departments systematically review previous force incidents, not for the purpose of discipline, but for the purpose of identifying possible problems with policy, training, or supervision that need to be corrected.
Read about the UFRB in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department: ufrb-lvmpd
Read the entire Collaborative Reform report on Las Vegas: A Review of Officer-Involved Shootings in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (2012):
2. The new Use of Force Review Board in the New Orleans police department, developed as part of the consent decree implementation. One of the main purposes of the Force Review Board is to “Review the incident to determine whether it raises policy, training, equipment, or tactical concerns, and refer such to the appropriate unit within NOPD to ensure the concerns are resolved.”
New Orleans Police Department, Operations Manual, Chapter 1.3.7: nopd-ufrb
E. MANDATORY OFFICER FORCE REPORTS
One of the most serious problems with officer use of force reports is that in some departments officers do not always complete a report. Additionally, as DOJ investigations have found, officers do not report the amount of force they used or accurately report the reasons why they used force. Also, some union contracts provide a waiting period” before an officer has to answer questions regarding the incident. Finally, in many instances, sergeants automatically accept whatever the officer says. The new standard is that officers will complete a report by the end of the shift and answer any and all questions from supervisors. Force reports will be complete and accurate. And sergeants are expected to critically review force reports and demand more information if the report is inadequate.
Read the section of the New Orleans Consent Decree on requirements for officer use of force reports and supervisors’ responsibilities: officerforcerptnopdcd
Read the section of the Cleveland Consent Decree on requirements for officer use of force reports and supervisors’ responsibilities: officerforcerptclevecd
[see also Domestic Violence]
1. The 2015 PERF reports, Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence (2016).
2. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in 2011 issued a path-breaking report on sexual offenses by police officers.
Read the Report: IACP, Addressing Sexual Offenses and Misconduct by Law Enforcement (2011).
3. The 2011 Justice Department investigation of the New Orleans police department found significant problems in the police department’s response to domestic violence and sexual assault incidents.
Read the DOJ Findings Letter on gender bias regarding domestic violence: nopd-gender-bias
Read the entire DOJ Findings Letter on the New Orleans police department:
A 2015 Monitor’s report on the New Orleans Police Department documented what progress the NOPD had made regarding the handling of domestic violence incidents as a result of the consent decree.
New Orleans Police Department, Monitor, 3rd and 4th Quarter Report, 2015 (Feb 2016), Domestic Violence Unit Assessment, pp. 42-49.
B. Sexual Assault
1. Missoula, Montana. Between 2013 and 2015 the DOJ reached settlements with the Missoula, Montana, Police Department, the County Attorney’s Office and the University of Missoula police department regarding the handling of sexual assault cases.
Missoula Police Department, Justice Department Findings Letter (2013).
Missoula Police Department, Justice Department Settlement Agreement (2013).
Sustained Compliance Report (2015).
2. New Orleans
The 2011 Justice Department investigation of the New Orleans police department found serious deficiencies in the department’s handling of sexual assault incidents.
Read the section of the DOJ Findings Letter regarding sexual assaults: nopd-gender-bias
Read the entire DOJ Findings Letter on the New Orleans police department: