1. The Los Angeles Police Commission’s Inspector General conducted an audit or refresher training in the LAPD. Read the report, “P.O.S.T Refresher Training Audit,” (10/1/13)
2. “Perishable Skills” In-Service Training. The California Police Officers Standards and Training (POST program has a perishable skills in-service training requirement for all sworn officers. At least once every 2 years every officer must undergo at least 4 hours of training on arrest and control, driver training/awareness or driving simulator, and tactical firearms or force options simulator.
California, POST Standards, “Perishable Skills” Program.
1. A 2012 PERF conference examined the lessons learned from U.S. Justice Department “pattern or practice” investigations of local police departments.
PERF, Civil Rights Investigations of Local Police: Lessons Learned (2013).
2. Read Samuel Walker and Morgan Macdonald’s 2009 article assessing the DOJ litigation program to that point: walker-and-macdonald_alternative-remedy-statute
3. Read the Harvard evaluation of the impact of a consent decree on the Los Angeles Police Department: harvard-lapd-study
1. Civil suits against police departments over use of force or other misconduct contain a wealth of valuable information about patterns and practices of officer conduct that potentially can be used to identify needed corrective action.
Read: Joanna Schwartz. “What Police Learn from Lawsuits,” Cardozo Law Review 33 (2010).
Read: New York City, Inspector General for the NYPD, Using Data from Law Suits and Legal Claims Involving NYPD to Improve Policing (April 2015)
1. In 2012 the U.S. Justice Department investigated the Portland, Oregon, police department for its handling of incidents involving mentally ill people.
Portland, OR, Department of Justice Findings Letter (2012).
2. The 2014 DOJ investigation of the Albuquerque, New Mexico, police department documented incidents of the improper handling of people have mental health crises.
Read the section of the DOJ report: albqmentalhealth
Read the entire DOJ report on Albuquerque: https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/crt/legacy/2014/04/10/apd_findings_4-10-14.pdf
1. The 2016 PERF report on “Guiding Principles on Use of Force” recommends that police departments make regular reports to the public on officer uses of force.
PERF, Guiding Principles on Use of Force, Regular Reports to the Public: perfpublicreports
2. The Philadelphia Police Department places its policy and data on Officer-Involved Shootings on its web site.
Go to the OIS page here.
3. An increasing number of police departments place their policy and procedure manuals on their web sites. A few examples include:
Washington, DC: http://mpdc.dc.gov/page/directives-public-release
4. In 2015 police departments in Texas began placing detailed information about officer-involved shootings on their web sites.
Dallas Police Department:
Austin Police Department:
Houston Police Department
Salt Lake City Police Department:
Phoenix Police Department:
The subject of the “organizational culture” or “police officer culture” is much discussed. But to date there is little research on the nature and impact of this culture.
1. For the Spokane, Washington, police department, the Use of Force Commission: Final Report (2013) called for a “culture audit” of the department: spokane-culture-audit
Read the entire Spokane report: https://static.spokanecity.org/documents/police/accountability/use-of-force-final-report.pdf.
2. The 2014 Justice Department report on the Albuquerque, New Mexico, police department examined the impact of the organization’s culture on officer use of force.
Read the section on organizational culture: Albuquerque, Department of Justice Findings Letter (2014): albq-org-culutre
Read the entire DOJ Findings Letter on Albuquerque:
3. The 2016 San Francisco, Report of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Transparency, Accountability, and Fairness in Law Enforcement devotes Chapter 7 to “Culture,” with a discussion of how the police union shapes the culture of the department in adverse ways (pp. 137-149).
Read the full report: http://sfdistrictattorney.org/sites/default/files/Document/BRP_report.pdf
4. The 2016 Chicago, Police Accountability Task Force report, Recommendations for Reform, contains a discussion of the culture of the Chicago Police Department.
Read the report: https://chicagopatf.org/
5. The 2015 report by Sue Rahr and Stephen K. Rice, From Warrior to Guardians: Recommitting American Police Culture to Democratic Ideals is the best discussion of what the police culture should be.
One of the most important new ideas in policing is procedural justice, the idea that how police officers treat citizens (e.g.,courtesy, respect) is as important, if not more important, than the outcome of the encounter (e.g., a traffic ticket).
1. Read the PERF report, Legitimacy and Procedural Justice: A New Element of Police Leadership (2014).
2. Read the PERF report on legitimacy in the New Orleans police department: PERF, Legitimacy and Procedural Justice: New Orleans Case Study (2014).
3. The President’s Task force on 21st Century Policing strongly endorsed procedural justice in its 2015 Final Report.
Read the recommendation on procedural justice: procjustprestf
Read the recommendation on procedural justice for internal police management: procjusticeinternalprestf
Read the entire report: President’s Task Force on 21t Century Policing, Final Report:
Pursuits by police officers, both motor vehicle and foot pursuits, are extremely dangers (to the suspect, pursuing officers, and bystanders). Restrictive policies have been found to effectively limit pursuits and reduce the dangers.
A. Motor Vehicle Pursuits
Geoffrey P. Alpert is the leading expert on police motor vehicle pursuits and the impact of pursuit policies: Read his NIJ report on pursuit policies: pursuits-alpertnij
B. Foot Pursuits
1. The 2003 report of the LASD Special Counsel was one of the first to document the dangers of police officer foot pursuits and to recommend a restrictive foot pursuit policy.
Read: Merrick Bobb, Special Counsel to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, 19th Semiannual Report (February 2003), pp. 5-31. footpursuiteslasd
2. The Philadelphia police department has a policy, adopted in 2013, that reflects the best current thinking on the control of foot pursuits by police officers.
Philadelphia, Foot Pursuit Policy (2013): philadfootpursuitpolicy
[see also Bias-Free Policing, Stops and Frisks]
1. David Bayley has been one of the leading experts on the police since the 1960s. Ronald Davis is currently Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing (the “COPS Office”) in the Justice Department.
David H. Bayley, Michael A. Davis and Ronald L. Davis, Race and Policing: An Agenda for Action (2015).
2. The PERF report “Racially Biased Policing: A Principled Response” is one of the best discussions of the subject. The report includes (pp. 51-53) a model policy on the proper and improper use of race and ethnicity in police operations.
Read the PERF Model Policy: perfbiasfreepolicy