Skip to main content Skip to search

IV. Roll Outs – Union Contracts



1. In the controversial New York City stop and frisk case, the U.S. District Court found numerous failures of policy and supervision that contributed to violations of both the Fourth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment.

Read the Executive Summary of the Court’s opinion in Floyd v. City of New York (2013), Executive Summary: floydexecsumm


2. Read the 2015 report by the Illinois ACLU on stop and frisk abuses by the Chicago Police Department: stopandfriskaclu-il



1. In order to prevent racial and ethnic discrimination in traffic stops (“profiling” the Justice Department consent decree with the New Jersey State Police required new procedures for documenting each traffic stop.

Justice Department Consent Decree with the New Jersey State Police.

2. The most systematic data on traffic and street stops is in the periodic BJS Police-Public Contact Survey. See the data from the 2011 survey:


[See also Span of Control]

1. Inadequate Supervision

Inadequate supervision, especially by sergeants in the field, are a major factor in the systemic lack of accountability in a police department.

a. Read the Monitor for the New Orleans Police Department’s Special Report on Supervision Policies and Practices (July 21, 2015).


       b. The Justice Department investigation of the Cleveland police department found many deficiencies in supervision related to officer use of force. The problems including failure of sergeants to determine if the level of force an officer used was justified, and in some cases sergeants appeared to make an effort to justify the officer’s actions.

Read the Justice Department report on inadequate force investigations in Cleveland: inadequateinv-cleveldoj

 c. Read the 2015 DOJ Critical Response Report on supervision problems in the San Diego Police Department, including problems with use of  “acting” sergeants: sandiegosupervision

        Read the full DOJ report on San Diego:


3. Responsibilities of the immediate supervisor in responding to a use of force incident.

Read the recommendations of the 2016 PERF report on Guiding Principles of Use of Force: supervresp-perfguiding


[see also Training]

1. One of the most important new developments in police training is an emphasis on tactical decision-making by officers, and training officers in tactics that will increase their ability to control an unfolding encounter.

See the principle of “Distance, Cover and Time” in the 2016 PERF report Guiding Principles on Police Use of Force (2016): distcovertime-perfguiding

Read the entire 2016 PERF Guiding Principles report:


2. Tactical errors.

Many officer involved shootings or serious use of physical force incidents are preventable but occurred because of tactical errors on the part of one or more officers. The administrative review of past incidents can identify recurring errors (such as communication problems) that can be corrected through improved policy, training and supervision.

(a) Read the (2012) Justice Department Collaborative Reform report on Las Vegas regarding tactical errors: tacticalerrors-lasvcollab.

Read the entire Collaborative Reform report on Las Vegas:

(b) Read about the 2015 PERF “Critical Decision-Making Model, ” in Re-Engineering Training on Police Use of Force (pp. 79-87): perf-critical-decision-making

Read the entire “Re-Engineering” Report:

(c) Read the 2014 DOJ Findings Letter on Cleveland regarding tactical errors that endanger the community at put officers at risk: tacticalerrors-clevleanddoj

Read the entire DOJ Findings Letter on Cleveland:

(d) Read the independent investigation of the Spokane police department, Use of Force Commission: Final Report (2012)arguing that officers should not let the subject dictate the outcome of encounters: spokanesubjectnotdictate

Read the entire 2012 Spokane Force Commission report:

(e) Read the 2014 DOJ Findings Letter on Albuquerque regarding how officer recklessness can contribute to use of deadly force: albq-officer-recklessness

       Read the full DOJ report on Albuquerque:


[See also In-Service Training]

1. General

The 2015 Police Executive Research Forum report on police training is one of the most important discussions of the limits of traditional officer training on use of force, together with the principles and tactics for training likely to reduce uses of force.

PERF, Re-Engineering Training on Police Use of Force (2015).


2. Scenario-Based and Reality-Based Training

Police training today emphasizes scenario-based and reality-based training, rather than lectures. The purpose is to use real-life scenarios that will help to train officers in tactical decision-making (see the next item) in which they continually reassess a situation and choose the proper response.

Read the DOJ 2014 report on the lack of scenario-based training in the Philadelphia police department: philad-scenario-training

See also the 2016 PERF recommendation on scenario-based training: scensariotrainingperf


3. In-Service Training

See the separate section on In-Service Training in Part III of the Resource Guide.


4. Return to Duty Training (e.g., post-EIS).

The Philadelphia police department requires officers who have been involved in an officer-involved shooting (OIS) to undergo retraining and recertification before returning to duty.

Read the section in Philadelphia, Collaborative Reform, An Assessment of Deadly Force in the Philadelphia Police Department (2015): return-to-dutyphiladcollab

Read the entire Collaborative Reform report on Philadelphia:


5. State-mandated In-Service Training. All but one or two states today have state laws mandating in-service training for all officers.

See the requirements of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission:


6. “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.

Read the California POST, Perishable Skills requirement:


Many police union contract provisions impede accountability.


1. The 2016 San Francisco Blue Ribbon Panel report has a chapter on “Culture,” which examines the impact of the police union and union contract provisions on the internal culture of the department, discipline, and accountability.

Read the chapter on the impact of the police union in the SFPD (the acronym stands for the Police Officers Association): policeunionsanfran

Read the entire Blue Ribbon Panel report:


2. Read Sam Walker’s analysis of the 10-day “waiting period” in the Baltimore police union contract, and also in Maryland state law. (In 2016 the 10-day waiting period was reduced to a still-unacceptable 5 days.): baltimore-police-union-contractfinal


Read about the bogus “science” underlying union contract “48-hour” waiting periods: 48hourscience


3. Data Base of Union Contract Provisions.

          The Black Lives Matter project, Check the Police, has assembled a data base of police union contract provisions that limit police accountability.