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Call For Law Enforcement Reform

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posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 03:14 PM
When something is broke, you need to fix it. No matter how severely broken it is, you can't just toss it out unless you have a viable alternative to replace it with.

There is perhaps nothing more broken in the United States than our Law Enforcement System. Some may say that it is beyond broken, and they wouldn't be too far from the truth.

There has become a growing divide between the people and Law Enforcement in recent decades, beginning with the 1960s and growing ever more pronounced in Current Events. Before, only Political Radicals and Minorities had to fear the Police, but now everyone does, including law-abiding W.A.S.P.s. Perhaps it had to reach the boiling point where the White Middle Class were affected before change could happen. Regardless, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who didn't agree that Law Enforcement is out of control and needs to be reformed.

So, what would you fix about Law Enforcement? What should we be asking our Representatives to change?

My short list of high priority items include the following:

1. Require all Law Enforcement Officers to have a College Degree. Every European Country requires this of their Law Enforcement and they are thus more highly respected by the citizens they serve. The practice of giving uneducated High School Dropouts a badge and a gun needs to stop.

2. Require all Law Enforcement Officers to pass a Criminal Background Check. If a candidate has a long history of Domestic Violence or Assault Charges, they should not be allowed to carry a gun, let alone be given a badge and the authority it demands.

3. Put an end to the unethical practice of Profiling in Law Enforcement. The color of your skin, or your religious beliefs, or the clothing you wear, or the car that you drive, does not make you predisposed towards being a criminal. The only reason why 50% of criminals in Los Angeles are African American is not that 50% of the crimes are committed by African Americans but because those are the Profiles that Law Enforcement goes after. Just because you wear black doesn't make you a criminal. Just because you drive a Lexus, doesn't automatically make you a criminal. Profiling is just an excuse to legitimize predatory misconduct by Law Enforcement.

4. Require Law Enforcement Officers to abide the same rules for using non-lethal weapons such as Pepper-Spray and Tasers as they must abide for discharging their Firearm. The daily abuses of using non-lethal weapons for asinine reasons needs to stop now!

5. Require Law Enforcement Officers to get approval for an arrest from the District Attorney's Office. Most Law Enforcement Officers do not have legal degrees (most don't have any kind of degree). We expect them to enforce the law without knowing the law. Fine. Then instead of letting them arrest every Tom, Dick and Harry for whatever reason they want or make up, require them have a legitimate legal reason. Dispatch is supposed to look up Criminal and Civil Code for the Officer, but Dispatch Officers have just as little familiarity with the law as Law Enforcement Officers have. As the majority of arrests in the United States never even make it to Court as the District Attorney's Office refuses to prosecute these cases, stop wasting everybody's time! Have Dispatch directly contact the District Attorney's Office to relay the facts of the case and get their approval before making an arrest. It's not Rocket Science!

6. Require Law Enforcement to be overseen by a Civilian Oversight Committee, such as is required by electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit, passenger transportation, and other public services. Allow this Commission the ability to investigate complaints and penalize a department if the number of complaints exceeds acceptable thresholds. This would provide for a more immediate response to abuse issues, as well as enforce that Law Enforcement is serving in the Public Interest for the community it serves.

7. Allow Law Enforcement Officers to be legally accountable for their actions. If an Officer abuses his power, don't just allow for an Internal Affairs investigation, but allow that Officer and his Department to be sued by the victims of that abuse. Perhaps it might not be a bad idea to make abuse of police power a Criminal Offense rather than just something that gets you reassigned to a desk job in your department.

8. Require Law Enforcement to Prioritize Crimes. We have a serious problem with overcrowding in Jails and Prisons because we arrest everyone for the smallest of infractions. Just as some Law Enforcement has Quotas they must reach on a daily basis, have reverse Quotas, i.e., a department is only allowed to arrest 100 individuals this week. Then, Jimmy who got caught spray-painting graffiti on a street sign gets to be escorted home instead of arrested, with a citation to appear in Court to explain himself to a Judge instead of going straight to Jail. Then, Tommy who got caught with some resin in his pipe can be cut a break instead of facing a Felony charge. Meanwhile, Law Enforcement can save their aggression for the real menaces to society, like the Drug Dealers, Robbers, Gangs, Murderers, Rapists, etc.

9. Require Law Enforcement to hire locally from the community that they least require Law Enforcement to live in the local community that they serve. Too often you have Law Enforcement from a large Metropolitan center hired by small communities, and on top of that they choose to reside three or four cities away from where they work. If someone is not from and living in the community that they are charged with serving and protecting, they have no vested interest. They are an outsider that is interloping. They are incapable of serving the public trust of that community. Ever notice that people with dogs don't let their dogs crap in their own yard but take them for a walk to crap in someone else's yard? Well, Law Enforcement is the same situation. An Officer is less likely to proverbially crap in their own proverbial yard, but they'll gladly do it in someone else's.

10. Require Law Enforcement Officers to actually pass a regular Psychiatric Evaluation. If a Psychiatrist determines a Law Enforcement Officer has Aggression Issues then they need to be taken off the streets until they have been found to be psychologically stable. End of story!

Obviously, the cost in terms of loss of public trust in regards to Law Enforcement cannot be measured. The systematic failures by Law Enforcement to prevent the wholesale violation of the public's trust, criminal acts by Officers, widespread abuse of their authority, violating citizens' civil rights, use of excessive force, disrespectful and arrogant attitudes, "doctored" evidence, and so forth has lost them credibility with the communities they serve. This is beyond a matter of public perception that could be remedied by use of better Public Relations and P.R. Campaigns. There is no other alternative than dramatic reforms must be enacted if the police community is to gain the cooperation of the citizenry in the United States.

So, I ask again, what would you fix about Law Enforcement? What should we be asking our Representatives to change?

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 03:46 PM
Excellent job.

I agree with most of what you posted but am cautious about 5,6, and 7.

5- I don't think District attorney has time to sign off on every arrest. Maybe the district attorney could better define what kind of cases he or she will prosecute before the cops go out on patrol.

6-I just feel committees ultimately cause more problems than they solve. Ultimately, these committees get power hungry. A little on the sideline on this one.

7-Hiring locally is a great policy, but shouldn't be mandatory. I believe in hiring the best person for a job despite where they come from.

IMO, law enforcement biggest problem is the way they stick up for each other. Cops are supposed to be honest and, more importantly, obey the same laws that they are enforcing.If a bad cop does something illegally, the good cop backs him or her up to avoid getting his/her partner in trouble.

Once a good cop does this, he or she is just as corrupt as the bad one. Neither cop can be trusted because they are both liars and will continue to lie for each other in any future illegal activity.

If cops really desire a better public image, they need to start turning on their own. Cops should hold each other accountable to a higher standard and help to get rid of the power hungry, abusive, wannabe jerks that they currently defend.

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 04:58 PM
reply to post by fraterormus

star and flag for the OP.

My take on it is that to reform law enforcement, you first have to give them a fighting chance and partly reform the law itself.

1 - A restructuring of policy to go from the current mentality of arrest after the fact more to prevention of crime and keeping the peace.

2 - An immediately higher standard for entrance.
--- You _must_ have a degree in criminal justice or other related field, without exception.
--- You _must_ pass a rigorous mental and psychological examination that deals not just with being able to do the job, but to do it long term as well.
--- You _must_ be retested periodically (every 5 years?)

3 - The immediate abolition of the internal affairs department, to be replaced with an independant, community based investigative and diciplinary team that cooperates with the established court justice system.

4 - Whereas a few pertinent laws will be _relaxed_ (not absolved) in regards to the execution of an officer's duties, they will still be personally held liable in criminal and civil court for infractions such as (but not limited to) false arrest, property damage (direct or indirect) not directly related to an arrest, and so on. Meaning, if a cop has to force someone off the road, he's insulated from damage charges to the offending vehicle. but, if he forces teh car off the road an dit crashes through a fence, he _may_ be liable if it is found that it is a direct result of his actions.

5 - Required vacation time and intervals. Its accepted that it's a stressful job that wears on anyone, you need to take a break.

6 - A strict policy of non recognition of any special needs or views due to race, national origin or religion with a one strike and you're out policy. It doesn't matter if you're X faith and doing something is against X religion's laws, but not the law of the land. One confirmed report of trouble in this regard, and you're out.

7 - A strict policy of one violation of human rights, and you're out, or on clerical duty, permanently.

8 - Shared paperwork and the 'universal firing' status. Meaning if you're fired in Illinois, you will not be able to be hired in texas.

9 - Manatory courses in counseling and ethics. For the prevention of crime and more community outreach interaction and involvement.

10 - Mandatory minimum hiring age of 30 years of age. Hey, I'm a guy, and I know guys, and personally, most guys don't even begin to boil off some of their stupidity hormones until about 27 or so, and they start to settle down about 30. the last thing we need are more trigger happy cops with no experience in life, that have more balls than brains patrolling our streets.

11 - Deterrence, mediation, disruption, arrest... in that order of escalation.

thats just a start. reforming the law itself to be more simplistic and prioritized to let the punishment fit the crime.

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