Is the police agency willing to investigate and discipline officers engaging in misconduct?
If a police agency is to have the trust and confidence of the community, it must establish clear standards of behavior for its officers, and it must handle citizen complaints swiftly and impartially. Officers must know, unequivocally, the standard to which they will be held accountable, and there must be accessible and thorough procedures for investigating citizen complaints, no matter the source…
Do police officers respect individual rights?
The most important responsibility of police officers is to protect the civil rights guaranteed in the Constitution which are the foundation of our democratic society and the rule of law. The most critical aspect of this respect for law is in a police officer’s willingness to abide strictly by the legal requirements for arrest, the use of force, searches and seizures of persons and property, and stop and frisk situations. Such a willingness is grounded in the officer’s understanding that the ends do not justify the means in policing, that they cannot break the law in order to enforce it. Nor can they succumb to community pressures to violate suspect’s rights in order to solve a crime or to abuse citizens’ rights to freedom of assembly to solve a public nuisance problem…
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