Police Complaints

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Analysis & Application
Police Complaints
November 21, 2011

Abstract
Conducting ourselves as mature individuals could determine whether or not we’re taken seriously within society. Since the beginning of time, black, white, Hispanic, etc., have filed complaints against police officers, regardless of their maturity level or regardless of their own fault level. Is society too disrespectful to law enforcement? If civilians could walk in police officer shoes for one day would the complaint level decrease? This paper will focus on the perception of the police by measuring public complaints and identifying two key aspects that affect the relationships between law enforcement and civilians.

Background
One may be shocked to learn that police officer complaints and the final outcome of said complaints are not handled by the police chief, the city’s mayor or a review board, but instead by an “arbitrator”. (Iris, 1998) This has been a particular struggle between police chief’s and review boards across the United States. In the years between 1990 and 1993 “there was a total of 328 disciplinary actions decided by binding arbitrators” involving the Chicago Police Department, and under a new policy in 1993, “205 disciplinary actions were reviewed by arbitrators for non-binding advisory opinions.” (Iris, 1998, pg. 216) Despite a rigorous review process, surprisingly disciplines imposed upon Chicago police officers were cut in half by the arbitrators. Could the ineffectiveness of the police discipline have a major affect in regards to civilian complaints? If arbitrators are not punishing police officers appropriately, this could be a reason for their actions and why some officers feel as though they are above the law. More officers need to be held accountable for their actions and across the United States, each complaint made against an officer should hold the same outcome if found guilty. Concerns/Issues

In an article written by Dina DeCrescenzo,...
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