There is no accurate number as to how many police oversight agencies there are in the United States. Although, by 2001 almost 80 percent of large departments had some form of citizen oversight boards (De Angelis, 2007). This number shows that many agencies are moving to find a way to hold police officers accountable for their actions. Since most review boards involve non-police individuals there is a great amount of disagreement over the role they should play in the review of complaints made against a department. Police oversight is becoming a growing trend in many police departments. It’s a way to hold police officers accountable for all if any actions made on patrol against citizens. The biggest debate of all is the individuals who support the boards and the officers who oppose them.
The overall process of citizen oversight boards i...
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...with agencies across the country critics still have their doubts about how the overall process and success of such boards will become. Arguments on both sides are valid. One side argues that it is necessary to implement these boards based on the fact that have an external agency conducting investigations can hold police accountable for their actions. They feel that police cannot oversee them self and if they do they could potentially keep secrets and fall into peer pressure. The other side feels as though civilian boards are unnecessary and non-beneficial. They feel as though police agencies are more than capable of conducting their own investigation. Even with valid arguments from both sides it is a fact that civilian oversight boards are becoming an object of the future and no matter how local agencies feel about them there is no true sign of them going away.
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