Time for a Police Report Card

The definition of a report card. “An evaluation of performance” 

Why do most police departments frown upon some kind of accountability of their staff and the department as a whole?  What don’t they want us to know?

Well, as tax payers, always remember that police work for the government (local, county. or state). Therefore, they are responsible for protecting & serving all people while allowing  the public to see how well they are doing their jobs or not – as it were. Having said such, a report card for the police is overdue for all US states, cities, counties, or towns to clearly show their performance.

Think of the report card in another way. We have evaluations on hospitals, nursing homes, schools, but very little on police. Once a year, an addition to the normal data like arrest, burglaries, homicides – police departments should have to give data on things like how many wrongful arrests, how many wrongful search warrants, number complaints for department, number of complaints on each officers.

This information should be reviewed by a panel of individuals. This panel should consist of someone from police department, an elected official, and a community member or leader. With such a diverse group, the results are not easily skewed or glossed over. Armed with this information, communities can demand changes to their local officials. If these officials do not get the necessary change, the citizens can and should have them voted out.

We also need to have a panel of people to review body cameras from police. It should not be just reviewed by the police department. One way to show transparency is for someone other than the department to also review the footage captured. Without these kinds of changes or something similar, we cannot have real changed. We would have just thrown all the dirt from the front yard to the back.  

Sidebar:

  1. Does it make sense for the tax payers to fund police salary, health insurance, and pensions but not be able to clearly see how well the police departments are doing?
  2. Other than the police, who thought/thinks the police are entitled to police themselves?    

For well over 50 years, minorities’ communities (black & brown) have been complaining about police brutality.  Clearly, these complaints have never truly been addressed as most police department and the officials that hire them did nothing but appease. Well, due to cell phone recording, police can no longer just pretend someone unarmed was the problem. Clearly, some police departments, and by extension, some police officers have shown they are not capable of policing themselves without being bias. As a result, police have loss the right to police themselves.

Now Trutalk:

  • We need to have an honest dialogue about police work and their tactics.
  • No one is pretending that police do not sometimes have a difficult job because they do. However, they signed up for it and knew the risk.
  • When dealing with some minorities’ males, if a police officer feels that their life is in such danger that he/she needs to shoot first and ask questions later – perhaps they are in the wrong field or need to police another neighborhood where they feel comfortable.
  • When police are called, they do not have to approach all black inner city problems with a hammer. Sometimes a screwdriver will suffice.
  • We need police that will work with community leaders to find common ground.
  • Police have to show more compassion to the people & the neighborhoods in which they are policing.
  • The citizens too have to be more respectful to the police. This must be a two way street.
  • If things do not truly change, we should not easily dismiss the possibility of more black man dying at the hands of police officers.

Next Week: The Black Community’s report card


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