Wednesday, November 25, 2015

More transparency means better policing

Many contend that increasing scrutiny of police is a bad thing and leads to police timidity and more crime.  This is termed the "Ferguson effect."  There's no data to support it and the benefits of increased transparency are changing police for the better.
In the NYT, a  former NYPD cop tells it like it WAS:

“First, let me take you back to the way policing used to be. Years ago, a group of men walked into a Harlem bar with bats and hatchet handles. Moments later, they’d left their calling card: broken bones and fractured skulls.

This wasn’t a robbery, but restitution. Earlier in the day, a young patrol officer had been attacked by unruly patrons of the bar. This cop’s off-duty brothers in arms made sure to give anyone there a strong “attitude adjustment.”Continue reading the main story

My New York Police Department instructor shared this story with me and my fellow recruits to explain “shaking the tree” — how the community had a price to pay for the assault on an officer. No one would dare report the incident, we were told, because it would be the officers’ word against the public’s — no contest.

For many years, this was the world in which our nation’s police agencies operated. What happened in the darkness of inner-city streets was between the police and whoever was on the other side of the nightstick and, on occasion, a gun. The police reports all read the same: The suspect had a shiny object, he reached for something, he forced me to act in self-defense.

This was an inextricable part of the policing culture in America, and many Americans benefited from these aggressive tactics if their streets were safer. Frankly, we as a nation ignored how people were treated to get the results.”
Body cams, dashcams, and smart phones have changed all this.  Criminal prosecutions of police appear to be on the rise.  More and more agencies are using body cams.More training is being offered. However, more needs to be done, as explained in the article.


No comments:

Post a Comment