SOC354:Controlling Police Behavior
SOC354:Controlling Police Behavior SOC 354
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alexandra Long on Sunday March 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 354 at Colorado State University taught by Bradley Hurst in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Law Enforcement and Society in Sociology at Colorado State University.
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Date Created: 03/27/16
▯1 CONTROLLING POLICE BEHAVIOR ▯ WHY? Individually and collectively, we have social, economic and safety needs. We have to have some structure in order to have a free society. So we created governments-at the national, state and local levels. Those governments are separated into three branches-legislative, judicial, & executive. The branches have separate powers/roles, and check and balance each other. ▯ We have rule of law, not rule of individuals. Nobody’s above the law. ▯ We have to control those in government because of the rule of law, and also because some individuals will abuse their power. ▯ Reasons specific to the police Institutionally and individually, they have a great deal of authority. ▯ ▯hey exercise a great deal of discretion. Most of their contact with citizens is one-on-one, often with very vulnerable people, so the police are difficult to police. ▯ The police provide services the citizens “don’t want.” The community agrees in abstract that they need certain police services, but they don’t want them applied to themselves as individuals. In other words, the police don’t always have the express consent of the governed. ▯ The police are an anomaly in a free society. They are there to protect freedoms, yet have the authority to take life without due process. This authority to use force is their main distinguishing factor. They stand smack-dab in the middle of the tension between governmental authority and individual liberty. (By the way, they know this, feel it every day and are reminded of it in many ways. That tension is a source of stress that can be more damaging than the overt physical dangers they face.) ▯ ▯2 HOW DO WE CONTROLPOLICE BEHAVIOR? ▯ 1. Federal/State Constitutions, City Charters, etc. These create separation of powers. Police are part of the executive branch, & therefore don’t get to make the laws or make findings of guilt or innocence. ▯ 2. Substantive Law These can be described as any laws that make certain behaviors illegal-from speeding to murder. The police can be subject to these laws. Some may apply specifically to police-such as one in Colorado that makes it a crime if officers don’t report suspected improper use of force to supervisors. ▯ 3. Procedural Law This category includes court decisions that limit police activity, such as decisions relating to arrest, search & seizure, admissibility of evidence (such as Miranda v.Arizona), etc. ▯ 4. Rewards commendations from supervisors and citizens placed in personnel files, “plum” assignments &/or training, even promotion. ▯ 5. Written directives/policies/procedures KNOW THIS **Failure to comply may result in formal discipline. The hierarchy at the City of Fort Collins is: verbal warning, written warning, suspension without pay, demotion, termination. ▯ FOCUS ON POLICIES/PROCEDURES ▯ FCPD General Conduct Policy-12 pages long. Say because cops hold a position of trust and have a unique role, they are held to higher ethical standards than the general public. ▯ Says that maintaining the agency reputation is a shared responsibility, and that therefore tolerating misconduct is equal to condoning and participating in it, and cops may be held accountable for that same misconduct. ▯ ▯3 Says that because it’s not possible to list all possible specific violations, cops examples:sciplined for misconduct not specifically listed. Aselect few Use unnecessary force. ▯ Violate any law or city/agency directive, rule or order. ▯ Lie in connection with official duties ▯ Offensive/disorderly conduct. Use position for personal gain-intimidate or improperly influence. Harass or intimidate based upon race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation. ▯ Bring sexually explicit materials into the workplace. ▯ The conduct policy even says cops have to have a phone, and give the ▯gency their address! It also says they must cooperate fully and truthfully with any agency- authorized investigation. ▯ Furthermore, it says they can follow their conscience and refuse to obey orders they feel are illegal or improper, but that if they do, they assume responsibility and could be subject to disciplinary action. ▯ Policy says it is the agency’s intent to avoid intrusion into cops’personal lives unless their 1. off-duty conduct impacts negatively on the agency. ▯ Off-duty conduct is also legitimately the business of the agency if it 2. Impacts cops’ability to perform their duties. ▯ Policy says cops should avoid behavior that brings discredit, such as public intoxication, disturbances, and violations of law. ▯ ▯ ▯4 Associations Policy says certain associations may damage the reputation of the agency or employee, and prohibits personal or business associations with persons charged or under active investigation, known habitual criminals, and witnesses & victims in criminal cases as they may jeopardize a prosecution. ▯ PoliticalActivity Policy says partisan political activities shall not enter into service delivery. Therefore we must avoid impediments to cooperation with other agencies, and be free from political pressures ourselves. ▯ Officers are allowed to register to vote and to vote on duty. Some things prohibited include: Using authority to influence elections. Running for City Council or serving on any City Board or Commission. Run for any other office if campaigning or holding such office would create actual or apparent conflict of interest. Manage someone’s campaign. Solicit, receive or handle campaign monies. ▯ Officers who want to do these things may request an unpaid leave of absence, granted at sole discretion of the City. ▯ COMPLAINT PROCESS Policy on administrative investigations is 19 pages long! ▯ Because we are committed to higher standards, and are an integral part of the community, our positions of authority and trust mean we must be responsive to community concerns. ▯ Any person who believes an agency employee has been involved in improper conduct has the right to make a complaint. ▯ It is the policy of the agency to investigate all such complaints expeditiously, effectively, and impartially-and to take appropriate action. ▯ Complainant Rights Fair treatment-considerate, no threats or intimidation Presence of a representative (cannot participate in questioning or interfere) Copy of his/her statements ▯5 Notification of findings Request Civilian Review Board review ▯ Officer Rights Usually informed in writing within reasonable time Opportunity to respond Presence of representative (advisor-cannot participate or interfere. Cannot be in chain of command, part of case, witness, etc.) No intimidation. Reasonable times/duration of interviews, tests, etc. Review file after investigation complete, get copy of his/her own statements, make notes Informed of outcome in writing Access to agency/City grievance procedures Due process hearing before serious discipline carried out ▯ Officer responsibilities Fully & truthfully cooperate ▯ Don’t contact complainant/witnesses or interfere in any way ▯ Submit to (and may request) special exams, such as polygraph, intoxalyzer, blood, urine, prints, photos, recordings, medical, psychological, lineups, financial disclosures, etc. May be requiredto go through these things. Regular citizens may not. Ex. Breathalyzer. ▯ Notes about polygraphs: Examiner selected by Chief Usually require complainant first Will be video/audio recorded Mndt be narrowly related to the particulars of the case-no “witch hunts” 2 opinions at officer/complainant expense ▯ **Performance issues handled less formally-by immediate supervisor. These include concerns about how an incident was handled, perceptions of behavior, minor violations, etc. They require minimal investigation-usually just speaking with officer and citizen. Supervisor has broad latitude. No formal finding required. ▯ Complaint process/administrative investigations will not be used in cases where citizen wants to argue he/she shouldn’t have been issued a ticket, or ▯6 wasn’t guilty as charged. No dickering such as “I’ll drop my complaint if you’ll drop the charges against me. They’re separate matters! ▯ ▯*ADMINISTRATIVE VS. CRIMINALINVESTIGATIONS An administrative investigation is conducted to determine if an employee violated an agency policy/rule/directive. All formal investigations of alleged employee misconduct are administrative investigations. ▯ In administrative investigations, employees can be compelled to give testimony against themselves (if given proper advisements), or faces discipline-to **include termination. (Garrity v New Jersey) ▯ The Chief of Police can order a separate criminal investigation (if he/she violation). The criminal investigation may be conducted by agencylicy employees, or by an outside agency-at the Chief’s discretion. ▯ In criminal investigations, employees cannot be compelled to give testimony against themselves. They have all of the rights enumerated in Miranda v. Arizona. ▯ Therefore, it follows that when there is both an administrative and a criminal investigation arising from the same incident, those investigations must be kept separate in that: criminal investigators shall not have access to or the fruits thereof.ther information that came from compelled disclosures, ▯ On the other hand, administrative investigators are entitled to information from the criminal investigation. ▯ Administrative (I.A.) vs Criminal (FIRST priority) Rules? Laws? Garrity vs. N.J. (CAN compel) Miranda (cant compel) Chief DA ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯7 GarrityAdvisement In order to use compelled statements, employees under administrative investigation must be advised: You are required to truthfully answer all questions ▯ Refusal to do so subjects you to disciplinary action-to include termination ▯ No statements/answers you provide under this advisement can be used in a subsequent criminal proceeding against you, if any. ▯ Administrative Investigation Findings Not involved Unfounded-allegation was false or not factual Exonerated-incident happened, but behavior didn’t violate policy (not guilty) burden of proof: preponderance of evidence Not sustained-insufficient evidence to reach conclusion Sustained-employee violated one or more policies ▯ The complainant is entitled to these findings, but not to any disciplinary action taken. ▯ CorrectiveActions In addition to the disciplinary steps mentioned above, cops can be subject to other corrective actions, such as: psychological counseling, psychiatric treatment, medical evaluations and treatment, additional training, written apologies, individual work plans, etc. ▯ By Colorado Statute and City policy, employees have a right to privacy about their personnel files, including disciplinary actions. They are by law private matters. If a case severely polarizes the agency, the Chief may make an exception and release such private information within the agency, to correct inaccurate/misleading information circulating within. ▯ Chiefs of Police are usually more strict disciplinarians than Civilian Review Boards and Civil Service Commissions. ▯ **Civilian Review Board-City Code 2-139 Come in lots of different shapes and sizes. ▯8 Reviews administrative investigations conducted by the agency when requested by the complainant, Chief, and in all of the following cases: Use of deadly force, use of improper force, alleged crime, severe injury or death, & civil rights violations. ▯ The Fort Collins Civilian Review Board is appointed by the City Council. Their authority is limited to reviewing investigations for thoroughness and accuracy. ▯ ▯ Will review every case where deadly force was used, where someone was killed, and any civil rights violation. Every single review goes to the Civilian Review board no matter what.