Over the last several years, law enforcement has come under increased scrutiny and criticism. This has come from a series of tragic events that have resulted in civil unrest, prosecution of officers and negative coverage of law enforcement by the media. Not only has the main stream media bashed law enforcement, but the scrutiny and criticism has become common on social media. Law enforcement agencies should hold officers accountable.
The public has demanded accountability for law enforcement officers and the agencies that employ them. Accountability in law enforcement is not going to be possible without law enforcement agencies having guidelines in place that operate under best practice principles and hold officers accountable. The introduction of officers to these guidelines should begin as soon as they start training, and new officers should be tested on the guidelines as they progress through training.
First line supervisors will be in the best position in the agency to monitor officers and begin the accountability process. An important part of guidelines established by departments should be review of officer’s actions by first line supervisors. These reviews should be conducted on a routine basis as determined by the agencies guidelines. Law enforcement agencies should implement written guidelines based on best practices from such programs such as Texas Police Chief’s Association Recognition Program or other similar programs throughout the United States