Advocacy Blog

Effective Law Enforcement Establishing Model Policies

The Problem: Incidents of police misconduct, including excessive use of force, deadly force, racial profiling, and racial bias in decision-making continue to undermine trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve, and violate the civil rights of all Americans.

Facts:

      • Official numbers from the Bureau of Justice Statistics from 2002 indicate 26,000 com- plaints of police officer “use of force.”
      • Of the 43.5 million people who had contact with police in 2005, 1.6% had force or threat of force used against them in their most recent contact. Of them, 83% character- ized the force as excessive.
      • In 2005, African Americans (4.4%) and Hispanics (2.3%) were more likely than whites (1.2%) to have experienced use of force by police.

In 2005, African Americans (4.4%) and Hispanics (2.3%) were more likely than whites (1.2%) to have experienced use of force by police.

What to Do About Police Misconduct?

Problem: Incidents of police misconduct, including excessive use of force, deadly force, racial pro- filing, and racial bias in decision-making continue to undermine trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve, and violate the civil rights of all Americans.

Solution: In efforts to address police misconduct, the NAACP must work to establish model policies that will offer a unified training, data collection, policies and practices that govern how law enforcement should act when engaging with the public. Furthermore, the NAACP must encourage participation in community-oriented policing by all law enforcement agencies.

Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Citizen Complaints About Police Use of Force, 2002.” http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/ccpuf.pdf Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Contact between Police and the Public, 2005.

What are Model Policies?

Model Policies are a set of practices, training, standards and policies that law enforcement agencies can adopt designed to reduce police misconduct incidences which include excessive use of force, deadly force, racial profiling, and racial bias in decision-making.

How can Model Policies help us reach our goal to eliminate Police Misconduct?

Right now, local law enforcement governs themselves based on policies and practices decided on by local law enforcement agencies. In which case, how law enforcement engages the public varies from place to place. Establishing model policing policies and standards allow for law enforcement to be trained and govern themselves on a series of best practice policies and practices that have proven to reduce police misconduct.

What Is Community Policing?

Community Policing is defined by the U.S. government as, “a philosophy that promotes organiza- tional strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.” Simply put, it encourages that law enforcement work with com- munity organizations, schools, churches, other community institutions ,and local leaders to build partnerships to address the issue of public safety together.

How Can Community Policing Help Reduce Police Misconduct?

The relationships that are formed between law enforcement and the community help to foster trust and promote frank and open communication about how to address public safety issues including solving crime as well as incidents of law enforcement misconduct.

— Call to Action —

We count on law enforcement to provide protection and security for our communities. However, an act of police misconduct or abuse threatens the legitimacy, fairness and effectiveness of our crim- inal justice system–and continues violence and victimization in many of our neighborhoods. To- gether, we can make a difference and work to establish model policing standards that will curb police misconduct and abuse.

The NAACP and our coalition partners will establish model standards for police to build public safety and trust between law enforcement and communities of color and reduce incidences of police abuse. The NAACP calls on all units to engage local governments to establish model policies and policing standards.

— Call to Action Components —

Model Policing Coalition- The NAACP will establish an Effective Law Enforcement Coalition to pro- vide best practices research, analysis and advocacy that will advance and support establishing model policing strategies at the local level.

All Alert Reporting System Training- Local NAACP units will hold regular trainings to encourage the public to document police misconduct and report such incidents to the Association.

Media and Messaging Campaign- The NAACP will advance a media and messaging campaign that will inform the public on the need to establish model policing policies.

Research and Best Practices- The Effective Law Enforcement Coalition will provide research and best practices to highlight the benefits and potential of model policing policies and standards.