Who’s policing the police?

Who’s policing the police?

bpd cruiser
By Lawrence Harmon Globe Columnist / July 2, 2011

EITHER BOSTON has the best-behaved police officers in the country or residents don’t complain about treatment at the hands of police because they consider it a waste of time. The smart money is on the latter.

In 2010, residents filed just 138 complaints against the Boston Police, a force of more than 2,000 sworn officers. The police force in Portland, Ore. – roughly half the size of Boston’s – received almost three times that number of complaints for reasons ranging from rudeness to excessive use of force. In Denver, citizens filed 600 complaints against the city’s almost 1,500-member police force.

Boston police officers aren’t exactly choirboys. So what accounts for their suspiciously clean record? One answer could be the city’s longstanding resistance to a strong, independent monitor of the police. While other cities go to great lengths and costs to provide civilian oversight of the police and publicize its existence, Boston makes do with a stripped-down, three-member Community Ombudsman Oversight Panel that reviews only a small number of citizen complaints. And there’s not much urgency in its work. The board hasn’t met since November, and the terms of all its members have lapsed.

FULL STORY HERE
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2011/07/02/whos_policing_the_police/

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