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Police accountability is concerned with holding police officers accountable for their actions (Walsh & Conway, 2011). For this purpose, internal and external mechanisms are used. Police departments all over the United States have enacted internal mechanism for holding officers accountable that are found in any sort of misconduct (Walsh & Conway, 2011). An effective internal mechanism for accountability is an early warning system. This system provides necessary information regarding police officers based on different indicators. An example of an internal mechanism is CompStat program, used by NYPD. CompStat program aims to reduce crime while holding officers accountable for their actions. Apart from the internal mechanism for police accountability, several mechanisms are useful to hold the police departments accountable for their actions externally. The mechanisms include courts, civilian oversight, and community control. San Francisco’s citizen-led Department of Police Accountability is an example of external accountability.
The importance of Early Intervention Systems in holding police officers accountable cannot be undermined. Early Intervention System is a database that maintains information regarding police officers' performance intended to identify officers with low-performance scores (Michelle Lersch, Bazley & Mieczkowski, 2006). The low-performance scores are assigned due to any complaints, misconduct, and dereliction of one's duties (Michelle Lersch, Bazley & Mieczkowski, 2006). A police officer was identified as vulnerability after she was flagged by the early intervention system. The officer was flagged because she was found using excessive force in numerous minor incidents. The reason tabled by the officer was that she felt threatened in one on one situation. The supervisor of the officer forwarded her case to the training unit where she was trained to be better in such situations and avoid excessive use of force at all costs.
On 19th June 1961, the Supreme Court declared the verdict of Mapp vs. Ohio case. The verdict described that evidence that has been collected and presented before the apex court collected in contradiction to the fourth amendment is inadmissible in state courts (McKay, 1973). Fourth amendment grants protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. The exclusionary rule is related to the Mapp vs. Ohio as it was also said in the judgment that any piece of information and evidence collected unconstitutionally cannot be used in federal courts as well. Mapp vs. Ohio case and exclusionary rule are utilized in a courtroom in a way that they render unreasonably obtained evidence useless.
McKay, R. B. (1973). Mapp v. Ohio, The Exclusionary Rule and the Right of Privacy. Ariz. L. Rev., 15, 327.
Michelle Lersch, K., Bazley, T., & Mieczkowski, T. (2006). Early intervention programs: an effective police accountability tool, or punishment of the productive?. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 29(1), 58-76.
Walsh, D. P., & Conway, V. (2011). Police governance and accountability: overview of current issues. Crime, Law and Social Change, 55(2-3), 61-86.
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