How Cincinnati Could Be A Police Reform Model For Ferguson


Cincinnati's police reform after a deadly police shooting and riots in 2001 has lessons for Ferguson and St. Louis, reports St. Louis Public Radio. Here is what the Cincinnati reformers say: Police reform will take a long time – many years, not many months. A Justice Department investigation, such as the one under way in Ferguson, is necessary but not sufficient to bring about lasting reform. The Justice Department goes away after five years. An enforceable court order will be necessary to make sure changes are implemented. A new policing strategy is also needed to bring the police and community together. The reforms should include transparency when police shoot civilians, an early warning system to identify troubled officers, new policies minimizing use of force, a civilian review board and video and audio on police cars and officers.

The use of force by the Cincinnati police department has decreased to 22 incidents in 2013 from 145 incidents in 2002 when the collaborative agreement was implemented. The essentials include court enforced agreement; transparency, an early warning system of police who get many complaints or repeatedly violate policies; citizen complaint authority at a citizen board with investigative and subpoena powers; problem-oriented policing to determine specific crime problems instead of just reacting to the police radio; a mental health response team; new policies on the use of force and foot chases; and v ideo cameras on police cruisers, body microphones on officers.

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