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The New World of Police Accountability

The New World of Police Accountability

Third Edition

December 2018 | 360 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

“This book gives a brief yet thorough summary of the main components of police accountability in the 21st century. What works, what doesn’t, and where are we going in the future? I love to use it with my undergraduate students to help them understand the complexities of policing in the modern era.”
—Janne E. Gaub, East Carolina University

Completely revised to cover recent events and research, the Third Edition of The New World of Police Accountability provides an original and comprehensive analysis of some of the most important developments in police accountability and reform strategies. With a keen and incisive perspective, esteemed authors and policing researchers, Samuel Walker and Carol Archbold, address the most recent developments and provide an analysis of what works, what reforms are promising, and what has proven unsuccessful. The book’s analysis draws on current research, as well as the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing and the reforms embodied in Justice Department consent decrees.

New to the Third Edition:

  • The national crisis over police legitimacy and use of force, is put into context through extensive discussions of recent police shootings and the response to this national crisis, providing readers a valuable perspective on the positive steps that have been taken and the limits of those steps.
  • Coverage of the issues related to police officer uses of force is now the prevailing topic in Chapter 3 and includes detailed discussion of the topic, including de-escalation, tactical decision making, and the important changes in training related to these issues.
  • An updated examination of the impact of technology on policing, including citizens’ use of recording devices, body-worn cameras, open data provided by police agencies, and use of social media, explores how technology contributes to police accountability in the United States. 
  • A complete, up-to-date discussion of citizen oversight of the police provides details on the work of selected oversight agencies, including the positive developments and their limitations, enabling readers to have an informed discussion of the subject.
  • Detailed coverage of routine police activities that often generate public controversy now includes such topics as responding to mental health calls, domestic violence calls, and police "stop and frisk" practices.
  • Issues related to policing and race relations are addressed head-on through a careful examination of the data, as well as the impact of recent reforms that have attempted to achieve professional, bias-free policing.
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About the Authors
1. A National Police Crisis
Ferguson 2014: The Shooting of Michael Brown  
A National Police Crisis  
The New Conversation About Policing and Police Reform  
The Challenge of Police Accountability  
A Definition of Police Accountability  
PTSR: A Framework for Accountability  
Basic Themes in the New Police Accountability  
The Challenge Ahead: Reasons for Hope, Reasons for Caution  
2. The Accomplishments and Limits of Traditional Police Reforms
The Police Professionalization Movement  
The Courts and Police Reform  
Legislative and Related Strategies for Police Reform  
Conclusion: The Lessons of Past Reforms  
3. The “Heart Of The Matter”: Controlling Police Officer Use of Force
Administrative Rulemaking: The Basic Model for Controlling Officer Conduct  
Controlling Police Use of Deadly Force  
Police Use of Less Lethal Force  
Controlling Police Use of Physical Force  
The Reporting and Investigation of Use of Force  
De-Escalation as a Strategy for Limiting Use of Force  
How Accountability-related Reforms Can Transform the Police Subculture  
4. Controlling Critical Incidents
Controlling Pedestrian Stops and Frisks  
“Driving While Black”: Traffic Stops and the Racial Profiling Controversy  
Vehicle Pursuits: Reducing the Risks  
Officer Foot Pursuits: Reducing the Risks  
The Deployment of Canines: Reducing the Harms  
Reducing Gender-Related Bias in Policing  
Responding to Mental Health–Related Incidents  
Achieving Bias-Free Policing  
Ensuring Officer Integrity  
Ensuring Officer Wellness  
Guaranteeing People’s First Amendment Rights  
5. Public Complaints and Police Accountability
A Short History of Public Complaints, Internal Affairs Units, and Public Oversight  
Basic Issues of Complaints and Complaint Investigations  
The Public Complaint Process  
Accepting, Recording, Screening, and Classifying Complaints  
Investigating Complaints  
The Disposition of Complaints  
Ensuring the Quality of the Complaint Process  
Staffing and Managing the Complaint Process  
Evaluating the Complaint Process  
6. Early Intervention Systems
The Background and Development of the EIS Concept  
Basic Issues in Early Intervention Systems  
The Basic Requirements for an EIS  
The Components of an EIS  
The Challenge of Implementing an Early Intervention System  
Impacts of an Early Intervention System  
The Effectiveness of Early Intervention Systems  
The Experiences and Perceptions of EIS Police Managers  
7. External Review of the Police
Basic Features of Police Auditors and Inspectors General  
The Work of the Inspector General for the NYPD  
The San Jose Independent Police Auditor  
The Los Angeles Police Commission and Inspector General  
The Washington, DC, Office of Police Complaints  
A Lost Agency: The Special Counsel to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department  
Blue-Ribbon Commissions  
The Strengths and Limits of External Review  
Another Lost Program: The Collaborative Reform Initiative  
8. Increasing Accountability with Risk Management
What is Risk Management?  
Risk Management, Police Liability, and Accountability  
Early Intervention Systems and Risk Management  
The Prevalence of Risk Management in American Policing  
Research on Risk Management in Policing  
Barriers to the Implementation of Risk Management  
Overcoming Barriers to Implementation: The Case of Risk Management in Medicine  
Innovative Risk Management in Risk Management in Medicine: The Checklist  
Checklists and Policing: Could it Work?  
Legalized Accountability and Police Reform  
Insurance Companies as Accountability Agents  
Looking Ahead: The Future of Risk Management in Policing  
9. Police Accountability and Technology
Video-Recording Devices Used by the Public  
Using Apps to Report Police Misconduct  
Video-Recording Devices Used by the Police  
Compliance With Body-Worn Camera Activation Policies  
Perceptions of Police Body Cameras  
Using Social Media to Inform the Public of Police Misconduct  
Increasing Police Accountability with Open Data  
The Future of Technology and Police Accountability  
10. The Future of Police Accountability
The National Police Crisis and its Impact  
Progress: “Best Practices” Today  
Threats to the Future of Police Accountability  
Final Thoughts  

 “In-depth of materials and explanations of a new area of policing, which are relevant to today’s police – incorporates evidence based research and real-life examples. Appropriate for an upper level undergraduate course, or a graduate course.”

Karin Tusinski Miofsky
Lakeland University

 “Significant to understanding the trust and legitimacy crisis in American policing today. Thorough coverage of the best practices an agency could and should be employing to become as open and accountable to the communities they serve as possible. Information students aspiring to careers in law enforcement, current practitioners, and concerned citizens of any community should familiarize themselves with.”

Connie M. Koski, Ph.D.
Longwood University

“A great book, covers much of the information one would cover in a policing class and also in an Ethics in Law Enforcement class.”

Rebecca Paynich

“This book gives a brief yet thorough summary of the main components of police accountability in the 21st century. What works, what doesn’t, and where are we going in the future? I love to use it with my undergraduate students to help them understand the complexities of policing in the modern era.”

Janne E. Gaub
East Carolina University

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