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PERF’s new Critical Issues in Policing report, “Civil Rights Investigations of Local Police: Lessons Learned,” provides new information about investigations of local police departments by the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
PERF conducted research on the consent decrees that have been implemented over nearly 20 years, and convened a meeting of officials from cities that have experienced consent decrees, along with members of the DOJ Special Litigation Section.
The result is this document, which details the substantive issues – for example, which aspects of policing tend to trigger DOJ investigations – and the procedural issues, such as how DOJ and local officials negotiate reform packages and how they decide when police departments have achieved compliance with the requirements. This report provides the information police departments need to ensure they have the policies, training, and management and supervision systems to ensure a high level of Constitutionally sound policing.