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Consent Decree

Bob Scales, who previously served as the compliance coordinator for Seattle PD, discusses what happens when a police agency is placed under a consent decree
RMS
How will issues like police reform, staffing challenges and cybersecurity shape the future of the profession?
A need for stronger community relationships and greater transparency of operations has caused many local governments to engage with police oversight programs
“It’s clear that cooperation ... and progress accelerated dramatically over the past few months due to the hard work of people in the courtroom and other officers you work with,” a U.S. district judge said. “Their efforts are paying off”
The consent decree was one of the longest in the country and resulted from a 1969 civil rights lawsuit against city police
This is the first stage of an administrative shakeup Chief Brian O’Hara believes is necessary to prepare for monitorship under a federal consent decree
U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan’s comments raised doubts that the city would soon be granted a reprieve from federal oversight
The mayor and police chief said the oversight places an unnecessary bureaucratic burden on a department short on personnel amid a boost in violent crime
The consent decree, one of the first in the country enacted by a state official, is expected to last approximately five years
Rather than simply pushing those goals to the next year, Natashia Tidwell, the independent monitor, said “more needs to be done”
Former AG Jeff Sessions previously called Baltimore “one of the most tragic examples” of how such agreements impose restrictions on police officers
Jeff Sessions had previously criticized the civil rights decree designed to reform the Baltimore Police Department, saying it was linked to rising crime
A semi-annual report released by the independent monitoring team overseeing the consent decree says “significant” work remains in completing reform measures
The consent decree came following the fatal 2014 OIS of Michael Brown
Study concludes a reduction in proactive stops by Chicago police officers was responsible for the spike in homicides and shootings
The next step is to choose residents of the city for a new police oversight committee
In an op-ed, Jeff Sessions said consent decrees “handcuff police instead of the criminals” and hurt communities
DOJ
Fourteen police departments are currently working under reform agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice
Jeff Sessions represents “a new sheriff” at DOJ
Under Obama, the Justice Department entered into agreements with 12 police departments, four times as many as under President George W. Bush
The Justice Department agreement mandates changes in the most fundamental aspects of police work