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Police Accountability Measures

January 25, 2021
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WRITTEN BY Dr. Jenny Bratburd

Senate Bill 60 aims to enhance law enforcement accountability through a variety of measures including restricting use of force, requiring public reports on deadly use of force, eliminating no-knock warrants, requiring de-escalation training, changing officer certification requirements, restricting acquisition of certain military surplus equipment.

Highlights

  • Trust in police is at an all time low, and surveys indicate a wide gap between Black and White people in their trust of police.
  • There is some evidence that de-escalation training, restrictions on use of force, and improving documentation practices can enhance public safety, reduce officer involved fatalities, and also enhance officer safety.

Limitations

  • There is a limited amount of research and data collected on many accountability efforts to assess impact on safety of civilians, officers, and impact on public trust.
  • Many analyses focus on department level changes, which may depend on local factors like departmental leadership. It is unclear if state-level direction might change outcomes. Specific implementation of policies may vary, impacting outcomes.
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