Such announcements have become almost a national ritual in this moment of heightened sensitivity to police conduct, a ready federal response to the charges of bias and abuse that have risen against law enforcement agencies across the country. But as the Obama administration has ratcheted up its oversight of state and local law-enforcement agencies, using a year-old law to impose reforms on police forces that show a pattern of civil rights violations, questions about the effectiveness of those interventions have also been on the rise.
The information activities of law enforcement can be broken into three categories. Gathering and analyzing information to determine that a law has been violated; Gathering and analyzing information to determine the identity of the person or persons responsible for a violation of law; and Gathering and analyzing information to enable a legal showing in court that the person or persons identified in fact were guilty of the violation.
All of these gathering and analysis activities have been altered in basic ways by functional advancements in the technologies that have become available for collecting, storing, and manipulating data. In actual practice, these categories can overlap or the activities in each category can occur in several temporal sequences.
When a police officer observes someone breaking a law, the officer is determining that a law has been violated, Issues that plague law enforcement personnel essay information about who broke the law presumably the person he or she is observingand gaining evidence that may be introduced in court the testimony of the officer.
The essential difference between these categories is the locus or subject about which the information is gathered. In the first category concerning the breaking of a law, the locus of information is the event or activity.
In the second sort of activity, the locus is the determination of an individual or set of individuals involved in the activity.
In the third category, information associated with categories one and two are combined in an attempt to link the two in a provable way. Although activities in the first category usually precede those in the second, this is not always the case.
This is one of the rationales for certain kinds of undercover activity and is frequently regarded as more controversial. Page Share Cite Suggested Citation: The National Academies Press.
A case in which an individual is targeted to see if he or she has violated a law is conceptually and legally and morally different from a case in which information is gathered about an individual as part of an investigation into a known or suspected violation of law or in which there are other grounds for suspicion.
In the former case, information may be gathered about individuals who in fact were not involved in a violation—which is different in kind from the task of assembling information about an individual in the hope of finding a violation of law.
The potential for data gathering targeted at a particular individual or set of individuals to aid in the discovery of previously unknown violations of the law, or the risk that data gathered by law enforcement may be used for political or harassment purposes, often underlies efforts to restrict the kinds of information that law enforcement agencies can gather and the ways in which it is gathered.
Even if the information is never used, the very fact that considerable amounts of data have been collected about individuals who have not been accused or convicted of a crime ensures that substantial amounts of information about non-criminals will end up in the databases of law enforcement agencies.
Moreover, with such data a permanent part of their files, citizens may be concerned that this information will eventually be misused or mistakenly released, even if they are not suspects in any crime. They may even engage in self-censorship, and refrain from expressing unpopular opinions.
For individuals in this position, issues such as recourse for police misbehavior or carelessness are thus very important. Nor are worries about the gathering of information by law enforcement agencies restricted to how that information could be used in legal proceedings. Such proceedings are governed by the laws and professional ethics that protect the privacy of the individual, and the inappropriate use in a criminal context of information gathered by law enforcement agencies can be balanced by judicial review.
For example, watch lists, such as those used by the Transportation Security Agency, are not subject to the same level of scrutiny as evidence in a court of law yet can still affect the lives of those whose names appear on such lists. What is new are the modern information technologies that law enforcement agencies can now use to observe situations and identify individuals more quickly, more accurately, and at less expense than ever before.
These technologies include surveillance cameras, large-scale databases, and analytical techniques that enable the extraction of useful information from large masses of otherwise irrelevant information.
The sections that follow describe a number of technologies that allow law enforcement agencies expanded capabilities to observe, to listen, and to gather information about the population.
Just as the ability to tap phone lines offered law enforcement new tools to gather evidence in the past century, so also these new technologies expand opportunities to discover breaches in the law, identify those responsible, and collect the evidence needed to prosecute. And just like the ability to tap telephones, these new technologies raise concerns about the privacy of those who are—rightly or wrongly—the targets of the new technologies.
Use of the technologies discussed requires careful consideration of the resulting tension posed between two legitimate and sometimes competing goals: Using the anchoring vignette approach described in Chapter 2 see Box 2.
Here are a number of possibilities:But it is the more systemic investigations – in which state or municipal law-enforcement agencies are suspected of engaging in a “pattern or practice” of civil rights violations – that.
Torture (from Latin tortus: to twist, to torment) is the act of deliberately inflicting severe physical or psychological suffering on someone by another as a punishment or in order to fulfill some desire of the torturer or force some action from the victim. Torture, by definition, is a knowing and intentional act; deeds which unknowingly or negligently .
Aug 08, · Tools for Tolerance for Law Enforcement helps law enforcement professionals explore the evolving role of law enforcement in a rapidly changing, increasingly diverse and complex society. Tools for Tolerance for Command Staff focuses on the unique challenges facing command-level personnel and policy makers in an increasingly democratic and.
Apr 11, · Watch video · "Departments must break the silence on law enforcement suicides by building up effective and continuing suicide-prevention programs." More: A new emphasis on mental health for cops, other officers.
In a town, law enforcement and the people around them have the same views on most topics, and those law enforcers will be a mirror for the people.
Changing cultures to have a point of view to benefit and be able to love everyone is hard, but will make more of an effect on whole populations. Law enforcement is torn between needing the cooperation of immigrants to help solve crimes and the financial incentives and political pressures to help enforce immigration laws.
Can receiving countries ethically design laws that apply differently to citizens and noncitizens?