Modem police culture tolerates or cultivates police misconduct and corruption in many ways. Failures to identify, monitor, and discipline "problem" officers; a belief that violence is a necessary part of law enforcement; and the code of silence; are organizational characteristics that need to be addressed in order to remedy organizational failures to hold law enforcement officers accountable. In order to address these cultural characteristics, police departments should carefully select police officers less likely to engage in these behaviors and adhere to these beliefs. Viewed through the lens of stakeholder participation, however, a fundamental shift should occur regarding how these new officers are selected. Consistent with the principles of community policing, police departments should develop processes to allow the community to participate in the selection and recruitment process. Although community involvement in the selection of officers has long been a component of many departments' implementation of community policing, when suggesting or implementing organizational reform, there has been no requirement or even incentives to support the involvement of the community in this way. Therefore, this Article asserts that true "democratic policing" allows for the participation of the community in all aspects of policing, and that this involvement should begin as early as recruitment and selection of the police officers who will serve the community. This Article offers a modest proposal for ways in which the federal government could encourage or incentivize the inclusion of the community in the hiring and selection process. Specifically, this Article advocates that the federal government should require police departments within its jurisdiction pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 14141 to implement such programs. Furthermore, for jurisdictions that have not come within the purview of the United States Department of Justice's ("DOJ") federal pattern or practice authority, the government should encourage and incentivize local community involvement in hiring police officers by making grants to departments that devise successful programs.

This abstract has been adapted from the author's introduction.

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32 Saint Louis University Public Law Review 7-32 (2012)


Written for the symposium Control of Police Misconduct in a Post-Exclusionary Rule World: Can It Be Done? (2012) at Saint Louis University School of Law.