Areas of Concern for Police Administration | My Paper Hub
Police Oversight and Social Media ~Police administ...
Police Oversight and Social Media ~
Police administrators in the contemporary society are faced with
many problems. Some of these are the day to day challenges that most civilians
can also identify with. Concerns for police administrators or law enforcement
officers can easily be identified by applying historical information and using
intuition besides evaluating data to foresee possible future trends. The
society needs to be more vigilant and focused when scrutinizing concerns for
police administrators since each year comes about with its own set of triumphs
and drawbacks. Some of the critical issues confronting police administrators in
the modern society include oversight and social media. The concerns are hereby
addressed by carefully reviewing real-life situations that authors have written
about in news articles. The issues are discussed, and recommendations for how
police administrators should deal with the concerns are highlighted.
Oversight/Federal Agency Involvement
The Justice department among other federal agencies has been
primarily involved in local police matters in recent years. Such moves are
greatly attributed to political pressure or a history of sheriff or police
department failures across the country. The trend should be looked into
regardless of what the causes of oversight are purported to be. A lot can be
learned from available consent decrees, monitors, published reports, and
documents involving federal agencies. It’s essential to fully understand the
federal process and establish the factors leading to oversight. A brief look at
an article written by Candice Norwood in The Atlantic gives more insights about
In the article, Norwood clearly states her intention that
California is a perfect case study for police misconduct as captured by her
headline. She kicks off by asking if the state should compensate if the
attorney general absconds his oversight authority in which he’s expected to
monitor and intervene in local departments. The question is rhetorical. Norwood
then goes on to state that the policing in California played a vital role in
the development of federal oversight of local police administrators more than
two decades ago. This was about the policies put in place after the infamous
beating of Rodney King in 1991 that led to the costliest civil unrest in the
history of the United States. The riots prompted the then Congress to maximize
the authority of the attorney general and allow him to monitor police
departments. The author is concerned that the new Justice Department is opposed
to that power and is worried that California police departments may slide back
to their old habits. She also elaborates examples of cases where previous
presidents like Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama implemented policies that
embraced the oversight authority and regulated police officers over
unconstitutional conduct. Unfortunately, the current president, Mr. Trump and
his Attorney General, Mr. Sessions do not want to uphold the policies citing
they hinder the morale of police officers(Norwood, 2017).
Although the attorney general and the president may have a point
in saying oversights have a negative impact on police administrators, they seem
more like they are interested in protecting the police more than they should
protect the public. What happened in the summer of 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri
when a police officer killed Michael Brown could be commonplace. The shooting
shocked millions of people and led to protests since civilians were infuriated
by the militaristic response of the local police and their brutality(Serwer, 2017). Mr. Trump and Mr. Session should, in fact, take
the matter seriously and implement the policies in all states to protect
civilians and ensure that police administrators do not abuse their authority.
Police reform advocates are currently debating over policy in which the
attorney general will be granted powers to monitor, investigate, and order for
structural changes in troubled departments in a similar way the federal Justice
Department. Such adjustments may include bias training or making amendments to
the way a department uses force. The proposal has its roots in California, the
only state that authorizes the attorney general to get involved in this kind of
Social media and smartphones are arguably the biggest things of
the current generation. The usage of tablets and smartphones is reported to
have grown by 20 percent as per the Internet Trend 2014 (IACP, 2014). The data
means more people are inclined to using the internet to access any information
they want particularly via social media. Unfortunately, some people have
decided to use social media for the wrong reasons. In the modern world, police
cases are now tried on social media in the court of public opinion. The most
popular catchphrase is “officer caught on video…” which usually implies that
the police officer was busted for doing something wrong. Complainants are now
using social media to publicize cases as much as they can in a bid to bias the
jury. Police administrators have been compelled to take to social media and
defend the actions of officers being victimized. However, the move seems like a
double-edged sword since maintaining silence on the next incidence will drive
the public to believe there’s something nefarious being hidden. There are also
incidences where criminals or activists and hacktivists take to social media to
expose police cases or persons under investigation. One incidence where
hacktivists got into the way of police is well described in a Global News
article by Aldis Brennan.
In the article, the Anonymous “hacktivist” group issues an
ultimatum to the Nova Scotia police to reopen a particular case (Rehtaeh
Parsons), or they would expose four boys whom they believed had committed the
crime. They later recanted their threat after they were humbly requested to by
the Parsons family. The vice president of Social Media for Vision Critical, Mr.
Alexandra Samuel, a social media expert in the article is torn whether to agree
with the actions of the hacktivists or disagree with the practice. He says
identifying and shaming criminal offenders via social media may have its place
since it’s vigilante like but it’s equally a crime at the same time. He further
states that such an expose also puts the criminal justice system in the
spotlight and terms such skills as ones that would bring about policy issues on
the “miscarriage of justice”(Brennan, 2013).
an instance brings out to the public the notion that the criminal justice
system has limitations and is bound to fail in its pursuits. Social media can
easily interfere with a police investigation in the current society. While the
anonymous group may have threatened to expose the perpetrators of the crime,
this would as well be an alert for them to scamper away for safety. The police
may have had the confidential information that the group brought to light and
therefore make it even hard for them to pursue the criminals. Nonetheless, a
Toronto lawyer by the name Lorne Honickman in the article suggests that social
media can be utilized responsibly to assist policing. Police administrators
should come up with policies that will ensure social media users do not
interfere with their investigations and render the act as a felony, punishable
by law. Police administrators should also embrace social media, but should not
be over-zealous in its use. To make things simple, they should come up with a
sound and reasonable social media policy that they should stick to regardless
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