Police Review Boards?
Since the Times- Standard, for the second day in a row, didn't deliver our paper today, I had to settle for re- reading the Sunday Eureka Reporter while eating breakfast. Noticed an item I didn't catch yesterday on some new coalition formed to establish civilian review boards called the Coalition For Police Review. Oddly, that story wasn't to be found online so I can't provide a link.
One would think a Libertarian would be among the first to support civilian boards to review actions taken by police. I'm a bit ambivalent but I suppose I'd grudgingy support such an effort. I suppose my ambivalence has a bit to do with some background in the law enforcemnet and corrections fields. It also has a lot to do with my dislike for the monday morning quarterbacking so prevalent in our, and probably every other, society. I've always disliked people who weren't there, and might not have any personal experience in a given situation, pointing fingers at the people who were and had to deal with it.
That said, the police do work for the public and are paid by the public and thus the public should probably have some say in the way police perform their duties, or at least some oversight ability. Not to say there isn't some oversight already, but it does make some sense to have some non- law enforcement types reviewing how their police force operates.
There certainly could be a problem with a board being filled with members who are generally hostile to police, but it could also go the other way, as well. Such are the age old problems of democracy and our various boards and commissions that go along with it. The big question, in my mind, is not so much whether there should be police review boards, but how much and what kind of power they should have?