Board needs police

The new proposed board to investigate police incidents is to be wholly civilian within five years. I think that is a mistake. Based upon the long-accepted practice that only peers should investigate peers, unless a crime has been committed, self-governing professions will investigate and discipline an offending member. The first consideration of the profession must be the public welfare.

The offending member is tried under administration law, which no one really understands except the governing professional, which acts like a combination of detective, prosecutor, judge, jury and hangman.

If the offending member feels that he or she has been too harshly ragged, an appeal against the professional judgement can be made to the Supreme Court.

I believe that self-governing professions have done a reasonable job of maintaining public trust.

However, a few recent police investigations of their peers have shown a bias, which is the reason for the creation of this office. Only experienced police officers know the situation on the firing line and only experienced police officers know when that fine line has been crossed.

Civilians, no matter how many Tom Clancy novels they have read ,cannot learn this experience vicariously. Therefore, if the new board is composed of five members, two of them should be experienced police officers. Their participation should assist the civilian members to avoid mistakes and render just decisions. Otherwise there could be appeals, where a judge will listen to the testimony of expert witnesses who will likely be experienced police officers.

It is much better to have experienced police officers involved in the original decision, which should be a better decision and should minimize later chances of appeal.

G.B. Miller

Shirley

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