Local attorney shares NY Bar Association’s 5 suggestions to improve policing

Posted 21 June 2021 at 8:11 am


The New York Bar Association has brought talent from every level together to look at police reform. I write to throw out some of its ideas, almost verbatim, for public debate here.

“A key component of modernizing law enforcement … is rethinking the type of person who should be a police officer and how that officer’s career is managed from being a rookie to a senior leader in the department.”

The report identified five key stages of policing that need enhancement – hiring, training, activities while “on the beat,” monitoring, and disciplining.”

1) All police officers to have college degrees, a professional license and liability insurance;

2) Reform of the curriculum and approaches taught at police academy training and requirements of continued training; aligning (including) police professionals with other professions in terms of education, licensing, and continuous substantive legal training;

3) Reform of hiring practices; that includes diversity and diversity training including district attorneys, public defenders and courts;

4) Change state laws to give communities a way to have some say in alleged police misconduct and discipline while also a) minimizing the influence of police unions on disciplinary actions and b) reforming qualified immunity laws to allow a civil remedy in order to sue over violations of an individual’s rights;

5) Leverage technology to obtain data which will improve monitoring and oversight and strengthen accountability.

Food for thought.

Conrad F. Cropsey