Citizen oversight in the United States and Canada: an overview
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Police misconduct and corruption have the potential to erode public trust and confidence in both policing and government agencies. Repeat accounts of law enforcement officials engaging in deviant acts have prompted greater citizen involvement in the review of officer behavior. However, citizen oversight has had a contentious history in both the USA and Canada, with most challenges expressed by law enforcement officers whose behavior often comes under scrutiny. This article provides a review of how citizen oversight has evolved in both nations, as well as an examination of contemporary models of this accountability practice. This review reveals that operational differences exist between the different oversight models and that external factors such as political, police, and public support, as well as budgetary considerations also impact the procedural outcomes of citizen oversight. We conclude with a discussion of the future prospects and challenges to citizen oversight of the police.
Police Practice and Research
Police Administration, Procedures and Practice