CO-OP Reports and recommendations 2008-2015

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CO-OP Cumulative Takeaways

IA Recommendations

  • All conclusions contained in an investigative report should be substantiated by facts obtained during the investigation.
  • There should be a more serious and concerted attempt to follow-up with witnesses or complaining parties when there is no response to notices that are sent to them. This follow-up should include a visit to the home if necessary.
  • A statement of the reason for not sustaining a complaint should be provided to the complainant in the final letter they receive from the Superintendent.
  • A study should be conducted by an independent researcher to determine the reasons numerous individuals are not exercising the right to appeal.
  • Complaint forms should be made available at locations other than a police station. Serious consideration should be given to the complaint form being translated into languages other than English. 
  • All complainants should be notified, in writing, and at 90-day intervals, of the status and progress of their investigations.
  • A uniform procedure should be implemented to insure that, during internal affairs investigative interviews, all departmental employees are notified of the department’s zero tolerance policy towards untruthfulness and of the consequences for failure to comply. 

Training Recommendations

  • Officers should be trained and instructed to avoid actions which may “escalate” encounters with citizens or create unnecessary dangers. 
  • Citizens should be made aware of the reason an officer has stopped them when that information is requested. 

Structure of Co-Op Recommendations

  • It is important that investigators respond in a timely and thorough manner to questions raised and inquiries made by panel members. 
  • The Superintendent should regularly monitor the implementation of recommendations from the Panel and provide periodic updates to the Panel. 
  • If the number of cases appealed remains low, some adjustment upward in the number of random cases that are reviewed should be considered. 
  • The Panel should be able to review a limited number of sustained cases so that they can obtain a more balanced perspective of the entire operation in IAD. 
  • There should be a clear understanding of the need for transparency of data in regard to number, types and outcome of complaints. 
  • The Complaint Mediation Program that was originally envisioned and incorporated into the Mayor’s Executive order should be implemented. 
  • The Community Ombudsman Oversight Panel should have an operating budget so that basic decisions in regard to training, research, communications, public relations, and data collection can be done in a more efficient and independent manner. 

Policies & Procedures Recommendations

  • The department should amend the Use of Force Policy, Rule 304, to require, explicitly, the reporting of any use of force, by any means that results in either obvious injury or a request for medical treatment.
  • The department should incorporate the First Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Glik v. Cunniffe into its recruit and in-service training curricula to ensure that officers respond appropriately to citizen use of cell phone cameras and similar devices to record officers in the performance of their duties.
  • The department should continue strict enforcement of Rule 327A, which governs the department’s response to allegations of domestic violence against sworn officers and should offer additional support to affected officers such as counseling and/or an Employee Assistance Program.
  • The department should amend Special Order 97-35, which prohibits officers from issuing motor vehicle citations relating to traffic incidents in which they are involved, to specifically encompass and prohibit officers from issuing parking tickets in similar circumstances.

Oversight Recommendations

  • Establishment of City of Boston Community Office of Police Accountability (COPA)
  • Citizen Complaints: Filing, Intake and Screening 
  • Investigation of Citizen Complainants
  • Resolution of Complaints: We recommend that the City establish a Police Review Board and appoint at least 7 but no more than 11 “board members” 
  • Civilian Oversight
  • Use of Force Investigations

CO-OP ANNUAL REPORT 2008

IA Recommendations

  • All conclusions contained in an investigative report should be substantiated by facts obtained during the investigation.
  • There should be a more serious and concerted attempt to follow-up with witnesses or complaining parties when there is no response to notices that are sent to them. This follow-up should include a visit to the home if necessary.
  • A statement of the reason for not sustaining a complaint should be provided to the complainant in the final letter they receive from the Superintendent.
  • A study should be conducted by an independent researcher to determine the reasons numerous individuals are not exercising the right to appeal.
  • Complaint forms should be made available at locations other than a police station. Serious consideration should be given to the complaint form being translated into languages other than English. 

Training Recommendations

  • Officers should be trained and instructed to avoid actions which may “escalate” encounters with citizens or create unnecessary dangers. 
  • Citizens should be made aware of the reason an officer has stopped them when that information is requested. 

Structure of Co-Op Recommendations

  • It is important that investigators respond in a timely and thorough manner to questions raised and inquiries made by panel members. 
  • The Superintendent should regularly monitor the implementation of recommendations from the Panel and provide periodic updates to the Panel. 
  • If the number of cases appealed remains low, some adjustment upward in the number of random cases that are reviewed should be considered. 
  • The Panel should be able to review a limited number of sustained cases so that they can obtain a more balanced perspective of the entire operation in IAD. 
  • There should be a clear understanding of the need for transparency of data in regard to number, types and outcome of complaints. 
  • The Complaint Mediation Program that was originally envisioned and incorporated into the Mayor’s Executive order should be implemented. 
  • The Community Ombudsman Oversight Panel should have an operating budget so that basic decisions in regard to training, research, communications, public relations, and data collection can be done in a more efficient and independent manner. 

CO-OP 2009

IA Recommendations

  • All conclusions contained in an investigative report should be substantiated by facts obtained during the investigation. 
  • There should be a more serious and concerted attempt to follow‐up with witnesses or complaining parties when there is no response to notices that are sent to them.  This follow‐up should include a visit to the home if necessary. 
  • A statement of the reason for not sustaining a complaint should be provided to the complainant in the final letter they receive from the Superintendent. 
  • A study should be conducted by an independent researcher to determine the reasons numerous individuals are not exercising the right to appeal. 
  • Complaint forms should be made available at locations other than a police station.  Serious consideration should be given to the complaint from being translated into languages other than 

Training Recommendations

  • Officers should be trained and instructed to avoid actions which may “escalate” encounters with citizens or create unnecessary dangers. 
  • Citizens should be made aware of the reason an officer has stopped them when that information is

Structure of CO-OP Recommendations

  • It is important that investigators respond in a timely and thorough manner to questions raised and inquiries made by panel members. 
  • The Superintendent should regularly monitor the implementation of recommendations from the Panel and provide periodic update 
  • If the number of cases appealed remains low, some adjustment upward in the number of random cases that are reviewed should be considered. 
  • The Panel should be able to review a limited number of sustained cases so that they can obtain a more balanced perspective of the entire operation in IAD. 
  • There should be a clear understanding of the need for transparency of data in regard to number, types and outcome of complaints. 
  • The Complaint Mediation Program that was originally envisioned and incorporated into the Mayor’s Executive order should be implemented. 
  • The Community Ombudsman Oversight Panel should have an operating budget so that basic decisions in regard to training, research, communications, public relations, and data collection can be done in a more efficient and independent manner

CO-OP 2010

CO-OP 2012

IA Recommendations

  • All complainants should be notified, in writing, and at 90-day intervals, of the status and progress of their investigations.
  • A uniform procedure should be implemented to insure that, during internal affairs investigative interviews, all departmental employees are notified of the department’s zero tolerance policy towards untruthfulness and of the consequences for failure to comply. 

Policies & Procedures Recommendations

  • The department should amend the Use of Force Policy, Rule 304, to require, explicitly, the reporting of any use of force, by any means that results in either obvious injury or a request for medical treatment.
  • The department should incorporate the First Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Glik v. Cunniffe into its recruit and in-service training curricula to ensure that officers respond appropriately to citizen use of cell phone cameras and similar devices to record officers in the performance of their duties.
  • The department should continue strict enforcement of Rule 327A, which governs the department’s response to allegations of domestic violence against sworn officers and should offer additional support to affected officers such as counseling and/or an Employee Assistance Program.
  • The department should amend Special Order 97-35, which prohibits officers from issuing motor vehicle citations relating to traffic incidents in which they are involved, to specifically encompass and prohibit officers from issuing parking tickets in similar circumstances.

CO-OP 2013

CO-OP 2014

CO-OP 2015

CO-OP 2015 Recommendations

  • Establishment of City of Boston Community Office of Police Accountability (COPA)
  • Citizen Complaints: Filing, Intake and Screening 
  • Investigation of Citizen Complainants
  • Resolution of Complaints: We recommend that the City establish a Police Review Board and appoint at least 7 but no more than 11 “board members” 
  • Civilian Oversight
  • Use of Force Investigations

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