The recent events in Ferguson and many other cities in country highlight the need for greater transparency in law enforcement. There are many cases, every day, in every corner of the country in which some cops lie, abuse or break the rules. This can range from arresting someone on false charges, failing to conduct an objective investigation, targeting a citizen due to personal issues to excessive use of force and cold blooded murder. Unfortunately, often times when a grievance occurs, the same police department is in charge of the investigation of that officer. In the absence of a system that calls for an independent investigation, the least we should expect is a transparent investigation which can be witnessed by all stakeholders. Unfortunately, this is never the case and these investigations, shrouded in secrecy, are rife with cover-ups.
There are many very professional cops who believe in justice and do the right thing. Unfortunately, rogue cops make things harder for the real professional officers to do their work. Currently, there is a high level of distrust and dissatisfaction in the police among the common citizens of this county. This will only grow if measures to make internal investigations more transparent are not implemented.
The goal of making our neighborhoods safer can only be achieved through cooperation between the community and the police. If the community no longer trusts the police, then things will only get worse.
Trust needs to be restored. Transparency is the answer.