, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 184-197

The Debate over Police Reform: Examining Minority Support for Citizen Oversight and Resistance by Police Unions

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Abstract

Researchers have argued that the creation of citizen oversight often involves debate between those that support its use and the police which do not. Police unions, for example, have a long history of objecting to the creation of oversight, especially during collective bargaining. Minority demands for police reform, on the other hand, can lend support for its implementation, especially after a highly publicized case of misconduct between the police and minority citizens. Using a retrospective approach, this study examined the extent to which these opposing forces influenced the existence of oversight. Findings suggest that departments that engage in collective bargaining were no more likely to use an oversight agency than departments that did not engage in collective bargaining. Cities with large percentages of African Americans, however, were more likely to have an existing oversight agency.