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Washington, DC – U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland told a virtual conference of the International Association of Police Chiefs (IAPC) on Monday that he was launching new rules governing the monitors charged with overseeing police reforms in specific jurisdictions.
Garland quickly established himself as an aggressive enforcer of police reforms after he was appointed by President Joe Biden and has launched “pattern or practice” investigations so far in the Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Louisville police departments, The Washington Post reported.
The attorney general said the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had completed a four-month review of the monitoring teams who were being assigned to oversee changes at local levels and assessed the effectiveness and what they were costing the local jurisdictions. Monitoring teams have typically billed local taxpayers between $1 million and $2 million annually, and some monitors have served on teams in more than one city at the same time, The Washington Post reported.
He said there have been concerns about conflict of interest in those cases. If monitors draw out the process for longer, they get paid more money.
“It is also no secret that the monitorships associated with some of those settlements have led to frustrations and concerns within the law enforcement community. We hear you, and we take those concerns seriously,” Garland told the police chiefs at the virtual conference.
The attorney general said that going forward, “monitors must be incentivized to efficiently bring consent decrees to an end. Change takes time, but a consent decree cannot last forever,” The Washington Post reported.
Federal consent decrees have been widely criticized as expensive and ineffective in the past.
The new rules – crafted by U.S. Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta and released in a nine-page document – said that going forward, monitoring teams would be given term limits before they were hired and would be subject to periodic performance reviews conducted by the federal judge in charge of the settlement, The Washington Post reported.
The judge could make changes to the arrangements if they weren’t satisfied with the progress, according to the DOJ.The memo said that in order for the monitor to continue after the […]
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