Since the 1950s, when civilian oversight was first implemented in some American police departments, its use has grown and a variety of new forms have developed. Established to improve community relations, enhance transparency and increase accountability, all of these programs have the ultimate goal of improving the quality of local policing and thereby increasing public safety. To develop a better understanding of oversight programs in their various forms, how they have evolved over time, and the challenges to implementing them, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) collaborated with the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) to conduct a survey of MCCA member agencies. This publication discusses the results of that survey and the outcome of the round table held to discuss it. In doing so, it provides an overview of civilian oversight in major city police agencies.
Civilian Oversight of the Police in Major Cities
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services