“The issue of whether some form of citizen review is appropriate may have been settled from the public's viewpoint. Three-fourths of the largest cities in the United States have established some form of citizen law enforcement review. These actions represent a de facto public finding that the civilian oversight is an appropriate response to the problem of law enforcement malpractice….citizen review systems are almost universally considered to have greater legitimacy in the communities they serve.”
“Clearly, developing community-especially minority community-confidence that law enforcement will be held accountable for its actions is important in and of itself. It is a cold reality that many minority citizens lack confidence in internal review. Without trust in law enforcement accountability, racial tensions may rise, with tragic consequences for the community. Even a review system perfect in an administrative and legal sense would be problematic for its municipality if the community did not believe in its integrity. Civilianization of law enforcement review systems can be part of the larger effort of community policing, leading to greater acceptance of the legitimacy of the review.”
The Police Chief Magazine November 2015
Law enforcement protects and serves us, the people. We have the constitutional right (and responsibility) to ensure that they are accountable to the people and that they serve and protect ALL of the people us equally and consistently.
The Vermont Constitution
Article 5. [Internal police]
That the people of this state by their legal representatives, have the sole, inherent, and exclusive right of governing and regulating the internal police of the same.
Article 6. [Officers servants of the people]
That all power being originally inherent in and co[n]sequently derived from the people, therefore, all officers of government, whether legislative or executive, are their trustees and servants; and at all times, in a legal way, accountable to them.
Article 7. [Government for the people; they may change it]
That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community, and not for the particular emolument or advantage of any single person, family, or set of persons, who are a part only of that community; and that the community hath an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right, to reform or alter government, in such manner as shall be, by that community, judged most conducive to the public weal.