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Civil Rights and Law Enforcement Intelligence

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 74 Issue: 6 Dated: June 2007 Pages: 34-36-38
David L. Carter; Thomas J. Martinelli
Date Published
June 2007
4 pages
This article addresses civil rights issues related to the Information Sharing Environment developed to maximize information sharing among all levels of government in law enforcement intelligence and steps to take to ensure the protection of citizens’ civil rights.
The following steps taken by law enforcement intelligence can assure the public that it has made a reasonable effort to comply with recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings pertaining to best police practices in accordance with the increased need for police vigilance in the post-September 11 era: (1) implementation of a privacy policy, security policy, and a management policy; (2) implementation of an intelligence awareness training program, zero-tolerance policy training, and training on agency police fused with center policy; (3) assurance of compliance with policies and procedures on effective supervision; (4) public education or informing the public of law enforcement intelligence initiatives; (5) a clearly understood intelligence function process; (6) mandatory periodic internal audits of intelligence processes, and (7) attainment of competent legal counsel as best preventive measure in potential allegations of civil rights violations. As intelligence gathering becomes standard practice for agencies at all levels, the practice will draw greater scrutiny from civil rights activists to ensure that information is collected, retained, and disseminated by law enforcement agencies in a lawful and ethical manner. Notes