Wednesday, September 19, 2007

There is a need to worry.

By now most of us had the opportunity to see or at least hear the taser incident at the University of Florida this past weekend. What I find interesting is the statement made by the university spokesman Steve Orlando, "The police department does have a standard procedure for when they use force, including when they use a Taser. That is what the internal investigation would address — whether the proper procedures were followed, whether the officers acted appropriately."

Okay, Steve is letting us all know that the police department had a plan and now an internal investigation will determine if the plan was followed. Great, yet I would like to know if the plan had a procedure that addressed accountability for its members. Can you imagine if this internal investigation is that process? Would there even be any thought of following the plan (or accountability) if it wasn’t for the YouTube video? Perhaps the department is just happy that the investigation is internal and not being investigated by an external source.

Should the ownership of accountability fall with the internal investigation? The police officers? The video? The man that was tasered? Or his attorney?

I had a mentor who believed that sometimes folks only think about accountability when they hit their wall. Unfortunately I believe that she was right. Why is it that some only react to situations while others plan for them? Why are ownership lines of accountability too easily passed to others? Is integrity challenged when people are quick to point the finger and not look in the mirror?
When you have undesirable results, who should ask why?

1 comment:

tm said...

From UF President's website -
President Machen comments on FDLE review of student arrest
October 24, 2007
Dear students, faculty and staff,
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement forwarded late last week its review of the University of Florida Police Department’s actions in the arrest of student Andrew Meyer.
The report is more than 300 pages and includes many hours of taped interviews of witnesses. A full review of the document to remove information protected by privacy laws may take another week or more.
However, because I believe it is important for you to at least know the findings, we are releasing the report’s 17-page executive summary today. In short, the FDLE determined that our officers acted well within state guidelines.
The two officers, who were placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, were reinstated by the University Police Department this morning and are back on normal duty. I have full confidence in the police department, which has a solid record and remains focused on keeping our campus safe.
Triangulation of data is important.