(Washington, DC) The District’s police oversight office this week approved a model code of ethics developed by a national organization of police accountability agencies. The Police Complaints Board (PCB), which governs the Office of Police Complaints (OPC), adopted the code on November 5, 2007.
The code of ethics, approved last year by the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE), establishes professional and ethical guidelines in the field. The standards further NACOLE’s stated mission of promoting “fair and professional law enforcement responsive to community needs.”
“It’s important that we adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct and that we constantly strive to implement best practices in the field of police oversight,” said Kurt Vorndran, PCB’s chair.
According to Philip K. Eure, OPC’s executive director, “By explicitly adopting NACOLE’s model code of ethics, our agency is recommitting itself to the principles we’ve always followed in order to gain the trust and confidence of the communities that we serve.” In September, Mr. Eure was elected president-elect of NACOLE.
OPC Chief Investigator Kesha Taylor serves on the NACOLE professional standards committee that developed the new guidelines. The code of ethics is based upon the following values:
- Personal integrity
- Independent and thorough oversight
- Transparency and confidentiality
- Respectful and unbiased treatment
- Outreach and relationships with stakeholders
- Agency self-examination and commitment to policy review
- Professional excellence and primary obligation to the community
The police accountability agencies in Seattle and San Jose have also adopted NACOLE’s model.
For more information on NACOLE and the code of ethics, visit http://www.nacole.org. To learn more about the Police Complaints Board and the Office of Police Complaints, visit www.policecomplaints.dc.gov.