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Chuck Magdalena

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¨  Is excessive use of force in policing a systematic problem?
  What are your thoughts on the death penalty and racial profiling?

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Do you believe there is excessive use of force in policing in if it is a systematic problem?

ANSWER from Chuck Magdalena on 30 June 2006:
It's not a question of my belief, it's a fact.  Yes, excessive force does exist in American policing today.  It is always against departmental or agency policy and usually against the law as well.  A professional and accountable agency will have internal procedures in place to identify instances of its officers using excessive force and to take corrective action quickly.  That's why a formal citizen complaint process is vital for a law enforcement agency to have.  An officer or deputy must use only that force necessary to take the arrestee into custody.  Once the person is secured and no longer a flight risk or a danger to himself or others, no further force is allowed.  The good news is that the percentage of arrests where excessive force is proven to have occurred is small and getting smaller.

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Do you believe in the death penalty?  What do you think about racial profiling?

ANSWER from Chuck Magdalena on 25 June 2006:
Support for or against the death penalty doesn’t affect how an officer does his or her job.  He rarely has any influence on what only a judge or jury can determine.

Police officers come from the ranks of human beings and they bring with them values that sometimes include racial bias.  The employment screening process should weed out applicants with overt racial prejudices.  I know of no law enforcement agency that practices racial profiling.  We do however, use criminal profiling which focuses on behavior, patterns and probability.

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Last Updated:
10 July 2006

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