Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Recent police killings have prompted a national conversation about the need for police reform. Most conversation has concerned the types of reforms that might improve policing. Equal consideration should be given to which actors can most effectively pursue these reforms. In this Essay, I suggest three qualities that police reformers need to be effective: leverage over law enforcement agencies to demand reforms; motivation to improve policing; and resources to do their work. I use this framework to assess the efficacy of those most commonly called upon to reform the police, propose strengthening reformers in the areas in which they are lacking, and suggest ways in which reformers might collaborate to draw on their comparative strengths.