En español The City of Salem is conducting a performance audit of the Police Department's policies, procedures and programs with a focus on interactions with unsheltered individuals; interactions with individuals experiencing behavioral health crises; engagement with our community with particular attention to black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC); response to assemblies and crowds; department capacity; use of force: and officer accountability. The resulting recommendations will be informed by best practice and consider the context of the City's budget and available resources, and community capacity.
Community Policing Performance Audit
Why a performance audit?
There are several issues of community concern for which the Salem Police Department is a principal responder, regardless of whether an activity is criminal. City Council and the community want to better understand how Salem police officers prepare for and interact with unsheltered individuals and individuals experiencing behavioral health crises. Peaceful assemblies, permitted protests and demonstrations, and impromptu crowds can require a Police Department presence or response. Police officers are challenged with balancing responses to calls and unobligated patrol time, where officers may have opportunities to engage with residents in productive ways and build relationships. Officer accountability is essential to maintaining public trust. Review and adjudication processes must be fair to all and complainants must have confidence that their grievances have been considered by the Police Department and City without bias or predisposition. Police officers must have confidence in the integrity and competence of their colleagues.
The performance audit is guided by several questions.
Are the Police Department's policies and tactics aligned with City Council and community values and expectations?
What is the Department's capacity for community policing?
How effective are Salem police officers in engaging with all Salem residents? How effective is the Department's engagement with youth? Are the Department's policies, tactics, or training biased or discriminatory?
How effective are the Police Department and City's systems, policies, and procedures for officer accountability?