These self-serving arguments perpetuate archaic policies. Outsourcing misconduct investigations to civilians would directly address community concerns about the “blue wall of silence.” Officers who fear retaliation for reporting misconduct would feel more comfortable working with an external agency. In this system, complaints such as Dorner’s about the vindictiveness of superiors would all but disappear.
Using sergeants and detectives as internal affairs investigators costs police departments a lot. These supervisors are paid more and have more seniority. Assigning seasoned officers to internal affairs also depletes the number of field personnel who could prevent mistakes and misconduct by patrol officers in the first place. Outsourcing misconduct investigations would be far less expensive and would let veteran supervisors do the jobs they should be doing.
And why shouldn’t every police contact with the community — every traffic stop, every interrogation — be recorded on video? If Dorner and his partner had had a cop-cam, his claim that his partner used excessive force might have been resolved the same day. There’s just no excuse for not recording police contacts with the public. Technology has made cameras effective and affordable. Some officers already record their arrests to protect themselves against false allegations of misconduct. This should be standard operating procedure.