P1 First Person: The use (and misuse) of IA

By John Hein
PoliceOne Member

Any law enforcement officer knows the internal affairs function investigates allegations of wrong doing by officers and others. In some departments internal affairs may be a well-run, ethical function, while in others it may be used by management as a tool for self-serving purposes.

Whether an internal affairs unit is used as a department asset, to protect the department and the people in it, or is used as a tool to control and manipulate the personnel system, is up to department leadership. 

Leaders have the option of directing an ethical department, along with a fair internal affairs function, or managing a corrupt department with unprincipled internal investigations.

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