This report sets forth the lessons that observers and participants have learned about the process of changing police organizations so as to support democracy. It is based on the study of three bodies of literature: studies of efforts to change police practices in the developed democracies, especially in the United States; accounts of the experience with foreign assistance to police abroad under both bilateral and multilateral auspices; and accounts of the actions of nongovernmental human rights organizations to rectify police abuses. More than 500 books, articles, reports, and documents were reviewed in this study. The bibliography attached to this report probably encompasses the largest number of materials on efforts to change police organizations ever collected. Observations about the process of democratic police reform were deemed to be "lessons" if they were generally agreed on, were based on real-world experience, and pertained to the goal of democratic development. The reforms considered most important in developing a police force that supports democracy are creation of a responsive public-service orientation, adherence to the rule of law, protection of human rights, and transparency with respect to the activities of the agency and the people within it.
Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego: http://usmex.ucsd.edu/