43. Arrests/Searches Based On Credit System

Every law enforcement agency (and industry-wide third party responsible for creating a national database for comparison purposes) should be required to keep their own records of every case in which a search was conducted, in which a person was arrested and in which a person was charged with a crime. Every single one of these cases would be tracked through to their final legal resolution.

Each law enforcement agency would earn a certain number of credit points for each case conducted within their jurisdiction depending upon the particular facts of each case. The basic crediting structure would be as follows. A full credit point would be given when a suspect charged with a crime was actually convicted of the crime. A half credit point would be given for each crime a suspect is found to have committed which was not part of the original charges. These half-credits could still be applied regardless of whether the original accusation turns out to be true or false. Credits could also be subtracted from law enforcement agencies when their searches, arrests, or charges turn out to be unfounded. For example, a quarter credit would be subtracted when searches turn out to be unfounded. Half-credits would be subtracted when arrests turn out to be unfounded. A full credit would be subtracted when a suspect has been accused of a crime he did not commit.

This type of crediting structure would tend to incentivize increasingly accurate intelligence gathering methods and decision-making as well as to create a more streamlined and systemic approach to law enforcement in which the courts could more efficiently prosecute against crimes with the flexibility that is often needed as new information is uncovered. The whole idea behind assigning these credits is to develop a system by which law enforcement agencies can prove to the public that they have a reputation for accuracy. This way, whenever they act to arrest or search someone, they would have sufficient credibility (based on their past actions) to automatically justify such actions to any reasonable member of the public. Law enforcement agencies without a sufficiently high credit rating would be significantly restricted (to different degrees depending on their actual credit rating) in how they can autonomously arrest and search individuals. In some cases, certain agencies may be prohibited in autonomously arresting or searching individuals because they have such a poor credit record.

Nevertheless, most law enforcement agencies should not always be required to obtain permission (search warrants, arrest warrants, etc.) from higher authorities or external agencies, like judges or courts, either to carry out searches of people or locations or to arrest and detain individuals. Rather, every law enforcement agency should each be allowed to independently earn the privilege to self-authorize, arrange, approve and perform searches, arrests, etc., by earning a sufficiently high credit rating.

The ‘credit’ rating should be determined in a standard way either statewide or nationwide (preferably) so that a comparison between jurisdictions could be more easily achieved.

These full and half credit points would be combined with the subtracted full and half points and then divided by the total number of arrests and searches taking place within that political jurisdiction (or area over which the law enforcement agency has jurisdiction). The resulting figure would illustrate the total level of actual law enforcement effectiveness of that law enforcement agency or jurisdiction.

However, perhaps a more important credit figure could be determined by dividing the number of full credit points with the total number of searches and arrests conducted throughout that law enforcement’s jurisdiction. This figure would directly reveal what percentage of the time the law enforcement agency accurately suspected criminal activity before taking further action against people. The higher this score or rating is, the more accurate this law enforcement agency is in arresting the correct people and conducting the correct searches. Thus, law enforcement agencies with such ratings below a certain threshold (say 90%, for example) should be required to obtain search warrants and/or arrest warrants from the courts, whereas those with higher credit ratings could approve searches and arrests themselves. In other words, law enforcement agencies need to be correct 9 out of 10 times in order to have earned the privilege to make warrantless arrests and searches. Agencies who abuse this power would have it reflected in their poor credit rating and their ability to conduct warantless arrests and searches would be curtailed or eliminated altogether.

This principle of using a credit system can be applied in a similar way to the use of torture.


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