As an organization that values justice, fairness, and equal treatment under the law, the ACLU-CT strongly supports measures to ensure that police are transparent and accountable to the communities they serve. Unfortunately, despite reforms passed into law by the General Assembly, guidance from the Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POST), and best practices outlined by national law enforcement experts such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police, many Connecticut police departments continue to place barriers in front of people who wish to file complaints. An independent statewide office to investigate complaints against police officers would increase police transparency and accountability and give residents recourse when they are mistreated by the very people who are supposed to keep them safe.
Senate Bill 402 recognizes that our state's police complaint process is broken. Rather than forcing victims of police misconduct to navigate a confusing complaint process, wait for years as their complaints become stale in a police department, and never see their complaints resolved, the legislature should pass this bill to create a state office to handle complaints against police.