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66 Duke L.J. 1191 (2016-2017)
Police Union Contracts

handle is hein.journals/duklr66 and id is 1219 raw text is: 









Duke Law Journal


VOLUME 66                      MARCH 2017                        NUMBER 6



               POLICE UNION CONTRACTS

                            STEPHEN RUSHINt

                                ABSTRACT
       This  Article empirically demonstrates   that police departments'
    internal  disciplinary procedures,  often  established  through   the
    collective bargaining  process,  can  serve  as  barriers  to officer
    accountability.

       Policymakers   have  long  relied on a  handful  of external legal
    mechanisms   like the exclusionary rule, civil litigation, and criminal
    prosecution to incentivize reform in American police departments. In
    theory, these external legal mechanisms should increase the costs borne
    by police departments  in cases of officer misconduct, forcing rational
    police supervisors to enact rigorous disciplinary procedures. But these
    external mechanisms  have failed to bring about organizational change
    in local police departments. This Article argues that state labor law may
    partially explain this failure. Most states permit police officers to
    bargain  collectively over the terms of their employment, including the
    content  of internal disciplinary procedures. This means  that police


Copyright @ 2017 Stephen Rushin.
    t  Assistant Professor, University of Alabama School of Law. Thank you to Amna Akbar,
William Bridge, Jenny Carroll, Jennifer Collins, Joseph Colquitt, Greg Crespi, Laura Dolbow,
Heather Elliott, Mirit Eyal-Cohen, Charlotte Garden, John Gross, Joanna Grossman, Grant
Hayden, Jennifer Laurin, Grace Lee, Kay Levine, Arnold Loewy, Janet Moore, Christopher
Passafiume, Michael Pardo, Meredith Render, Gregory Rushin, Kami Chavis Simmons, Fred
Smith, Daiquiri Steele, Adam Steinman, Seth Stoughton, Gary Sullivan, Joshua Tate, David 0.
Taylor, Fredrick Vars, Peter Winship, and Ekow Yankah for their comments, conversations, and
discussions about this paper. I am grateful for the feedback from the students in Vanderbilt Law
School's Legal Scholarship course. Additionally, this paper benefited from presentations at the
Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Southern Methodist University
Dedman  School of Law, and the University of Alabama School of Law. Finally, this paper would
not have been possible without generous financial support from the University of Alabama
School of Law or without Katie Grayson's excellent research assistance.

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