In society today, law enforcement agencies nation wide have come under heavy scrutiny when it comes to police brutality and excessive use of force issues. Stemming from violent encounters, such as the March 3, 1991 Rodney King police chase, where as this young man was severely beaten and the subject of "excessive use of force", such cases have become synonymous with police brutality. With excessive use of force issues not being enough, a question arises from the depths of these brutal and vicious encounters: what should be done to monitor police use of force issues? Are citizen review boards the answer (Glasser, 2)? .
During the 1950's, many citizens believed that officials with the law enforcement agencies did not take their complaints on a serious level. Therefore, the idea of citizen review boards first came about and were proposed. There was widespread discontentment with the way many police departments handle their internal disciplinary procedures. Statistics show that, by 1997, 75% of the nation's largest cities had citizen review boards (also known as civilian review systems), since its inception. Civilian review systems, however, vary widely. Some of the boards are mostly civilian, where as others are actually municipal agencies with an executive director that answers to the mayor. The three main types of civilian review systems are as follows: Type 1, with .
persons who are not sworn officers conduct the initial fact-finding; Type 2, where sworn officers conduct the initial fact-finding and submit reports to non-officers or board of non-officers; and Type 3, where sworn officers conduct the initial fact-finding and make a recommendation to the police chief (Glasser, 12-13).
In general, civilian review boards are used to keep the law enforcement agencies honest and help them uphold the law within themselves. Many advantages come with the adoption of a citizen review board to a city.