top of page

Consent Decrees and Risk Management

Consent decrees are a concern for many law enforcement agencies. One bad, high-

profile incident can trigger a DOJ inquiry that could lead to federal oversight of your organization. Law enforcement leadership needs to understand what factors can lead to a consent decree, and how they can mitigate the risk of their agency being the focus of an inquiry.

In our most recent webinar, I was fortunate to be able to sit down with Chris Moore, retired Chief of the San Jose Police Department and principal at Brooks, Bawden, and Moore - a consulting firm in Washington DC. Also on the webinar was Chris Bolton, currently a Deputy Chief with the Oakland Police Department.

We opened the discussion with a primer on consent decrees. In the following clip, Chief Moore touches on the origin of the DOJ's authority to investigate law enforcement agencies, which originated with the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994:

Origin of DOJ's authority to review the practices of law enforcement agencies

  • Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994

  • 42 U.S.C. § 14141 (re-codified at 34 U.S.C. § 12601)