Review of Shooting Incidents in the Department of Justice
E & I Report I-2004-010
|U. S. Department of Justice
Office of the Deputy Attorney General
Washington. D.C. 20530
September 10, 2004
|TO:||Paul A. Price
Assistant Inspector General for Evaluations and Inspections
Office of the Inspector General
Chief of Staff
|SUBJECT:||Comments on the Draft Review of Shooting Incidents in the
Department of Justice. Assignment No. A-2004-004
This office has reviewed the Draft Report entitled Review of Shooting Incidents in the Department of Justice, Assignment No. A-2004-004. We appreciate the opportunity to provide the comments of the Department of Justice (hereafter, the "Department") on the recommendations contained in the Report.
The Department concurs with your recommendation that it establish a working group to consider uniform Department standards for the components' shooting incident reviews. Significantly, your Report does not conclude that shooting incident reviews are lacking or that any particular method of conducting such reviews is clearly superior to another. Rather, you suggest that the component's individual processes may be improved by incorporating strengths and "lessons learned" from the other components. We will carefully review the various areas you have identified and consider whether the Department and the agencies would benefit from the adoption of uniform standards in any or all of those areas. To this end, representatives from each of the components already have met to discuss the various Report recommendations, and the Department will ensure that these discussions continue until a reasonable determination can be made with regard to each of the issues you discuss in the Report.
The Department also concurs with the recommendations you have made for each of the four individual components. The Department incorporates and reiterates the comments submitted by each of the components, and notes that the components already have taken steps to address the areas you characterized as weaknesses in their individual review processes. The Department believes that the corrective actions to be taken by the components will satisfactorily resolve each of the recommendations.
We certainly agree with your observation that the use of deadly force is one of the most serious actions an individual law enforcement officer can take in carrying out the mission of the Department. Further, we believe it is critical that the Department's components thoroughly and objectively investigate shooting incidents and share information regarding the results of those investigations, not simply so that they comply with specific reporting requirements and internal polices that have been adopted, but more importantly so that we can be confident that our procedures and training adequately protect the safety of our officers and the public.
If you have any questions concerning these comments or the attached information, please feel free to call me directly at (202) 514-4995.
Catherine M. O'Neil