By Andrea Noble
The Washington Times
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
D.C. police Chief Cathy L. Lanier (The Washington Times)
D.C. police officers need a refresher on when it’s legal to enter a home without a warrant, according to a report issued Wednesday by the city’s Police Complaints Board.
The board said it routinely receives complaints about officers entering homes — the complaints comprise nearly 14 percent of all those received since 2009 — and recommends the department should write a general order clarifying the exigent circumstances that would justify a warrantless search.
“Providing better training and developing a general order on warrantless entries for officers will aid them in carrying out their duties all the while protecting the rights of the public,” said Philip K. Eure, director of the Office of Police Complaints.
The board does not believe the problem is systemic, however, noting that only a small number of complaints, 12 in all, appeared to “raise valid concerns about unlawful entries into private homes” by police. The agency annually receives hundreds of complaints, and in fiscal 2012 saw 574 formal complaints filed.
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This would be a good idea in the Boston area also.