The U.S. Department of Justice will spend the next several months reviewing the policies and practices of the Fayetteville Police Department. The review comes at the request of Fayetteville Police Department as part of the Justice Department's Community Oriented Policing Services program. They'll be looking at the use of force and deadly force by the police, as well as community interaction.
"We just want to make sure that if something does come up, we are prepared to handle it," said Fayetteville mayor Nat Robertson. "But most of all we want to make sure the community perceives us as their friend and not their enemy."
The Justice Department will have access to the agency's files and records.
The Fayettville P.D. logged seven incidents of deadly force in 2012 and four incidents in 2013. They have zero incidents of deadly force in the last calendar year. But there's a feeling that the climate is right for this kind of review, particularly in light of recent events in Ferguson, MO.
"With all the turmoil going on around the country at this point, the chief felt this was a very important move," said Robertson. "A pre-emptive, pro-active move, to make sure Fayetteville doesn't get into trouble later and that we're out front."
The Justice Department plans to issue 6-month and 12-month reports on the discoveries and progress of the police department.