Lexipol: The Privatization of Police Policymaking

87 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2018 Last revised: 28 Apr 2018

See all articles by Ingrid V. Eagly

Ingrid V. Eagly

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law; University of Oxford - Border Criminologies

Joanna C. Schwartz

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Date Written: March 16, 2018

Abstract

This Article is the first to identify and analyze the growing practice of privatized police policymaking. In it, we present our findings from public records requests that reveal the central role played by a limited liability corporation — Lexipol LLC — in the creation of internal regulations for law enforcement agencies across the United States. Lexipol was founded in 2003 to provide standardized policies and training for law enforcement. Today, more than 3,000 public safety agencies in thirty-five states contract with Lexipol to author the policies that guide their officers on crucial topics such as when to use deadly force, how to avoid engaging in racial profiling, and whether to enforce federal immigration laws. In California, where Lexipol was founded, as many as 95% of law enforcement agencies now rely on Lexipol’s policy manual.

Lexipol offers a valuable service, particularly for smaller law enforcement agencies that are without the resources to draft and update policies on their own. However, reliance on this private entity to establish standards for public policing also raises several concerns arising from its for-profit business model, focus on liability risk management, and lack of transparency or democratic participation. We therefore offer several recommendations that address these concerns while also recognizing and building upon Lexipol’s successes.

Keywords: police policymaking, police training, privatization, community policing, immigration policing, criminal justice reform, Lexipol

Suggested Citation

Eagly, Ingrid V. and Schwartz, Joanna C., Lexipol: The Privatization of Police Policymaking (March 16, 2018). 96 Texas Law Review 891 (2018); UCLA School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 18-09; Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship Research Paper No. 3142035. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3142035

Ingrid V. Eagly (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

University of Oxford - Border Criminologies ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Rd
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

Joanna C. Schwartz

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
(310) 206-4032 (Phone)

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