In On a Pale Horse Will is picking up the mantle of command. And within weeks, he finds himself on the receiving end of a law suit. It seems that they’re being sued for excessive use of force, an allegation that is simple for Will and Company to defend against–the accuser attacked a female police office, and when she took him to the ground, he got a few minor injuries.
It however prompts Will and RJ to look into a means to check and double check cases, use of force, violation of policies, and the like. RJ feels they should have a separate entity, one that while being part of the Sheriff’s Office, is only under his administrative control, but in most respects is a free entity. He also feels that while the Sheriff should have supervision over the entity, it should have enough leeway to even have the Sheriff called on the carpet if needed.
Hence, the creation of Internal Affairs. There’s one man Will trusts enough and respect enough to handle it. The former Sheriff Tony Madril (RJs father) is still in and out of chemo treatment. Will was hoping to hand the reins of command back over to him, but it doesn’t look like that will happen. Loath to lose Tony’s experience and common sense, Will talks him into running Internal Affairs. In the beginning, it will be a strictly part time gig since that’s all Tony feels he can handle.
So, what does he do?
Anytime there’s a use of force in the making of an arrest, Tony looks into the matter. He gathers all the information together to include statements from the officer, witnesses and the perp if needed, and sees if the incident meets the standards of department policy. Any medical reports becomes part of the case file. Things he’d be looking for is the amount of force used as prescribed by departmental policy. He’d look at what was done vs the training of the officer.
He’d also look at the policy, since no policy is 100% perfec,t and if changes need to be made to the policy than he’d recommend them.
He also goes out on high profile cases and observes what was being done, and makes recommendations based on his observations for training, better techniques, etc. In this role, he is there to checklist what was done.
He also investigates anytime something happens with an deputy. In one incident, a young deputy reports his car stolen and it was involved in an accident. Knowing this is a common dodge, Tony gets the truth. The deputy is reprimanded by Will and suspended without pay for three days. He also receives a ticket (and pleaded guilty) for leaving the scene of an accident.
Since this isn’t something he’ll be doing all the time, RJ has also tapped Tony to do intelligence analysis for the department. In the course of straightening out the filing, Jewell (Will’s wife) feels there might be pattern to some of the criminal activity she’s been reading about. She teams with Tony and together they try to verify that something is indeed going on, then determine what that might be.
What they find will be important later.
Internal Affairs is often looked at as the bad guys in a lot of police shows. Nothing could be further from the truth. Used correctly, Internal Affairs becomes a set of checks and balances that keeps a department running with a high degree of transparency. It can also serve as the agent for change, and be the voice for better training or improved policies. And it can also be the agent that protects the department, it’s members, and the local government and community.
It’s a very important job, and Tony Madril is the best person for it.