The Houston Chronicle has reported a a new Houston Police Department policy forbidding officers from talking to lawyers for defendants without "express permission" from prosecutors. Some lawyers are questioning the legality of the policy. I question the policy from a public relations standpoint. Why would the police want to appear that they are hiding something? If they are doing their job, there should not be anything to hide.
Police officials often talk of community policing and the trust of the public for law enforcement. Without trust the police lose valuable witnesses that may not be willing to come forward. Additionally, the state has a greater likelihood of losing trials when jurors just don't trust or believe police witnesses. I, like many was raised to respect law enforcement. The police should work to foster that trust rather than working to make people wonder what they may be hiding.