Achieving zero traffic deaths

April 19, 2018

This report from the RAND Corporation proposes a set of steps that might succeed in reducing U.S. traffic fatalities to zero by 2050. That would be a huge accomplishment, as currently about 100 people die per day in motor vehicle crashes on American roads, and the number has actually been increasing most recently after dropping for decades.


Immigration enforcement — free-for-all in PA

April 13, 2018

This article details immigration enforcement by local and state police in Pennsylvania. Lacking any state-wide guidance or formal ICE partnership, individual agencies and officers make their own decisions about enforcing federal immigration laws, resulting in inconsistency and apparent ethnic profiling, particularly in central PA. One district attorney has warned chiefs that, since “officers are not permitted to independently enforce federal immigration law, they cannot extend the period of an investigatory stop to investigate immigration status without risking a constitutional violation.”


April 12, 2018

Investigations continue into the March 18 fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark in Sacramento. This public radio segment reports Police Chief Daniel Hahn’s most recent presentation to City Council as well as community reactions, while this follow-up segment interviews the chief about the current situation and changes that might be made in policies and training.

Cross-deputization in Indian Country

April 12, 2018

Jurisdictional issues have long plagued Indian Country policing, with a confusing combination of laws and court decisions at the tribal, federal, and state levels. Enhancing clarity and improving effectiveness are important since rates of serious crime tend to be high while clearance rates run low, resulting in too much victimization and too little justice. This new publication examines several promising practices, including increased cross-commissioning and cross-deputizing of law enforcement officers in and around Indian Country.

Mini-stations in Cleveland

April 11, 2018

Cleveland opened mini-stations in the 1990s in recreation centers and other neighborhood locations, but they were closed in 2005 due to budget cuts. Now, according to this article, 12 members of city council want them reopened, arguing “there was continuous engagement between officers and residents” and police “developed one-on-one relationships with residents that allowed them to de-escalate safety threats and identify nuisances.”

World’s most murderous cities

April 5, 2018

This article and map identify the world’s 50 deadliest cities in 2016. There is certainly a pattern — 43 are in Latin America and the Caribbean, 4 in the mainland U.S. (St. Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Detroit), and 3 in South Africa. Cities in Mexico, Brazil, and Venezuela occupy the top 12 (worst) rankings.

Digital ethics and public trust

April 4, 2018

This column advises police agencies to start paying closer attention to digital ethics — “Now is the time for the profession to start thinking about these issues and building digital trust.” Current controversies involving Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube illustrate how quickly trust can be compromised. Police are held to even higher standards and already have digital ethics challenges related to predictive algorithms, electronic surveillance, database access, encryption, etc. — these will only expand as modern technology evolves.

Pursuits increasing

April 4, 2018

This article reports a substantial increase in vehicle pursuits over the last 1-2 years in the Milwaukee area, resulting in more crashes and injuries. Police attribute it mainly to brazen young car thieves as well as “rolling drug houses.” Suburban agencies also say drivers are aware of Milwaukee PD’s restrictive pursuit policy, which they mistakenly think applies throughout the metro region.

Bad sheriffs

April 3, 2018

The U.S. has about 3,000 sheriffs, an office that goes back to colonial days and preceded the creation of police departments. This article reports numerous recent scandals, embarrassments, and shortcomings in sheriff’s offices around the country and discusses why they persist despite being an elected office that voters should be able to hold accountable.

Positions open (analytical): Chicago PD

April 3, 2018

Chicago PD is looking to hire an Assistant Director of Analytics and an Assistant Director of Auditing. The positions will report directly to the CPD’s new Director of Strategy, supervise a number of analysts and compliance officers/auditors respectively, and play critical roles in the department’s reform and crime work. Applications are due by April 10.