Specialist vs. generalist COP

October 26, 2016

The pros and cons of having a few officers who specialize in community policing versus making it every officer’s job has been debated for many years. This article and radio clip from Kansas City highlights one community interaction officer’s positive impact and wonders what will be lost as the PD eliminates those positions and tries to make all officers community cops.

Straight Outta Compton, Misled Youth

October 26, 2016

Nice story and video clip about a LA County deputy sheriff crashing a garage metal band practice and joining in on guitar.

Open data on police complaints

October 26, 2016

This article from the Sunlight Foundation provides an update on several local initiatives to make complaints data more accessible and transparent, with specific examples and links. Efforts in Indianapolis, New York, and Seattle are particularly noteworthy, as well as the White House Police Data Initiative.

Persistent surveillance in Baltimore

October 25, 2016

This article provides details about the recent flap in Baltimore over an aerial surveillance program that police implemented with private funding without notifying the public or political leaders. The initiative had passed legal review and the low-resolution aerial camera was not capable of identifying specific individuals or vehicles. The article finds no evil intent or “smoking gun,” nor much of a threat to privacy, just a lack of transparency. The effectiveness of the program has yet to be established.

Police approval rating up in Seattle

October 25, 2016

A recent survey found that 72% of residents approve of the Seattle PD, up from 60% in 2013. Approval ratings by AfricanĀ  Americans and Latinos both increased, now at 62% and 74%, respectively. In addition, reports of troubling interactions with police decreased.

Secret Service challenges

October 24, 2016

This article reviews the successful but taxing last 12 months for the Secret Service, including a papal visit, presidential primaries, national political conventions, and the Clinton/Trump contest.The agency hopes to fill 1,000 positions but only 1% of applicants are making it through the process. In the meantime, current agents and uniformed staff are wearing down.

Police leadership website

October 22, 2016

The “Executive Session on Police Leadership” sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Assistance continues to maintain and update a website of materials at bjaleader.org. Recent additions include three short pieces on leadership and leadership development from a chief, a deputy chief, and George Kelling.

Defusing critical incidents

October 20, 2016

PERF has produced a summary training guide for defusing non-firearm critical incidents based on “Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics” (ICAT). The approach was developed by experts from 30+ agencies and has been pilot-tested in 6 agencies. PERF intends to add additional training materials on its website and also plans to routinely update the materials.

Regional crime analysis

October 16, 2016

This article reports the opening of a regional crime analysis center in Malone, New York, serving several counties. It is the 7th regional center operating in the state, primarily benefitting smaller agencies that cannot afford to employ their own analysts.

Reform pressure through insurance

October 14, 2016

This article discusses the role that liability insurance plays in encouraging police reform. While big cities are often self-insured, smaller jurisdictions need risk protection at a reasonable cost, giving insurance providers significant leverage. Some police departments have been eliminated when insurance was canceled and many others have upgraded policies, training, and personnel practices in order to maintain affordable coverage.