2016 POP Conference

August 26, 2016

The 2016 Problem-Oriented Policing conference is October 24-26 in Tempe, AZ. Conference registration information is here. Finalists for the annual Herman Goldstein Award, who will be presenting, are:

  • Portland (OR) Police Bureau on vacant homes
  • Glendale (AZ) Police Department on convenience store crime
  • Austin (TX) Police Department on community engagement to reduce crime and fear
  • New Zealand Police on prevention-first responses to family violence
  • London Borough of Newham (UK) on rough sleeping
  • High Point (NC) Police Department on intimate partner violence prevention
  • Arlington (TX) Police Department on the Walmart Restorative Justice Initiative

In-house vs. regional training

August 26, 2016

Because most police departments are small they depend on regional academies for recruit training. The regional model meets technical requirements but doesn’t always enable a department to tailor initial training to its philosophy and needs. This article reports that Albany, NY will start operating its own academy in order to put more emphasis on community policing and community engagement.

Accountability via personal liability insurance

August 26, 2016

As a means of increasing police accountability, a citizen’s group in Minneapolis has proposed requiring police officers to pay for their own liability insurance if their premiums rise above a standard base rate. A referendum on the issue has been blocked by a lower court ruling that the proposal conflicts with state law. This article reports that the state supreme court has agreed to hear an appeal.

Body-worn cameras

August 23, 2016

This commentary reviews the status of body-worn camera implementation, noting privacy and funding challenges. Some critics advocate “hardcore” policies mandating “always on” cameras but these seem to ignore the legitimate interests of victims, witnesses, and police.

Resistance to change

August 20, 2016

This article discusses reasons why police organizations resist change even when confronted with complaints and crises. One important factor is the police culture, reinforced by tradition and training. The author notes that legal remedies often fall short, in part because civil suits aren’t resolved until years after an incident, inhibiting organizational learning and individual responsibility.

World policing

August 19, 2016

Just a reminder about our companion blog, World Policing, that provides news and developments from outside the U.S. We have moved the international “cloud tags” from this blog over to that one, although archived items can still be found under the “World Policing” category here, and you can still search by country name if you’re looking for something specific.

Boston’s glow fades

August 19, 2016

Boston PD has gotten much praise and support since the Marathon bombing and has avoided crises experienced in other cities over the last 2-3 years. However, as this column notes, the police union recently issued a harsh criticism of President Obama, not a single officer signed up for a complaint-mediation program mirroring one that has been very successful in nearby Cambridge, and not a single officer volunteered for a pilot body-camera program, suggesting that at its core, the PD isn’t as special as it seemed.

Police reporter, back in the day

August 16, 2016

In this essay David Simon of The Wire recalls his days as a young police reporter for the Baltimore Sun newspaper. Still stuck in his memory are some of the 50 police and fire telephone numbers he would call every couple of hours on the night shift, looking for breaking stories in the days before e-mail, texts, and the internet.

Police as debt collectors

August 15, 2016

This article argues that because of an increasingly expensive criminal justice system, but no willingness to raise taxes, local and state governments have increasingly assessed fines and costs on defendants over the last 20 years. Most defendants are poor and often fail to pay, resulting in more summonses and warrants, leading to more confrontations with police and a greater temptation to flee.

More than just bad apples in Baltimore

August 12, 2016

This article reports the U.S. Department of Justice findings from its review of the Baltimore PD, including unconstitutional searches and seizures and blatantly discriminatory stop and arrest practices. This editorial emphasizes that the problems are entrenched and won’t be easy to solve.


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