Predicting terrorism

June 24, 2017

This blog post by terrorism expert Brian Jenkins discusses the difficult challenge of predicting attacks. He notes that, outside of conflict zones, terror incidents remain infrequent — in 2015, “74 percent of all fatalities occurred in five countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, and Pakistan.” The post-9/11 prediction was for chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks, but homemade bombs and automatic weapons are still most common — “Terrorism appears to have escalated horizontally rather than vertically. Instead of weapons of mass destruction, there has been a proliferation of low-level attacks.”

Interpreters needed

June 24, 2017

This blog post from the UK expresses the skepticism of front-line officers regarding evidence-based policing and the current push to infuse a stronger academic orientation in police development and promotion schemes. Attending a conference, the constable notes “On more than one occasion, the other delegates I sat with – all serving officers – turned to look at one another with one of two expressions … bewilderment [or] incredulity.”

Expert views on Castile shooting video

June 23, 2017

Following the officer’s acquittal last week, dashcam video of the vehicle stop and subsequent shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota was released. In this article, several experts comment on the video evidence. Another view is here.

Doing it all

June 22, 2017

On this 54-minute CBC radio segment three experts discuss how terrorism, cyber crime, and other modern pressures are affecting policing in Canada and around the world. Panelists include a former RCMP assistant commissioner and a Toronto police inspector.

Low self-control & police behavior

June 21, 2017

This column summarizes a study of 1,935 police officers that found a link between use of deadly force and 8 indicators of low self-control in their personal lives — “a history of a suspended driver’s license, involvement in a motor vehicle accident, had ever been behind on paying bills, had loans or debts over $1,000, been under any type of court order, been divorced or separated or received a traffic ticket in the past five years.” One author noted “An officer having one or two of the indicators could be attributed to bad luck, but a pattern might indicate that more screening is needed.”

Interview of St. Paul police chief

June 16, 2017

Here’s an interview with the police chief in St. Paul, Minnesota on his 1-year anniversary in the position, already having dealt with mass protests, officer-involved shootings, and an uptick in gun violence. As chief, he has found that “There are moments when I take time to really reflect on decisions and feel the weight of those decisions and, during those times, there is a sense that you’re alone.”

Position: Crime analysis supervisor

June 15, 2017

Chandler, Arizona has posted a Police Crime Analysis Supervisor position with a closing date of June 23. See this page for further information.

Police leadership resources added

June 14, 2017

BJA’s “Executive Session on Police Leadership” website has added two new resources. The “Something to Say” page offers a range of audio, video, and text viewpoints. An essay by Darrel Stephens discusses how to create police-community relationships that can survive a controversial police shooting incident.

Inconsistent lineups in Minnesota

June 13, 2017

This article describes several cases of flawed photo lineups in Minnesota, a state that pioneered improved eyewitness identification procedures over a decade ago. A 2016 survey found that 60% of the state’s law enforcement agencies lack written policies on the subject. Despite evidence to the contrary, most chiefs believe they are “up to snuff” and prosecutors say “they shouldn’t be dictating investigative processes to police.”

Called to Rise

June 11, 2017

David Brown, recently retired Dallas police chief, has authored a book about his life and experiences, Called To Rise: A Life in Faithful Service to the Community That Made Me. Now on a national book promotion tour, his 8-minute public radio interview is here.