Archive for the ‘COP/POP’ Category

Limitations of anti-bias training

February 10, 2023

Police training aimed at reducing bias, including implicit bias, has been widely adopted over the last 10 years or so. This brief article summarizes a study that looked at 251 training sessions attended by 3,764 officers across the U.S. Findings were similar to other studies — “the current generation of diversity training programs are effective at changing minds but less consistent at changing behavior.” Officers generally liked the training and increased their understanding of bias, but “it delivered only a temporary bump in concerns about bias and in the motivation to use strategies to limit bias in law enforcement interactions.” The authors stress that it is important to be realistic about what can be accomplished by a single stand-alone course; it should be combined with other culture-changing initiatives and reinforced through supervision and performance evaluation.

POP Conference August 7-9

January 23, 2023

The 31st Problem-Oriented Policing Conference will be held August 7-9 in Boulder, Colorado. As always, finalists for the Herman Goldstein Award will present their exceptional POP projects and a variety of related workshops on CPTED, problem analysis, place management, quality policing, and other topics will be offered. Conference information is available on the POP Center website here.

Seattle — crime up, fear down

May 29, 2022

Since 2015, Seattle has completed an annual resident survey as part of its community policing strategy. As reported here, observers were surprised to see that fear of crime decreased in 2021, even though reported crime increased, including both violent and property crime. In fact, violent crime increased about 20% and, for the first time, was among the top five themes identified by survey respondents. One possible explanation for the mismatch between fear and reported crime is that perceived social and physical disorder improved — “things like disorderly conduct, public drug and alcohol consumption, graffiti, litter and so on.” The survey leader noted that “Much of the fear of crime is just a perception of how safe people feel about their environment.”

Place-based policing & violent crime

March 14, 2022

Amid concerns about increases in violent crime, it is important to remember that “violence is highly concentrated in small sets of people and places,” and thus it makes sense to take a targeted approach to the problem. This column argues in particular for a strategy of place-based policing, an approach that doesn’t require “passing new legislation or adding enormous budget expenditures.” Examples of crime concentration from Boston, Minneapolis, and Oakland, California are cited, along with evidence of the effectiveness of problem-oriented and hot spot policing strategies.

POP Conference draft program

March 9, 2022

The draft program for the 2022 POP Conference (Problem-Oriented Policing), April 25-27 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is available here. Five finalist agencies for the Herman Goldstein Award will present their work along with a variety of sessions devoted to topics such as problem analysis, CPTED, training officers in POP, working with community partners, the role of POP in contemporary police reform, and more. Registrations are requested by March 25 using the same link above.

Preventing fraudulent vehicle purchases

February 1, 2022

Houston PD has developed a partnership with auto dealers to prevent fraudulent purchases by individuals using stolen identities, as reported in this news clip. The approach has prevented $5 million worth of thefts since 2018 and led to numerous arrests. HPD has provided training to auto dealers on how to spot identity fraud and the strategy is being exported to other jurisdictions throughout Texas.

POP Conference April 25-27 in Ann Arbor, MI

November 17, 2021

The 30th annual Problem-Oriented Policing Conference will be held April 25-27 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The conference had to be postponed last Fall due to Covid-19 considerations. Information about the conference, including a list of session topics, is available here

Bring back Broken Windows?

July 28, 2021

Broken Windows theory has largely fallen out of favor in recent years, accused of contributing to excessive arrests for minor offenses. This column ponders whether it’s time to bring it back, at least for transportation systems like the subway. Disorder and crime in the NY subway rose in the last year or two as police were discouraged from enforcing fare evasion, and as the underground became a refuge for homeless persons. The authors point out that a broken windows approach is not the same as aggressive stop and frisk — the latter targets people who police think might be planning to commit crime, whereas broken windows is a response to offenses that have already occurred. Also, broken windows policing “need not be used only to generate arrests” — it can incorporate collaborative problem solving that aims to prevent further crime, strengthen community ties, and reassure residents and subway riders of their safety.

Poll finds little support for defunding police

July 12, 2021

Only 22% of respondents in a recent national poll support defunding the police, as reported here. A large majority would like to see increased police budgets and more officers on the street. But a majority also support using some of the police budget for community policing and expanded social services. Only 22% believe police treat all people equally, and 81% want police-involved shootings investigated independently. Respondents rated crime their #1 concern, followed by “political extremism, climate change, health care, government budget and debt, and immigration.” The pollster summed it up as “Strong majorities support increased police funding to combat crime, making it clear that America is still a law and order country … [but] most Americans recognize racial inequalities in law enforcement, suggesting many Americans want justice in addition to safety.”

Reducing Crime podcasts

June 26, 2021

Professor Jerry Ratcliffe interviews police leaders and influential thinkers on his monthly podcast series Reducing Crime, available here. The interviews are always interesting, thought-provoking, and humorous. Each podcast is about 40 minutes in length. The most recent, #35, is an interview with Carmen Best, who was police chief in Seattle until she resigned about a year ago in protest over proposed draconian cuts to the police department.