Archive for the ‘COP/POP’ Category

Prospects for police reform

January 14, 2019

Noted police historian and accountability expert Sam Walker discusses the prospects for ongoing police reform in this law review article. Despite reduced pressure from the federal government since 2017, he sees encouraging efforts within policing, some state and local governments accepting greater responsibility, and continuing interest from activists and the general public. Still, the prospects for significant change “face a number of uncertainties, challenges, and obstacles” and “we have no real understanding of the conditions necessary for major reforms to be sustained over the long haul.”

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Homeless outreach in Milwaukee

January 11, 2019

This article describes police outreach to the homeless in Milwaukee. Winter is a particular concern, so officers regularly check on people and help solicit donations of warm clothing. Each of the city’s 7 police districts has several officers assigned to its Homeless Outreach Team. The current estimate of those living on the street is 900, down from 1,500 in 2015, “but now the tents are making it more visible,” according to one official.  “They’re not hidden the way that they used to be.”

K-9 for a day

December 13, 2018

This article reports a new program in La Vista, Nebraska, originating in Green Bay, Wisconsin in which police take shelter dogs with them on patrol. In some cases it’s a 2nd chance/re-entry program for dogs having trouble finding owners. Police say the program “offers an opportunity to not only strengthen our relationship with our partners at the Nebraska Humane Society, but also allows our officers an opportunity to engage our community in a way that we may not have been able to without the addition of a great dog.” Successful canine adoptions have resulted.

Short-term results from foot patrol in San Francisco

December 6, 2018

This article reports a 17% drop in thefts and 19% drop in assaults in San Francisco following reassignment of 69 officers to foot patrol in 2017. The main target was thefts, especially from autos, which had nearly doubled since 2010, from 2,100 per month to over 4,000, with a very low clearance rate. Analysis by UC-Berkeley documented the decline in offenses over the first few months of the initiative, while controlling for other variables. However, “the additional foot patrols didn’t impact the city’s other most-frequently reported crime categories, including robbery, burglary … vandalism and vehicle theft.”

NYPD improves victim services

December 4, 2018

This article describes enhancements that NYPD has made to victim services over the last 4-5 years. The agency has adopted 101 initiatives “infused with trauma-informed practices, a raft of changes in police training, and an overriding goal to connect more victims with available counseling and reimbursement for funerals, medical costs, lost wages, and other disruptions in their lives.” Many of the practices are cost-free, with one exception being the addition of two victim advocates to each precinct and public housing unit.

Civil rights officers in Massachusetts

November 27, 2018

The Massachusetts governor is encouraging departments to adopt 4 recommendations made by the state’s hate crimes task force, as reported here. To improve reporting, agencies are asked to designate one of more “civil rights officers” as point persons to “serve as a community liaison and to participate in appropriate community outreach, to review incident reports for potential hate crimes, and to serve as a resource for your agency on any issues related to hate crimes.” Adoption of the IACP model policy, UCR reporting through NIBRS, and enhanced training are also recommended.

Big data vs. community policing

November 8, 2018

This article summarizes a police conference keynote presentation focused on the impact of austerity and big data on more traditional forms of community policing in Australia and elsewhere. Professor Rogers observes that, in the ongoing demand to do more with less, “it’s no surprise that police, as with many other public agencies, turn to technology in order to assist them in this struggle.” He notes that social and organizational change are inevitable, but “we must be careful that in rushing to seek a technological answer to the problems of modern policing, we do not throw out the ‘community support baby’ with the bathwater.”

Gun violence not (just) a public health problem

November 8, 2018

This article notes the increasingly popular view that gun violence is like an epidemic and can best be reduced by adopting the public health approach. The authors acknowledge the value of that approach but argue that it needs to be combined with effective deterrence and incapacitation. In particular, the importance of investigating and solving shootings is sometimes under-appreciated. They discuss “the paucity of research on police investigations and gun violence” and suggest some topics deserving closer study, including how many detectives are needed, the effectiveness of various investigative techniques, and the challenge of witness cooperation.

2018 Goldstein award winner

November 8, 2018

This year’s winner of the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing is the Chula Vista, California Police Department for its initiative focused on reducing domestic violence. The agency analyzed over 10,000 DV calls and incidents and then implemented a tiered response model in one district, resulting in a 24% reduction in domestic violence crimes and positive feedback from both victims and police officers. The initiative is now being expanded department-wide. The winning submission along with other finalists will be posted on the website of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing.

529 app reducing bike thefts

October 31, 2018

This article reports that a bike registration app adopted by police in Vancouver, Canada has become wildly popular for preventing thefts and increasing recoveries. The app, Project 529, has helped reduce Vancouver bicycle thefts by about 1/3 in two years while bike registrations went from 22,000 to 70,000. The app is also used in the U.S. as Garage 529 and is being promoted internationally by the World Bank because it promotes sustainable mobility (biking) by engaging the community, businesses, and the police.