Archive for the ‘Federal LE’ Category

Reaching for critical mass

November 15, 2017

This article provides an in-depth look at the low numbers of women in many federal law enforcement agencies, especially Customs and Border Protection (5%), and contrasts that with several municipal police departments that have taken a completely different approach to gender and the police culture. The chief in Madison, Wisconsin, which has 30% women, says “We’re looking for critical thinkers, people who are empathetic, good communicators, great at crisis intervention … I can teach a monkey how to shoot a Glock. The cerebral skills, the relational skills, that is the elusive commodity that you have to search for.”

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UCR data reduction

November 1, 2017

According to this article, the on-line 2016 Uniform Crime Report omits 70% of the data tables traditionally provided, including a big decrease in published arrest data. Officials say the omitted pages were not heavily visited. Crime researchers and transparency advocates are concerned especially as the FBI’s Policy Advisory Board does not seem to have been consulted.

New fingerprint algorithm

November 1, 2017

This article and this video report a new fingerprint algorithm developed by the FBI that has so far identified over 200 bodies of unknown persons recovered decades ago. The technique substantially improves the hit rate on low-quality and single-finger prints.

Gil Kerlikowske taking it easier

October 9, 2017

This article is a nice profile of Gil Kerlikowske, most recently head of the 60,000-person U.S. Customs & Border Protection, previously drug czar and police chief in Seattle and Buffalo. One of the most respected law enforcement leaders of the last few decades, he’s now doing some volunteering and part-time teaching.

Review of federal asset seizure

March 30, 2017

The Department of Justice has issued a report on federal asset seizure and forfeiture in cases not directly tied to a specific criminal charge. They found that DOJ does not collect data to analyze the impact of seizures on cases, crime, or civil liberties. Review of a sample of 100 DEA seizures indicated inconsistency in seizure operations, particularly in interdiction cases. Recommendations include better data and oversight, clearer policy, and increased training, especially for state and local officers working on federal task forces.

Army officers recruited into CID

March 18, 2017

The US Army has increased its recruitment of company-grade officers (lieutenants and captains) willing to resign their commissions in order to become Army CID special agents at the warrant officer rank, according to this article. Although the transition involves a reduction in rank and pay, it provides substantial specialized training and career opportunities for those with a strong interest in investigations.

Police & immigration

February 24, 2017

Police agencies around the country are responding in various ways to the federal government’s stepped-up immigration enforcement. The NYPD commissioner reminded his officers that “this department does not enforce administrative warrants issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents or federal immigration judges solely in connection with civil immigration violations,” as reported here. A California chief re-emphasized his agency’s policy that “immigration enforcement is only conducted for ‘serious violations or investigative necessity.'” Both agencies cited the overriding importance of protecting crime victims regardless of their citizenship status.

San Francisco suspends participation in JTTF

February 3, 2017

San Francisco PD has suspended participation in the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force while a mandatory review of the 10-year-old memorandum of understanding is conducted, according to this article. Activists have pressured the PD not to aid federal agencies in surveillance related to immigration and 1st amendment activities.

Confusion & conflict over immigration enforcement

January 26, 2017

Deep disagreements over the role that local police should play in immigration enforcement are not new. Yesterday, President Trump issued an executive order instructing the Secretary of Homeland Security “to authorize State and local law enforcement officials … to perform the functions of immigration officers in relation to the investigation, apprehension, or detention of aliens” and “ensure that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply … are not eligible to receive Federal grants.” Further, “The Attorney General shall take appropriate enforcement action against any entity that … has in effect a statute, policy, or practice that prevents or hinders the enforcement of Federal law.” Today, the Major Cities Chiefs Association and US Conference of Mayors have jointly expressed strong reservations, arguing that the executive order is overly broad, contrary to existing law, and asking to meet with the heads of DHS and DOJ for clarification.

Product counterfeiting & piracy

December 15, 2016

This press release reports that US and international partners removed about 15,000 illegal websites selling fake or stolen items over the last year. Financial losses due to product counterfeiting and piracy run into the billions of dollars annually, with untold risks associated with fraudulent medications, food, etc. The US effort is coordinated by the International Property Rights (IPR) Center within the Department of Homeland Security.