Archive for the ‘Federal LE’ Category

Audit of Veterans Administration police

December 21, 2018

The Veterans Administration has over 4,000 federal police at its 139 medical facilities. A recent inspector general review found that the VA lacks effective governance over the semi-decentralized system. VA headquarters and its Office of Security & Law Enforcement have not systematically followed their own guidelines for inspecting staffing and performance at facilities, resulting in inconsistency and failure to address identified problems, according to the report, which includes recommendations.

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$297 million to help CBP recruit

December 16, 2018

U.S. Customs and Border Protection awarded a $297 million contract in 2017 to an Accenture subsidiary to help it recruit 7,500 officers and agents. During the first year the company was paid $13.6 million and achieved “two accepted job offers” according to the Inspector General, as reported here. Also, “the company relied heavily on CBP’s existing infrastructure, resources and experts in all of its recruiting,” according to the article. Both Accenture and CBP say that adjustments are being made.

FBI announces national use-of-force data collection system

November 21, 2018

The FBI will launch a National Use-of-Force Data Collection system January 1, as reported here. Like the longstanding Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) system, participation will be voluntary. Data on each event submitted will include descriptions of the incident, the officer involved, and the subject(s) involved — “information that is readily known and can be reported within the first few days after a use-of-force occurrence.” The FBI emphasizes that the goal “is not to offer insight into single use-of-force incidents but to provide an aggregate view of the incidents.” Details about the data and system are available here.

No answers from U.S. Park Police

November 18, 2018

This article reviews a year-old police shooting case just outside Washington, DC. The family of the deceased has gotten no information from the U.S. Park Police, who shot their son, or from the FBI, which took over the investigation. The Fairfax County police, who were on-scene, released their dashcam video two months after the shooting, frustrated by the lack of transparency in the federal investigation. The case illustrates the dramatic difference between local and federal law enforcement agencies in accountability to the public.

Navajo Nation police revival

October 3, 2018

The largest tribal police force is Navajo Nation, which covers an area larger than West Virginia. The agency struggled for almost a decade without a permanent police chief, but recently re-opened its police academy and graduated a new class of officers, with another class underway, according to this article. A senior officer says homegrown policing is key: “We are from this community. We understand the language, the personalities, the puns that we have. We understand our own people better than anyone who would come in.”

Focusing on crime guns

September 7, 2018

This best practices manual explains how agencies are increasingly using crime gun intelligence to “disrupt the shooting cycle.” The aim is to develop quicker intelligence using NIBIN and the ATF gun tracing center to connect ballistics evidence, guns used in crimes, and shooters. Equally important is rapid dissemination and sharing of information among an agency’s units and between neighboring agencies. According to the manual, the approach “has proven its value in measurable reductions in violent gun crime through apprehension and successful prosecution of violent offenders.”

Federal policing of public lands in the West

May 10, 2018

This article reports a Senate hearing on policing practices of the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and other federal agencies on public lands in the West. The specific focus was a years-long undercover investigation targeting private collectors of Native American artifacts that culminated in pre-dawn raids, charges against two dozen people, several suicides, 19 guilty pleas, but no jail time. Utah elected officials condemned the action as heavy-handed federal overreach, while Native American groups saw it as “a long-needed crackdown on the removal of precious artifacts from their resting grounds.”

FBI in crisis

May 4, 2018

This article reviews the crises and complaints confronting the FBI over the last several years. Some observers and officials are concerned about long-term impact on the agency’s credibility and public trust in the institution. The outcome of the Mueller investigation is expected to “play an outsize role in how his old agency gets through the current crisis” but other factors such as mission creep, leadership, and response to whistleblowers also seem important.

Immigration enforcement — free-for-all in PA

April 13, 2018

This article details immigration enforcement by local and state police in Pennsylvania. Lacking any state-wide guidance or formal ICE partnership, individual agencies and officers make their own decisions about enforcing federal immigration laws, resulting in inconsistency and apparent ethnic profiling, particularly in central PA. One district attorney has warned chiefs that, since “officers are not permitted to independently enforce federal immigration law, they cannot extend the period of an investigatory stop to investigate immigration status without risking a constitutional violation.”

Cross-deputization in Indian Country

April 12, 2018

Jurisdictional issues have long plagued Indian Country policing, with a confusing combination of laws and court decisions at the tribal, federal, and state levels. Enhancing clarity and improving effectiveness are important since rates of serious crime tend to be high while clearance rates run low, resulting in too much victimization and too little justice. This new publication examines several promising practices, including increased cross-commissioning and cross-deputizing of law enforcement officers in and around Indian Country.