Archive for the ‘Officer safety’ Category

Flint PD — broken department in a broken city

March 15, 2018

Netflix is currently airing a gritty 8-part documentary “Flint Town” that captures violence and desperation in a failing city, produced by film makers who were embedded with the police department for 20 months. The PD is badly understaffed, overwhelmed, and frustrated. As one officer wrote, “How can citizens in Flint trust the police to protect them when they can’t even trust their government to provide them with clean water?” The film’s trailer is here. An 8-minute scene from the documentary is here. A column about the film and the city is available here.


Pulse and Parkland active shooter responses

March 9, 2018

This article compares the first few minutes of police response in the recent Parkland school mass shooting to the Pulse nightclub mass shooting that occurred in 2016, also in Florida. The circumstances differ and many details of both incidents are still not public, but in each case the officers first on the scene chose not to immediately enter the buildings. In the Pulse nightclub case the first officer, who did fire on the subject from outside before taking cover, was declared a hero, whereas in the Parkland case the first deputy was quickly labeled a coward.

Denver saves $4 million per year with in-house physical therapy

March 7, 2018

This article reports success in Denver from adding a physical therapist on staff. Total savings from worker comp claims in the police, sheriff, and fire departments have been $8 million in 2 years. The therapist sees about 150 employees per month.

Parkland school shooting

February 24, 2018

This article provides a summary of what’s known so far about how the FBI and local law enforcement handled the numerous tips and reports they received about the Parkland school shooter before the terrible events last week. This article provides some perspectives on the Broward County deputy’s apparent failure to rush in as the shooting was taking place.

Standoff in Dallas

February 5, 2018

This article offers a detailed account of the Dallas SWAT response in July 2016 after a lone gunman had killed 5 police officers and taken refuge inside El Centro College. The response included negotiations, significant exchange of gunfire, and then use of a robot to deliver an explosive charge that killed the shooter, who had vowed to continue killing police until he was killed.

Increase in assaults on officers 2003-2014

February 1, 2018

This article synopsis reports an analysis of occupational safety data for the period 2003-2014. Police were about 3 times more likely to be treated in medical emergency departments for non-fatal injuries than the all-occupation average. Injury rates for male and female officers were similar. Rates for most injury causes were stable over time, except for an increase in assault-related injuries.

Line-of-duty deaths decreased 10% in 2017

January 9, 2018

In 2017, 128 U.S. law enforcement officers died in the line of duty, according to this report, a 10% decrease over 2016 and the second lowest total in the last 30 years, trailing only 2013. Officers shot and killed decreased 33% compared to 2016. The leading cause in 2017 was traffic-related incidents. The officers who perished are recognized and honored here.

Near misses

December 31, 2017

With so much attention on police shootings, one thing usually overlooked is the number of times when police could shoot, legally, but don’t. In this blog post, a retired Minneapolis officer recounts 10 incidents during his career when deadly force probably would have been justified but wasn’t used. He suspects that most police have similar stories.

Use of force reporting

December 2, 2017

New Zealand Police released a very thorough report and analysis of “tactical options” used during 2016, available here. There was no use of force in 99.9% of 3.5 million public interactions and in over 99% of “offender proceedings.” Tasers were the 4th most commonly used tactical option, after empty hand, handcuffs/restraints, and OC spray. Only 15% of Taser incidents involved discharges — the remainder were solely presentation or “laser painting.” Subject injuries occurred in 18% of use of force incidents, officer injuries in 11%. No subjects were shot by police.

Police work can be a pain in the … back

November 18, 2017

This article reports a study underway in Eau Claire, Wisconsin aimed at determining whether police wearing an equipment vest, shifting some of the load away from the traditional belt, might help prevent or relieve strain on the lower back.