Archive for the ‘Police Administration’ Category

More foot patrol in DC

January 17, 2019

DC is looking to add 150 officers over the next 4 years with an emphasis on “more front-line protectors to walk neighborhood beats and ride bikes, Segways and scooters,” according to this article. The police department eased the impact of a 2015 “retirement bubble” by hiring back 60-70 officers for 3 years. In the meantime a recruit class of 30 new officers starts each month. With a goal of reaching 4,000 officers, the chief says “We’re all competing with the same people who want to have a career in law enforcement, but we’re holding our own.”

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NYPD counter-terrorism intelligence

January 16, 2019

Here’s an interview with two top NYPD counter-terrorism intelligence officials about their assessment of current threats to the city and the police department’s preparedness. Publicly disclosed plots have averaged 1-2 per year since 2001. Since 2010, lone actor plots have become much more common than externally-directed ones. Most of the threats to the city continue to come from salafi-jihadi inspired extremists, with only a small increase in extreme right-wing acts. Plots often target New York as the iconic and symbolic representation of America, but also because it is a media center, guaranteeing maximum publicity.

Don’t suffer in silence

January 16, 2019

In this article, therapists offer a few basic suggestions for police (and others) feeling stressed out. Consistently getting some exercise, having a hobby, getting support from friends and family, and knowing your limits are among the tips. One issue is that, despite services being available, “many officers still suffer in silence,” in part because “stigma stands in the way of officers who want to get help for their stress, anxiety and other mental health concerns.” The First Responder Support Network is a free and confidential online option that “connects officers with therapists who have experience working with law enforcement.”

Pedestrian stops down, vehicle stops up in Chicago

January 15, 2019

Following an agreement with the ACLU in 2015, Chicago PD person stops dropped 82%, but vehicle stops more than tripled, as reported here. According to officers, “The documentation they must fill out for traffic stops is much simpler than the lengthy, detailed reports required for pedestrian stops.” African American drivers in traffic stops increased from 49% to 61%, compared to 31% of the population. The police department pointed to “crime statistics and calls for service in the largely African-American areas in which the highest number of traffic stops took place” while critics say residents of those areas feel “subject to surveillance, that they’re not treated as equal citizens, that the police are not there to protect them but are there to hunt them down.”

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.”

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.”

Impact of opening records in California

January 10, 2019

This editorial details one quick result of a new law in California unlocking certain police personnel records. An officer, facing termination in 2018 for offering to help a DUI suspect in return for sex, was allowed to resign and the DA chose not to prosecute, citing lack of corroborating evidence. Unknown to the DA, the police internal investigation had turned up two similar complaints against the same officer. Now armed with that additional information, the DA is considering whether prosecution is warranted. In the editors’ view, “It’s time for police to support transparency and law and order. It’s time for them to stop trying to cover up for bad cops.”

Police & sex workers

January 9, 2019

This article summarizes a study of 250 street-based female sex workers in Baltimore. More than half had experienced some form of client violence in the last 3 months. In regard to contacts with police, “Excluding arrest, 92 percent had experienced at least one patrol/enforcement activity, and 78 percent had experienced at least one abusive encounter in their lifetime.” Frequent police interactions were more common for those who were also daily drug abusers. The study recommends developing police training specific to interactions with sex workers and establishing a liaison within each police agency.

Police shootings high in Phoenix

January 7, 2019

Phoenix PD had 38 officer-involved shootings in 2018 as of late October, with 19 fatalities. Per population, that rate was 10 times higher than Philadelphia’s, 5 times higher than Chicago’s, and more than 3 times higher than LA’s, as reported here. Activists blame the police while the officers’ union blames violent crime and suspect non-compliance. Both sides are so sure they know the reasons behind the high numbers that they criticized the city for funding an independent study, due to be completed this month.

K-9 audit in St. Paul

January 5, 2019

Following several accidental bites, an audit has concluded that “Systemic issues with training, supervision and record-keeping plagued the St. Paul police K-9 unit … and partly contributed to attacks on innocent bystanders,” as reported here. The review found that handlers often self-trained, scored their own training performance, and were inconsistent in issuing verbal warnings to suspects. Recommendations include closer supervision, better performance data, and “developing more arrest options officers can use instead of deploying a K-9 for human apprehension; using time, distance, cover and options to slow human-dog encounters; and emphasizing the canine’s primary purpose as a locating tool.”