Archive for the ‘Police Training’ Category

Custom Blackberry CEO busted

March 13, 2018

This article reports a multi-national investigation by the U.S., Canada, and Australia into a company that provided custom Blackberry devices for secure communication within private networks, with encryption and remote “wiping” if a phone was seized by authorities. About 20,000 of the devices are in circulation with a clientele that includes drug cartels and transnational organized crime groups. The company’s CEO was arrested last week.


Position: Legitimacy Program Coordinator

February 5, 2018

Oregon’s Center for Policing Excellence has a new position to “Develop, coordinate and deliver public safety training related to legitimacy/procedural justice, prevention of bias-based profiling, and stops data collection.” Information about the position, based at the state’s training academy in Salem, is posted here. The deadline for applications is February 12.

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.

Dispute over new police academy in Chicago

December 17, 2017

This article reports an ongoing debate in Chicago over plans to build a new $95 million police training academy. An earlier DOJ review documented substandard facilities, outdated curricula, and failure to provide annual training. Activists, though, argue an expensive new academy is not the best response to the city’s police problems. In addition, it’s not clear where the cash-strapped city will find the $95 million.

Bias vs. behavior

December 4, 2017

This article provides an in-depth discussion of the difficulty of measuring bias (an  attitude) and determining its connection to discrimination (behavior). Police and other institutions have implemented training in recent years aimed at helping individuals identify and understand “implicit bias.” Research isn’t clear on whether the training is effective at changing behavior or even whether bias is mainly unconscious or conscious.

Humanities for police

November 29, 2017

This article describes a segment of in-service training in Baltimore that uses Plato, Steinbeck, Dostoevsky, and Baldwin to encourage officers to reflect on cynicism, respect, and other features of the human condition that they deal with in their work. The officer who teaches the course says “we are in the tradition of the western world. We’re kind of government on the ground. I mean, we have to represent democratic values. We have to represent those Enlightenment values in a very immediate way.”

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.”

Science of interrogation

October 29, 2017

This article provides an in-depth discussion of the psychology underlying effective interrogation. A study of over 1,000 hours of taped interrogations of terrorists confirmed that the key is rapport and projecting a genuine interest in what the suspect has to say, not trying to establish dominance or using confrontational techniques. Specialist training in the UK is now based on this research and well established methods from clinical psychology.

Policy, training, tactics

October 18, 2017

This 4-minute St. Louis public radio story and article discuss the role of policy, training, and tactics in deadly force situations. Public pressure is currently focused on tightening policies, but experts think unnecessary police shootings result more often from poor tactics such as failing to use distance and cover.

Joint police & fire/medic rescue

October 6, 2017

This article reports rescue efforts during the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Police and fire personnel had planned and trained together for active-shooter incidents and 16 rescue teams responded, each comprised of 3 paramedics and 4-6 officers. “The medics treated and transported the wounded to ambulances under the blanket of safety those officers provided, moving in unison with police from patient to patient.”