Archive for the ‘Police Training’ Category

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.”

Civil rights officers in Massachusetts

November 27, 2018

The Massachusetts governor is encouraging departments to adopt 4 recommendations made by the state’s hate crimes task force, as reported here. To improve reporting, agencies are asked to designate one of more “civil rights officers” as point persons to “serve as a community liaison and to participate in appropriate community outreach, to review incident reports for potential hate crimes, and to serve as a resource for your agency on any issues related to hate crimes.” Adoption of the IACP model policy, UCR reporting through NIBRS, and enhanced training are also recommended.

How psychology affects police investigation

November 23, 2018

This site has 7 brief videos that explain how the brain and human psychology affect perception and memory, leading to such problems as tunnel vision, confirmation bias, and false confessions. Produced by the Innocence Project in cooperation with IACP, the videos feature noted scientists and expert practitioners. For police, “The films are not intended to serve as an entire training but rather as a tool to demonstrate these phenomena in the context of a larger training session.”

Training more professional in Tulsa

October 11, 2018

This article reports on recruit training in Tulsa, which has been revised to put more emphasis on engagement, de-escalation, and public service. Scenarios are more realistic because previous versions “made them skittish and made them believe everybody everywhere was trying to kill them.” Commanders emphasize that there is still plenty of officer survival training but reject the warrior vs. guardian dichotomy — “If you’re one or the other, then you’re not adequate to be a Tulsa police officer. We want you to be both of those things. This isn’t policing in the ’80s.”

Really rural

September 18, 2018

This public radio segment reports on the difficult challenges facing Village Public Safety Officers in Alaska. Typically local residents with little training, VPSOs often work alone in extremely isolated villages that suffer high rates of suicide and substance abuse, and they frequently have to take action against friends and family members. To make matters worse, state funding for basic services, including policing, has been reduced.

Innovation in mid-size departments

September 9, 2018

This report from the Heritage Foundation covers a wide range of policing issues — resource constraints, training, community relations, immigration, technology, etc. — from the perspective of mid-size law enforcement agencies, described as “large enough to test solutions applicable to much larger departments, but small enough to remain agile and adaptable in the face of changing circumstances, making them well-suited to serving as laboratories of innovation.” The report is the result of a Policing Strategy Summit held earlier this year attended by 20 law enforcement leaders.

Looking at edged-weapon tactics

August 25, 2018

This article reports a delegation from Elgin, Illinois visiting Scotland and England to examine police tactics for dealing with subjects armed with knives and other edged weapons. “We are exploring less lethal tactics that are not prevalent in the United States and believe it’s important to learn those tactics from agencies that have cultivated best practices with policies, procedures and training,” according to the Elgin chief. The city recently had its first fatal police shooting in 19 years, and it was someone armed with a knife.

The value of positive examples

August 7, 2018

This law journal note uses the example of a successful settlement agreement in Warren, Ohio to highlight the impact of ethics and virtue on police behavior. It observes that “Police reform scholarship tends to emphasize the bureaucratic nature of problems in policing, and, in turn, proposes administrative solutions,” relying on incentives, penalties, and accountability. Sometimes overlooked are mentoring and leading by example — “we should also emphasize positive statements about what conduct is encouraged and provide models to demonstrate desired behavior.”