Archive for the ‘World Policing’ Category

Two positions advertised

December 2, 2022

Here are two open positions that might be of interest to some readers:

  • Police Academy Director, Prince William County, VA — “This position will facilitate numerous organizational initiatives to adequately train our police officers, deputy sheriffs and professional staff in order to provide quality service to a growing, diverse, and dynamic community.” Application deadline is December 14.
  • Assistant/Associate Professor in Policing & Security, Rabdan Academy, Abu Dhabi, UAE — The announcement indicates that applicants should have “one or more of the following: teaching experience in forensic science identification, teaching experience in a police education program, extensive operational policing including but not limited to – police leadership/management, forensics, crime scene investigation, road/traffic policing, criminal justice, artificial intelligence, criminal profiling.” However it also states “This position has a Forensic Science Identification teaching focus.” An application deadline is not listed. 

New National Academies of Sciences reports

December 1, 2022

The National Academies of Sciences has recently published 4 reports aimed at guiding international police assistance efforts. The reports were produced by expert committees that reviewed and assessed existing research and evidence. The reports are available at the links below for free download.

U.S. standing in Global Law & Order Report

November 3, 2022

Gallup’s 2022 Global Law & Order Report is available here. Its law & order index is based on 4 survey items including confidence in police, feelings of safety, and recent personal and property crime victimization. Overall, the U.S. was tied for 41st out of 120 countries, tied with Italy and Germany among others. Canada was tied for 21st, while Mexico tied for 106th. The U.S./Canada region ranked 4th out of 10 regions, but showed the biggest decrease from the previous year. Specifically on confidence in police, the U.S./Canada region ranked 3rd but had by far the biggest year-on-year drop. 

Looking farther back at police history

June 22, 2022

In the U.S. we tend to cite the establishment of the London Metropolitan Police in 1829 as the start of police history. Of course that conveniently ignores sheriffs and slave patrols, so it’s really the start of organized, paid municipal policing. Or is it? This very interesting post summarizes some recent historical work looking at police in Bologna, Italy in the 1200s. These police, typically hired from outside the city, “received a salary, wore uniforms, and arrested lawbreakers. They sought wanted men and proactively investigated criminal activity, including via the use of informants.” The blogger suggests we should “do away with the idea of policing as a 19th-century invention.”

Women police in danger in Afghanistan

August 24, 2021

Amid the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, one group at particular risk is women police, as reported here. These women are in danger not only because they worked for the national government and cooperated with Western partners, but also because they dared to challenge religious and conservative gender roles. Women comprised less than 3% of Afghan police, but that accounts for 4,000 women now at risk “of assassination, violence or reprisal from violent extremists, but also from the community and their own family members.” One officer urges evacuations — “Police women are in serious danger – even their families are threatened. Will they be killed or stoned to death? Police women and their families must be relocated to safer places.”

Bring back Broken Windows?

July 28, 2021

Broken Windows theory has largely fallen out of favor in recent years, accused of contributing to excessive arrests for minor offenses. This column ponders whether it’s time to bring it back, at least for transportation systems like the subway. Disorder and crime in the NY subway rose in the last year or two as police were discouraged from enforcing fare evasion, and as the underground became a refuge for homeless persons. The authors point out that a broken windows approach is not the same as aggressive stop and frisk — the latter targets people who police think might be planning to commit crime, whereas broken windows is a response to offenses that have already occurred. Also, broken windows policing “need not be used only to generate arrests” — it can incorporate collaborative problem solving that aims to prevent further crime, strengthen community ties, and reassure residents and subway riders of their safety.

Behind the badge

June 9, 2021

CBS News “Sunday Morning” recently devoted an hour-long show to policing, available here. Included are interviews with Bill Bratton and a variety of street-level officers from across the country, plus segments on policing in Europe and Japan, and reports on alternative strategies such as non-police responses to people experiencing behavioral crisis.

Sniping from the sidelines

March 22, 2021

Police in London were harshly criticized recently for arrests made at a vigil about violence against women. This column fills in the story, explaining the measures police took before finally resorting to enforcement of Covid-19 pandemic measures. The author makes the point that politicians have complained when police didn’t enforce pandemic measures, and complained when they did. They, and the public more generally, have created a no-win situation. He notes that “Again and again we are outsourcing sensitive trade-offs to frontline professionals and then basking in our moral superiority when they act in a way we disapprove of.”

Massive encrypted phone investigation

March 15, 2021

U.S. indictments have been issued against two Sky Global executives and EU police have arrested 78 suspects and searched 275 homes in Netherlands and Belgium in conjunction with an investigation into encrypted phones used by criminal gangs, as reported here and here. The EU investigation also resulted in “seizure of thousands of kilograms of cocaine and methamphetamine, hundreds of firearms, and millions of Euros.” The indictment alleges that the Sky ECC encrypted communication platform “was designed to aid in the trafficking of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine by transnational organizations moving the drugs into Australia, Asia, Europe and North America.” Europol announced that authorities “had been secretly collecting messages on some 70,000 Sky Global phones through a massive wiretap operation,” resulting in interception of over a billion messages.


December 19, 2020

This two-part story from Arnold Ventures, here and here, describes the development of the ICAT (Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics) model and de-escalation training. Initiated in 2014, it was controversial and strongly resisted at first, but since then has been widely adopted and found to be effective. The two-part series includes testimonials from officers in several departments who acknowledge they were skeptical at first but discovered that the training was realistic and practical, and who have since been able to apply it in the field.