Posts Tagged ‘Alaska’

Murder clearance rates have actually improved — with one big exception

January 26, 2019

This article analyzes city clearance rates for murders and shootings. One key finding is a drop from 65% to 42% since the 1980s in the clearance rate for black and Hispanic victims killed by guns — aside from this category, murder clearance rates have actually improved. Also, non-firearm homicides, which are more likely to yield DNA and other suspect evidence, are solved at higher rates regardless of victim characteristics. Solve rates for non-fatal shootings vary widely but tend to be well below those for murder, at least in part due to overwhelming caseloads.

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The only cop in town

October 24, 2018

The U.S. has 2,000 or so 1-officer police departments. This photo-essay highlights “the only cop in town” in 3 such agencies located in Delaware, Kansas, and Alaska, along with brief audio clips. One common theme for the chiefs is that they know their residents, and the residents know them, which has its pros and cons. One comments “You know everybody, and you know how they are. You’re seeing them at their worst, but you know how they are at their best too.”

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.

Gun death rates

March 26, 2018

This column compares the 50 states on gun death rates, noting that nationally, over half are suicides while 37% are homicides. Alaska, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma have the highest gun death rates, all at least 5 times higher than Massachusetts, which has the lowest rate. Other states with the lowest rates are New York, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

Disproportion persists in marijuana arrests

February 1, 2018

The number of marijuana arrests has dropped dramatically in several jurisdictions following adoption of legalization measures, but people of color are still sharply over-represented, according to this article. Despite similar levels of marijuana use across racial groups, the arrest rate of blacks is 11 times higher than for whites in Washington, DC, 10 times higher in Alaska, and nearly 3 times higher in Colorado.

Best states for a police career

May 10, 2017

Here’s another of those lists. It ranks the states (and DC) based on 20 criteria in 3 general categories: opportunity & competition for police jobs, police hazards & protections, and quality of life. The best state for a police career is North Dakota, followed by Connecticut and New York. The worst is Louisiana, followed by Arkansas and Alaska.

Police salaries highest in New Jersey

January 16, 2015

This article reports that police salaries are highest in New Jersey, followed by California and Alaska. These are also high cost-of-living states, plus NJ has strong police unions. The sustainability of high police salaries for budget-strapped municipalities continues to be discussed around the country.