Posts Tagged ‘California’

LAPD Chief Beck

February 23, 2018

Here’s a 30-minute radio interview with retiring LAPD chief Charlie Beck. He discusses the timing of his retirement, the qualities to look for in the next chief, insider versus outsider chiefs, changes in the police department over his 40-year career, and a variety of other topics.


Homeless outreach in Redlands

February 19, 2018

This article describes the work of the police department’s part-time non-sworn homeless outreach coordinator in Redlands, California. The city saw an increase in its homeless population in 2017 and is addressing the problem more proactively with both services and enforcement.

Promotional exam cheating

February 12, 2018

This article reports sharing of exam questions among promotion candidates in the Riverside County, CA sheriff department. The practice was so common that participants did not view it as cheating and apparently none have been disciplined, in fact some have been promoted. One concern is how the actions may be used to attack deputies’ credibility in court testimony.

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.

Next leg in the LAPD relay

January 29, 2018

LAPD police chief Charlie Beck recently announced that he will retire in June. This article discusses the factors involved in selecting his successor, who will take the “cultural transformation baton” from Beck, who took it from Bill Bratton, who was brought in from the outside to instigate lasting change in 2002. According to one observer, “The next chief has to have deep fidelity to this long-term strategy … If candidates come in talking about their new vision, they shouldn’t get the job.”

Getting oversight right

January 24, 2018

This article discusses the pros and cons of various alternatives for achieving police accountability, such as civilian review, police auditors, and special commissions. The public tends to want an independent process but the oversight systems don’t always succeed and they risk diluting the chief or sheriff’s responsibility for discipline. Chicago is cited as one place currently trying several options at once.

Vision Zero working in NY & San Francisco

January 10, 2018

Vision Zero is a comprehensive traffic safety initiative being implemented in various jurisdictions, with a primary focus on engineering solutions to improve the physical street infrastructure. This article reports that New York and San Francisco both saw “fewer traffic deaths in 2017 than at any point on record.”

Black and blue

December 27, 2017

Here are four stories about black police officers working to balance black and blue in the post-Ferguson era: a veteran sergeant in Atlanta (The Shooting Instructor); an outspoken woman sergeant in San Francisco (The Truth Teller); a just-retired patrol officer/rapper in Akron (The Man on the Street); and a young patrol officer in Pittsburgh (The Bridge Builder).

Random acts of kindness

December 24, 2017

This time of year, many law enforcement agencies participate in programs such as toys for tots, turkey giveaways, and shopping trips for needy families. Here’s one nice example. Using $5,000 donated by a local business, the sheriff’s department in Madera County, California was able to surprise 50 deserving residents with gifts of $100 just in time for the holidays. After delivering the gifts, some deputies circled back on their own with groceries and even a load of firewood.

Coroner versus forensic pathologist

December 12, 2017

This article reports the resignation of the San Joaquin County, California forensic pathologist over disagreements with his sheriff/coroner. In 50 of the state’s counties a pathologist determines cause of death but then the sheriff/coroner has the final say on manner of death. The resigning pathologist had several deaths that he ruled homicide but which the sheriff labeled accidents, including death-in-custody cases.