Posts Tagged ‘California’

COP in San Francisco

October 5, 2017

This article profiles community policing in a public housing area of San Francisco, including an officer who has voluntarily stayed in the assignment since 2008 in order to build relationships and trust with residents.


LAPD recognizes bravery & restraint

September 29, 2017

This article reports the LAPD’s annual ceremony recognizing heroic actions by officers. For the second year, awards included using restraint when fatal force might have been justified, a category that was initially criticized by the police union but now seems to have gained acceptance.

The Force

September 18, 2017

The Force is a new award-winning documentary whose director was embedded in the Oakland PD for two years. This column has the trailer and an interview with the director, who explains “one thing this film is looking to do is show people that cops have a difficult job. The conversation about police accountability needs to sit alongside the underlying problems that we are having in our communities. It’s asking you to hold two truths simultaneously.”

POP in Eureka

September 16, 2017

Two nice 8-minute videos here and here showing the Eureka PD POP team dealing with illegal encampments and similar problems. The agency completed a massive project last year to recover the “Devil’s Playground” overrun with homelessness and substance abuse, but still has stragglers causing safety and environmental concerns.

Likely the first Vietnamese-American police chief

September 13, 2017

This article profiles Timothy Vu, police chief in Alhambra, California, whose family fled Vietnam when he was 3 years old. He and his siblings worked numerous jobs as kids and that work ethic served him well rising through the ranks in Westminster, another city with many immigrants who tend to fear and distrust the police. His approach: “Ninety-five percent of this job is just talking to people. The best thing we can do is get out of our car and explain.”

Pros and cons of data-driven predictions

September 9, 2017

This article provides a balanced look at the use of data and algorithms to make predictions in criminal justice, including policing. It shows how decision making accuracy can be improved but also explains that it ultimately comes down to questions of values and fairness that can’t be settled by science.

Taser deaths

August 22, 2017

This article begins a series from Reuters on deaths associated with conducted-energy devices (Tasers). The company cites a total of 24 deaths resulting from Taser use since 1983, all due to falls or electrical fires. Examining autopsy findings, though, the news agency identified 153 cases (out of 1,000+ fatalities) citing the stun gun as a cause or contributing factor. The first installment highlights several deaths involving persons who were in mental health or other medical distress.

POP conference October 2-4

August 15, 2017

The 2017 Problem-Oriented Policing Conference will be held October 2-4 in Houston, Texas. The preliminary program is available here, and registration for the conference can be completed here. Goldstein award finalists making presentations are police agencies from Cincinnati, Eureka (CA), Houston, Lancashire (UK), Durham (UK), and Victoria (Canada).

More on proprietary big data systems

August 12, 2017

This article reports the experiences of several law enforcement agencies with Palantir’s data analysis systems. The company’s hardware and software systems, originally developed for intelligence agencies, help with integration and visualization of data stored in multiple “silos.” LAPD was able to cut the time required to produce Chronic Offender Bulletins from an hour to 3-5 minutes, which helped reduce violent crime in one target district by 15%. The systems are very expensive, however, and some users complain about hard-to-use software, costly upgrades, poor technical support, incompatibility with non-Palantir systems used by other agencies, and generally being at the mercy of the company once its products have been purchased and installed.

Community policing to counter violent extremism

August 5, 2017

This report provides a thorough description and assessment of an LAPD initiative to counter violent extremism by using community policing. The process evaluation concluded that “adopting a community policing model is a necessary approach to better protect and serve communities at risk for violent radicalization.” The study identified numerous challenges to such an approach, including opposing narratives within communities over whether to cooperate with police, but also identified practical ways to overcome differences and build resilience.