Posts Tagged ‘California’

Data-driven policing for public trust

July 16, 2018

Most of the focus of data-driven and evidence-based policing has been on the goal of reducing crime. This article reports efforts in New York and several other PDs to collect real-time data on public sentiment toward police. Using short pop-up surveys on smartphones and other modern techniques, geo-based responses from thousands of people can be collected at fairly low cost. The question then becomes what to do with the data — police commanders are still working on that.


Not a police matter

July 16, 2018

Police have been called recently to deal with a black guy wearing socks at a private pool (in Memphis), an 11-year-old black kid on his first day delivering newspapers (in Cincinnati), a 12-year-old black kid mowing a lawn who accidentally crossed into a neighbor’s yard (outside Cleveland), and a 9-year-old black girl selling water outside her apartment building (in San Francisco). This article discusses what police should do, including having call takers ask more specific questions and routing such calls through supervisors before assigning them to patrol officers.

Improving line-up procedures

July 16, 2018

This article reviews suggested modifications to police line-up procedures designed to reduce mistaken identifications by witnesses, which account for 29% of post-conviction exonerations. Better procedures have been well known for 20+ years and have been endorsed by professional organizations, but not all departments have adopted them. Louisiana recently enacted statewide requirements, with proposals also pending in California, Iowa, and New Mexico.

Houston chief recognized

July 5, 2018

Houston police chief Art Acevedo is among those recognized this year by the Carnegie Corporation in its annual “Great Immigrants” initiative, as reported here. Acevedo’s family came from Cuba when he was 4 years old. He came up through the ranks of the California Highway Patrol and then was police chief in Austin, Texas for 9 years before his Houston appointment in 2016.

Officers recognized for innovative solutions

June 27, 2018

This article reports 14 LAPD officers completing a 12-month certificate program delivered by the public policy and social work schools at the University of Southern California. Attendees “learned evidence-based techniques to reduce the need for force and become better prepared to face today‚Äôs complicated policing issues, such as homelessness, mental illness, domestic violence and human trafficking.” Officers complete a capstone project on a specific problem that they identify, and present their solutions to command staff in the department’s Compstat room.

Research in the ranks

June 25, 2018

This article reports the recent conference of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing, which mainly featured current police officers presenting results from their own research. The organization, just a few years old, mirrors similar ones in the UK, Canada, Australia/New Zealand plus initial efforts in India and Mexico. The emphasis is on learning and applying what works, rather than simply relying on “what we’ve always done” or copying the latest popular idea from a neighboring agency.

Civilian police commissioners

June 21, 2018

This column discusses the potential benefits of utilizing civilian police commissioners at the head of police departments, including current or past examples in New York, Baltimore, and a few other cities. The argument is that commissioners “maintain a level of objectivity and avoid much of the conflict that uniformed police chiefs often face in having to balance their allegiance between the elected officials who appointed them and the personnel who share the uniform that they wear.”

Getting better data on police stops

June 16, 2018

This article reports San Diego PD preparing to collect more detailed data on people stopped by police, something required by a new state law taking effect July 1. This article reports a similar pilot project being implemented by Denver PD. Both agencies express optimism that the data will help them improve their effectiveness and promise to make the information readily available to the public.

Policing the homeless

June 13, 2018

PERF has released a new report on the police response to homelessness, emphasizing problem solving, innovation, and partnerships as alternatives to either making arrests or doing nothing. Insights from police departments all over the country are included, as well as background information on how the problem overlaps with mental illness and substance abuse.

Podcast on ALPR effectiveness

June 9, 2018

Here’s a 13-minute podcast describing the Vallejo PD’s use of scientific methods to test the effectiveness of automated license plate readers (ALPRs). The presenter, Jason Potts, is a lieutenant with the police department, one of the founders of the American Society of Evidence Based Policing (ASEBP), and a National Institute of Justice LEADS Scholar.