Posts Tagged ‘Colorado’

Risk management vs. civil rights

February 14, 2019

This article discusses the impact of Lexipol, a California-based company that provides policies to 3,400 public safety agencies around the U.S. The company says that agencies using its policies experience a reduction in legal claims and payments to plaintiffs. Critics say the approach is focused more on minimizing lawsuits than on improving police services to the public — “They’re designed for maximum protection against civil liability. It’s not maximum protection of civil rights.”

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FBI shooting data

February 12, 2019

FBI agents have been involved in 228 shooting incidents since 2011, including 113 accidental discharges, 34 animals, and 81 “intentional shootings involving people or objects” according to this NBC news segment and article. Agents were found at fault in 5 of the shootings, none of which resulted in fatalities. The bureau has not traditionally released information about its agent-involved shootings, and has not employed independent or external investigation. Looking ahead, the FBI will be administering the new national database of police shootings, announced last year — reportedly, “the bureau itself would also submit information to the database.”

NORAD tracking UFO

December 24, 2018

This website tracks an airborne globe-circling craft that reappears each year around this time. One Nordic touch-down documented here. Lights and music phenomena here.

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.

Fingerprints before computers

May 25, 2018

Fingerprints have been used for well over 100 years to conclusively identify people, but before computers it was nearly impossible to start with a latent print from a crime scene and match it to an otherwise unknown suspect. This 9-minute public radio segment tells the story of one exception from the 1920s, when a federal fingerprint examiner in DC with a really good memory linked a latent print from a Kansas murder, which was connected to a bank robbery/kidnapping/murders case in Colorado, to a 10-print card submitted following an arrest a year later in California.

Volunteer police

April 25, 2018

Practices and statutes vary around the country in regard to the use of reserves and auxiliaries, including whether they have police authority, can work alone, and can be armed. This article reports on Colorado, which recently established a state-funded program to train and certify Rangers who volunteer their time, mainly in smaller towns and rural areas. Sheriffs retain the power to appoint members of posses, although there is some debate over contradictory language in state law.

Positive views of peer support

March 20, 2018

This article summarizes findings from a study of peer support programs in 3 Colorado agencies. About 90% of officers who had used peer support said it was helpful and would recommend it to other officers in similar situations. Most of the 300+ officers who hadn’t used peer support cited not having had the need, while only 14% responded “I’m not the kind of person that asks for peer support.” About 20% reported having had experiences where “they should have been contacted by the peer support team and were not” suggesting the threshold for outreach might need adjustment.

Denver saves $4 million per year with in-house physical therapy

March 7, 2018

This article reports success in Denver from adding a physical therapist on staff. Total savings from worker comp claims in the police, sheriff, and fire departments have been $8 million in 2 years. The therapist sees about 150 employees per month.

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.

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.