Posts Tagged ‘DC’

Protest/riot charges dropped

July 9, 2018

This article reports federal prosecutors dropping charges against 38 remaining defendants from the DC presidential inauguration protest 18 months ago. Over 200 protesters were initially charged with felonies related to conspiracy to riot. The end result was 1 felony guilty plea, 20 misdemeanor pleas, 6 acquittals, and the rest dropped charges. Officials cited over $100,000 in property damage caused by the protest/riot. One defendant said “it’s hard not to feel cynical about the enormous amount of power that prosecutors have to overcharge people, disrupt their lives, and then drop cases before having to face any consequences in court.”

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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.

Gil Kerlikowske taking it easier

October 9, 2017

This article is a nice profile of Gil Kerlikowske, most recently head of the 60,000-person U.S. Customs & Border Protection, previously drug czar and police chief in Seattle and Buffalo. One of the most respected law enforcement leaders of the last few decades, he’s now doing some volunteering and part-time teaching.

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.

Fired and reinstated

August 7, 2017

This article summarizes data from 37 large agencies, finding that 1,881 officers were fired for misconduct since 2006 but over 450 were reinstated after appeals. “In many cases, the underlying misconduct was undisputed, but arbitrators often concluded that the firings were unjustified because departments had been too harsh, missed deadlines, lacked sufficient evidence or failed to interview witnesses.” Chiefs express frustration whereas union officials argue that officers’ rights must be protected.

Re-tweeting causes fake crime wave

April 4, 2017

This article explains the recent “missing black girls” phenomenon in Washington, DC. The police department began a well-intentioned effort to publicize missing kids using social media — almost all are runaways who get found quickly anyway, but the hope was to find them even quicker. But then celebrities and activists generated thousands of re-tweets, conspiracy theorists jumped on board, and a fake crime wave was underway.

Position open at PERF

February 24, 2017

The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) in Washington, DC has an opening for a senior associate/project manager, according to this announcement. It requires at least 10 years relevant experience and a bachelor’s degree, with further education preferred.

Best places to look for police jobs

January 12, 2017

The internet is full of dubious rankings of best places to live, best to retire, etc. This column crunched data on police hiring, salaries, cost of living, and crime to rank order metropolitan areas combining job availability and desirability. Los Angeles came in first; the only metro regions east of the Mississippi making the top ten were Atlanta and DC.

Hard to please everyone

November 7, 2016

This article reports a 7-hour long meeting before the public safety committee of the Washington, DC city council during which residents had the opportunity to provide input about crime, police, and selection of a new police chief. The needs and perspectives of different people and neighborhoods often collide, making it difficult to find that elusive middle way.

NIBIN still underutilized

October 7, 2016

NIBIN is the computer system used to match guns, bullets, and shell casings. It is a potentially valuable investigative tool if, for example, police recover shell casings at a shooting scene and can connect them to a gun or ballistic evidence from prior cases. However, mainly due to technology and staffing costs, NIBIN is not available to all police agencies and is often underutilized by those that have it, according to this article.