Posts Tagged ‘DC’

Bike fatalities up

February 11, 2019

Bike fatalities in 2016 were the highest since 1990, with 835 deaths, according to this article. One contributing factor could be the 50% increase over time in the number of people commuting to work on bicycles. Interestingly, though, several cities with the highest rates of biking to work — Portland, Minneapolis, DC, San Francisco, Seattle — had among the lowest fatality rates. The highest bike fatality rates were in Oklahoma City, San Antonio, and Jacksonville.

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Improving recruiting

February 5, 2019

This new report presents results from projects in 21 different jurisdictions aimed at identifying police recruiting messages and processes that produce more applicants and more people following through in the hiring process. The Behavioral Insights Team helped evaluate various alternatives to determine which ones worked better than others. One finding was that “Even small changes in how jobs are advertised can make a real difference to both the total number of applicants and the diversity of those applicants.”

More foot patrol in DC

January 17, 2019

DC is looking to add 150 officers over the next 4 years with an emphasis on “more front-line protectors to walk neighborhood beats and ride bikes, Segways and scooters,” according to this article. The police department eased the impact of a 2015 “retirement bubble” by hiring back 60-70 officers for 3 years. In the meantime a recruit class of 30 new officers starts each month. With a goal of reaching 4,000 officers, the chief says “We’re all competing with the same people who want to have a career in law enforcement, but we’re holding our own.”

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.”

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.