Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Pulse and Parkland active shooter responses

March 9, 2018

This article compares the first few minutes of police response in the recent Parkland school mass shooting to the Pulse nightclub mass shooting that occurred in 2016, also in Florida. The circumstances differ and many details of both incidents are still not public, but in each case the officers first on the scene chose not to immediately enter the buildings. In the Pulse nightclub case the first officer, who did fire on the subject from outside before taking cover, was declared a hero, whereas in the Parkland case the first deputy was quickly labeled a coward.


Parkland school shooting

February 24, 2018

This article provides a summary of what’s known so far about how the FBI and local law enforcement handled the numerous tips and reports they received about the Parkland school shooter before the terrible events last week. This article provides some perspectives on the Broward County deputy’s apparent failure to rush in as the shooting was taking place.

Investigating officer-involved shootings in Florida

February 4, 2018

This article discusses the pros and cons of outside, independent investigation of officer-involved shootings. Most agencies in Central Florida turn to a state agency, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, to conduct such investigations, but the Brevard County sheriff mainly relies on his own staff, arguing that they are highly capable and that the FDLE is stretched too thin as it is.

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.

Park, walk & talk in St. Pete

November 20, 2017

This article reports several positive trends since a new police chief began emphasizing and tracking “park, walk & talk” in St. Petersburg, Florida three years ago. Tips to police are up, citizen complaints are down, and community leaders are supportive.

New fingerprint algorithm

November 1, 2017

This article and this video report a new fingerprint algorithm developed by the FBI that has so far identified over 200 bodies of unknown persons recovered decades ago. The technique substantially improves the hit rate on low-quality and single-finger prints.

Oregon vs. Minnesota on decertification

October 11, 2017

This article provides a detailed comparison of police licensing and decertification practices in Oregon and Minnesota. The system in Oregon is considered one of the best for transparency, thoroughness, and regularly updating; the state “dedicates a lot of energy and a lot of time to police our own” according to one sheriff.

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.

CIT success

August 14, 2017

This article describes the impact of Crisis Intervention Team Training (CIT) in South Florida, where arrests and shootings of people in mental health crisis have plummeted in Miami and Miami-Dade County. Authorities have been able to close a jail and funding for a new comprehensive treatment center has been approved. A spin-off effect has been more officers seeking mental health advice and treatment themselves.

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.