Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Lessons learned from mass shootings

May 4, 2017

This article reviews the 2015 San Bernardino and 2016 Orlando mass shootings and subsequent police responses, along with lessons learned. It notes that “In both instances, patrol and traffic officers, investigators, and command personnel—not tactical teams—were the first law enforcement personnel to arrive on scene” and considers whether current active shooter protocols need to be adapted to fit terrorist, IED, and suicide-bomber scenarios.

Taser … Axon

April 25, 2017

This article provides details on Taser’s re-branding as Axon, emphasizing data services over equipment. Its offer of free body-worn cameras for one year has been compared to a free facial tattoo (hard to undo) while others see a visionary business model mimicking Microsoft and Apple. Meanwhile several cities have criticized the company for strong-arm tactics and competitors have filed legal actions.

Analysis of police shootings in Florida

April 8, 2017

This article analyzes 827 police shootings in Florida from 2009 through 2014, over half of which were fatal. About one-fifth of the people shot by police were unarmed and those were disproportionately black. Detailed descriptions of several cases illustrate the confusing, tragic, and stressful circumstances in which many incidents occur.

Making the transition from soldier to cop

March 31, 2017

This article highlights challenges faced by officers and their departments when transitioning from combat to civilian policing. National data are elusive but the rate of psychological issues, including PTSD and suicide, seems higher among returning soldiers. In addition, veterans’ preference in police hiring often interferes with efforts to increase the number of women and minority officers.

Protest monitoring via social media

March 27, 2017

This article discusses police use of social media feeds, facial recognition, and other methods of surveillance to monitor protests in Jacksonville, Florida. It raises the classic public order versus freedom of speech issue, with a modern technology twist.

Risk/reward in SWAT no-knock entries

March 18, 2017

This in-depth 2-part series, located here and here, examines the practice of no-knock dynamic entries by SWAT teams. National data are not systematically collected, but nearly 100 deaths are known to have occurred in such raids since 2010, including at least 13 police officers. The vast majority of raids are drug cases, leading some police and legal experts to question whether the rewards justify the risks.

Terrorism & mental health

January 23, 2017

Following incidents as recent as the Fort Lauderdale airport shootings, this article provides a timely summary of studies examining the linkage between mental health and terrorism. Mental disorders do seem to be more prevalent among lone-wolf actors inspired by extremist ideologies than among terrorists following directions or acting as a group. The causal relationship between the individual’s mental illness and the commission of a terrorist act is not so clear, however.

Finding fault vs. fixing cause

November 20, 2016

This article contrasts the forward-looking approach that follows an aviation accident with the fault-finding approach used after a police-involved shooting. The aim in aviation is to discover the cause so that systems and procedures can be improved in order to make future tragedies less likely. After police shootings, the main focus is on determining who to blame. The authors are two aviation experts who each lost sons to police shootings.

Voters in several cities enhance civilian oversight

November 12, 2016

Voters in Denver, New Orleans, Honolulu, Miami, and San Francisco approved measures strengthening civilian oversight of police last Tuesday, according to this article, while a new civilian police commission was created in Oakland. Given predictions that DOJ civil rights enforcement will be significantly scaled back under the Trump administration, the locus of police accountability seems likely to shift even more toward the local level during the next few years.

Attorney General Janet Reno

November 10, 2016

This remembrance of Janet Reno, the first woman U.S. Attorney General, who passed away this week, emphasizes her  leading role in recognizing the potential of DNA and science for improving the administration of justice. A former local prosecutor in Florida, she had great empathy for police and other criminal justice officials who work long and hard on behalf of justice and, more than anything else, want to get it right. Another appreciative column is here.