Posts Tagged ‘Georgia’

Recognition well deserved

November 22, 2017

This article reports the NYPD naming its police academy library in honor of Benjamin Ward, the city’s first African American police commissioner, appointed to that position in 1984. This article reports Prince William County, Virginia naming a new police station after Charlie Deane, their chief from 1988-2012 who led them through contentious immigration issues. This article reports Lou Dekmar, chief in Lagrange, Georgia and current IACP President, honored at the Kennedy Center in DC by the Anti-Defamation League as “a bridge builder for racial reconciliation in the south.”

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Transparency or public relations?

October 26, 2017

This article reviews police practices in releasing body cam video, noting a tendency to promote positive stories while refusing to provide video in situations where actions might have been improper. This pattern risks hurting police legitimacy if the public comes to believe that officials are cherry-picking what to release rather than truly honoring transparency.

IACP launches trust-building initiative

October 25, 2017

This article reports several initiatives of new IACP president Lou Dekmar, including trust building and improved responses to at-risk aging persons. The trust-building effort is supported by a $1 million grant from basketball legend Michael Jordan. Dekmar will receive a hero award from the Anti-Defamation League next Monday at the Kennedy Center for his acknowledgement and apology for his agency’s complicity in a 1940 lynching.

Taser deaths

August 22, 2017

This article begins a series from Reuters on deaths associated with conducted-energy devices (Tasers). The company cites a total of 24 deaths resulting from Taser use since 1983, all due to falls or electrical fires. Examining autopsy findings, though, the news agency identified 153 cases (out of 1,000+ fatalities) citing the stun gun as a cause or contributing factor. The first installment highlights several deaths involving persons who were in mental health or other medical distress.

De-merger possible in Savannah

July 23, 2017

This column reports a vote by the Savannah, Georgia City Council to begin the process of ending their police merger with Chatham County, following the county’s failure to meet deadlines associated with a recommended staffing increase. The city and county merged their police departments in 2005 but otherwise maintained separate governments.

Defunding police

July 17, 2017

In response to police shootings and related controversies, activists in some cities have pushed to shift police funding over to social services, arguing such an approach would contribute more to community safety. This article discusses the proposal and questions whether it would accomplish what its proponents hope for.

Compressed recruiting

May 17, 2017

This brief news item reports targeted recruiting by the Gwinnett County, Georgia police aimed at filling 123 open positions. The department offers testing and preliminary background checks over a 2-day period at strategically selected off-site locations. A recent visit to Rochester, NY, where local police hiring is slow due to a cumbersome civil service process, resulted in 54 applicants receiving conditional job offers.

Profiling in Banks County, Georgia

May 9, 2017

According to this article, the judge in a Georgia traffic stop case “determined they [two defendants, one an NBA player] were targets of racial profiling, found their traffic stop unjustified and threw out all evidence seized in the case.” The prosecutor said “randomness or coincidence could not explain the overwhelming numbers of minorities being stopped” by the sheriff’s deputy who brought the case. The deputy had been forced to resign from two previous law enforcement positions; the incident lacked any audio or video evidence but dispatch and towing records conflicted with his account.

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.

Swifter discipline in the age of video

April 17, 2017

This article reports two recent incidents in which video led to quick discipline decisions by police administrators, in one case firing two officers within 24 hours of footage being released. While the proper timing of police body cam release is debated and currently varies across states and departments, citizens’ cell phone video is a different story. One expert comments “It literally makes no sense to me … that police officers in 2017 don’t understand they’re being videotaped.”