Posts Tagged ‘Georgia’

Insurance companies funding police investigations

August 19, 2019

This article discusses the practice of insurance companies funding police (and sometimes prosecutors) to investigate cases of alleged insurance fraud. On the plus side, it’s an example of public-private partnership and cost sharing. In some cases, however, it puts police in the position of serving the financial interests of insurance companies. The article reports several examples of flawed investigations that wreaked havoc on individuals later determined to be innocent.

Atlanta PD withdraws from federal task forces over BWC prohibition

May 31, 2019

Atlanta police will no longer participate in FBI, DEA, or Marshals task forces because those agencies will not allow APD officers to wear body cameras, as reported here. The decision follows a fatal shooting in January by an Atlanta officer working with the FBI, and one in 2016 with the Marshals, neither of which were recorded on officer video. The local district attorney praised the move, saying “In Atlanta, a city steeped in civil rights tradition and a place which strives to follow the example set for us by the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., your decision to remove Atlanta police officers from federal task force operations for the sake of transparency and accountability should not be understated.”

Elder fraud

March 8, 2019

U.S. authorities announced a year-long “largest-ever” elder fraud crackdown resulting in criminal and civil charges against 260 defendants for defrauding more than 2 million victims out of $750 million, as reported here. The total annual loss to elder Americans is estimated at $3 billion. The investigation was aided by Europol and police in several individual countries, with “alleged fraudsters charged criminally and extradited from Canada, the Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Poland.” An additional 600 U.S.-based “money mules” who helped transfer funds were identified, most receiving warning letters rather than charges because they didn’t realize they were facilitating scams.

How many school shootings?

August 29, 2018

This public radio segment reviewed the data behind a U.S. Department of Education report that during the 2015-2016 school year “nearly 240 schools … reported at least 1 incident involving a school-related shooting.” That figure is apparently way off. When NPR followed up, 2/3 of the schools (161) said no such incident occurred. Only 11 incidents could be verified, while another 59 could not be confirmed or disconfirmed. Many cases were mis-classified in the data, with two school systems accounting for 63 of the errors.

Hitting the road for recruiting

August 17, 2018

This article reports police recruiting challenges across the country, citing the police legitimacy crisis as well as the millennial generation’s lower interest in traditional careers. The article follows the Floyd County, Georgia chief on an unsuccessful  recruiting trip to Fort Benning and interviews the Portland, Maine chief about changing some hiring criteria. What would solve the hiring crunch? “Recruiters say privately that they are praying for an economic downturn or a decline in military spending, both of which would boost the cop pipeline.”

Adopt-a-cop

June 11, 2018

This article describes the Adopt-a-Cop program in Brookhaven, Georgia in which officers can sign up to be paired with a local Catholic family that prays for their safety. The sergeant who implemented the program wasn’t sure that many officers would be interested, but it has become popular and some have established strong relationships with their “adopted” families. Nationally (and internationally) there are 70 chapters of the program first started in Michigan in 1998.

Where killings go unsolved

June 7, 2018

This article analyzes over 50,000 homicides in U.S. cities, mapping neighborhoods with higher and lower clearance rates. There are variations between cities but also within, with fewer murders solved in low-income minority neighborhoods. Factors seem to include the challenge presented by drug- and gang-related cases, reluctant witnesses, lack of trust in police, and the resources devoted to homicide investigation.

Looking for strategic

May 7, 2018

Here’s an interesting long-read about a former CIA case officer now working as a police officer in Savannah, Georgia. His former life took him to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Jordan in pursuit of Al Qaeda leaders but he came to doubt that much was being accomplished. Back home in Savannah he says “We have to stop treating people like we’re in Fallujah.”

Competition in recruiting

April 22, 2018

This article reports continuing recruitment challenges facing police agencies due to the strong economy, retirement of baby-boomers, and recent negative narratives about policing. One result is more competition between agencies for the best recruits and lateral hires, including bonuses for successful applicants and for current officers who refer them. Average police salaries have been raised 15% since 2010 to make them more attractive. Larger agencies continue to offer substantially higher salaries than smaller ones.

Bad sheriffs

April 3, 2018

The U.S. has about 3,000 sheriffs, an office that goes back to colonial days and preceded the creation of police departments. This article reports numerous recent scandals, embarrassments, and shortcomings in sheriff’s offices around the country and discusses why they persist despite being an elected office that voters should be able to hold accountable.