Posts Tagged ‘Illinois’

Pipeline to trouble starts early

April 28, 2017

According to this article, Illinois has a high rate of suspensions of kids from state-funded preschools. A coalition of police chiefs and prosecutors argues this is counter-productive and is asking the legislature to implement consistent standards for these preschools and professional development for their staffs.

Evidence management & control

March 8, 2017

One topic that doesn’t always get a lot of attention is evidence management, yet every police department comes into possession of drugs, cash, jewelry, and other valuable property. This article notes¬†“weekly news accounts of police departments whose evidence rooms have been jeopardized due to lost or stolen evidence” and discusses the use of modern systems and technology for better control and risk reduction.

Taking unsolved murders seriously

February 9, 2017

This article describes work done by a former journalist to compile and analyze data on unsolved murders throughout the U.S. — well over 200,000 since 1980. Police departments initially ignored his data and alerts about cases possibly linked to serial killers, but have recently started to take notice.

Violent crime down in NYC

January 5, 2017

Shootings and homicides continued to decline in New York City in 2016, according to this article. The city had 4 shootings per 100,000 population, compared to 28 in Chicago. Overall, the city’s reported crime was down 4% compared to 2015.

Murders not solved in Chicago

November 6, 2016

This article reports on Chicago’s declining clearance rate for homicides, which has dropped from 80% to below 26% over the last 25 years. The volume of murders doesn’t account for the precipitous decrease — the city actually had twice as many killings back in 1991, but was much more successful at solving them.

Open data on police complaints

October 26, 2016

This article from the Sunlight Foundation provides an update on several local initiatives to make complaints data more accessible and transparent, with specific examples and links. Efforts in Indianapolis, New York, and Seattle are particularly noteworthy, as well as the White House Police Data Initiative.

Reform pressure through insurance

October 14, 2016

This article discusses the role that liability insurance plays in encouraging police reform. While big cities are often self-insured, smaller jurisdictions need risk protection at a reasonable cost, giving insurance providers significant leverage. Some police departments have been eliminated when insurance was canceled and many others have upgraded policies, training, and personnel practices in order to maintain affordable coverage.

NIBIN still underutilized

October 7, 2016

NIBIN is the computer system used to match guns, bullets, and shell casings. It is a potentially valuable investigative tool if, for example, police recover shell casings at a shooting scene and can connect them to a gun or ballistic evidence from prior cases. However, mainly due to technology and staffing costs, NIBIN is not available to all police agencies and is often underutilized by those that have it, according to this article.

Predictive policing

October 4, 2016

This article provides a thorough overview of current predictive policing initiatives, which tend to be either location-focused or offender-focused. So far, evidence of their effectiveness is lacking, and civil liberties concerns remain.

Disproportionate impact in ATF stings

September 26, 2016

ATF sting targets in Chicago have been disproportionately black and Hispanic, according to this article, which cites an independent analysis filed on behalf of several federal defendants. The analysis concluded there was “only a 0.1% chance that agents could have selected so many minorities by chance, even if they were targeting only people with criminal records that suggested they were likely to be part of a robbery crew, as ATF policies require.”