Posts Tagged ‘Louisiana’

Outsourcing accident investigation

December 7, 2018

The city council in New Orleans has endorsed its police department’s plan to hire a third-party contractor to investigate non-injury traffic accidents, according to this article. The council resolution says “It’s time we strategically pivot in a way that allows us to free up existing manpower and also allows people involved in minor fender benders to move on without waiting many hours” for a police report. Data gathering and evidence collection will be done in a way that sworn investigators can follow-up cases, if needed.

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Firearm homicides & suicides in metro areas

November 10, 2018

This CDC report looks at firearm homicides and suicides in 2015-2016 in the 50 largest metropolitan areas. New Orleans had the highest homicide rate by firearm, Providence the lowest. Oklahoma City had the highest firearm suicide rate, New York the lowest. Combining the two (homicides and suicides), Boston had the lowest rate of firearm deaths while New Orleans had the highest, followed by Birmingham and Memphis. An unusual case was Salt Lake City, which had the 6th lowest homicide rate, but the 2nd highest suicide rate.

Vacant lots & abandoned buildings

August 24, 2018

This article reports efforts in various cities to reduce crime by focusing on places, especially vacant lots and abandoned buildings. The approach follows the same logic as broken windows theory, but emphasizes improving the physical environment rather than police action. A Philadelphia experiment resulted in a 39% reduction in gun violence in and around remediated abandoned buildings and a small decrease for fixed-up vacant lots, with no evidence of displacement and impacts lasting 1-4 years.

Improving line-up procedures

July 16, 2018

This article reviews suggested modifications to police line-up procedures designed to reduce mistaken identifications by witnesses, which account for 29% of post-conviction exonerations. Better procedures have been well known for 20+ years and have been endorsed by professional organizations, but not all departments have adopted them. Louisiana recently enacted statewide requirements, with proposals also pending in California, Iowa, and New Mexico.

National standards for SROs

May 31, 2018

This article reports on proposed legislation in Congress that would establish national training standards for school resource officers. A few states have adopted specific training mandates for SROs but most have not. The proposals would also begin national data collection on SROs and develop a set of best practices.

Best & worst states to be a cop

May 9, 2018

This article from WalletHub assesses 25 different factors to rate the 50 states plus DC on the desirability of police employment. Criteria include cost of living, salaries, crime rate, and public image. The top 3 are North Dakota, New York, and Connecticut. The bottom 3 are Arkansas, Louisiana, and Idaho. Click the “Ask the Experts” link for a variety of perspectives — the comments from William Vizzard are short and to the point.

Crime prevention improvement districts

April 26, 2018

This article reports growing popularity of “crime prevention and improvement districts” in Baton Rouge and some other cities. Residential neighborhoods, mostly affluent with low crime, agree to an extra tax to pay for overtime patrols and other services. At the same time in Baton Rouge, city-wide tax increases for public safety have failed to win support. The result seems to be “concierge policing,” increasingly uneven police protection favoring those who can most afford it.

World’s most murderous cities

April 5, 2018

This article and map identify the world’s 50 deadliest cities in 2016. There is certainly a pattern — 43 are in Latin America and the Caribbean, 4 in the mainland U.S. (St. Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Detroit), and 3 in South Africa. Cities in Mexico, Brazil, and Venezuela occupy the top 12 (worst) rankings.

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.

Gun death rates

March 26, 2018

This column compares the 50 states on gun death rates, noting that nationally, over half are suicides while 37% are homicides. Alaska, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma have the highest gun death rates, all at least 5 times higher than Massachusetts, which has the lowest rate. Other states with the lowest rates are New York, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.