Posts Tagged ‘Maine’

More died from gunshots than car crashes in 2020

January 11, 2022

According to CDC data, gunshot deaths exceeded car crash fatalities in 2020 for the 4th year in a row, as reported here. More than 45,000 people died of gunshot wounds in the U.S., an all-time high. The total was up 14% over 2019, the biggest one year spike on record. The age-adjusted gun death rate was the highest since 1994. The increase was largely driven by homicides, which increased 35% in one year. Mississippi and Louisiana had the highest rates of gun deaths, while Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New Jersey had the lowest. Mississippi’s rate was more than 8 times higher than Hawaii’s and more than twice the national average. Nationally, Black males between the ages of 15-34 continued to bear the brunt of gun homicides, accounting for 42% of victims — but representing only 2% of the population.

5 facts about crime in the U.S.

October 21, 2019

A useful synopsis of crime in the U.S. as of 2018 is available here from the Pew Research Center. Violent and property crime are down dramatically over the last 25 years, although these gains are not always recognized by the public. Crime rates vary substantially around the country — Alaska and New Mexico have violent crime rates 4 times higher than Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Death certificates often inaccurate

October 20, 2018

According to this article, cause of death and other information on death certificates is often incorrect — 20% to 50% contain errors based on studies conducted in several jurisdictions. Reasons seem to include lack of training, assigning the task to the lowest staffer on the totem pole, and poorly-designed forms. One result of the errors has been that survivors aren’t eligible for insurance payouts that they actually deserve. Also, violence and disease studies that rely on death certificate data are probably less valid than one might assume.

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 ┬árecruiting 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.”

Drones for crash investigation

August 7, 2018

This article reports growing police use of drones for crash investigation. Estimates are that the overhead technology cuts the time needed to document the scene by half or even two-thirds, which saves money, reduces traffic disruption, and puts officers in less danger on the highway. This type of drone usage does not generally arouse the privacy and civil liberty concerns associated with surveillance and has been permitted in some states that have otherwise restrictive legislation.

Ransomware

September 28, 2016

This article describes and explains the cyber threat known as ransomware, in which a hacker compromises a company’s or agency’s online data and then demands a payment to fix or return the data. Several law enforcement agencies have been victims of this form of digital extortion, although attacks on corporations are certainly more lucrative.