Posts Tagged ‘Maryland’

New Capitol Police Chief

August 13, 2021

The U.S. Capitol Police have a new chief, Thomas Manger, formerly chief in Montgomery County, MD and Fairfax County, VA. As reported here, he was happily retired as of January 5, and then the next day could not believe what he watched on television. “I got very emotional. It was horrible. I watched cops getting hurt just trying to do their job so the members of Congress could do their job. It just shook me,” he says. Settling into his new position, Manger emphasizes that he’s not going to play politics. “It is the only way to stay true to the job. I’m politically agnostic. I’ve met the members of the committees that have oversight. I’ve met Democratic and Republican leaders. They’ve been very helpful. What they’ve said is encouraging. They just want me to communicate with them.”

Behind the badge

June 9, 2021

CBS News “Sunday Morning” recently devoted an hour-long show to policing, available here. Included are interviews with Bill Bratton and a variety of street-level officers from across the country, plus segments on policing in Europe and Japan, and reports on alternative strategies such as non-police responses to people experiencing behavioral crisis.

California the best state to be a police officer

May 15, 2021

The ratings company WalletHub has published its analysis of the best and worst states to be a police officer, based on 30 weighted metrics related to pay and benefits, training requirements, hazards, and job protections. The ratings and an explanation of the methodology are here. The three best states are California, Connecticut, and Maryland, while the three worst are Hawaii, Nevada, and Kentucky.

Police union contracts and reform

February 3, 2021

This article predicts that reformers will soon start targeting police union contracts, noting that “Over multiple rounds of negotiations, the number of job protections has slowly ratcheted up in many contracts as unions representing police pushed for rules that protect their members.” Houston and Chicago are currently in negotiations, with Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Memphis, Phoenix, and San Francisco coming up this summer. Topics recommended for reconsideration include grievance procedures, arbitration, misconduct reporting, internal investigation protocols, and record keeping.


December 19, 2020

This two-part story from Arnold Ventures, here and here, describes the development of the ICAT (Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics) model and de-escalation training. Initiated in 2014, it was controversial and strongly resisted at first, but since then has been widely adopted and found to be effective. The two-part series includes testimonials from officers in several departments who acknowledge they were skeptical at first but discovered that the training was realistic and practical, and who have since been able to apply it in the field.

Cutting police budgets, 4 months later

November 5, 2020


Several cities moved to cut police budgets following protests early last summer. This blog post updates the situation in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and San Francisco. The two California departments are facing cuts of $150 and $120 million while Minneapolis expects a 7% cut. Baltimore’s city council approved a 4% cut but the mayor has not implemented it. Nationally, despite talk of defunding, “Though a few major cities made headlines for their announced budget cuts, more than half increased or maintained police spending as a percentage of their discretionary spending. Overall, police spending as a share of general funds in 34 large cities decreased less than 1 percent from last year.”

Tough on chiefs

August 18, 2020

The balancing act that police chiefs face, always tough, has become even more difficult in the current climate, as reported here. Impossible demands and unrealistic expectations can imperil even the most experienced and reform-minded chiefs. One observer notes “progressive cities are relentlessly unforgiving to progressive chiefs” and another comments “It’s hard to know what success will look like for today’s police chief.” Reflecting on the Atlanta chief’s resignation just hours after an officer shot and killed a suspect, a local journalist wrote “Sadly, it’s the unforgiving environment we’re in. Atlanta is losing a calming police chief who has been implementing the very reforms protesters are rightfully demanding of police departments throughout America.”

Fewer police shootings in large cities

June 8, 2020

Since the Washington Post and others started systematically counting deaths in police custody 5 years ago, the total number per year in the U.S. has stayed relatively flat. However, this analysis reports that the number has decreased 30% in large cities since 2013, and 17% since 2015. There has also been a 37% decrease in total (fatal and non-fatal) police shootings since 2013, according to data available for 23 of the large cities. These drops have been offset by increases in suburban and rural areas. The author speculates that reforms implemented in many big cities since 2015 have not been as widely adopted in non-urban jurisdictions.

Police budget cuts looming

May 6, 2020

The economic fallout from COVID-19 is expected to have an impact on police agency budgets. San Diego’s proposal would reduce helicopter air support and eliminate 7 civilian investigator positions, a recruiting initiative, and funding for at-risk youth mentoring, as reported here. The L.A. County sheriff plans to close 2 patrol stations, cancel 4 of 12 academy classes, and cut 10 positions from homeless outreach, as reported here. Baltimore’s mayor is proposing cutting hundreds of vacant positions city-wide, reducing additional district-level intelligence centers from 5 to 2, reducing helicopter air time, and reorganizing the mounted and traffic units, as reported here.

Threatening to commit mass shootings

September 3, 2019

This article reports over 40 people arrested around the country over the last month for threatening to commit mass shootings or bombings, most after tips from the public. Common themes included right-wing ideology and threats against schools, Walmarts, and Planned Parenthood. The nature of the cases ranged from “vague social media threats from juveniles that set parents on edge to well-developed plots from people who had access to weapons and appeared to authorities to have been planning a mass murder.”