Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

Data-driven policing for public trust

July 16, 2018

Most of the focus of data-driven and evidence-based policing has been on the goal of reducing crime. This article reports efforts in New York and several other PDs to collect real-time data on public sentiment toward police. Using short pop-up surveys on smartphones and other modern techniques, geo-based responses from thousands of people can be collected at fairly low cost. The question then becomes what to do with the data — police commanders are still working on that.


Prevalence of police in schools varies

July 12, 2018

This article reviews data on police assigned to schools. Two-thirds of high school students attend a school that has an officer assigned, compared to 45% for middle school and 19% for elementary school. School officers are most common in Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and North Carolina, least common in New York, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Iowa, and Michigan. The evidence on the impact of officers in schools on arrests, offenses, and student behavior is mixed and inconclusive.

Busy streets in Flint

June 19, 2018

This article describes a neighborhood initiative in Flint, Michigan credited with achieving substantial reductions in crime and disorder over the period 2012-2017. A broad collaboration between residents and various partners, the emphasis was on community empowerment much more than police enforcement.


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.

Policing addiction

June 10, 2018

This article reports the increasingly-popular development of non-arrest alternatives to drug cases, especially those that begin with overdoses. Gloucester, Massachusetts PD is credited with taking the first big step in 2015 when they announced that anyone coming to them would immediately be connected with treatment. Since then, some 390 police departments have joined a national network that has helped 12,000 people get into treatment. One chief agrees this shouldn’t be a police-run system, saying “I hope that at some point we put ourselves out of business, and health care and public health take the ball.”

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.

Flint PD — broken department in a broken city

March 15, 2018

Netflix is currently airing a gritty 8-part documentary “Flint Town” that captures violence and desperation in a failing city, produced by film makers who were embedded with the police department for 20 months. The PD is badly understaffed, overwhelmed, and frustrated. As one officer wrote, “How can citizens in Flint trust the police to protect them when they can’t even trust their government to provide them with clean water?” The film’s trailer is here. An 8-minute scene from the documentary is here. A column about the film and the city is available here.

More sociable media

February 20, 2018

This article appreciates the humorous content distributed on Twitter by the Troy, Michigan police department to its 3,500 followers. The sergeant responsible says “people will get a traffic ticket and that negative experience leaves a long lasting impression, so this is kind of a good way to show our other side, which we don’t often have the opportunity to do.”


November 3, 2017

This article briefly describes several successful police uses of drones to locate suspects, document crime scenes, and watch over evacuation zones. One source estimated 350 departments using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as of 2016. The Police Foundation offers resources about drones here, here, and here.