Posts Tagged ‘Missouri’

Graffiti — vandalism or street art?

July 6, 2018

This column discusses evolving strategies used by cities to deal with graffiti, including rapid removal and designating locations for street art. “Art alleys” and wall murals, examples of “second-generation graffiti,” are increasingly popular. But one expert says “Most of the kids doing graffiti are not into artistic murals. The tagging motivation is to seek notoriety. The gang motivation is to instill fear.” Big cities continue to spend millions per year on graffiti eradication.

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Where killings go unsolved

June 7, 2018

This article analyzes over 50,000 homicides in U.S. cities, mapping neighborhoods with higher and lower clearance rates. There are variations between cities but also within, with fewer murders solved in low-income minority neighborhoods. Factors seem to include the challenge presented by drug- and gang-related cases, reluctant witnesses, lack of trust in police, and the resources devoted to homicide investigation.

Gun deaths of men by race & state

May 12, 2018

This article and video report an analysis of 9 years of U.S. death certificates, comparing non-Hispanic black and white men. Four findings stand out regarding men’s gun deaths: (1) nationally, black men were about 15 times more likely than white men to die of firearm homicides; (2) white men were almost 3 times more likely to die of gun suicides; (3) rates varied widely across the states; and (4) firearm homicides were higher in urban areas while gun suicides were higher in rural areas. Rhode Island had the lowest overall gun homicide rate, Missouri the highest. Massachusetts had the lowest firearm suicide rate, New Mexico the highest.

New Haven’s secret sauce

May 7, 2018

This article reports a visit by St. Louis police to New Haven, where the PD and the Yale Child Study Center have collaborated for 27 years to deliver prevention and treatment services to at-risk families and youth. Officers and clinicians make joint home visits as one way to implement community policing and overcome bureaucratic silos in the Connecticut city.

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.

Phantom debt scam

December 9, 2017

Estimates are that Americans are late on $600 billion in payments and 10% are on debt collectors’ lists. That’s a lot of real debt plus an opening for big-time fraud. Here’s an interesting story about a man who got harassed and threatened over a loan he had already repaid, leading him to unravel a huge fake debt scam, the head of which allegedly took in over $2 billion in a decade, bought a private jet, and started his own Ferrari racing team.

Policy, training, tactics

October 18, 2017

This 4-minute St. Louis public radio story and article discuss the role of policy, training, and tactics in deadly force situations. Public pressure is currently focused on tightening policies, but experts think unnecessary police shootings result more often from poor tactics such as failing to use distance and cover.

Oregon vs. Minnesota on decertification

October 11, 2017

This article provides a detailed comparison of police licensing and decertification practices in Oregon and Minnesota. The system in Oregon is considered one of the best for transparency, thoroughness, and regularly updating; the state “dedicates a lot of energy and a lot of time to police our own” according to one sheriff.

Who owns the streets?

September 26, 2017

This column provides a journalist’s personal account of being assaulted and detained in St. Louis on Sunday. This commentary┬ásays the events were a police riot and notes that others assaulted by police included an undercover officer and an Air Force lieutenant walking with his wife in his home neighborhood. The city’s mayor criticized┬ápolice chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!” and the acting chief saying “we owned the night.”