Posts Tagged ‘Nebraska’

50/50 whether homicides get solved

July 14, 2022

The national clearance rate for homicides has fallen to about 50%, the lowest in more than 50 years, according to this article. It was 83% in 1965. A few states do substantially better than others — Alabama and Nebraska were best at 83% over the period 2015-2020, while Rhode Island was lowest at 21% (a quarter of the states have had data problems making it impossible to calculate their clearance rates over the 5-year period). The data also indicate lower clearance rates for victims of color. The article provides examples from several cities, noting an unusually high proportion of exceptional clearances in Chicago, which had a 44% clearance rate in 2020, but half were exceptional clearances.

Working hard to diversify in Nebraska

March 29, 2022

The police chief in Bellevue, Nebraska, a suburb of Omaha, has made significant strides to diversify the 100-officer department over the last 2 years in spite of widely-noted national recruiting challenges, as reported here. In a short time, the agency has gone from 4 to 15 women officers and from 1 to 5 Spanish speakers. Besides targeted recruiting, the chief has done away with several grooming standards, such as a ban on dyed hair and multiple ear piercings, has eliminated a rule that limited extended medical leave, and has relaxed a hiring standard tied to applicants’ credit rating. The latter has a disproportionate impact on minority and lower-income applicants, according to the chief — “At 18 years old, they don’t have a safety net of family that has money to throw at them to help them get their first apartment or their first car. So are they going to struggle with credit? I would argue, yes, probably at a much higher rate.” To fellow chiefs who say he is lowering standards, he says “I was exactly where you are five years ago. We’re not lowering a standard. We’re thinking differently about the standard. We’re inviting people that didn’t believe that there was a pathway.”

National look at SROs

October 23, 2019

The organization Strategies for Youth has published a national study of school resource officers (SROs), available here. They found that 24 states have enacted training for SROs, with Nebraska and Virginia leading the pack. But they also note “The fact that over half of the states still do not mandate any specific training or oversight for SROs is troubling,” especially since the presence of SROs “increases the odds that students will be arrested for minor offenses and that children of color and those with disabilities will be treated most harshly.”

K-9 for a day

December 13, 2018

This article reports a new program in La Vista, Nebraska, originating in Green Bay, Wisconsin in which police take shelter dogs with them on patrol. In some cases it’s a 2nd chance/re-entry program for dogs having trouble finding owners. Police say the program “offers an opportunity to not only strengthen our relationship with our partners at the Nebraska Humane Society, but also allows our officers an opportunity to engage our community in a way that we may not have been able to without the addition of a great dog.” Successful canine adoptions have resulted.

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.

ROI for police spending

October 17, 2015

This article assesses the “return on investment” for police spending in the 110 largest U.S. cities. Unadjusted, the leaders are Louisville, Lincoln, and Lexington. When city economic factors are considered (degree of difficulty), the best three are Flint, Jackson, and El Paso. It should be noted that the sole measure of “return” was reported crime rates. In raw dollars, the cities that spent the most per capita for police protection were Washington, Ft. Lauderdale, St. Louis, Orlando, Tampa, and New York.