Posts Tagged ‘New York’

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.

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.

Civilian police commissioners

June 21, 2018

This column discusses the potential benefits of utilizing civilian police commissioners at the head of police departments, including current or past examples in New York, Baltimore, and a few other cities. The argument is that commissioners “maintain a level of objectivity and avoid much of the conflict that uniformed police chiefs often face in having to balance their allegiance between the elected officials who appointed them and the personnel who share the uniform that they wear.”

Back to basics

June 5, 2018

Several items in the news demonstrate renewed emphasis on community policing. The newly nominated LAPD chief, Michel Moore, is known as a problem solver and critical thinker committed to engaging the community more deeply. The NYPD commissioner credits re-emphasized neighborhood policing for continued crime reductions, saying “This isn’t some community-policing charade with a handful of special officers glad-handing local activists … cops are embedding in smaller groups within precincts and getting a granular understanding not only of the residents, but of the problems, the crimes and, specifically, the criminals in those neighborhoods.” And in Chicago, officials cite renewed community policing as a main factor in the city’s 15-consecutive-month decline in gun violence.

Walk the walk

May 24, 2018

This article is a long-read that traces decades of the policing, protest, and reform cycle in New York City. The NYPD is currently implementing neighborhood policing and working hard to improve its image and community relations. But it’s not the first time. Ultimately, “No matter how thick the tension or how egregious the abuse, police presence is fundamental to the peaceful order of [the] city. From that premise, the only hope for a fairer future is if the public and the police can share space in harmony.”

Best & worst states to be a cop

May 9, 2018

This article from WalletHub assesses 25 different factors to rate the 50 states plus DC on the desirability of police employment. Criteria include cost of living, salaries, crime rate, and public image. The top 3 are North Dakota, New York, and Connecticut. The bottom 3 are Arkansas, Louisiana, and Idaho. Click the “Ask the Experts” link for a variety of perspectives — the comments from William Vizzard are short and to the point.

Graft in Gotham City

May 8, 2018

This article unravels a story of corruption and fraud in NY City that started with a routine traffic stop outside Lowell, Massachusetts in 2011. The vehicle that was stopped contained 2,000 bottles of untaxed top-shelf cognac. Seven years later, a number of high-ranking police officials have been convicted or suddenly resigned and several businessmen still face charges. It’s a sleazy story about money, favors, and access to power.

Mining social media

April 27, 2018

This article discusses legal and ethical issues connected to police mining of social media. Data from social media have the potential to solve and prevent crimes as well as terror attacks, but many 4th amendment and privacy questions have yet to be sorted out. Also, choices of search terms and phrases can reflect bias and result in police actions that have disproportionate impact on some groups. Among the suggestions is transparency so residents can understand and critique the algorithms and processes that police propose.

Cops count, police matter

March 30, 2018

A presentation delivered back in September by Bill Bratton, “Cops Count, Police Matter” has been posted online here. He discusses long-term national trends, current controversies, changes he helped implement in New York and Los Angeles, and “the falsehoods” of academics, the left, and the right. He concludes that “The police profession has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to change its legacy, to shape its future. It has a chance to confound expectations, to move past demagoguery, and to save lives, which is always our mission. It is the chance to make our country … safe and fair for everyone.”