Posts Tagged ‘New York’

An app named Citizen

March 17, 2019

Now available in New York and a few other cities, the Citizen app rebroadcasts and maps selected police, fire, and EMS calls, so a user can be aware of any dangerous activity in their proximity. As reported here, users are warned to stay safe, but also encouraged to submit photos, video, and commentary from the scenes of incidents. The company says more than 100,000 live videos have been recorded; an alert about a recent car fire in Times Square hit 31,000 phones. Currently the app is free with no advertising, but future commercialization seems inevitable.

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Shootings by NYPD continue downward trend

March 7, 2019

Police-involved shootings by NYPD officers have decreased 96% since 1972, dropping from 994 in that year to 35 in 2018, as reported here. More restrictive deadly force policies adopted in the 1970s had an early impact, while the sharp decline in violent crime since the 1990s has contributed. More recently, officials say enhanced training deserves credit — officers are “put through varying scenarios to prepare them for eventualities when responding to a crisis,” the agency “reviews every shooting incident and passes on findings to instructors at the academy,” and “We address any tactical training issues almost immediately.”

FBI shooting data

February 12, 2019

FBI agents have been involved in 228 shooting incidents since 2011, including 113 accidental discharges, 34 animals, and 81 “intentional shootings involving people or objects” according to this NBC news segment and article. Agents were found at fault in 5 of the shootings, none of which resulted in fatalities. The bureau has not traditionally released information about its agent-involved shootings, and has not employed independent or external investigation. Looking ahead, the FBI will be administering the new national database of police shootings, announced last year — reportedly, “the bureau itself would also submit information to the database.”

Improving recruiting

February 5, 2019

This new report presents results from projects in 21 different jurisdictions aimed at identifying police recruiting messages and processes that produce more applicants and more people following through in the hiring process. The Behavioral Insights Team helped evaluate various alternatives to determine which ones worked better than others. One finding was that “Even small changes in how jobs are advertised can make a real difference to both the total number of applicants and the diversity of those applicants.”

NYPD discipline fair but hidden

February 2, 2019

According to a panel appointed by the NYPD commissioner to review discipline in the agency, “We found a complex disciplinary system, which is imperfect, but which generally seems to deliver fair disciplinary outcomes” and “The results are there. The processes are there, but nobody can see them,” as reported here. The panel recommended enhanced reporting and revisions to state law that prohibits release of information about specific cases. The commissioner indicated he supported the recommendations and would begin implementing some within 60 days.

NYPD counter-terrorism intelligence

January 16, 2019

Here’s an interview with two top NYPD counter-terrorism intelligence officials about their assessment of current threats to the city and the police department’s preparedness. Publicly disclosed plots have averaged 1-2 per year since 2001. Since 2010, lone actor plots have become much more common than externally-directed ones. Most of the threats to the city continue to come from salafi-jihadi inspired extremists, with only a small increase in extreme right-wing acts. Plots often target New York as the iconic and symbolic representation of America, but also because it is a media center, guaranteeing maximum publicity.

Shifting face of international terrorism

January 2, 2019

Counter-terrorism efforts directed mainly at ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Middle East will need to shift attention to Russian-speaking individuals and networks in the coming years, according to this article. Terror groups that previously resisted oppressive governments in their own countries are now focused on perceived international enemies. Attacks in Turkey, Sweden, and the U.S. over the past several years were committed by Uzbeks, and fighters from several former Soviet countries who joined ISIS in Syria have since slipped back into Europe and Central Asia.

Long-term drop in solving rape cases

December 28, 2018

This article reviews the national clearance rate for rape, which has dropped from 62% in 1964 to 32% in 2017. Some of the decline is probably due to increased reporting by victims and more complete recording by police. Also, the FBI definition was expanded in 2013 and, most recently, #MeToo has caused a surge in reporting, straining investigative staff in many agencies. DNA and other forensic impovements should help solve cases, but many still boil down to he-said/she-said over the question of consent.

NYPD improves victim services

December 4, 2018

This article describes enhancements that NYPD has made to victim services over the last 4-5 years. The agency has adopted 101 initiatives “infused with trauma-informed practices, a raft of changes in police training, and an overriding goal to connect more victims with available counseling and reimbursement for funerals, medical costs, lost wages, and other disruptions in their lives.” Many of the practices are cost-free, with one exception being the addition of two victim advocates to each precinct and public housing unit.

Firearm homicides & suicides in metro areas

November 10, 2018

This CDC report looks at firearm homicides and suicides in 2015-2016 in the 50 largest metropolitan areas. New Orleans had the highest homicide rate by firearm, Providence the lowest. Oklahoma City had the highest firearm suicide rate, New York the lowest. Combining the two (homicides and suicides), Boston had the lowest rate of firearm deaths while New Orleans had the highest, followed by Birmingham and Memphis. An unusual case was Salt Lake City, which had the 6th lowest homicide rate, but the 2nd highest suicide rate.