Posts Tagged ‘New York’

More on proprietary big data systems

August 12, 2017

This article reports the experiences of several law enforcement agencies with Palantir’s data analysis systems. The company’s hardware and software systems, originally developed for intelligence agencies, help with integration and visualization of data stored in multiple “silos.” LAPD was able to cut the time required to produce Chronic Offender Bulletins from an hour to 3-5 minutes, which helped reduce violent crime in one target district by 15%. The systems are very expensive, however, and some users complain about hard-to-use software, costly upgrades, poor technical support, incompatibility with non-Palantir systems used by other agencies, and generally being at the mercy of the company once its products have been purchased and installed.

Police actions matter

July 18, 2017

The procedural justice perspective argues that the public’s level of trust in police is mainly driven by how police treat people, including listening to them and being respectful. This article, however, based on research in two medium-size cities in New York State, indicates that people’s opinions of police are affected more by what police decide to do — arresting, searching, using of force — than simply by how they interact with people.

Flashback: Serpico

July 14, 2017

The NYPD has gone through some grueling corruption scandals in its long history. One that became a major motion picture in the 1970s centered on Frank Serpico, an officer who exposed rampant misconduct and became a hero to some, a pariah to others. The Village Voice has reprinted an epic open letter from Serpico, published in 1975, in which he responded to fans and critics, described his life in exile, and contrasted real professional policing with what he encountered in New York.

Big data, big money

June 30, 2017

This article reports a dispute between the NYPD and the software/data mining giant Palantir Technologies. The department is not renewing its multi-million dollar contract with the Silicon Valley company and claims that complete data records needed for the transition to a new system have not been turned over. The disagreement seems to involve a mix of money, politics, corporate influence, and unsettled intellectual property law.

Managing overconvergence

June 10, 2017

According to this article, a draft review has found command and control lacking in the police response to the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting last January. Over 2,000 officers responded to the scene in an uncoordinated response, an example of “overconvergence” also seen following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and several other subsequent incidents.

The rise and fall of broken windows

June 1, 2017

This 30-minute NPR segment reviews the origin and twisted history of broken windows policing. One of its authors, George Kelling, says “It’s to the point now where I wonder if we should back away from the metaphor of broken windows. We didn’t know how powerful it was going to be … But as you know, metaphors can wear out and become stale.”

Compressed recruiting

May 17, 2017

This brief news item reports targeted recruiting by the Gwinnett County, Georgia police aimed at filling 123 open positions. The department offers testing and preliminary background checks over a 2-day period at strategically selected off-site locations. A recent visit to Rochester, NY, where local police hiring is slow due to a cumbersome civil service process, resulted in 54 applicants receiving conditional job offers.

Best states for a police career

May 10, 2017

Here’s another of those lists. It ranks the states (and DC) based on 20 criteria in 3 general categories: opportunity & competition for police jobs, police hazards & protections, and quality of life. The best state for a police career is North Dakota, followed by Connecticut and New York. The worst is Louisiana, followed by Arkansas and Alaska.

Expanded DNA testing in NY State

May 8, 2017

This article reports that New York state labs have produced almost 1,500 investigative leads since 2012 when DNA sample collection was extended to all persons convicted of crimes, regardless of seriousness. In one example, two cold case murders were linked to a suspect when DNA from his brother, found guilty of violating a protective order, was a partial match to evidence that had been recovered from the victims. Subsequent investigation pointed to the suspect and his DNA was a match.

Taser … Axon

April 25, 2017

This article provides details on Taser’s re-branding as Axon, emphasizing data services over equipment. Its offer of free body-worn cameras for one year has been compared to a free facial tattoo (hard to undo) while others see a visionary business model mimicking Microsoft and Apple. Meanwhile several cities have criticized the company for strong-arm tactics and competitors have filed legal actions.