Posts Tagged ‘New York’

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.

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Recognition well deserved

November 22, 2017

This article reports the NYPD naming its police academy library in honor of Benjamin Ward, the city’s first African American police commissioner, appointed to that position in 1984. This article reports Prince William County, Virginia naming a new police station after Charlie Deane, their chief from 1988-2012 who led them through contentious immigration issues. This article reports Lou Dekmar, chief in Lagrange, Georgia and current IACP President, honored at the Kennedy Center in DC by the Anti-Defamation League as “a bridge builder for racial reconciliation in the south.”

New fingerprint algorithm

November 1, 2017

This article and this video report a new fingerprint algorithm developed by the FBI that has so far identified over 200 bodies of unknown persons recovered decades ago. The technique substantially improves the hit rate on low-quality and single-finger prints.

Crime guns in Chicago

October 31, 2017

This report analyzes Chicago crime gun trace information for the period 2013-2016. Per capita, Chicago PD recovers 6 times more guns than NYPD and 65% more than LAPD. Tracing indicates that about 40% were purchased in Illinois (mainly in suburban Cook County), 20% in Indiana, and the remaining 40% in other states. Adult suspects accounted for 87% of crime guns and 90% of seized firearms were handguns.

Gil Kerlikowske taking it easier

October 9, 2017

This article is a nice profile of Gil Kerlikowske, most recently head of the 60,000-person U.S. Customs & Border Protection, previously drug czar and police chief in Seattle and Buffalo. One of the most respected law enforcement leaders of the last few decades, he’s now doing some volunteering and part-time teaching.

Transparency hurdles in NY State

September 28, 2017

The NY Civil Liberties Union recently submitted freedom of information requests about policies and practices to 23 police departments around the state. According to this report, the response was widespread resistance, delay, and excessive redaction. Administrative appeals or lawsuits had to be employed for all but one agency.  In some cases, inadequate resources and poor record keeping contributed to the problem.

Pros and cons of data-driven predictions

September 9, 2017

This article provides a balanced look at the use of data and algorithms to make predictions in criminal justice, including policing. It shows how decision making accuracy can be improved but also explains that it ultimately comes down to questions of values and fairness that can’t be settled by science.

Police & persons with mental illness

September 6, 2017

This article reviews how deinstitutionalization forced police into a bigger role in handling mental health crises, the enhanced responses like CIT that have been widely implemented, and some current initiatives aimed at trying to divert people with mental illness into treatment and away from the criminal justice system.

End-of-the-month enforcement

September 1, 2017

Analysis of 3 years of NYPD citation data indicates that, as often claimed, officers issue more tickets at the end of the month, presumably to meet performance targets (quotas), according to this column. The increases late in the month are greatest for rather minor offenses, further suggesting that it’s all about the numbers.

900,000 bogus arrests and summons

August 25, 2017

This article begins a 5-part series on the impact of quotas and false arrests on the NYPD and residents of the city, focusing particularly on the 42nd Precinct in the Bronx. Earlier this year, prosecutors dismissed 900,000 cases and the city agreed to a $75 million class-action settlement for wrongful arrests. Much of the evidence of misconduct has come from current and former officers who have resisted command pressure to meet quotas. Part 2 of the series is here.