Posts Tagged ‘North Dakota’

More died from gunshots than car crashes in 2020

January 11, 2022

According to CDC data, gunshot deaths exceeded car crash fatalities in 2020 for the 4th year in a row, as reported here. More than 45,000 people died of gunshot wounds in the U.S., an all-time high. The total was up 14% over 2019, the biggest one year spike on record. The age-adjusted gun death rate was the highest since 1994. The increase was largely driven by homicides, which increased 35% in one year. Mississippi and Louisiana had the highest rates of gun deaths, while Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New Jersey had the lowest. Mississippi’s rate was more than 8 times higher than Hawaii’s and more than twice the national average. Nationally, Black males between the ages of 15-34 continued to bear the brunt of gun homicides, accounting for 42% of victims — but representing only 2% of the population.

Only 7% women in state police

October 25, 2021

About 13% of U.S. police are women, but among state police, it’s only 7%, as reported here. That figure was at 6% in 2000, indicating only a tiny increase in 20+ years. Some factors that make a police career less attractive to women in all kinds of agencies include a male-dominated culture, lack of family leave, and lack of child care assistance. For state police, the likelihood of assignment to remote areas far from family and friends adds another disincentive. Many state police agencies see the need to secure a more representative workforce and have implemented focused recruiting, though without much effect. The Vermont State Police, at 13% women, has had one of the most successful efforts, but as a captain notes, “The makeup of our department is probably 85% straight, White men. That’s not the makeup of the population of Vermont.”

North Dakota may outlaw DUI checkpoints

February 22, 2019

The lower house of the North Dakota legislature has passed a bill outlawing DUI checkpoints by a 79-14 vote, with state senate action pending, as reported here. Data indicated limited checkpoint usage in recent years with relatively few DUI arrests. The bill’s sponsor called the checkpoints “cliched” and said they had been “proven inadequate.” Evidence from prior studies suggests that checkpoints can reduce fatal crashes, but only when they are reasonably frequent and highly publicized.

Autopsy overload

August 31, 2018

This article reports a growing shortage of forensic pathology capacity around the country. An estimated 1,000 more forensic pathologists were needed even before the opioid crisis, which has caused significantly heavier workloads. Though states vary widely in the roles played by medical examiners and sometimes-untrained coroners in determining cause of death, every system depends on autopsies and toxicology tests. As one coroner put it, “More people are just dying in ways that need to be investigated.”

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.

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.

A decade of success in Richmond, CA

November 19, 2016

This article reviews the 10-year term of Chris Magnus as police chief in Richmond, California. A transplant from Michigan and North Dakota, he was able to reduce officer-involved shootings, improve accountability, increase community policing, and generally transform what had been a troubled department. Magnus recently accepted a new position as chief in Tucson, Arizona.

Mapping mass shootings

December 3, 2015

This brief article includes an interactive U.S. map of mass shootings since 26 innocents were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School 3 years ago. Hawaii, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Wyoming appear to be the only states that have avoided such an incident.