Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania’

Low self-control & police behavior

June 21, 2017

This column summarizes a study of 1,935 police officers that found a link between use of deadly force and 8 indicators of low self-control in their personal lives — “a history of a suspended driver’s license, involvement in a motor vehicle accident, had ever been behind on paying bills, had loans or debts over $1,000, been under any type of court order, been divorced or separated or received a traffic ticket in the past five years.” One author noted “An officer having one or two of the indicators could be attributed to bad luck, but a pattern might indicate that more screening is needed.”

Making the transition from soldier to cop

March 31, 2017

This article highlights challenges faced by officers and their departments when transitioning from combat to civilian policing. National data are elusive but the rate of psychological issues, including PTSD and suicide, seems higher among returning soldiers. In addition, veterans’ preference in police hiring often interferes with efforts to increase the number of women and minority officers.

Walk the dog

December 3, 2016

This announcement from Arlington, Texas invites residents to join Dog Walker Watch, based on the premise that canine owners are “familiar with their community and out in the neighborhood on a regular basis.” The program is affiliated with the National Association of Town Watch, the coordinator of National Night Out, which has grown to over 16,000 participating communities since 1984.

Elevating the profession

November 14, 2016

In this interview, Cameron McLay, who recently stepped down as chief in Pittsburgh, reflects on the challenge of promoting professionalism in the face of morale issues, political waffling, and our tendency to ask police to deal with all of society’s unresolved social problems. This 4-minute public radio segment and this op-ed column recognize the visceral support from police for president-elect Trump and contemplate how that might affect policing during the next administration.

Suicide by gun in Pennsylvania

November 10, 2016

This article reports that, from 2010 to 2014, there were more gun suicides than gun murders in 64 of 67 counties in Pennsylvania. Practical efforts to prevent such suicides have not been identified; a pilot program in 4 states in cooperation with gun shop owners is one promising initiative.

Short tenure for a change agent

November 8, 2016

This article reports a warm send-off by community leaders for Cameron McLay, who is resigning after two years as police chief in Pittsburgh. One activist commented that McLay “was here for two years, and what he showed us was it’s possible to have a relationship between the police and the community that is not only positive but is real.” Despite his success in winning community support, the police union opposed and resisted many of the changes he was brought in to implement.

Predictive policing

October 4, 2016

This article provides a thorough overview of current predictive policing initiatives, which tend to be either location-focused or offender-focused. So far, evidence of their effectiveness is lacking, and civil liberties concerns remain.

Beyond broken windows

September 10, 2016

This article reviews the controversies surrounding broken windows policing and emphasizes the value of a more nuanced, tailored, and evidence-based approach to police crime control strategy.

Just catch the killers

September 8, 2016

The upturn in homicides and shootings in several US cities in the last 1-2 years has some officials citing deep social and economic issues, but in this column one former mayor argues for putting a higher priority on solving these violent crimes — something that happens less frequently today than 10-20 years ago but which is readily fixable and would instill more confidence in the police and criminal justice system.

Philly PD live streaming

July 28, 2016

This article and video interview the Philadelphia PD’s social media manager (a sergeant) who has become a celebrity in his own right this week by providing Facebook live streaming from outside the Democratic National Convention.