Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania’

Policing the Super Bowl celebration

February 7, 2018

This column credits Philadelphia PD with “some very good policing” Sunday night after the Eagles victory in the Super Bowl, arguing that the “police presumption of general good faith in the crowd” helped avoid conflict. Tens of thousands celebrated in the streets, resulting in some property damage but no serious injuries and only 4 arrests.


Cyber crimes under-reported and under-investigated

February 5, 2018

This article discusses the huge challenge facing law enforcement agencies dealing with cyber crimes and other newer forms of hi-tech crime. One impediment is crime reporting systems designed a century ago. Efforts have been underway for 30 years to update and refine the Uniform Crime Reports, without much progress yet.

Evidence-based policing conference May 21-22 in Philadelphia

January 14, 2018

The American Society of Evidence-Based Policing (ASEBP) will hold its 2018 conference May 21-22 in Philadelphia. Information about the conference is available here.

Black and blue

December 27, 2017

Here are four stories about black police officers working to balance black and blue in the post-Ferguson era: a veteran sergeant in Atlanta (The Shooting Instructor); an outspoken woman sergeant in San Francisco (The Truth Teller); a just-retired patrol officer/rapper in Akron (The Man on the Street); and a young patrol officer in Pittsburgh (The Bridge Builder).

Relaxed residency requirement in Philadelphia

October 7, 2017

Philadelphia eased its longstanding residency requirement starting in 2010, allowing police with 5+ years tenure to live outside the city. Since then, about 15% of those eligible have moved to the suburbs, mainly for better schools, according to this article.

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.

Policing explained

August 28, 2017

In this blog post, Jerry Ratcliffe provides a few nice graphs that he uses to begin his undergraduate policing course, emphasizing conditions that have or haven’t changed over time and giving students some insights about the realities of modern police work.

Fired and reinstated

August 7, 2017

This article summarizes data from 37 large agencies, finding that 1,881 officers were fired for misconduct since 2006 but over 450 were reinstated after appeals. “In many cases, the underlying misconduct was undisputed, but arbitrators often concluded that the firings were unjustified because departments had been too harsh, missed deadlines, lacked sufficient evidence or failed to interview witnesses.” Chiefs express frustration whereas union officials argue that officers’ rights must be protected.

Alternatives to arresting kids at school

August 3, 2017

This article describes a diversion program in Philadelphia that reduced arrests of kids at school by 68%. The initiative was started by recently-retired deputy commissioner Kevin Bethel, who argues that police “must adapt how we respond to normal adolescent behavior occurring in schools … Arrests are not the answer, especially when we know these arrests negatively impact graduation rates, job prospects and create numerous other long-term impediments.”

Reviewing unfounded sexual assault cases

July 28, 2017

This article reports that Ottawa will adopt the “Philadelphia Model” in which a multidisciplinary panel reviews reported sexual assaults that police classify as unfounded. The main purpose is not to find specific police errors, but to identify ways of improving the system so that future decisions are based on valid criteria and victims are more satisfied that they were treated fairly.