Posts Tagged ‘Tennessee’

Reducing car-bicycle crashes

November 20, 2018

This article reports early results from a NHTSA traffic safety initiative in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The city has adopted a 5-foot rule for cars passing bicycles, has 83% compliance according to radar devices attached to bikes, and has had a 30% decrease in collisions. The main emphasis is on educating drivers — police have made 146 stops but issued only 3 citations. Knoxville, Tennessee is currently doing a similar study using a 3-foot rule.

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Firearm homicides & suicides in metro areas

November 10, 2018

This CDC report looks at firearm homicides and suicides in 2015-2016 in the 50 largest metropolitan areas. New Orleans had the highest homicide rate by firearm, Providence the lowest. Oklahoma City had the highest firearm suicide rate, New York the lowest. Combining the two (homicides and suicides), Boston had the lowest rate of firearm deaths while New Orleans had the highest, followed by Birmingham and Memphis. An unusual case was Salt Lake City, which had the 6th lowest homicide rate, but the 2nd highest suicide rate.

Not a police matter

July 16, 2018

Police have been called recently to deal with a black guy wearing socks at a private pool (in Memphis), an 11-year-old black kid on his first day delivering newspapers (in Cincinnati), a 12-year-old black kid mowing a lawn who accidentally crossed into a neighbor’s yard (outside Cleveland), and a 9-year-old black girl selling water outside her apartment building (in San Francisco). This article discusses what police should do, including having call takers ask more specific questions and routing such calls through supervisors before assigning them to patrol officers.

Prevalence of police in schools varies

July 12, 2018

This article reviews data on police assigned to schools. Two-thirds of high school students attend a school that has an officer assigned, compared to 45% for middle school and 19% for elementary school. School officers are most common in Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and North Carolina, least common in New York, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Iowa, and Michigan. The evidence on the impact of officers in schools on arrests, offenses, and student behavior is mixed and inconclusive.

Bad sheriffs

April 3, 2018

The U.S. has about 3,000 sheriffs, an office that goes back to colonial days and preceded the creation of police departments. This article reports numerous recent scandals, embarrassments, and shortcomings in sheriff’s offices around the country and discusses why they persist despite being an elected office that voters should be able to hold accountable.

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.

Walking the tightrope in Nashville

April 28, 2017

This article covers events in Nashville over the last 4 months with an extensive interview of Chief Steve Anderson. The city has had an officer killed, an officer-involved fatal shooting, and a critical report on racial profiling. The chief discusses the nearly impossible challenge of meeting the needs and expectations of officers, the community, and political leaders.

Reform pressure through insurance

October 14, 2016

This article discusses the role that liability insurance plays in encouraging police reform. While big cities are often self-insured, smaller jurisdictions need risk protection at a reasonable cost, giving insurance providers significant leverage. Some police departments have been eliminated when insurance was canceled and many others have upgraded policies, training, and personnel practices in order to maintain affordable coverage.

Drug-impaired driving fatalities up

September 29, 2016

This article reports that annual traffic fatalities due to drug-impaired driving have almost doubled in Tennessee since 2010. In 2015, the state had more traffic deaths due to drugged-driving than alcohol-related DUI.

Complaints down in Chattanooga

July 24, 2016

This article reports that internal affairs complaints have dropped substantially in Chattanooga since 2013, including complaints from the public and internally-generated actions. At the same time, the rate of sustaining complaints has risen. Observers think both trends reflect improved performance and increased accountability.