Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Houston chief recognized

July 5, 2018

Houston police chief Art Acevedo is among those recognized this year by the Carnegie Corporation in its annual “Great Immigrants” initiative, as reported here. Acevedo’s family came from Cuba when he was 4 years old. He came up through the ranks of the California Highway Patrol and then was police chief in Austin, Texas for 9 years before his Houston appointment in 2016.

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Research in the ranks

June 25, 2018

This article reports the recent conference of the American Society of Evidence-Based Policing, which mainly featured current police officers presenting results from their own research. The organization, just a few years old, mirrors similar ones in the UK, Canada, Australia/New Zealand plus initial efforts in India and Mexico. The emphasis is on learning and applying what works, rather than simply relying on “what we’ve always done” or copying the latest popular idea from a neighboring agency.

Where killings go unsolved

June 7, 2018

This article analyzes over 50,000 homicides in U.S. cities, mapping neighborhoods with higher and lower clearance rates. There are variations between cities but also within, with fewer murders solved in low-income minority neighborhoods. Factors seem to include the challenge presented by drug- and gang-related cases, reluctant witnesses, lack of trust in police, and the resources devoted to homicide investigation.

Stress, anger, burnout, depression

April 26, 2018

This column reports a study of 1,400 officers in 3 Texas police agencies that found “more experiences with organizational stress were related to higher rates of depression, higher anger and burnout.” Similar to previous studies, officers reported more stress from within-organization experiences than from police work itself. The study recommended giving officers more opportunities to report and discuss stress reactions, as well as more attention to officer fatigue, which can magnify stress and impair decision making.

Competition in recruiting

April 22, 2018

This article reports continuing recruitment challenges facing police agencies due to the strong economy, retirement of baby-boomers, and recent negative narratives about policing. One result is more competition between agencies for the best recruits and lateral hires, including bonuses for successful applicants and for current officers who refer them. Average police salaries have been raised 15% since 2010 to make them more attractive. Larger agencies continue to offer substantially higher salaries than smaller ones.

Standoff in Dallas

February 5, 2018

This article offers a detailed account of the Dallas SWAT response in July 2016 after a lone gunman had killed 5 police officers and taken refuge inside El Centro College. The response included negotiations, significant exchange of gunfire, and then use of a robot to deliver an explosive charge that killed the shooter, who had vowed to continue killing police until he was killed.

POP conference presentations

November 21, 2017

The Center for Problem-Oriented Policing has posted 21 presentations delivered at its annual conference last month in Houston, linked here. The POP Center’s full website, including 73 problem-specific guides, 13 response guides, 13 tool guides, and a host of other resources is available here.

Reaching for critical mass

November 15, 2017

This article provides an in-depth look at the low numbers of women in many federal law enforcement agencies, especially Customs and Border Protection (5%), and contrasts that with several municipal police departments that have taken a completely different approach to gender and the police culture. The chief in Madison, Wisconsin, which has 30% women, says “We’re looking for critical thinkers, people who are empathetic, good communicators, great at crisis intervention … I can teach a monkey how to shoot a Glock. The cerebral skills, the relational skills, that is the elusive commodity that you have to search for.”

Proactive approach to mentally ill

November 13, 2017

This article describes the work of the Behavioral Intervention Unit, a joint initiative of three police departments in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area. The accompanying 34-minute podcast “Divert to Where?” is very interesting and informative.

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.