Posts Tagged ‘Utah’

Federal policing of public lands in the West

May 10, 2018

This article reports a Senate hearing on policing practices of the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and other federal agencies on public lands in the West. The specific focus was a years-long undercover investigation targeting private collectors of Native American artifacts that culminated in pre-dawn raids, charges against two dozen people, several suicides, 19 guilty pleas, but no jail time. Utah elected officials condemned the action as heavy-handed federal overreach, while Native American groups saw it as “a long-needed crackdown on the removal of precious artifacts from their resting grounds.”


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.

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.

More on proprietary big data systems

August 12, 2017

This article reports the experiences of several law enforcement agencies with Palantir’s data analysis systems. The company’s hardware and software systems, originally developed for intelligence agencies, help with integration and visualization of data stored in multiple “silos.” LAPD was able to cut the time required to produce Chronic Offender Bulletins from an hour to 3-5 minutes, which helped reduce violent crime in one target district by 15%. The systems are very expensive, however, and some users complain about hard-to-use software, costly upgrades, poor technical support, incompatibility with non-Palantir systems used by other agencies, and generally being at the mercy of the company once its products have been purchased and installed.

Risk/reward in SWAT no-knock entries

March 18, 2017

This in-depth 2-part series, located here and here, examines the practice of no-knock dynamic entries by SWAT teams. National data are not systematically collected, but nearly 100 deaths are known to have occurred in such raids since 2010, including at least 13 police officers. The vast majority of raids are drug cases, leading some police and legal experts to question whether the rewards justify the risks.

No tape, no testimony

November 30, 2016

In order to incentivize more systematic use of the new technology, this law school column recommends that courts devalue or discredit the testimony of police officers when they fail to activate their body cameras. The proposal is patterned after rules in place in several states regarding mandated recording of custodial interrogations.

Western “constitutional” sheriffs

February 4, 2016

This article recounts the rise of so-called “constitutional” sheriffs in the Western U.S. who resist federal initiatives and sometimes actively interfere with federal law enforcement officials. These sheriffs, said to number over 200, have established their own networks and are often linked to citizen groups and political movements associated with state’s rights, 2nd amendment rights, and opposition to land management and environmental protections.

Civilian review

January 21, 2015

Civilian review boards are often recommended to enhance police accountability. Newark’s mayor has announced that a CRB will be established in his city, and Salt Lake City’s existing board will begin making its reports more available to the public.

US mayors discuss race, policing

September 29, 2014

Race and policing were top issues for discussion at a US Conference of Mayors meeting in Sacramento, CA according to this report. Chief Chis Burbank from Salt Lake commented that the time to build a relationship with the community “is not when you have a riot on your hands … the most important thing is for officers to empathize with the people they interact with every day.” Mayor Michael Nutter from Philadelphia emphasized that the problem transcends race: “We have a violence problem in the United States of America. Every day, 29 people are killed.”