Posts Tagged ‘Virginia’

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.


Building relationships in Charlottesville

July 21, 2017

This article provides an in-depth look at the Charlottesville, Virginia police chief’s first year in office. He has tackled officer retention, restructuring, and disproportionate stops along with protest conflict between the KKK and opposing activists. He thinks the key to long-term progress is rebuilding relationships between officers and residents.

Evidence management & control

March 8, 2017

One topic that doesn’t always get a lot of attention is evidence management, yet every police department comes into possession of drugs, cash, jewelry, and other valuable property. This article notes “weekly news accounts of police departments whose evidence rooms have been jeopardized due to lost or stolen evidence” and discusses the use of modern systems and technology for better control and risk reduction.

Taking a bite out of forensic odontology

February 15, 2017

This article reports a session on dentistry at the annual forensic science conference featuring Keith Harward, who was wrongfully incarcerated for 33 years in Virginia based on expert testimony that bite marks on the victim were made by him “to a reasonable scientific certainty” and “It’s a practical impossibility that someone else would have all these characteristics in combination.” Recent reviews have been very critical of the scientific validity of bite mark matching.

The evolution of MS13

December 2, 2016

Insight Crime has published a 3-part series on the recent evolution of the US/Salvadoran gang MS13. Part 1 describes how the gang struck up a partnership with Mexican cartels in 2011, Part 2 traces the gang’s effort to combine its east and west coast factions into a “national project,” and Part 3 details its most recent effort in 2015 to coordinate cliques based in several different states. Federal indictments have consistently interrupted the gang’s plans but leaders in prison in both countries still seem to exercise considerable influence over their members.

Officer Ashley Guindon

March 1, 2016

This column offers praise for the police officer recently killed in Prince William County, Virginia and argues strongly that much of police danger is a function of America’s failure to confront domestic violence, mental illness, PTSD, poverty, and guns — “Nearly 1 million men and women in blue put their lives in jeopardy every day because they are too often the ones fighting the war on so many social issues that the rest of the nation refuses to properly address.”

Warrior skills, guardian mindset

October 8, 2015

This article reports a variety of de-escalation initiatives being emphasized by police departments around the country and highlights one Virginia agency’s training approach based on analyzing and discussing videos from North Charleston, Seattle, and Albuquerque. In that chief’s view, “In today’s world, you need the skill set of a warrior and the mindset of a guardian.”

Naming officers in shooting cases

August 29, 2015

This article from Newport News, VA provides a balanced discussion of the issue of whether, and when, police departments should release the names of officers involved in police shootings.