Posts Tagged ‘Virginia’

Charlottesville protest review

December 4, 2017

A series of events last summer in Charlottesville, including a KKK demonstration and a torch-light march across the University of Virginia campus, culminated in a “Unite the Right” rally on August 12 in which a protester drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one person. This article summarizes the findings of an independent review of the events, which concluded that police were not prepared, police responses were not coordinated, and incident command protocols were not followed.

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Recognition well deserved

November 22, 2017

This article reports the NYPD naming its police academy library in honor of Benjamin Ward, the city’s first African American police commissioner, appointed to that position in 1984. This article reports Prince William County, Virginia naming a new police station after Charlie Deane, their chief from 1988-2012 who led them through contentious immigration issues. This article reports Lou Dekmar, chief in Lagrange, Georgia and current IACP President, honored at the Kennedy Center in DC by the Anti-Defamation League as “a bridge builder for racial reconciliation in the south.”

Pretrial release in the states

November 1, 2017

This article summarizes a new analysis of pretrial practices in the 50 states, with an emphasis on better risk assessment of arrestees and less reliance on traditional bail. Kentucky and Virginia have been leaders in validating assessments while New Jersey has effectively eliminated secured money bail. However, many states have yet to adopt reforms, despite the nonpartisan nature of the issue. The full report is available here.

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.”