Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

Jurisdictional complexity in tribal areas

September 19, 2019

This article describes some of the jurisdictional challenges faced in tribal policing. The legal authority of tribal and non-tribal police can depend on where an incident occurred, whether the victim is a tribal member, and whether the offender is a tribal member. One tribal attorney says “it’s a complete mess.” Potential solutions include collaborative agreements and cross-deputization, but issues related to sovereignty, liability, and trust often get in the way of making significant improvements.

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Seattle bringing back non-sworn CSOs

June 26, 2019

Seattle PD will hire 12 non-sworn staff “to respond to noncriminal calls and help connect people with social services,” as reported here. The department had CSOs from 1971 until 2004 when the city dropped the program. In addition to serving as “system navigators,” the CSOs “will be responsible for conflict mediation, community outreach and at-risk youth programming.” The initiative is not billed primarily as a recruitment tool for eventual sworn status, but that path will be open to those interested and qualified.

Micro community policing in Seattle

June 25, 2019

Seattle uses micro community policing plans to engage its residents in 57 neighborhoods throughout the city, resulting in an 8-fold increase in proactive problem solving, according to the latest episode of “What’s New in Blue” from the COPS Office, available here as a 6-minute video. The emphasis is on addressing residents’ top 3 priorities in each neighborhood, recognizing that “one size doesn’t fit all.”

Collaboration rather than resistance

June 10, 2019

Washington State revised its statute on police use of deadly force last year, which previously was “impossibly narrow,” prohibiting only force based on evil intent or malice. The state’s minority racial and ethnic groups worked together on the initiative and police, seeing that some legislative action was inevitable, also collaborated “to take a leadership role in negotiations to change the negative narrative surrounding policing and add clarity to proposals that may not be practical.” As reported here, police in several other states have similarly engaged with activists and political leaders instead of merely resisting any and all changes.

Crime solving up after MJ legalization

May 18, 2019

Marijuana legalization initiatives went into effect in 2012 in Colorado and Washington. One hypothesized benefit of legalization was that police would have more time to devote to other responsibilities. This column reports a published study that found a post-legalization clearance rate uptick in the two states for several crime categories, plus positive trends compared to national averages. The study does not claim that legalization caused better clearance rates but it “undoubtedly resulted in the opportunity for agencies to reallocate resources.”

Narcan not everywhere

May 7, 2019

Officers in at least 2,500 law enforcement agencies are equipped with naloxone (Narcan), according to this article, but many others still aren’t. The main hurdle is cost, especially for the newer auto-injector priced at $4,500 before any discounts or rebates. Even that high cost represents a saving compared to hospitalization, though. Most importantly, thousands of lives have been saved, and one official notes the additional psychological benefit for officers when they save a life, coupled with increased public appreciation and support for police.

Victim tracking of rape kits

April 9, 2019

An increasing number of states have laws establishing rape kit tracking systems, as reported here. At least 17 states now have such laws, with 5 others pending this year. A key feature of the systems, besides helping officials track cases and reduce backlogs, is empowering victims to monitor the status of evidence collected from them. Advocates argue this “provides a degree of transparency and accountability that, until now, had been notoriously absent from sexual-assault cases.”

Risk management vs. civil rights

February 14, 2019

This article discusses the impact of Lexipol, a California-based company that provides policies to 3,400 public safety agencies around the U.S. The company says that agencies using its policies experience a reduction in legal claims and payments to plaintiffs. Critics say the approach is focused more on minimizing lawsuits than on improving police services to the public — “They’re designed for maximum protection against civil liability. It’s not maximum protection of civil rights.”

Bike fatalities up

February 11, 2019

Bike fatalities in 2016 were the highest since 1990, with 835 deaths, according to this article. One contributing factor could be the 50% increase over time in the number of people commuting to work on bicycles. Interestingly, though, several cities with the highest rates of biking to work — Portland, Minneapolis, DC, San Francisco, Seattle — had among the lowest fatality rates. The highest bike fatality rates were in Oklahoma City, San Antonio, and Jacksonville.

Improving recruiting

February 5, 2019

This new report presents results from projects in 21 different jurisdictions aimed at identifying police recruiting messages and processes that produce more applicants and more people following through in the hiring process. The Behavioral Insights Team helped evaluate various alternatives to determine which ones worked better than others. One finding was that “Even small changes in how jobs are advertised can make a real difference to both the total number of applicants and the diversity of those applicants.”