Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

Sleepy, tired cops

November 6, 2017

This article reviews evidence about the impact of fatigue on police performance and decision making. Between long shifts, night work, overtime, and secondary employment many officers end up working tired or even sleepy. Most departments fail to monitor outside employment and many don’t even regulate the amount of overtime that individual officers can accumulate.


Gil Kerlikowske taking it easier

October 9, 2017

This article is a nice profile of Gil Kerlikowske, most recently head of the 60,000-person U.S. Customs & Border Protection, previously drug czar and police chief in Seattle and Buffalo. One of the most respected law enforcement leaders of the last few decades, he’s now doing some volunteering and part-time teaching.

Seattle moves to control off-duty employment

September 28, 2017

The Seattle city council recently chose one of its members, Tim Burgess, to fill the remaining term of the previous mayor who suddenly resigned over criminal allegations. In his first executive order, Burgess, a former police officer, has directed the police department to establish an internal office to manage off-duty police employment, according to this article. A 2016 audit of the current system, run by third parties affiliated with the police union, led to “an ongoing FBI investigation into reports of price fixing, over charging and racketeering in connection with security and traffic control jobs performed by hundreds of Seattle police each week.”

Police & persons with mental illness

September 6, 2017

This article reviews how deinstitutionalization forced police into a bigger role in handling mental health crises, the enhanced responses like CIT that have been widely implemented, and some current initiatives aimed at trying to divert people with mental illness into treatment and away from the criminal justice system.

Hate crimes taken seriously in Seattle

April 7, 2017

This article describes how hate crimes are handled in Seattle, using a well-established system of outreach and investigation that predates recent incidents around the country. Reporting is especially strong — the police department records more hate crimes than 33 states, an obvious reflection of under-reporting by other jurisdictions. Most incidents involve harassment rather than violence, and a high proportion are linked to intoxication or mental illness, according to prosecutors.

Millennials & social skills

January 17, 2017

This public radio story from Spokane County, Washington describes a police academy exercise intended to help recruits improve their skills at talking to strangers. Some observers think that recruits raised on social media have less experience interacting with other people face-to-face.

Standard of proof in police discipline

January 7, 2017

This article reports that the federal judge overseeing Seattle’s consent decree has approved a number of measures to go forward for city council consideration. One is to lower the standard of proof required to dismiss an officer for dishonesty from “clear and convincing evidence” to “preponderance of evidence.”

Open data on police complaints

October 26, 2016

This article from the Sunlight Foundation provides an update on several local initiatives to make complaints data more accessible and transparent, with specific examples and links. Efforts in Indianapolis, New York, and Seattle are particularly noteworthy, as well as the White House Police Data Initiative.

Police approval rating up in Seattle

October 25, 2016

A recent survey found that 72% of residents approve of the Seattle PD, up from 60% in 2013. Approval ratings by African  Americans and Latinos both increased, now at 62% and 74%, respectively. In addition, reports of troubling interactions with police decreased.

Ambush killings of police

October 11, 2016

Premeditated ambush incidents are not the most common circumstances of police line-of-duty deaths, but they have increased in 2016. This article reviews several of the most tragic cases since 2009. Ambush killers have included “white survivalists, black militants, people who identify with the anti-government ‘sovereign citizen’ movement, hard-core criminals who have clashed with law enforcement for much their lives, and a variety of apparently suicidal people who wanted to depart with notoriety.”