Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

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.”

Beyond broken windows

September 10, 2016

This article reviews the controversies surrounding broken windows policing and emphasizes the value of a more nuanced, tailored, and evidence-based approach to police crime control strategy.

The empathetic police academy

September 8, 2016

Nice 5-minute video describing the new police academy regimen recently adopted in Washington State. It’s from the Starbucks “Upstander” series, but there’s no coffee involved.

Recovering stolen bikes in Seattle

September 3, 2016

One category of property crime on the rise is bicycle theft. Bikes worth $1,000+ are now common as is on-line resale. This amusing article tells the story of an ordinary citizen in Seattle whose penchant for recovering and returning suspicious cycles has earned him the nickname Bike Batman.

A cop’s best weapon

July 22, 2016

This article recalls the origin of verbal judo training in the 1980s and emphasizes the significance of conversational skills for diagnosing and deescalating situations. The piece also focuses on revised training in the state of Washington, which has ramped up its focus on both people skills and tactics. In Sue Rahr’s words, “It’s all about the ability to influence human behavior;” police “must view their role in their community as a guardian – but they also have razor-sharp warrior skills in their back pocket if they need to do that.”