Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin’

Insurance companies funding police investigations

August 19, 2019

This article discusses the practice of insurance companies funding police (and sometimes prosecutors) to investigate cases of alleged insurance fraud. On the plus side, it’s an example of public-private partnership and cost sharing. In some cases, however, it puts police in the position of serving the financial interests of insurance companies. The article reports several examples of flawed investigations that wreaked havoc on individuals later determined to be innocent.


Resilience training

February 8, 2019

This new COPS Office publication describes resilience training being tested in the Milwaukee Police Department. Initial results indicate some positive early-career effects on new officers who get the training in the academy, but no significant impact on mid-career officers who get it later as in-service training. Final results are pending but will include “development of a model to guide effective delivery of resilience training at the academy and … validation of the effectiveness of this training for recruits.”

Homeless outreach in Milwaukee

January 11, 2019

This article describes police outreach to the homeless in Milwaukee. Winter is a particular concern, so officers regularly check on people and help solicit donations of warm clothing. Each of the city’s 7 police districts has several officers assigned to its Homeless Outreach Team. The current estimate of those living on the street is 900, down from 1,500 in 2015, “but now the tents are making it more visible,” according to one official.  “They’re not hidden the way that they used to be.”

Police suicide

December 21, 2018

This article recounts the heartbreaking circumstances surrounding an officer’s suicide in Wisconsin. His mother put some of the blame on “years and years of this drip, drip, drip of evil and unappreciation.” Nationally, police suicides outnumber felonious deaths by at least 3-1, with many unreported. One expert notes that police face “elevated risk of depression, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder” while “shootings are the biggest stressors.” The work can affect officers’ mental health, but experts say police “are often particularly adept at hiding the warning signs. They are practiced at burying their emotions on the job.”

K-9 for a day

December 13, 2018

This article reports a new program in La Vista, Nebraska, originating in Green Bay, Wisconsin in which police take shelter dogs with them on patrol. In some cases it’s a 2nd chance/re-entry program for dogs having trouble finding owners. Police say the program “offers an opportunity to not only strengthen our relationship with our partners at the Nebraska Humane Society, but also allows our officers an opportunity to engage our community in a way that we may not have been able to without the addition of a great dog.” Successful canine adoptions have resulted.

Pain in the … back

October 31, 2018

This article reports a study by the Eau Claire, Wisconsin PD testing the impact on back pain of the traditional duty belt versus a load-bearing vest. The police partnered with local researchers to carry out the 6-month study in which 30 officers rotated between the two equipment options. Participants reported less pain wearing the vests and the department will make the switch. Besides the relief for officers, a deputy chief noted “Lost time due to injury or medical cost related to back injuries are significant and the entire community shares that cost.”

To chase or not to chase

June 30, 2018

This article provides a balanced discussion of police pursuit policies and practices. According to a 2015 analysis, chases account for over 300 deaths per year in the U.S., nearly half being bystanders or passengers. Many agencies have adopted stricter guidelines, limiting pursuits except in serious violent crime cases and putting decisions in the hands of supervisors. But other agencies continue to pursue and give officers discretion, not wanting offenders to believe that it’s easy to escape.

Walking the tightrope in Milwaukee

May 23, 2018

From David Couper’s blog, a nice 3-minute video of Milwaukee’s newly-appointed police chief setting a warm and respectful tone toward the community and pledging to be open and honest with the public and with members of the police department. Those promises are quickly being tested, as video was released today of officers using physical force and a Taser on a NBA player over a parking complaint last January. Today’s release of the video was accompanied by an apology and reported discipline for the officers involved.

Pursuits increasing

April 4, 2018

This article reports a substantial increase in vehicle pursuits over the last 1-2 years in the Milwaukee area, resulting in more crashes and injuries. Police attribute it mainly to brazen young car thieves as well as “rolling drug houses.” Suburban agencies also say drivers are aware of Milwaukee PD’s restrictive pursuit policy, which they mistakenly think applies throughout the metro region.

Bad sheriffs

April 3, 2018

The U.S. has about 3,000 sheriffs, an office that goes back to colonial days and preceded the creation of police departments. This article reports numerous recent scandals, embarrassments, and shortcomings in sheriff’s offices around the country and discusses why they persist despite being an elected office that voters should be able to hold accountable.