Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin’

Increasing women recruits

August 15, 2022

This 7-minute NPR segment discusses efforts underway to increase the representation of women among American police. A current national initiative, 30X30, has the goal of achieving 30% women recruits by 2030, which would more than double today’s proportion. The segment discusses the evidence about performance by women officers, as well as barriers to recruitment and retention. It also highlights the Madison, Wisconsin police department, an agency that already has 28% sworn women, compared to the national average of 12-13%.

Sentinel event review of Madison PD’s protest response

November 19, 2021

Like many police departments around the country, Madison (WI) PD was challenged last year by protests following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The PD chose to undertake a sentinel event review of its performance as a way of learning lessons that might be useful going forward. The review process included a large number of PD members as well as community  stakeholders, plus analysis of 1,600 pages of documents, 625 hours of CCTV video, 30 hours of radio communications, and interviews with nearly 200 police and community members, resulting in 69 recommendations. According to one official, “This process has not only highlighted what needs to be done in our community, but it also helps us to reflect on how much work still needs to be done, and why effective training is needed – for police, members of the community, politicians, parents, and leaders of our school system.” A brief synopsis of the review is here and the full report is here.

Wandering officers

August 25, 2021

In Wisconsin, nearly 200 officers currently on the job were previously fired or forced out by other police departments within the state, as reported here. States vary in how closely they track officer separations and whether they make such information accessible. Wisconsin maintains a database and notifies chiefs and sheriffs when they hire someone who has an entry in the data, but it’s up to the hiring agency how to use the information. Evidence generally indicates that “wandering officers” are more likely to engage in additional misconduct, but an argument is also made that everyone deserves a second chance. Officials suggest an important distinction is between officers let go for misconduct versus officers separated during probation for failing to meet performance standards. 

Defunding police might hurt women most

September 9, 2020

In the face of calls to abolish or defund police, this article points out that 96% of murders are committed by men and asks “with no police or prisons, how do you think that the smaller, weaker half of humanity would fare? The half who commit very little violent crime but are the victims of a great deal of it?” The author acknowledges the abuses and disparities driving the current situation, but believes the reform agenda is ignoring the interests of women and that “with no police, there are just two options available to vulnerable people: vigilantism, or nothing at all.”

Tough on chiefs

August 18, 2020

The balancing act that police chiefs face, always tough, has become even more difficult in the current climate, as reported here. Impossible demands and unrealistic expectations can imperil even the most experienced and reform-minded chiefs. One observer notes “progressive cities are relentlessly unforgiving to progressive chiefs” and another comments “It’s hard to know what success will look like for today’s police chief.” Reflecting on the Atlanta chief’s resignation just hours after an officer shot and killed a suspect, a local journalist wrote “Sadly, it’s the unforgiving environment we’re in. Atlanta is losing a calming police chief who has been implementing the very reforms protesters are rightfully demanding of police departments throughout America.”

Walking in the woods and thinking about police

June 10, 2020

Here’s a short video from the indefatigable David Couper on today’s crises in policing. Beyond policies, training, peer intervention, and other well-known reforms, he thinks police need a stronger commitment to justice, and it needs to come from the heart.

Pandemic trends in crime and calls for service

May 22, 2020

Jurisdictions are experiencing a variety of trends associated with the virus pandemic. Jersey City reports an increase in street violence and is on pace to seize 50% more illegal guns compared to last year. Year-to-date homicides in Milwaukee are more than double the number from 2019, with 40% linked to family violence. Honolulu police have re-arrested 47 people who had gotten COVID-related jail releases; new charges have included “robbery, assault, burglary,  … smashing the windshield of a car while people were inside, sexual assault and theft.” Nationally, reports of child cyber abuse in April were up 4-fold compared to last April. Calls for mental health and wellness checks are up by 1/3 in Utah County, Utah since February 1st.

Arrested development

March 19, 2020

David Couper, former police chief and outspoken advocate for democratic policing and enlightened police leadership, has put the 2nd edition of his book Arrested Development online for free download. The announcement is on his blog here, and the book itself is here. The book covers David’s journey as a police officer and police chief and spares no punches in criticizing some of the trends in policing over the last 20 years.

Policing coronavirus

March 18, 2020

In response to the coronavirus, police are taking extra precautions, revising their operational strategies, being given additional authority, and even asking criminals to take a holiday, as reported here, here, and here. Specific measures adopted in some places include:

  • Encouraging victims of minor crimes to make reports on-line or over the telephone.
  • When police response is needed, having victims/witnesses meet police outside homes/offices.
  • Encouraging police to avoid enforcement of minor traffic and criminal violations.
  • When people telephone the police for assistance, asking screening questions to determine the level of virus risk for responding police.
  • Having police wait for medics to arrive at scenes of accidents, injuries, etc. when immediate life-saving isn’t required (medics have better masks, gowns, etc. than police).
  • Restricting use of road-side breath-testing equipment in cases of suspected drunk driving.
  • Using drones and other surveillance systems to assess situations before police arrive.
  • Allowing administrative staff to work from home.
  • Using 1-officer rather than 2-officer patrols to enhance social distancing.
  • Shifting more police to patrol duties (from investigations and other operational or administrative assignments).

Gunshot detection technology

October 17, 2019

This report provides recommendations for implementing gunshot detection technology (GDT) most effectively, based on a 3-city evaluation. Key suggestions include “developing clear policies and procedures prior to GDT implementation, placing GDT sensors in areas where violent crime is most concentrated, making training an ongoing priority, and communicating with community members early and often.”