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Lost and Found: Understanding Technologies Used to Locate Missing Persons with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

April 14, 2014 Comments off

Lost and Found: Understanding Technologies Used to Locate Missing Persons with Alzheimer’s or Dementia (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia affect not only those who are living with the disease; these afflictions also impact the caregivers, law enforcement, and even neighbors. As the disease progresses, physical and mental capabilities are negatively impacted, short-term memory loss increases, and a person with Alzheimer’s might begin living in the past. As the person attempts to return to former places of employment or residences, they often get lost and need assistance returning to where they are currently residing. It is never possible to predict if or when a person with Alzheimer’s will wander or be unable to navigate familiar routes. Initiating a search for a person with Alzheimer’s can never be delayed, and conducting such searches can prove to be costly and consume extreme amounts of agency resources. It is crucial for law enforcement officers and other first responders to be familiar with and understand the signs of dementia and be aware of passive identification products used to identify persons with Alzheimer’s. In addition to passive identification techniques, there are technologies and products available that can be used to actively locate an individual who is lost.

Cellular location techniques and Global Positioning System devices are examples of proven methods for aiding law enforcement in a search for a missing person with dementia. This document will provide a technical description of these technologies and outline some of the advantages and disadvantages when employing these products. It will also provide comprehensive lists of locating devices that are currently available. Provided in each section is a short technical description of the technology and its advantages and the disadvantages. Appendix I and Appendix II provide a list of passive and active locating devices currently available.

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Social Media and Police Leadership: Lessons From Boston

April 14, 2014 Comments off

Social Media and Police Leadership: Lessons From Boston (PDF)
Source: National Institute of Justice

The Boston Police Department (BPD) has long embraced both community policing and the use of social media. The department put its experience to good and highly visible use in April 2013 during the dramatic, rapidly developing investigation that followed the deadly explosion of two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. BPD successfully used Twitter to keep the public informed about the status of the investigation, to calm nerves and request assistance, to correct mistaken information reported by the press, and to ask for public restraint in the tweeting of information from police scanners. This demonstrated the level of trust and interaction that a department and a community can attain online. In the aftermath of the investigation, BPD was “applauded for leading an honest conversation with the public during a time of crisis in a way that no police department has done before.”

Police resources in Canada, 2013

April 10, 2014 Comments off

Police resources in Canada, 2013
Source: Statistics Canada

In a period of fiscal pressures coupled with growing policing responsibilities, discussions regarding the economics of policing are taking place. Contributing to these discussions are police services, the public sector, academics, the private sector, as well as the general public. The discussions seek to identify the nature of and reasons for police expenditures, as well as ways to reduce costs while continuing to meet police responsibilities regarding public safety (Public Safety Canada 2013).

Using data from the Police Administration Survey (see the “Survey descriptions” section for details), this Juristat article will focus on the most recent findings regarding the rate of police strength and police expenditures. The Police Administration Survey captures police-reported data on the number of police officers in Canada by rank and sex, as well as civilian employees, based on a snapshot date (which is May 15, 2013 for the most recent data). Data on hiring, departures, and eligibility to retire in this report are based on either the 2012 calendar year or the 2012/2013 fiscal year, depending on the police service.

Information from this survey is provided for Canada, the provinces and territories and census metropolitan areas (CMAs). In addition, this article provides information on workplace mobility within police services, including the hiring of and departures by police, and eligibility to retire. Finally, it summarizes data on the characteristics of police officers, including gender, age group, and Aboriginal and visible minority status. To provide a more complete picture of the state of policing in Canada, the following contextual information are included: policing responsibilities and strategies within the economics of policing discussions; international data on police personnel and gender from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); and wage information from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey (LFS).

New Report: 20,000 California Students Arrested or Ticketed in 2009-10, Vast Majority Are Youth of Color

March 27, 2014 Comments off

New Report: 20,000 California Students Arrested or Ticketed in 2009-10, Vast Majority Are Youth of Color
Source: The Labor/Community Strategy Center (Community Rights Campaign)

The Community Rights Campaign (CRC) and the Black Organizing Project (based in Oakland) released a report that presents startling new data on the role of police officers in schools and the need to address this statewide problem within the new Local Control Funding Formula.

“The New ‘Separate and Unequal’: Using California’s Local Control Funding Formula to Dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline” highlights the dramatic expansion in school police forces across the state, with many districts now employing more than 50 police officers. As a result, many schools now rely on law enforcement personnel to handle routine school disciplinary matters, resulting in well over 30,000 California students being referred to the police in just one school year. At least 20,000 students were arrested or given a police ticket, and over 90% of them were youth of color.

Officer Involved Shootings in Smaller Departments

March 24, 2014 Comments off

Officer Involved Shootings in Smaller Departments (PDF)
Source: International Association of Chiefs of Police

The old adage, “it can’t happen here” is not a philosophy that we, as police man-agers, should consider as we provide leadership to our organizations. For many smaller law enforcement agencies, the unique nature of policing in our commu-nities often equates to traffic enforcement, an occasional daytime burglary, and the rare cases involving robbery or assault. As executives in smaller agencies, we continuously attempt to balance increasing service demands with shrinking budgets, while preparing our organizations as best we can for those things that ‘can’t happen here!’

Street Stops and Police Legitimacy: Teachable Moments in Young Urban Men’s Legal Socialization

February 28, 2014 Comments off

Street Stops and Police Legitimacy: Teachable Moments in Young Urban Men’s Legal Socialization
Source: Yale Law School (via SSRN)

An examination of the influence of street stops on the legal socialization of young men showed an association between the number of police stops and a diminished sense of police legitimacy. This association however is not only a consequence of the number of street or car stops they experience or of the degree of police intrusion that occurs during those stops. Rather, the estimated impact of involuntary contact with the police is mediated by evaluations of the fairness of police actions and judgments about whether the police are acting lawfully. Whether the police are viewed as exercising their authority fairly and lawfully directly shapes respondent’s decision acceptance and the impact of stops on respondent’s general judgments about police legitimacy. Fairness and lawfulness judgments, in turn, are influenced by the number of stops or the degree of police intrusion during those stops. Similarly, judgments of justice and lawfulness mediate the estimated influence of judgments of the general character of police behavior in the community on general perceptions of police legitimacy. These results suggest that the widespread use of street stops undermines legitimacy. Lowered legitimacy has an influence on both law abidingness and the willingness to cooperate with legal authorities. However, the findings also show that it is not only police streets or police conduct during such stops that matters per se, but more importantly public perceptions of police injustice/illegality during those stops. The results suggest that police legitimacy is shaped by how fairly/legally the police are viewed as exercising their authority.

CRS — Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program

February 25, 2014 Comments off

Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via MSPB Watch)

The Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) program provides three different types of benefits to public safety officers and their survivors: a death, a disability, and an education benefit. The PSOB program is administered by the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA’s), PSOB Office.

Law Enforcement Fatalities Dip to Lowest Level in Six Decades

February 4, 2014 Comments off

Law Enforcement Fatalities Dip to Lowest Level in Six Decades (PDF)
Source: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

According to preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 111 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in 2013, an eight percent decrease from 2012, when 121 officers were killed. This was the fewest number of fatalities for the law enforcement profession since 1959 when 110 officers died.

Traffic-related fatalities were the leading cause of officer fatalities in 2013, killing 46 officers. Thirty-one officers were killed in automobile crashes, 11 officers were struck and killed outside their vehicle and four officers were killed in motorcycle crashes. Traffic-related fatalities decreased four percent from 2012 when 48 officers were killed.

Suicide by Cop Fact Sheet

January 13, 2014 Comments off

Suicide by Cop Fact Sheet (PDF)
Source: American Association of Suicidology

Suicide-by-cop (SbC): A colloquial term used to describe a suicidal incident whereby the suicidal subject engages in a consciously, life-threatening behavior to the degree that it compels a police officer to respond with deadly force.

Often occurs because the individual has the intent to die, but does not want to kill him/herself.

Law Enforcement — Preliminary 2013 Fatality Statistics

December 26, 2013 Comments off

Preliminary 2013 Fatality Statistics
Source: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

Preliminary 2013 Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities

December 24, 2013 vs. December 24, 2012

2013
2012 % Change
Total Fatalities 109 118 -8%
Firearms-related 33 49 -33%
Traffic-related 45 46 -2%
Other Causes 31 23 +3

Active shooters: is law enforcement ready for a Mumbai style attack?

December 3, 2013 Comments off

Active shooters: is law enforcement ready for a Mumbai style attack? (PDF)
Source: Naval Postgraduate School

Between April 16, 2007, and December 14, 20 12, the United States has seen 25 mass shootings, seven of which occurred in 2012. A report by United States Department of Homeland Security, in 2009, suggested that the United States will be the target of a terrorist act that could cause a high number of casualties.

The November 26, 2008, attack on Mumbai is a transparent example of how determined terrorists, trained to die fighting, can bring a large metropolitan city to its knees. It is entirely probable that Mumbai – type attacks could occur in the United States. Since the local law enforcement respond to attacks in progress, any active shooter event would be handled by the local jurisdiction. Many law enforcement agencies have begun to incorporate tactical plans to respond to Mumbai – type terrorist a ttacks.

This thesis focused on police preparedness of select large metropolitan law enforcement agencies for potential Mumbai – type terrorist attacks. A comparative analysis of these police agencies was conducted, which showed that the frequency of trainin g was found to be varying and inadequate by these agencies. A similar concern was that none of the agencies had equipped all the police officers with rifles, which were deemed critical to engage well – equipped active shooters.

It is the conclusion of the thesis that gaps in preparedness exist and law enforcement organizations have room for improvement. It was also concluded that agencies need to enhance communication capability between neighboring jurisdictions and focus on triage of the victims during t he early stages of attacks when medical personnel would be unable to approach.

A Report on Arrests Arising from the New York City Police Department’s Stop-and-Frisk Practices

November 19, 2013 Comments off

A Report on Arrests Arising from the New York City Police Department’s Stop-and-Frisk Practices (PDF)
Source: New York State Office of the Attorney General
From press release:

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released a report today analyzing the New York Police Department’s stop and frisk program by studying and tracking the arrests that result from stops — the first such analysis of what happens to individuals and institutions following these arrests. While the constitutionality of the stop and frisk program has been the subject of litigation and significant debate, its efficacy has been less closely scrutinized; the Attorney General’s new report helps to fill that gap.

In analyzing close to 150,000 arrests that resulted from approximately 2.4 million stops between 2009 and 2012, the report concludes that roughly half of those arrests, or just three percent of stops, led to guilty pleas or convictions at trial. In addition, just 0.3 percent of stops led to jail sentences of more than 30 days, and 0.1 percent led to convictions for a violent crime. The report also finds widespread consequences for arrestees and criminal justice institutions, including litigation costs incurred by the city, and various harms even to individuals arrested for misdemeanors.

Today’s report is the second to be released by the Office of the Attorney General — the first, released in 1999, found that blacks and Hispanics were stopped and frisked at a disproportionate rate, even when controlling for demographics and crime rates.

AU — Police Shootings of People With a Mental Illness

November 18, 2013 Comments off

Police Shootings of People With a Mental Illness
Source: Australian Institute of Criminology

The decision to use a firearm in a police operation is one of the most critical a police officer can make and ‘no other single issue has the potential to destroy the relationship between the police and the community like the use by police of deadly force’ (McCulloch 1991: 160).

All fatal police shootings are subject to internal review, a mandatory coronial inquest and are also monitored by the Australian Institute of Criminology’s (AIC) National Deaths in Custody Program (NDICP). The NDICP collects detailed information about the circumstances and nature of such incidents, with the view to informing the ongoing development of policy and procedure.

The AIC has recently released a special monitoring report that commemorates the twentieth anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. This report contains detailed analysis of the 2,325 deaths in custody since 1 January 1980 (which includes 905 deaths in police custody and custody-related operations). This report also examines fatal police shootings that have occurred in Australia since monitoring of these incidents began in 1989–90.

One issue that frequently arises with regard to police shootings is proportionality, or more simply, whether the threat or potential threat posed by the alleged offender was sufficient to warrant police using a firearm. This issue is tested through coronial inquests in which the presiding coroner will make a determination about whether the shooting was justified.

This issue becomes much harder to resolve when the mental capacity of the alleged offender is impaired, such as by drugs and/or alcohol, a mental illness or both, as the ability to understand or appreciate the consequences of potentially life-threatening actions may be undermined.

International Association of Chiefs of Police — Social Media Survey 2013

November 14, 2013 Comments off

Social Media Survey 2013
Source: International Association of Chiefs of Police

In fall 2013, the IACP conducted its fourth annual survey on law enforcement’s use of social media. The survey addressed the current state of practice and the issues agencies are facing in regards to social media. The survey was sent electronically to law enforcement executives across the United States. A total of 500 law enforcement agencies, representing 48 states, participated in the survey.

Survey Highlights:

  • 95.9% of agencies surveyed use social media.
  • The most common use of social media is for criminal investigations at 86.1%.
  • The most frequently used social media platforms are Facebook (92.1%), Twitter (64.8%), and YouTube (42.9%).
  • 57.1% of agencies not currently using social media are considering its adoption.
  • 69.4% of agencies surveyed have a social media policy and an additional 14.3% are in the process of crafting a policy.
  • 80.4% of agencies report that social media has helped solve crimes in their jurisdiction.
  • 73.1% of agencies state that social media has improved police-community relations in their jurisdiction.

Social Networking for the Police Enterprise: An In-Depth Look at the Benefits, Requirements, and Challenges of Establishing a Social Networking Platform for Law Enforcement

November 12, 2013 Comments off

Social Networking for the Police Enterprise: An In-Depth Look at the Benefits, Requirements, and Challenges of Establishing a Social Networking Platform for Law Enforcement (PDF)
Source: Major Cities Chiefs Association

Establishing a secure social networking platform for law enforcement is not only innovative and attractive but it also advances crime-fighting, enhances information sharing, and improves succession planning.

+ Its use would help combat the complex problems of crime and terrorism, which has become increasingly dependent on interconnecting the law enforcement community. Violent gang members, pimps, prostitutes, robbery crews, drug distributors, and other criminal syndicates frequently transcend state and national borders. To effectively counter this issue, law enforcement must stay ahead and leverage social networking technology to enhance police connectivity and collaboration.

+ It would enhance information sharing by fostering professional relationships. People are more likely to share information with those that they can relate to and as such, enabling your personnel to foster more social ties with their colleagues from within their home agency, as well as from other agencies, will result in more cooperation.

+ It would improve succession and knowledge-sharing by establishing a community memory that can then be tapped into by others as agencies mature and evolve. In particular, the loss of expertise that accompanies the increasing rate of turnover would be offset by providing employees with a means for capturing the knowledge that is commonly “in their head”, and sharing it with the rest of the organization.

New From the GAO

October 31, 2013 Comments off

Innovation in the Criminal Justice System: A National Survey of Criminal Justice Leaders

October 29, 2013 Comments off

Innovation in the Criminal Justice System: A National Survey of Criminal Justice Leaders (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

Innovation in the Criminal Justice System: A National Survey of Criminal Justice Leaders is part of a multi – faceted inquiry concerning innovation and criminal justice reform conducted by the Center for Court Innovation in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The questionnaire was administered from June to August 2012 among a nationwide sample of 1,000 professionals: 300 community corrections officials ; 300 leaders from prosecutors’ offices; 300 police chiefs and sheriffs; and all 102 chief judges and chief court administrators from the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

There was an overall response rate of 62% , and the final sample included responses from 624 individual criminal justice leaders . On average, respondents had over 26 years of experience in the criminal justice system. Weighting techniques were utilized to assign each of the four criminal justice segments (community corrections, prosecution, law enforcement, and court administration) equal influence over the reported totals.

The questionnaire was designed to provide a snapshot of the current state of innovation in the field of criminal justice: Is innovation a priority? Are criminal justice leaders aware of emerging research, and do they use research to inform policymaking? What obstacles stand in the way of innovation in the field?

FBI Releases 2012 Statistics on Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted

October 28, 2013 Comments off

FBI Releases 2012 Statistics on Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

According to statistics collected by the FBI, 95 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2012. Of these, 48 law enforcement officers died as a result of felonious acts, and 47 officers died in accidents. In addition, 52,901 officers were victims of line-of-duty assaults. Comprehensive data tables about these incidents and brief narratives describing the fatal attacks are included in the 2012 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, released today.

School Resource Officers: Steps to effective school-based law enforcement

October 9, 2013 Comments off

School Resource Officers: Steps to effective school-based law enforcement (PDF)
Source: National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention

For students and educators to achieve their full potential, safe schools are fundamental. Students who report feeling safe in school are more engaged in class, have higher academic achievement, and have lower rates of absenteeism, truancy, and behavioral issues. Likewise, educators who report feeling safe in school are better able to focus on academics, are more likely to remain in their positions, and are better equipped to teach and support students. Feeling safe in school is intrinsically connected to achieving educational outcomes for students and educators alike.

Many communities seek the help of law enforcement to promote school safety and protect schools from violence and disorder. School Resource Officer (SRO) programs that are implemented and sustained through an organized and comprehensive process can help prevent school-based violence, connect at – risk students to needed services, divert youth from juvenile court, and create safe, secure, and peaceful school environments.

Effective school-based law enforcement programs require more than simply stationing officers in schools. Strong SRO programs are built on careful selection and training of officers, well-defined roles and responsibilities, and a comprehensive agreement between the school and the law enforcement agency that fosters collaboration, communication, and ongoing evaluation.

This brief covers the following:

  • What SROs are and their roles as educators, informal counselors, and law enforcers
  • The potential benefits and pitfalls of school-based law enforcement programs
  • The proactive, collaborative role SROs can play in schools
  • The value of a comprehensive agreement between the school and the law enforcement agency, and of written guidelines clarifying an SRO’s work
  • How to properly select and train SROs

Requests for Police Assistance, 2011

October 2, 2013 Comments off

Requests for Police Assistance, 2011
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

Examines the characteristics and experiences of persons age 16 or older who contacted police to request assistance in 2011. The report describes the perceptions of residents about police behavior and response during these encounters. It details requests for police assistance to (1) report a crime, suspicious activity, or neighborhood disturbance; (2) report a noncrime emergency, such as a medical issue or traffic accident; and (3) seek help for a nonemergency or other reason, such as asking for directions or help with an animal problem. Data are from the 2011 Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS), a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which collects information from a nationally representative sample of persons in U.S. households on contact with police during a 12-month period.

Highlights:

  • An estimated 1 in 8 U.S. residents age 16 or older, or 31.4 million persons, requested assistance from police at least once, most commonly to report a crime, suspicious activity, or neighborhood disturbance.
  • About 85% of persons who requested police assistance were satisfied with the police response.
  • No statistical differences were found between the percentage of Hispanics (86%), blacks (85%), and whites (83%) who reported a crime or neighborhood disturbance and felt the police were helpful.
    About 9 in 10 persons who requested police assistance reported that they were just as likely or more likely to contact the police again for a similar problem.
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