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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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Police Behavior during Traffic and Street Stops, 2011

October 2, 2013 Comments off

Police Behavior during Traffic and Street Stops, 2011
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Examines the characteristics and experiences of persons age 16 or older who were stopped by police during traffic and street stops, and their perceptions of police behavior and response during these encounters. It describes the outcomes of traffic and street stops by the reason for the stop; demographic characteristics of the persons stopped; race or Hispanic origin of the officers; and whether a ticket was issued, a search was conducted, or force was used. It also describes variations in perceptions of the police across characteristics and outcomes of traffic and street stops. Data are from the 2011 Police-Public Contact Survey, 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:

  • Relatively more black drivers (13%) than white (10%) and Hispanic (10%) drivers were pulled over in a traffic stop during their most recent contact with police. There were no statistical differences in the race or Hispanic origin of persons involved in street stops.
  • Drivers pulled over by an officer of the same race or ethnicity were more likely (83%) than drivers pulled over by an officer of a different race or ethnicity (74%) to believe that the reason for the traffic stop was legitimate.
  • White drivers were both ticketed and searched at lower rates than black and Hispanic drivers.
  • About 1% of drivers pulled over in traffic stops had physical force used against them by police. Of these drivers, 55% believed the police behaved properly during the stop.

DHS OIG — CBP Use of Force Training and Actions To Address Use of Force Incidents

September 18, 2013 Comments off

CBP Use of Force Training and Actions To Address Use of Force Incidents (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General

Following April 2012 media reports regarding the death of an undocumented immigrant while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in May 2010, Senator Robert Menendez and 15 members of Congress requested that we review the use of force within CBP. We reviewed allegations of the use of excessive force by CBP employees and determined what reforms CBP has implemented. We also examined what effect adding more agents and officers to the workforce has had on training and professionalism.

Allegations of employee misconduct that are entered into Department of Homeland Security (DHS) case management systems are assigned one of several case allegation types; however, there is no primary use of force designation. As a result, we were unable to identify the total number of excessive force allegations and investigations involving CBP employees.

The August 2006 to December 2009 workforce surge within CBP did not negatively affect use of force training within CBP. Use of force training remained consistent and funding for use of force training increased at the basic training academies. Pre­ employment polygraph examinations have improved the quality of the CBP workforce.

CBP has taken several steps to address the number of use of force incidents involving CBP employees and to ensure that agents and officers use force only when necessary and reasonable. All CBP law enforcement agents and officers are required to follow the same use of force policy and standards and complete the same use of force training. CBP tracks all use of force incidents and recently completed an internal review of use of force issues.

However, more can be done. The CBP Office of Training and Development Use of Force Policy Division should incorporate additional assault data into its analysis of use of force incidents and formalize and expand its field audit program. CBP should continue to expand the use of scenario-based training and assess new technologies to support agents and officers. We are making three recommendations. CBP should work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to implement a method to identify excessive force allegations in its case management system, develop processes to incorporate information regarding assaults on agents that do not result in the use of force into its analysis of use of force incidents, and evaluate and act upon field audit results. The DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) will modify its case management system to identify in greater detail incidents involving excessive use of force allegations.

Command, Control , and Coordination: A Quick-Look Analysis of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Operations during the 2012 Democratic National Convention

September 12, 2013 Comments off

Command, Control, and Coordination: A Quick-Look Analysis of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Operations during the 2012 Democratic National Convention (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance
From the National Criminal Justice Reference Service:

This report presents an analysis of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s operations during the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

In September 2012, the Democratic Party held their national convention in Charlotte, NC. Due to the large number of attendees and the high-profile nature of the event, the convention posed unique problems for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD). This report presents an analysis of the operations of the CMPD to handle the planning and operational challenges posed by the event. The analysis identified best practices of the CMPD during this event: pre-event planning, collaboration between local authorities, use of technologies and criminal intelligence, effective personnel recruitment, pre-event training of personnel on the legal and civil rights of attendees, effective crowd control, and effective coordination between command and control throughout the event. These best practices are described in detail in the report, along with key lessons learned by the CMPD as a result of their experience. Key lessons learned include proper use of planning subcommittees, stressing the need for flexible operations, streamlining arrest processing, and having effective financial/grant management. The analysis found that overall, the efforts of the CMPD and its partner public safety agencies were aligned with the planning objectives established before the convention, enabling officers to be well prepared to handle any incident that could have arisen during the event itself.

New From the GAO

August 28, 2013 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Border Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Has Taken Steps to Address GAO’s Recommendations Aimed at Ensuring Officers Are Fully Trained. GAO-13-768R, August 28.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-768R

2. Border Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Provides Integrity-Related Training to Its Officers and Agents throughout Their Careers. GAO-13-769R, August 28.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-769R

A state-by-state guide to: Missing Senior/Adult Public Alert Systems

July 24, 2013 Comments off

A state-by-state guide to: Missing Senior/Adult Public Alert Systems
Source: International Association of Chiefs of Police

With more than 5 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and approximately 500,000 new cases of this disease emerging each year, projections pronounce that there could be as many as 16 million Americans that will have Alzheimer’s by 2050. To help law enforcement protect this special population, IACP’s Alzheimer’s Initiatives program is committed to helping first responders improve their knowledge and skills to safeguard this special population.

This interactive map displays a state-by-state guide to the systems used to alert the public regarding missing persons with Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia. programs available throughout the 50 states. Also, once you click on a state, you will be able to see more in-depth state specific statistics and resources.

Justice Department Releases Investigative Findings on the City of Miami Police Department and Officer-involved Shootings

July 11, 2013 Comments off

Justice Department Releases Investigative Findings on the City of Miami Police Department and Officer-involved Shootings
Source: U.S. Department of Justice

Following a comprehensive investigation, the Justice Department today released its letter of findings determining that the city of Miami Police Department (MPD) has engaged in a pattern or practice of excessive use of force through officer-involved shootings in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. Between 2008 and 2011, officers intentionally shot at individuals on 33 separate occasions, three of which MPD itself found unjustified. The department found that a number of MPD practices, including deficient tactics, improper actions by specialized units, as well as egregious delays and substantive deficiencies in deadly force investigations, contributed to the pattern or practice of excessive force.

The department’s findings noted that MPD did not provide close supervision or hold individuals accountable for their actions by failing to complete thorough, objective and timely investigations of officer-involved shootings. For a significant number of the shootings, including one that occurred in 2008, MPD has not reached a conclusion internally as to whether or not the officer’s firearm discharge was lawful and within policy. The Justice Department found that MPD’s failure to complete timely and thorough investigations of officer-involved shootings undermined accountability and exposed MPD officers and the community to unreasonable risks that might have been addressed through prompt corrective action, noting that several investigations remained open for more than three years. Significantly, a small number of officers were involved in a disproportionate number of shootings, while the investigations into their shootings continued to be egregiously delayed. The findings released today mark the conclusion of the department’s second investigation of MPD in recent years. The department noted that similar deficiencies were found in its previous investigation that began in 2002.

“Although MPD appeared to correct course after our first investigation, many of the systemic problems that we previously identified returned to root deeply in MPD’s practices. Our findings should serve as a catalyst to help MPD and the city of Miami restore the community’s confidence in fair, effective and accountable law enforcement,” said Roy L. Austin Jr, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “We look forward to collaborating with Chief Orosa, Mayor Regalado and the people of Miami to create and implement a comprehensive, court-enforceable plan to ensure sustainable reform.”

+ Findings Letter regarding the City of Miami Police Department (PDF)

Associations between Psychological Distress and Body Mass Index among Law Enforcement Officers: The National Health Interview Survey 2004-2010

April 16, 2013 Comments off

Associations between Psychological Distress and Body Mass Index among Law Enforcement Officers: The National Health Interview Survey 2004-2010 (PDF)

Source: Safety and Health at Work

Objectives:

To investigate the association between psychological distress and obesity among law enforcement officers (LEOs) in the United States.

Methods:

Self-reported data on psychological distress based on six key questions were obtained from LEOs who participated in the National Health Interview Survey (2004-2010). We used Prochaska’s cut-point of a Kessler 6 score ≥ 5 for moderate/high mental distress in our analysis. Mean levels of body mass index (BMI) were compared across three levels of psychological distre ss.

Results:

The average age of LEOs (n = 929) was 39.3 years; 25% were female. Overall, 8.1% of LEOs had moderate or high psy- chological distress; 37.5% were obese (BMI ≥ 30). Mean BMI increased with increasing psychological distress (no distress, BMI = 27.2 kg/m 2 ; mild distress, 27.6 kg/m 2 ; and moderate/high distress, 33.1 kg/m 2 ; p = 0.016) after adjustment for age, race, income, and education level among female officers only. Physical activity modified the association between psychological distress and B MI but only among male LEOs (interaction p = 0.002). Among male LEOs reporting low physical activity, psychological distress was positively associated with BMI (30.3 kg/m 2 for no distress, 30.7 for mild distress, 31.8 for moderate/high distress; p = 0.179) after adjustment, but not significantly. This association was not significant among males reporting high physical activity.

Conclusion:

Mean BMI significantly increased as psychological distress increased among female LEOs. A longitudinal study de-sign may reveal the directionality of this association as well as the potential role that physical activity might play in this association.

Increasing Organizational Diversity in 21st-Century Policing: Lessons from the U.S. Military

March 14, 2013 Comments off

Increasing Organizational Diversity in 21st-Century Policing: Lessons from the U.S. Military

Source: RAND Corporation

Both the military and police departments are concerned about recruiting and promoting a racially/ethnically diverse workforce. This paper discusses three broad lessons from the Military Leadership Diversity Commission (MLDC) that can be used to inform police department hiring and personnel management: qualified minority candidates are available, career paths impact diversity, and departments should leverage organizational commitment to diversity. Additionally, specific suggestions are given as to how law enforcement agencies can incorporate each of these lessons.

Identifying Barriers to Diversity in Law Enforcement Agencies

September 2, 2012 Comments off

Identifying Barriers to Diversity in Law Enforcement Agencies

Source:  RAND Corporation
The authors describe how law enforcement agencies can use barrier analysis, a method of assessment aimed at identifying potential obstacles to obtaining resources or participating in a program, to better understand and address the challenge of creating diversity among their personnel. They examine key points in the career lifecycle, such as recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention practices, to determine where women and racial/ethnic minorities face obstacles that might account for less-than-proportionate representation among applicants, hires, and senior leadership. They describe the barrier analysis process, illustrate how it can help law enforcement agencies increase the diversity of their workforce, and present case studies featuring police departments that have used barrier analysis.

AU — First-response police officers working in single person patrols: A literature review

August 21, 2012 Comments off

First-response police officers working in single person patrols: A literature review

Source:  Australian Institute of Criminology
The AIC undertook a literature review on single person police patrols both in Australia and internationally. This report examines challenges faced by first-response police officers when working alone and the impact this had on them, operational decisions to deploy single person patrols and how the community view this issue. It concludes that there has been limited research on single person patrols in policing and of the research findings available in the literature, results are mixed and updated research needs to be undertaken.

A Due Process Right to Record the Police

May 23, 2012 Comments off

A Due Process Right to Record the Police
Source: Social Science Research Network

There has been considerable discussion of citizens’ First Amendment right to record the police. This essay, however, argues that independent of any First Amendment right, there is also a due process right to record the actions of law enforcement, and that this right applies even when the interaction takes place in private, and not in public places. This question of a due process right to record the police has not yet produced the degree of attention and litigation that public recording has, but the growth of inexpensive recording equipment and its inclusion in smart phones ensures that such attention and litigation are sure to be forthcoming.

PERF Report Offers Police Leaders’ Perspectives on Immigration Enforcement

May 7, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Police Executive Research Forum
PERF has released a new report that explores the issue of illegal immigration from the perspective of local police and sheriffs’ departments across the country.
The report, Voices from Across the Country: Local Law Enforcement Officials Discuss the Challenges of Immigration Enforcement, is based on regional meetings of police executives and other officials held in Raleigh, NC; Colorado Springs; and Laredo, TX.   In addition, PERF convened a meeting at the Prince William County, VA Police Department to hear officials from that department describe their experience in implementing a new immigration policy.
Full Report (PDF)

Critical Issues in Policing Series: Improving the Police Response to Sexual Assault

May 6, 2012 Comments off
On September 23, 2011, PERF held a conference in Washington, D.C. titled “Improving the Police Response to Sexual Assaults.”  This conference brought together approximately 150 police executives, leaders of women’s and crime victim organizations, FBI leaders and other federal officials, and others to discuss the handling of sexual assault crimes.
One of the key issues discussed at the conference was the inadequacies of the definition of rape used by the FBI in its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. The definition, unchanged since 1927, did not capture many types of sex offenses.
PERF is pleased to note that on January 6, 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he has approved a new UCR definition that will lead to a more comprehensive statistical reporting of rape nationwide.

New From the GAO

February 15, 2012 Comments off

New GAO Reports and TestimonySource: Government Accountability Office

+ Reports

1. Early Child Care and Education: HHS and Education Are Taking Steps to Improve Workforce Data and Enhance Worker Quality. GAO-12-248, February 15.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-248
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/588580.pdf

2. U.S. Coins: Alternative Scenarios Suggest Different Benefits and Losses from Replacing the $1 Note with a $1 Coin. GAO-12-307, February 15.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-307
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/588550.pdf
Podcast – http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/588495

3. Law Enforcement Body Armor: DOJ Could Enhance Grant Management Controls and Better Ensure Consistency in Grant Program Requirements. GAO-12-353, February 15.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-353
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/588571.pdf

+ Testimony

1. Law Enforcement Body Armor: DOJ Supports Its Use and Enhancements, but Could Strengthen Management of Its Related Grant Programs, by Dave C. Maurer, Director, Homeland Security and Justice, before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. GAO-12-448T, February 15.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-448T

Allegations of Misconduct and Illegal Discrimination and Retaliation in the Federal Air Marshal Service

February 8, 2012 Comments off

Allegations of Misconduct and Illegal Discrimination and Retaliation in the Federal Air Marshal Service (PDF)Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General

In January 2010, CNN reported allegations of misconduct and illegal employment discrimination and retaliation in the Federal Air Marshal Service’s Orlando field office. The reports included descriptions of an agency rife with cronyism; age, gender, and racial discrimination; and unfair treatment in promotions, assignments, and discipline. Also included were photographs of a game board modeled after the television show “Jeopardy!” created and displayed by supervisors there, with categories containing derogatory nicknames referring to veterans, females, African Americans, Hispanics, and lesbians and gays. Senator Bill Nelson and Congressmen Edolphus Towns and Darrell Issa asked us to review the allegations in Orlando and throughout the agency as well as the circumstances surrounding the game board.

Although individual employees may have experienced discrimination or retaliation, our review does not support a finding of widespread discrimination and retaliation within the Federal Air Marshal Service. However, employees’ perceptions of discrimination and retaliation are extensive, and we heard too many negative and conflicting accounts of events to dismiss them. Many Federal Air Marshals and some supervisors think they have been discriminated against, fear retaliation, and believe there is much favoritism. There is a great deal of tension, mistrust, and dislike between non-supervisory and supervisory personnel in field offices around the country. We identified factors that contributed to strained relations and became the basis for the allegations. Limited transparency in management decisions is also at the center of fears of retaliation and perceptions that management is mistreating its workforce.

These issues pose a difficult challenge for the agency, but they do not appear to have compromised the service’s mission. Transportation Security Administration and Federal Air Marshal Service senior leadership are committed to addressing these issues and have implemented several proactive initiatives to address them. We are making several recommendations to help the agency mitigate these issues.

See also: Spotlight: Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General (PDF)

Volunteers in Police Service Add Value While Budgets Decrease

January 16, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Bureau of Justice Assistance
While in the midst of budget cuts, many law enforcement agencies are being asked to take on additional responsibilities due to cuts and restructuring in other government agencies. Seventy-seven percent of agencies were asked to increase their support of other agencies and asked to shoulder additional responsibilities in the last year.
More than ever, volunteerism in the law enforcement arena has become a need and not a luxury. The financial return on investment of a volunteer program can be substantial, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of value added to the agency each year. In 2009, IACP’s Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program held a focus group to see how agencies were coping with tightening budgets by utilizing their existing volunteer programs. While agencies were cutting staff and programs, the use of volunteers remained consistent or, in some cases, increased. Many agencies have responded to the tough financial climate by training and placing volunteers in duties not previously performed by volunteers.
The services provided by VIPS volunteers are essential. As we look to the future, it is clear that the economic outlook is not going to change anytime soon. Shrinking budgets and limited resources will remain the norm for some time. In the IACP Policing in the 21st Century survey, one-third of law enforcement leaders said they will have to further reduce their budgets by 10 percent or more in the coming year.  In these difficult times, volunteers can enhance public safety and services and offer a wealth of skills and resources to law enforcement and their communities.

New From the GAO

December 22, 2011 Comments off

New GAO Report
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Border Security: Additional Steps Needed to Ensure That Officers Are Fully Trained. GAO-12-269, December 22.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-269
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/587303.pdf

Justice Department Releases Investigative Findings on the Seattle Police Department

December 21, 2011 Comments off
Source:  U.S. Department of Justice

Following a comprehensive investigation, the Justice Department today announced its findings that the Seattle Police Department (SPD) has engaged in a pattern or practice of excessive force that violates the Constitution and federal law.  A letter detailing the findings was delivered to Seattle Mayor Michael McGinn and Police Chief John Diaz.

The investigation, launched on March 31, 2011, and conducted by the Civil Rights Division’s Special Litigation Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, focused on whether SPD engages in unconstitutional or unlawful policing through either (1) the use of excessive force or (2) discriminatory policing.  The Justice Department found reasonable cause to believe that SPD engages in a pattern or practice of excessive force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.  The Justice Department does not make a finding that SPD engages in a pattern or practice of discriminatory policing, but the investigation raised serious concerns that some of SPD’s policies and practices, particularly those related to pedestrian encounters, could result in unlawful discriminatory policing.  These practices undermine SPD’s ability to build trust among segments of Seattle’s diverse communities.

Ukraine must act to deal with endemic police criminality

December 17, 2011 Comments off

Ukraine must act to deal with endemic police criminality
Source: Amnesty International

The Ukrainian authorities must act immediately to deal with endemic police criminality, Amnesty International said today in a new report that reveals widespread torture, extortion, and arbitrary detention.

No evidence of a crime: Paying the price for police impunity in Ukraine, reveals how police are rarely punished for these crimes because of high levels of corruption, non-existent or flawed investigations, harassment and intimidation of complainants, and a low level of prosecutions for such crimes.

+ Full Report (PDF)

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