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Criminal Justice Restraints Standard NIJ Standard 1001.00

January 13, 2015 Comments off

Criminal Justice Restraints Standard NIJ Standard 1001.00 (PDF)
Source: National Institute of Justice

This document is a voluntary performance standard for restraints for use by the criminal justice community. It defines both performance requirements and the methods used to test performance. In order for a manufacturer, supplier or other entity to claim that a particular restraint model satisfies this National Institute of Justice (NIJ) standard, the model must be in compliance with this standard, as determined in accordance with this document and the associated document, Criminal Justice Restraints Certification Program Requirements, NIJ CR- 1001.00. Both this standard and the associated certification program requirements document are produced as a part of the Standards and Testing Program of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, NIJ, as is a third associated document, the Criminal Justice Restraints Selection and Application Guide, NIJ Guide-1001.00.

All requirements stated in this standard, including those that explicitly employ mandatory language (e.g., “shall”), are those necessary to satisfy this standard. Nothing in this document is intended to require or imply that commercially available restraints must satisfy this standard.

This document is a performance and testing standard and, therefore, provides precise and detailed test methods.

This standard addresses only wrist to wrist and ankle to ankle restraints. This standard does not address any restraint constructed of natural/non-synthetic materials (e.g., leather, natural rubber, cotton).

126 Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Nationwide in 2014

December 31, 2014 Comments off

126 Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Nationwide in 2014
Source: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

Law enforcement fatalities in the U.S. rose 24 percent in 2014, reversing what had been two years of dramatic declines in line of duty deaths, based on preliminary data compiled and released today by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF).

According to the NLEOMF report, 126 federal, state, local, tribal and territorial officers were killed in the line of duty this year, compared to 102 in 2013. The number of officers killed by firearms in 2014 (50) was 56 percent higher than the number killed by gunfire in 2013 (32). Ambush-style attacks, as evidenced earlier this month by the shooting deaths of New York City Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos while sitting in their marked patrol car, were the number one cause of felonious officer deaths for the fifth year in a row. Fifteen officers nationwide were killed in ambush assaults in 2014, matching 2012 for the highest total since 1995.

Forty-nine officers were killed in traffic-related incidents this past year, which was an 11 percent increase from 2013. Twenty-seven officers died due to other causes in 2014, including 24 who suffered from job-related illnesses—such as heart attacks—while performing their duties.

+ Full Report (PDF)

2013 Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll

December 29, 2014 Comments off

2013 Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Provides a comprehensive look at the employment of the nation’s state and local governments, as well as the federal government. It shows the number of government civilian employees and their gross payroll by governmental function. These governmental functions include, for example, elementary and secondary education, and police protection.

United States Secret Service Protective Mission Panel Report (White House intrusions, etc.)

December 23, 2014 Comments off

United States Secret Service Protective Mission Panel Report (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security (United States Secret Service Protective Mission Panel)

Our review and recommendations fall within three general areas: training and personnel; perimeter security, technology, and operations; and leadership. A number of the recommendations go directly to issues highlighted by the events of September 19. Among other things, the Panel believes strongly that the fence around the White House needs to be changed as soon as possible to provide better protection. We recognize all of the competing considerations that may go into questions regarding the fence, but believe that protection of the President and the White House must be the higher priority. As the Executive Branch, Congress, and the Service itself have all recognized, the fence must be addressed immediately.

But the problems exposed by recent events go deeper than a new fence can fix. The Panel thus looked more broadly at the Service, recognizing that issues affecting the Service’s protective operations more generally have their greatest impact on protection of the White House and President. Of the many concerns the Panel encountered, the question of leadership is, in our view, the most important. The Panel found an organization starved for leadership that rewards innovation and excellence and demands accountability. From agents to officers to supervisors, we heard a common desire: More resources would help, but what we really need is leadership.

Police Indemnification

December 11, 2014 Comments off

Police Indemnification (PDF)
Source: New York University Law Review

This Article empirically examines an issue central to judicial and scholarly debate about civil rights damages actions: whether law enforcement officials are financially responsible for settlements and judgments in police misconduct cases. The Supreme Court has long assumed that law enforcement officers must personally satisfy settlements and judgments, and has limited individual and government liability in civil rights damages actions—through qualified immunity doctrine, municipal liability standards, and limitations on punitive damages—based in part on this assumption. Scholars disagree about the prevalence of indemnification: Some believe officers almost always satisfy settlements and judgments against them, and others contend indemnification is not a certainty.

In this Article, I report the findings of a national study of police indemnification. Through public records requests, interviews, and other sources, I have collected information about indemnification practices in forty-four of the largest law enforcement agencies across the country, and in thirty-seven small and mid-sized agencies. My study reveals that police officers are virtually always indemnified: During the study period, governments paid approximately 99.98% of the dollars that plaintiffs recovered in lawsuits alleging civil rights violations by law enforcement. Law enforcement officers in my study never satisfied a punitive damages award entered against them and almost never contributed anything to settlements or judgments— even when indemnification was prohibited by law or policy, and even when officers were disciplined, terminated, or prosecuted for their conduct. After describing my findings, this Article considers the implications of widespread indemnification for qualified immunity, municipal liability, and punitive damages doctrines; civil rights litigation practice; and the deterrence and compensation goals of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Implementing a Body-Worn Camera Program: Recommendations and Lessons Learned

December 8, 2014 Comments off

Implementing a Body-Worn Camera Program: Recommendations and Lessons Learned
Source: U.S. Department of Justice (Community-Oriented Policing Services) and Police Executive Research Forum

In recent years, many law enforcement agencies have been deploying small video cameras worn by officers to record encounters with the public; investigate officer-involved incidents; produce evidence; and strengthen agency performance, accountability, and transparency. While body-worn cameras have the potential to improve police services, they also raise issues involving privacy, police-community relationships, procedural justice, and technical and cost questions, all of which agencies should examine as they consider this technology. The Police Executive Research Forum, with support from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, conducted research in 2013 on the use of body-worn cameras. This research included interviews with police executives, a review of agencies’ policies, and a national conference at which 200 police executives and other experts discussed their experiences with body-worn cameras. This publication describes the findings of this research, explores the issues surrounding body-worn cameras, and offers policy recommendations for law enforcement agencies.

Hat tip: PW

The “Militarization” of Law Enforcement and the Department of Defense’s “1033 Program”, CRS Insights (December 2, 2014)

December 5, 2014 Comments off

The “Militarization” of Law Enforcement and the Department of Defense’s “1033 Program”, CRS Insights (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

August 2014 clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson, MO, sparked a national conversation about the “militarization” of law enforcement and the expanding role of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams. Both the House and the Senate held hearings on what role the Department of Defense’s (DOD) “1033 Program” might play in the militarization of law enforcement.

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