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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.

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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.

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.

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