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New Body Armor Website Provides Critical Safety Information to Law Enforcement

April 9, 2015 Comments off

New Body Armor Website Provides Critical Safety Information to Law Enforcement (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today announced the launch of a new resource for law enforcement and corrections officers when seeking information on high-quality, life-saving equipment. PoliceArmor.org, a product of OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and National Institute of Justice (NIJ) features news and information on body armor that meets the standards set forth by NIJ. It is a resource provided by the people who write the standards, test the products and promote officer safety. It is a one-stop resource for body armor information.

PoliceArmor.org is hosted by NIJ’s National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center and offers information on how to select, purchase, wear, and care for body armor. It also highlights NIJ’s Compliance Testing Program and the importance of wearing protective vests and includes accounts of officers’ surviving potentially deadly assaults.

Alzheimer’s Aware: A Guide for Implementing a Law Enforcement Program to Address Alzheimer’s in the Community

February 10, 2015 Comments off

Alzheimer’s Aware: A Guide for Implementing a Law Enforcement Program to Address Alzheimer’s in the Community (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

As the nation’s population continues to age, there will be more cases of Alzheimer’s disease and therefore, more and more opportunities where those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia may come in contact with local law enforcement and public safety officials.

Law enforcement could become involved with individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers under a variety of every‐day circumstances. Below are a few examples of behaviors or situations that could get the attention of law enforcement:

  • Exhibiting erratic driving or breaking general rules of the road
  • Crossing a road way or walking through traffic seemingly unaware of the danger
  • Wandering with a dazed/lost like appearance
  • Sitting in a car along the side of the road (perhaps the car is out of gas)
  • Being out of place in a particular situation (on a hiking trail/park late at night)
  • Inappropriately dressed for the situation or weather (not wearing a coat in winter, or inappropriately barefoot)
  • A call to police regarding missing items or a “break‐in”
  • Inability to follow or understand simple requests (May I see your driver’s license and car registration, please?)
  • Difficulty interacting appropriately with others
  • A domestic violence or physical abuse call that turns out to be a situation with a caregiver and an individual with Alzheimer’s disease
  • A shop‐lifting accusation, “stealing” from local businesses but actually believing they paid for the item or that the item is already theirs
  • Responding to a call for a welfare check and having concerns about abuse, neglect or domestic violence, based on observations

Whatever the situation, it can be difficult for an officer to know what to do, and how to address the problem, and, as the world’s population ages, these types of situations will only increase in frequency and will impact all law enforcement agencies at some point or another. Many law enforcement agencies across the nation are already working to increase positive outcomes when someone with Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia is reported missing, or when an officer encounters someone with Alzheimer’s, or a caregiver, during the normal course of their duties, through specialized trainings, resources and policy development which may include:

  • Recognizing the signs of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Learning best practices in approaching and communicating with persons who have Alzheimer’s
  • Being aware of situations where an officer might encounter individuals with Alzheimer’s and effective ways to respond during those interactions
  • Insights and best practices in conducting searches for missing persons with Alzheimer’s – which is different than the manner one would plan or conduct a search for other missing persons

Legal Issues Related to Elder Abuse: A Pocket Guide for Law Enforcement

January 6, 2015 Comments off

Legal Issues Related to Elder Abuse: A Pocket Guide for Law Enforcement (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

This national guide provides brief explanations of:
•Legal concepts, documents, and tools that may be misused to commit elder abuse or used properly to remedy it.
•Issues and actions that justice system professionals should consider if they suspect elder abuse has occurred.

Department of Justice Releases Resource Guide to Help Law Enforcement Strengthen Relationships with Communities

December 2, 2014 Comments off

Department of Justice Releases Resource Guide to Help Law Enforcement Strengthen Relationships with Communities<
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) today announced the release of a resource guide intended to help law enforcement officers build stronger community-police relations. The Resource Guide for Enhancing Community Relationships and Protecting Privacy and Constitutional Rights is a collaboration between BJA and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office).

For many years, BJA and the COPS Office have developed guides, publications, webinars, checklists and tools for law enforcement agencies on community policing, building community trust, diversity training, privacy protections, and safeguarding first amendment rights. Building strong police-community relations requires a sustained effort over time, yet maintaining these relationships is exceedingly difficult during and in the aftermath of a high-profile incident or civil unrest. Professional law enforcement departments and effective operations require training and ongoing support from all partners. This guide helps law enforcement agencies locate these resources in one place, including in-person and online training opportunities, publications, reports, podcasts, and websites.

Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents

September 27, 2014 Comments off

Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

The arrest of a parent can have a significant impact on a child whether or not the child is present at the time of the arrest. Depending on age and quality of the relationship with the parent, children may feel shock, immense fear, anxiety, or anger towards the arresting officers or law enforcement in general. Over the past two decades, increasing emphasis has been placed on examination of the effects of these events on children of various ages and the ways in which law enforcement can make sure that an involved child doesn’t “fall through the cracks.” Research clearly indicates that such events can and often do have a negative impact on a child’s immediate and long-term emotional, mental, social, and physical health. Symptoms such as sleep disruptions, separation anxiety, irritability, and even more serious disorders or post-traumatic reactions have been documented. In addition, later problems with authority figures in general and law enforcement in particular can arise if officers or other service providers do not take the time to address the needs of the child. Time taken with a child under these trauma producing circumstances is time well spent.

Video Evidence: A Law Enforcement Guide to Resources and Best Practices

September 1, 2014 Comments off

Video Evidence: A Law Enforcement Guide to Resources and Best Practices
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

With the rapid growth and improvements in video technology used in government, business, and personal applications, law enforcement leaders are recognizing the importance of improving their agencies’ capabilities of utilizing that video evidence to solve crimes. Despite the growing availability of video evidence, many state and local law enforcement agencies have indicated that gathering and analyzing video information can be very difficult. Video evidence can come from a multitude of different devices, with differing systems, formats, players, and technology, yet an agency’s ability to properly secure, catalog, store, and maintain its evidentiary value and integrity is critical to a professional police organization. Clearly, guidance and best practices are needed to improve public safety agencies’ ability to appropriately utilize and manage video data.

The purpose of this resource is to provide answers to straightforward common questions that law enforcement officers, or the agencies they represent, may have regarding properly securing, collecting, storing, and analyzing video by directing them to valuable tools and resources from experts in the field.

Using Trauma-Informed Practices to Enhance Safety and Security in Women’s Correctional Facilities

May 7, 2014 Comments off

Using Trauma-Informed Practices to Enhance Safety and Security in Women’s Correctional Facilities
Source: National Resource Center on Justice Involved Women

One of the most common experiences shared by women in correctional facilities is a history of trauma, which for many can be extensive. Research from multiple disciplines has shown that the effects of trauma can be significant and long lasting. We now know that trauma often plays a role in the onset of women’s criminal behavior, is often linked to substance abuse and mental health challenges, and that trauma may explain some of the behaviors women offenders display while incarcerated. This document provides a brief overview of trauma and its effects on women offenders, and specifically defines trauma-informed practices for women’s correctional facilities. It also provides key actions that facility administrators, managers, and staff can take to better align their operational practices with the research on trauma and to create a more trauma-informed facility culture.

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