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Texas Trooper Fires on Fleeing Truck, "Drug Load," Two Dead | StoptheDrugWar.org

Texas Trooper Fires on Fleeing Truck, "Drug Load," Two Dead | StoptheDrugWar.org | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
U.S.Drug War Claims Casualties #54 and #55 in 2012 During Drug Law Enforcement http://t.co/yMegVPyl...
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Donna Sharp's comment, November 8, 2012 1:56 AM
After reading this article I just couldn’t believe it, at first I was thinking that the two who were killed were under the tarp at the time of the incident but to find out that the tarp had blown off and that the people in the back of the pickup were in plain sight of the sniper in the helicopter and he still fired knowing that this was no longer a “drug load” is not acceptable in my book, I hope they do continue with the investigation and if the sniper is found out of line I hope they are appropriately punished. I do understand and see where the department is coming from in having an eye in the sky because it can truly save an officers life but I do not see how they will be able to justify this shooting as in the name of officer safety or the safety of others since they were on a dirt road in a low populated location.
Maria Osornio's comment, November 11, 2012 9:44 PM
Shooting at innocent people only because their first incline is that they are drug offenders is incomprehensible. I understand the drug lords are eager to bring drugs to those U.S. Citizens who are desperate to get a high and they are not afraid of firing back or killing our agents. Yet, these people were innocent of such action. Even though they are in the U.S. Illegally, they are still human beings and only looking for a better life. I still do not understand why a Wildlife game warden is even in the picture. Seems this sharpshooter was out to add another accomplishment to his resume and in the process people were killed. What bothers me the most is that those in the vehicle testified the tarp flew off during the chase and yet this agent still continued with his actions. I do believe more training needs to be added when dealing with these type of circumstances.
Chris Castillo-Romo's comment, November 17, 2012 12:08 PM
Well, this is a great article to pull up in our segment on corruption, no? Both Donna and Maria are far less cynical than I am about the situation presented here. The vast powers presented to Texan law enforcement agencies seem to be written specifically to cover incidents like this. The "enthusiasm" with which all officials in the case pursued the suspect vehicle makes me believe that the actions taken were not due to mistaken perceptions, and more out of a shared and comparable targeting of both drug cartel ops and undocumented immigrants alike. I fully expect this case to end in favour of the officers and the game warden; even a slap on the wrist would honestly surprise me.
Of course, there is also the alternative explanation that the Consulate of Nicaragua might have altered points of the story in an attempt to politicize and exploit the issue for gains in immigrants' rights. Regardless, tarp or otherwise, I should be able to say that the Texans overstepped their limits. The fact that Texas law disagrees with my interpretation is, to me, far more concerning than the situation discussed in the article.
This could further be analyzed through a macro lens as commentary on the effectiveness of our War on Drugs. Fortunately, Portugal's got the right idea as far as drugs go; let's hope their now-radical ideas spread to our little corner of the world to both reduce the harmful effects of drugs and restore human dignity to people on both sides of the border.
(All that aside, there's a great spam comment on this article. It's a masterpiece. If you've got a sec or two, you owe it to yourself to read through it).
Police Problems and Policy
Examining the possibilities of abuse of power without the constraint of New Public Administration.
Curated by Rob Duke
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Police who were first on Manchester Arena bombing scene get counselling designed for soldiers in battle

Police who were first on Manchester Arena bombing scene get counselling designed for soldiers in battle | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Police officers who were first on the scene of Monday’s terror attack are now receiving counselling designed for soldiers who witnessed battlefield horrors.

Dozens of officers raced to the Manchester Arena following reports of the blast. Along with paramedics they were confronted with the devastating sight of children and adults with fatal or catastrophic injuries after suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a nail bomb in the foyer of indoor stadium.

Officers who were first to respond - and those who later joined them - also had to comfort children who had witnessed their parents suffering serious blast injuries.
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Black Lives Matter awarded 2017 Sydney peace prize

Black Lives Matter awarded 2017 Sydney peace prize | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The selection is likely to be controversial with some who associate Black Lives Matter with images of week-long and occasionally violent protests at Ferguson, Missouri, following the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Mike Brown in 2014.

But those images, and the protests themselves, which have been repeated across the United States, only tell part of the story, said co-founder Patrisse Cullors.

“We’re not just about hitting the streets or direct action … it’s a humanising project,” she told Guardian Australia. “We’re trying to re-imagine humanity and bring us to a place where we can decide how we want to be in relation to each other versus criminalising our neighbours or being punitive towards them.”
Rob Duke's insight:
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Texas Makes Threats Against Police a Hate Crime

Texas Makes Threats Against Police a Hate Crime | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Threats and violence against Texas judges and police will be prosecuted as hate crimes under legislation passed this week, making good on the governor’s promise of “severe justice” for people who target law enforcement.
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Beyond ‘cops on the dots’: How Dayton police are using data to battle crime hot spots

Beyond ‘cops on the dots’: How Dayton police are using data to battle crime hot spots | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it

The Dayton Police Department plans to use a new investigative strategy that focuses on “micro areas” of violent crime to not only bring criminals to justice also to disrupt their networks and eliminate or clean up places where criminals hang out, meet, shop, live and make preparations to engage in illegal activity. 

Where police resources are deployed is based on crime rates and trends, but deeper analysis is needed to truly understand how to craft the most effective police response, said Dayton police Chief Richard Biehl. 

“The most frequent strategy or tactic in law enforcement is called ‘hot spot policing,’ or it’s called cops on the dots,” he said. “Where the data aggregates — the dots appear with greater density — that’s where you deploy police officers.”

But, Biehl said, police also need to engage those areas and interact with the community to achieve meaningful and sustained reductions in crime, he said. 

The Dayton Police Department is about to try a new strategy to cool off the tiny crime hot spots by taking away the places criminals hang out, live, gather and meet to support their illegal activities. 

Last month, Biehl discussed research that found that about 39 percent of shootings, 14 percent of robberies and 17 percent of firearms offenses in Dayton last year occurred in very small parts of the city, referred to as high-crime micro areas. 

Put together, those tiny hot spots represent less than 0.7 square miles of space. 

Taking a page out of Cincinnati’s playbook, the police department plans to try to reduce gun violence and criminal activity at some of the city’s worst hot spots high-crime “micro areas” through a data-driven, place-based investigative strategy.

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Rob Duke's curator insight, May 26, 12:09 PM
Here's a criminologist career that doesn't require one to work graveyard patrol: crime analyst....analyze crime, make policy recommendations, attend briefings and managerial meetings to report on crime trends, help develop budget and planning documents.
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Dirt bike rider critically injured in chase with Cleveland police spotlights ongoing Bike Life debate

Dirt bike rider critically injured in chase with Cleveland police spotlights ongoing Bike Life debate | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A 20-year-old dirt bike rider suffered critical injuries Monday night after Cleveland police chased him through city streets, police say.

The incident comes less than two weeks after Mayor Frank Jackson and Cleveland police Chief Calvin Williams announced a multi-pronged approach to tackling the issue of riders illegally operating off-road vehicles on Cleveland's roads.

"The policy has been to not come out ... and chase a dirt bike with a car. Nobody is going to win in that situation. It just puts everybody's life at risk," Williams said during a May 16 press conference with Jackson.

Cleveland police policy prohibits officers from using their zone cars to chase dirt bike riders -- but it doesn't bar police from using police motorcycles to chase riders, Cleveland police spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said.

Ciaccia said the department's bikes are larger street-legal versions of a dirt bike the city originally bought for last year's Republican National Convention.
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Fairbanks police shoot, kill suspect following pursuit near Fairbanks

Alaska State Troopers say a man wanted on warrants tried to elude law enforcement near Fairbanks Thursday, and the pursuit ended in gunfire that killed the suspect.

At 3:14 p.m. Thursday, troopers in Fairbanks spotted a person they said had "known warrants" and tried to pull the vehicle over.

AST Lt. Brian Wassmann said during a press conference in Fairbanks streamed live on Facebook that troopers saw the man driving a white truck in the area of Easy Street and Old Richardson Highway.

Troopers tried to pull the man over but he did not stop, prompting a pursuit down the highway toward North Pole, Wassmann said. The chase continued on the highway to Badger Road, where the suspect turned around and started driving toward Fairbanks, he said.

"Witnesses reported to the troopers that the suspect fired a gun at pursuing troopers during the pursuit," Wassmann said. The lieutenant did not specify when the shots were fired.
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Man Shot Dead in Compton in Exchange of Gunfire With 2 Deputies, Who Were Injured: LASD

Man Shot Dead in Compton in Exchange of Gunfire With 2 Deputies, Who Were Injured: LASD | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it


A man was fatally shot after opening fire on two sheriff's deputies, who were left injured in the exchange of gunfire late Wednesday in Compton, authorities said.


A gunman was killed, and two deputies were injured, Wednesday evening in a deputy-involved shooting in Compton. (Credit: KTLA)
At around 11:40 p.m. deputies tried to pull over a white sedan in the 900 block of North Santa Fe Avenue.

The car didn't initially stop, and the deputies could see three people inside the vehicle, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

After one of the deputies opened the car's rear passenger door, an armed passenger fired at the deputy, who returned fire. The man then fired on the second deputy, who also returned fire.

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Outright Lies Grease Passage of Bill That Eliminates Mandatory Gun Enhancements

Regardless of how you feel about the legislation, we are disturbed, and every legislator should be disturbed, that a witness called to testify in support of Senate Bill 620 told multiple lies to the California Senate.  Kim McGill of the Youth Justice Coalition sat next to the bill author, Senator Steven Bradford, as she addressed the Public Safety Committee on April 25, 2017.  McGill claimed, "one case in particular, stands out" to exemplify the unfairness of mandatory gun enhancements and then detailed the "facts" of a robbery case involving Travis Manning.
 
Ms. McGill testified that Manning was a 19-year-old man who had never been arrested.  According to McGill, he entered a GameStop, asked for a $100 game while holding a BB gun, and then took the same game back to GameStop a month later, not understanding the consequences of his act.  McGill claimed the sentencing judge "stated under California law he could not make any adjustments due to Travis' cognitive disabilities or his lack of a past criminal record." PBS NewsHour, relying upon McGill and Senator Bradford's information, repeated these statements in a story where Manning was made the "poster child" for SB 620.
 
The actual facts show McGill lied to the Senate Committee.  On the day he robbed the GameStop, Manning was a 23-year-old convicted felon. His criminal history included possession of cocaine base for sale.  The jury found -- and it was affirmed on appeal -- that Manning pulled out and cocked a real gun while committing the robbery.  Manning did not request a "$100 game" as McGill testified but demanded and received a Wii console, games, accessories, as well as the $600-700 in the cash register. 
 
Ms. McGill also did not tell the truth about Manning's actions after the robbery.  He did not take the "same game" back to GameStop. Instead, on two separate occasions Manning sold portions of the stolen loot to another GameStop store. This was not a misunderstood youth.  Mr. Manning was a felon who after committing robbery then committed a burglary by entering a business to sell property he had stolen at gunpoint. The connection was finally made when the store clerks from two different locations independently identify Manning.
 
Finally, Ms. McGill was dishonest in her description of the judge's remarks which she embellished to support her key point--that inflexible sentencing laws led to Manning's sentence. Clearly the judge never claimed he could not adjust the sentence despite Manning's "lack of a past criminal record," since Manning did have a prior record at the time he committed the robbery. Mr. Manning was on active probation with a prior felony conviction (Case number MA029937) when he committed the robbery and that led to his being charged and convicted of being a felon with a firearm. (Case number TA095435)
 
Equally importantly, the sentence length proved McGill was dishonest when she purported to quote the judge.  This is the point that first caused us to take notice of her claims.  As Ms. McGill was weaving her tale about the judge's statement, anybody who understands sentencing laws (be they prosecutor, defense attorney, or legislator sitting on the Public Safety Committee) should have instantly recognized without even knowing the facts of the case that McGill's tale did not ring true.
 
The sentence length for the crimes charged reflected that the judge had selected the longer of possible terms for Manning's sentence.  California law allowed the sentencing judge to run Manning's convictions for two robberies and a burglary concurrently, resulting in a shorter prison sentence than the 18 years imposed.  Instead, the sentence length reflected consecutive sentences, emphatically disproving McGill's recitation that the sentencing judge stated California law precluded a reduced sentence length.
 
We believe that McGill's misstatements were deliberate and calculated.  According to her own words when she testified, she was involved in the Manning case before his trial and sentencing.  Ms. McGill stated to the committee that she helped Manning get a new lawyer pending trial, "packed the court," and coordinated the presentation of "several powerful testimonies" at sentencing.
 
It is shocking that Ms. McGill felt comfortable sitting next to Senator Bradford while calmly uttering false statements during public testimony to a Senate Committee.  Also alarming is that when the ADDA contacted PBS reporter Kamala Kelkar to request a correction of her inaccurate story, we were informed that Senator Bradford's office repeated McGill's false statements about Manning, including the absurd claim that he had no prior record.  Didn't the Senator or anybody on his staff wonder how Manning was convicted of being a felon in possession of a gun if he had never been convicted of a prior felony?  Why didn't the Senator or his staff verify any of the facts of the case they chose to use as the "poster child" for the need to overturn mandatory gun enhancements?  The information is, after all, public record.
 
Criminal justice reform advocates who wish to take the system to task should remember that in criminal trials, the standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt, and that everything is documented in the public record.  If you misrepresent the facts that are in the public record, we will know. This sordid episode points out the need for legislators and the media to carefully vet the stories and ideas being peddled in furtherance of "criminal justice reform."
Rob Duke's insight:
Is this merely typical politics or is this Muir's dangerous abuse of the Power of the Word (persuasion)?
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DeKalb sheriff suspends himself after indecency arrest

DeKalb sheriff suspends himself after indecency arrest | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
DeKalb Sheriff Jeff Mann says he's not guilty of exposing himself and running from police, but he suspended himself for a week under his code of conduct.
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Man tasered by police dies in hospital after 'slashing himself'

Man tasered by police dies in hospital after 'slashing  himself' | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it

A man has died following an incident in which he was tasered by police.

Reports last night said he was "slashing himself" with a knife in Falmouth.

The police have just issue
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Police chief resigns when confronted about his involvement in “mock tickets”

Police chief resigns when confronted about his involvement in “mock tickets” | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Fox 2 News learned from Ware that the tickets demanding payment were just pretend. Ware called them “mock tickets.” Uplands Park and Kinloch even called them “warnings,” but you wouldn’t know it just by looking at them.

So why would a police chief in one town get involved with speed traps in another municipality? The Fox Files obtained a document which offers a clue. It's Colonel Cliff Ware's resume from 2015. He listed a current employer as Automated Transportation Enforcement Solutions (ATES ). Ware listed that he was paid by “commission” and supervised by John Baine, the man behind the security cop radar operation.

Baine told Fox 2 News in April that his critics were all wrong about the speed trap operation.

“They have an agenda and what we offer the small communities is an opportunity for equal protection,” he said.
Rob Duke's insight:
In later readings, we'll see that one of the things Muir cautions against is focusing too hard on the power of the sword (coercion).  This article and video is a good example of this: everyone focuses on the police (moonlighting cop, in this case) and no one asks what the attorneys got out of the case.  The ticket company offers a service where they write "warning" tickets and the attorneys were paid to stop this from happening.  Attorneys that get into the fight are also part of the problem.  There's certainly a public policy issue about using a company to write warnings when the warnings look a little too much like tickets, but the attorneys also got paid for getting involved.
So, the power of persuasion (word) in this case is also suspect, but we focused on coercion and not on the word.
Muir also cautions to be careful of the power of the purse (reciprocity).
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The County: the story of America's deadliest police

The County: the story of America's deadliest police | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A Guardian series examines Kern County, California, where police have killed more people per capita than anywhere else in the US this year
Rob Duke's insight:
a. the Atlantic is very liberal, thus you must take their articles with that in mind;
b. California has the largest population and the most officers in the U.S.; and\
c. I worked the central valley and it's as violent as Los Angeles--if not more so.
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Shared sacrifice and real compromise save the Dallas police pension — for now | Editorials | Dallas News

Shared sacrifice and real compromise save the Dallas police pension — for now | Editorials | Dallas News | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Victory has a hundred fathers, the saying goes, so there’s a lot of credit to pass around for the rescue of the Dallas Police and Fir
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There is no such thing as a free body camera | Police Foundation

Data storage is the police body camera equivalent of the razor or the ink, and vendors obscure their markup on this storage by bundling it with other costs, including hardware, software, replacement costs and even technical support. The best example is the single price per month per camera, all-inclusive.

Another tactic is to give cameras away for free for an initial period, knowing that downstream, profits will come from the storage required for their footage as agencies continue to use them and enter into contracts.

The striking thing to consider is that no police body camera company owns or operates its own data center where video footage is stored. All of them—every single one—buys cloud storage from businesses like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure, both of which offer CJIS-compliant cloud solutions, and then resell the storage to police departments at an extraordinarily profitable markup. Glenn Mattson, an equity analyst for Ladenburg Thalmann, said that the leading body police camera maker’s gross profit margins on video storage were more than three times its gross margins for hardware.

Imagine if razor companies didn’t make razor blades, but instead bought them from a handful of wholesale manufacturers, put a special receptacle on them that only worked with their brand of handles, and then sold those blades at a markup of a few hundred percent. The docking stations and software interface are that special handle for bodycams, and that is the profit margin the industry makes on Amazon’s storage.

American police departments have a tool at their disposal that, if used as our standard, will ensure fair competition and save taxpayers millions of dollars. The industry’s intended model only works if bidders are allowed, by the terms of a Request for Proposals (“RFP”), to bundle their charges and services in a way that doesn’t require that they specifically compete with one another over storage charges. At present, vendors prefer RFPs that allow them to bury storage markups and all of their other profit margins in a bundle of services that hide them from review and comparison. Regardless, our body camera vendors are paying companies such as Amazon for the actual number of gigabytes they are storing, at about 3 cents per gigabyte, so police departments ought to pay according to the same model. That we pay a flat rate bundled into the overall monthly price for a phone turns over the savings on any unused storage to our vendors.

This gap between fully-competitive pricing and the prevailing pricing model has only happened because we have allowed it to.

We lay out the terms of our RFPs; it is our prerogative to write them however we want as leaders engaged in government procurement and as representatives of our taxpayers. No body camera company can set those terms for us. If one of them balks at submitting an RFP because it interferes with their profit model, the body camera industry is mature enough to ensure that competitors will submit bids in compliance with the terms of the RFP and offer prices that are competitive and easy to evaluate and compare.

This is my advice: When police departments procure body cameras, we should always solicit multiple bids via RFP. More important, we need to specify in the terms of the RFP that the costs be broken down to indicate the individual prices for:

Each camera, given its capabilities and specifications
Docking stations and other accessories
Each end user software license
Insurance or replacement
Technical support
Storage, per gigabyte, for the agency, across all cameras
Any analytics software, i.e. computer-assisted redaction
By disambiguating storage costs and other items out of a bundled price, police departments will ensure a level of competition across bidders that will favor them and their taxpayers.

This is nothing more than free-market capitalism, where an industry reaches its peak level of efficiency through widespread transparency in pricing. It will make it impossible to disguise the markup on storage, for example, because the price offered in the RFP will be easy to compare to the ever-decreasing market rate for bulk electronic storage, which is a price that is well-known and completely transparent in the tech industry.

The final evolution of the body camera industry will come when there is no markup on storage costs and the devices are always given to the police for free.

I predict this is the inevitable course of things, and we will be there in about a decade.

The devices are just cameras and storage is literally just electrons in an array. The industry’s profit will be based on what it costs to move footage from a camera to a cloud and then review it when needed, and, more important, on how good its overall platform is.
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Police are trying — and training — to do the right thing | Commentary | Dallas News

Police are trying — and training — to do the right thing | Commentary | Dallas News | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
I've had some thoughtful conversations in recent weeks with law enforcement types about the long-running tension between police and minority communities across the nation.
Much of what they had to say revolves around a central, if well-worn, argument: Most cops are good and, given a choice, would prefer to never have to draw their weapon, much less shoot anyone.
Yet, when a few of them make egregious mistakes, such as the Balch Springs police officer who shot into a car full of teenagers last month and killed 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, they all pay a steep price. The public backlash is fast and furious.
"There are dozens or hundreds of documented bad outcomes where the preferred thing would've been — had the officer done this or that — we'd have a better outcome," said Dallas Deputy police Chief Jeffrey Cotner, the soon-to-be retired commander of the department's training division. "And when we fail, there's possibly a loss of life."
Since Ferguson, those "failures" have been front-and-center of an intense national debate about police training and accountability — two issues I discussed at length with Cotner, who is white, and Norman, Okla., police Chief Keith Humphrey, who is black.
"We have about 20,000 law enforcement agencies and a million officers [nationwide] and 99 percent are amazing," said Humphrey. "You have less than 1 percent causing 99 percent of the problems, and we have to deal with the fallout."
Rob Duke's insight:
Yeah, ok, in many ways, he's right.  But that's just the micro view.  Most officers are doing a good job within the institutions and the culture of policing, but we are way overdue for a re-invention of what it means to be the police in not only America, but in a republic.
Waddington argues that the London Metro Police come about in the 1820's because of the 1st Industrial Revolution and changing economics.  Workers became part of the "we" that was no longer acceptable to treat as a "them".  The same thing happened from the 1950's through the 1990's as a result of the Civil Rights Movement (and we might argue: the 2nd Industrial Revolution--where we created a healthy Middle Class) through the Rodney King incident--I'm talking about hard-working people of color--not those involved in the underground economy, who remained part of the "them" that the police were encouraged to target.  However, the 3rd Industrial Revolution (technology) has completely changed the way we communicate, the level of surveillance and recording of public officials, and also the way we view many activities of the Underground Economy.  Just consider these changes that have occurred in your lifetime...these have been dramatic.  Let me put this in perspective: when I was born (1966), we had just begun having regular air service in Boeing 707 or DC-8's; my dad worked for one company most of his adult life and programmed computers that had less memory than the phone you carry in your pocket; the only communication devices we had were: a. a rotary dial phone; b. telegraph; and, c. police radios; and, our pharmaceuticals were limited to: 1. Vaccines; 2. Anti-biotics; 3. Birth Control; 4. analgesics; and, 5. a few psychotropic drugs (lithium, etc.) available---all other drugs weren't just bad, but evil.
The changes to society as a result of the 2nd & 3rd Industrial Revolution have been dramatic, but the police remain largely the same.  Not only that, but we're not talking about making a major change.  Doesn't that seem odd?
In closing, consider in 1915 most cops walked around in parties of two with billy clubs and a .38 revolver.  Their beats were several blocks square and they didn't work strict shifts or respond to calls.  They were caretakers of their own little "beat" and they were connected, but too connected and participated fully in politics and corruption.  August Vollmer changed all that in his many police chief roles (Chicago, Los Angeles, etc., but always returning to Berkeley).  Vollmer (and his disciples most notable O.W. Wilson), put us in patrol cars with huge beats, responding to radio calls, with weapons to match the gangsters of prohibition (the G-men of Elliot Ness had a little to do with this part); and, had us using science and management to "professionalize" policing (yes, J. Edgar Hoover's FBI had a good bit to do with this part).  My point is that we've changed ourselves dramatically:
1. London Police;
2. Professional Model;
3. Community Policing.
But, now we seem to be ignoring the signals that something big has changed in society to which we MUST respond....
I suspect that it may be up to your generation to figure out what that response should be....
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Oakland Proposes $1 Million for Teen in Police Sex Scandal

The city of Oakland, California, is proposing to pay nearly $1 million to the teen daughter of a police dispatcher who says she was sexually abused by officers.

The teen, now 19, said Oakland Police officers exploited and victimized her while she was working as an underage prostitute. Her allegations led to the abrupt resignation of former Police Chief Sean Whent last year and caused turmoil in several Bay Area police departments. The teen says she had sex with two dozen police officers, some of whom when she was younger than 18. Most of the officers worked in Oakland.

The Associated Press generally doesn't identify victims of sexual crimes.

In a settlement to be considered by the Oakland city council next week, the Oakland city attorney is recommending a payment of $989,000 to settle the woman's claims before she files a lawsuit.
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Trump Targets Cartels, Attacks on Police in Executive Orders

Trump Targets Cartels, Attacks on Police in Executive Orders | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
President Donald Trump discussed the directives at a swearing-in ceremony for Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
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Police: Spike in Seattle shootings driven by gang grudges

Police: Spike in Seattle shootings driven by gang grudges | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Rather than traditional gang battles, police are dealing with retaliatory shootings set off by personal disputes. They plan to counteract the violence by increasing patrols and targeting the most dangerous offenders.
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Danville bank robbery suspect didn’t stand out as police officer

Danville bank robbery suspect didn’t stand out as police officer | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A Placentia police spokesman said Jennifer Rae McClary, suspected of robbing the bank while wearing a painted-on beard, did not survive her probationary period as an officer.
Rob Duke's insight:
There's a reason that she's an ex-officer....but we often release officers on probation without "cause" due to liability of proving another reason.
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'Star Wars': Why Darth Vader wasn't truly a villain

'Star Wars': Why Darth Vader wasn't truly a villain | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
And why the Jedi weren't as good as advertised.
Rob Duke's insight:
This article is a good mix-up to go along with one of Bittner's articles about the Police as a "tainted profession".  Bittner argues that we do bad things as well as good, thus we're tainted.  He puts us in the same category as dentists and doctors.  Whether we like to admit it or not, we sometimes make utilitarian decisions (often without full information) and that eats into our own Virtue Ethics.
Let me know your thoughts....I'm open to the idea that justice and policing may be on the verge of a new meaning or at least a new ethics....
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Video appears to show Texas officer striking teenage girl

Video appears to show Texas officer striking teenage girl | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
 The San Antonio Police Department is reviewing police body camera footage after a bystander posted vide
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Suspect in vehicle break-ins shot by Anchorage officer

The suspect wasn't stopped by a stun gun and was wielding a hatchet, police said.
Rob Duke's insight:
Remember the hatchet used to be called a tomahawk....
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St. Louis police are overcharging public for arrest reports, judge rules

St. Louis police are overcharging public for arrest reports, judge rules | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The St. Louis Police Department has been violating the state’s open records law by overcharging for and improperly maintaining police reports, a St. Louis judge has ruled.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Robert Dierker’s order in a lawsuit filed last year by the American Civil Liberties Union says the department has violated the law by requiring citizens pay a flat fee of $6.50 for each police report and failing to distinguish between an “incident report” and an “arrest report.”

Dierker’s order says the department must start providing arrest reports to the public at 10 cents a page plus the cost of a staff member’s time to produce them.

The judge said “the department was attempting to charge an unnecessarily high fee for producing records because the department chose not to keep records in a manner conforming” to the Sunshine Law.

City counselor Michael Garvin said the department has staff assigned solely to handle an “enormous” volume of Sunshine Law requests, and the practice of charging a flat fee was so the department didn’t have to calculate a separate fee for each request.

“We weren’t trying to gouge the public,” Garvin said. “This really was intended to make it easier for everyone. Obviously, we’ll have to comply with the judge’s ruling. The law isn’t always convenient. I guess this is going to be one of those cases.”

The lawsuit was filed last June by the ACLU after the department charged Mustafa Abdullah, an ACLU employee, a fee of $1,377 for 138 arrest reports he had requested. The suit said the fee the department quoted was $897 for the reports — $6.50 each regardless of the number of pages — plus a prepayment of $480 for an estimated 32 hours of research time needed to strip out some information.
Rob Duke's insight:
Another case of Power of the Purse and Power of the Word.
$6.50 for a police report isn't an unfair burden.  The judge requires a calculation for each report, but it's equally reasonable to say: ok, for most report requests, it's a matter of they all take about the same time: 5 min. to search; 2 min. to print, plus .10 a page for the paper....but, what about the time that we pay the person(s) to sit around at the counter waiting for people to come in?  Shouldn't the report requesters pay a fair share for the electricity, building costs, and salary of the person who fills that position?  In which case, wouldn't it be reasonable to say, we calculate that as .10 a page, plus $6 for overhead and we'll round it off to a flat $6.50?

We charged $10 for traffic accidents and tow reports, and research for multiple cases.  This seems like a reasonable policy to me.
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Greenville police credit Cops and Barbers program with improved community relations

Greenville police credit Cops and Barbers program with improved community relations | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Police and community relations have been in the spotlight a lot in recent years, especially with the black community.

In Eastern Carolina, police in one city say there's been a big improvement all thanks to a program started last summer.

Beyond a shave or a haircut, the local barbershop has also always served as a place for people to gather and have an open conversation about real-life problems.

That is why Greenville officers felt it was the perfect place to begin an outreach, known as Cops and Barbers, with the end goal of improving communications.

"All the issues that our customers have problems with, they have been addressed during one of our meetings and the officers try their best to take a look at the issue and to put the best solution they have to it," says Rodney Harris, the manager at Rodney's Barber Shop.

Since the program started in July of 2016, 11 barbershops in total have joined in, hanging maps that explain where and why police monitor certain areas and passing out little cards to patrons that have tips and advice on how to handle being stopped by an officer.


Now barbers are serving as an intermediary between the community and the police.

"It's paying dividends for us," says Chief Mark Holtzman, with the Greenville Police Department.

Chief Holtzman says the program has been working. Complaints against officers in the communities they serve are down this year, something they directly attribute to the program.

They believe going forward, the most important thing will be keeping an open dialog.

"I see the program growing by leaps and bounds, once the community gets to know what we're doing, hopefully they'll start bringing more issues to the table," says Officer Richie Williams, who is in charge of Cops and Barbers Community Outreach.

As for the community, the program has allowed for a more honest conversation to take place, providing an outlet for people to express their concerns, sharing experiences they've had and offering feedback as to how they feel.

"To me, as people, our job is to be treated... treat them with respect so they can treat you with respect, and in the long run, let's just all get along," says Rubye Harris, a community member.

As for the Cops and Barbers program, police say this is just the beginning.

During the meeting, officers also shared with community members a number of initiatives they're introducing to better serve the area, including body cameras that all officers will soon be wearing and a fair and impartial police training program they have enrolled in.
Rob Duke's insight:
This looks to be very innovative...
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Why California Is a Case Study for Monitoring Police Misconduct

Why California Is a Case Study for Monitoring Police Misconduct | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it

One policy currently being debated among police-reform advocates is the adoption of a statute that would allow state attorneys general to investigate and mandate structural changes within troubled departments, just as the federal Justice Department can. These changes can vary, but could include amending a department’s use-of-force policy or requiring bias training. The proposal has its origins in California, as it is the only state in the country that explicitly authorizes its attorney general to intervene in this way.

William Lockyer was the first California attorney general to exercise that power, after four Riverside police officers shot and killed a 19-year-old black woman in 1998. The shooting ignited community protests and attracted attention from civil-rights activists Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. The Riverside County district attorney invited Lockyer to review the evidence and circumstances of the case.

“I think it makes sense to have some external review, whether federal or state, as a way to check local politics and pressures.”
Though the state did not have enough to bring criminal charges against the officers, Lockyer told me, he launched a civil-rights investigation into the Riverside Police Department’s policies and practices. In 2001, he filed a judgment forcing the department to implement specific reforms within a five-year period. The changes included using more experienced officers on overnight shifts and implementing community policing: assigning officers to monitor specific neighborhoods on a long-term basis and build trust with residents.

“The police chief and many others said after the fact that this was the best thing to ever happen to the Riverside Police Department; it really professionalized the force,” Lockyer said. “I think it makes sense to have some external review, whether federal or state, as a way to check local politics and pressures that can stand in the way of reform.”

The Riverside reform agreement presents one case study to examine stronger state intervention in local policing, but state oversight is not an easy fix. The California attorney general has had intervention authority for 16 years, but has only used it a handful of times. That includes investigations launched in December 2016 by then-state attorney general and current U.S. Senator Kamala Harris. Even police-reform researchers who say these statutes have potential acknowledge they can run into problems when it comes to execution.

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Irvine, School of Law, said he suspects that political pressures and ambitions deter California attorneys general from exercising their authority more frequently. University of Virginia law professor Rachel Harmon suggested state funding might also present a barrier. “I don’t think mirroring the federal statute, section 14141, is likely to be the most successful state reform effort,” Harmon said, referring to the order granted by Clinton’s 1994 crime bill. “It took the federal government a long time to get that train rolling, and I think it’s very unlikely that the resources or expertise exist in most states to engage in a similarly effective effort.”

Rob Duke's insight:
Riverside was already a well-respected P.D. in California.  For the A/G to take credit for that is politically suspect.
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