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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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Loud voices and deaf ears

Loud voices and deaf ears | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
IN SUNDAY'S Observer, a British chief constable wrote a witty and forceful article denouncing the war on drugs. Mike Barton, of Durham Police, argues that "if the...
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Everything you wanted to know about legalizing marijuana (but weren't sure you could ask)

Everything you wanted to know about legalizing marijuana (but weren't sure you could ask) | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
In a few months, Alaskans will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana. Here's what we know (so far) about how that might look.
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Mamie Davis's comment, Today, 2:36 AM
I think the legalization of marijuana if just a tipping point towards anarchy and chaos. What I mean by that is people can’t say “we should legalize marijuana because it will take it off the black market, save criminal justice resources and provide a new source of income for states” and think that is a good enough reason. The same would be true of any drug that is legal that the government could chose to legalize. If we are going to legalize marijuana, why not meth? or cocaine? It would take those drugs off the black market, remove power from the hands of gangs and drug cartels, make sales and use safer for users, create a revenue source and remove all drug users from using the criminal justice system.
Rob Duke's comment, Today, 3:23 AM
Um? I think I agree. If you're arguing for a public health/harm reduction model where we decriminalize use, but still crack down on those who push drugs...
Clay Faris's comment, Today, 5:21 AM
I think the idea that legalizing marijuana leads inexorably to anarchy is fear mongering. I don't see any compelling reasons to avoid legalizing it at this point, and I believe this process we're currently seeing nationally of individual states legalizing marijuana represents nullification. At a certain point we'll reach a tipping point where the feds will have no choice but to follow suit. That said, I have some concerns about the current proposition that I believe are not being addressed (for example: how to deal with the consumables market, what happens with tax revenue given the federal prohibition, etc). Concerns aside, change won't happen if we constantly wring our hands and worry about the "what-ifs". I'm willing to allow the details be worked out after the fact.
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'Blimp in a Box' Deployed in Search for Cop-Killer Suspect Eric Frein - NBC News

'Blimp in a Box' Deployed in Search for Cop-Killer Suspect Eric Frein - NBC News | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Pennsylvania police have deployed a $180,000 "blimp in a box" — a tethered helium balloon equipped with cameras — to search dense woods for suspect...
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Karmen Louise Tobin's curator insight, October 29, 10:20 PM

Rob you find some great articles! It's amazing whats out there to find criminals. This semester I have found an even more interest and respect for the police and what they do for us. I don't believe Eric Frein is in the area they are thinking. If this was a well thought out plan I don't see Eric staying in the area, he has an escape route. The camp gear they spotted is a deterrence. If he is involved in a mass group of extremists I believe they are assisting him and not only aware of the plans but involved. It looks like American extremists group that thinks they are training for a mission they may be skilled but they will be caught but probably not where they would expect.

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Fairbanks crisis negotiators work behind the scene

Fairbanks crisis negotiators work behind the scene | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
FAIRBANKS — Much of the police work was going on behind the scenes last month when a police armored vehicle approached a suicidal man with a handgun in a Chena Pump Road-area parking lot.
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Alexander Yakovlev's comment, Today, 12:28 AM
This article shows that technologies do help improve policing, especially when negotiating with criminals. Who knows what would of happened if there wouldn’t be invented cell phones? Also, in this situation, I think police made a good call on how they should act.
Mamie Davis's comment, Today, 2:57 AM
I had never considered the aspect to negotiations cited in the article as imperative to resolving negotiations peacefully: time. It makes sense though, that length of time would directly correspond to higher likelihood of resolution for any negotiation. Why? Basic human nature means we can’t stay mad forever. It’s a very simple premise but a very important one for the negotiators. Really there job to to do or say anything in their power to diffuse the situation and eventually reach that peaceful resolution. I think it is good that they don’t let the suspect speak with other people when they are trying to negotiate with him. I had never considered it before, and certainly never thought about it in a negative light, but the officers are right. You never know if the person they want to talk to is going to help or hurt the situation, and in a high stakes negotiation that’s really a risk you can’t afford to take. I think the public also has a duty to avoid speaking with such suspects during negotiations, especially with cellphones so readily accessible these days.
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Police officer fired for ignoring woman's pleas

Police officer fired for ignoring woman's pleas | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
According to the DPD, Senior Corporal Leslie Richardson responded
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Rachael Toy's comment, Today, 1:29 AM
This is a very odd to me. What would make a police officer just want to ignore an emergency coming on over the radio? I wonder what was going through his head that made him leave the scene and continue on to another call. The women must have felt so abandoned and probably didn’t even know how to respond. A story like this is just more proof that citizens can’t always rely on the police and that the police will not always be there when we need them to be. It just shows us that there are some weaknesses to having one central group of law enforcers. Though, I am glad to see that the department acting accordingly. It is always good to see that when an officer does do something wrong, the departments are willing to take the appropriate action.
Zach Bohan's comment, Today, 1:46 AM
This is a shame that someone with a legal obligation to assist another person did not feel a moral obligation to help and chose to do nothing. He chose to check on a burglary scene instead of trying to stop a kidnapping. I wonder if he feels guilty for the death of the kidnapper, something he may have been able to prevent had he chosen to act. Maybe he would feel guilty if something had happened to the children. He should be brought up on negligence charges.
Clay Faris's comment, Today, 5:37 AM
This is difficult to stomach. I don't want to "Monday morning quarterback" this thing, but it really seems like this cop just didn't want to get involved. This is why we do this job man! This is exactly why. I don't understand the mindset on display here.
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Marijuana legalization — a step toward social justice

Mexican cartels, known for their gruesome violence such as mass beheadings and melting enemies in vats of acid, have been particularly hard hit as consumers move to legal markets and many farmers have given up illegal production of marijuana altogether. According to a Healthy Kids survey conducted during the first year of legalization, high school students in Colorado both used marijuana at lower rates than in previous years and at rates lower than the country as a whole. [...] legalizing mari
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Another Marijuana Raid in San Diego; Cop Wears 'F*** The Growers' T-Shirt

Another Marijuana Raid in San Diego; Cop Wears 'F*** The Growers' T-Shirt | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
There is no shortage of headlines in the news these days about police officers abusing their power and denying citizens...
Rob Duke's insight:

Cops like to be independent, but someone has to supervise so this kind of dumb mistake and arrogant mindset don't become so entrenched that a cop can wear this blatantly arrogant shirt.  The other issue here is to what extent do public servants get away with saying one of two things, both of which sit on the "slippery slope": 1. It's just my job to enforce the law, not decide if the law is right; or 2. I don't agree with that law, so I'm going to enforce something else.  One of these allows Jim Crow laws, for instance, to exist when public administrators don't question the morality of the laws they enforce; and, the other means that public administrators are aggrandizing themselves above the people, above the legislature, and above the "rule of law".  We need a theory and method for dealing with this paradox.

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Evidence supports officer’s account of shooting in Ferguson

Michael Brown and Darren Wilson fought for the officer’s gun, interviews and the autopsy indicate.
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Federal Forfeiture Program: What's It Funding?

Since 2008, 5,400 police departments and task forces have spent $2.5 billion in federally forfeited property. Yet the taken property overwhelmingly came from people who have done nothing wrong.
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Elizabeth Sheppard's comment, October 26, 3:33 AM
This article really makes it seem like the police departments are living large off the federal forfeiture program. The program should already have an auditor in place in the departments to oversee where the funding is going. I do think that some should really go to community based programs perhaps to help kids potentially at risk. However with all the horrible things that have been going on in todays society police officers also need to go into things protected. We cant expect cops in Americas biggest cities to carry just a big mag lite and hope they can take down the bad guys. Sometimes extra equipment is needed in certain scenarios. If these programs are so successful in putting so much money in police departments than why are so many officers getting laid off, while others have to pull double shifts to get by? I dont think the senators that are dipping into this are also doing it for the better good, I can see them still enforcing the forfeiture laws and instead of police getting a say, they will make sure it goes straight to just federal pockets and then no one can audit where that money has really been spent. It is a high percentage of cases where the ones who had property seized were never charged with a crime, this does seem kind of unfair. At the same time though cases can be drawn out for years, so you cant just wait until the end of a case to say if that money will be returned as well, thats too much red tape. There needs to be oversight in this law, but not just oversight of another party wanting to take the funding for just another agenda.
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Judge tosses lawsuit by Seattle police officers

Judge tosses lawsuit by Seattle police officers | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit brought by more than 100 Seattle police officers who said new guidelines on using force jeopardized their safety.
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Elizabeth Sheppard's comment, October 26, 4:04 AM
Seems in this case the Seattle police department had already been investigated for excessive use of force and because of this as part of a settlement agreement they had to come up with a policy to show they are making a change to make sure these cases don't happen. The police were upset because the lawyer in charge with the policy did not consult with them. I don't think they really had a choice. Hopefully because of this new policy police are not negatively affected. However at the same time, those who did abuse is will have to think twice before they take certain actions. It also now seems that because they brought this case up that the attorneys wants to do a further review of that department, not making it any easier.
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Two SWAT raids. Two officers dead. One defendant is black, one white. Guess what happened.

Two SWAT raids. Two officers dead. One defendant is black, one white. Guess what happened. | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The two cases in Texas, just 100 miles from each other, raise troubling questions about race and "no-knock" police raids.
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Clay Faris's comment, Today, 5:58 AM
Another reason to get rid of all "no knock" warrants. There just is no valid reason we need to be engaging in these kinds of things. The racial disparity is disturbing for an entirely different set of reasons.
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Oath Upheld: Nashville Cops Refused Secret Service Request for Illegal Search of Obama Critic

Following Secret Service Director Julia Pierson's recent resignation over a major security breach at the White House, new allegations are facing the president'
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Where pot is legal: Seattle cannabis edibles company hopes to bring product line to Alaska

Where pot is legal: Seattle cannabis edibles company hopes to bring product line to Alaska | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Brothers Patrick, Dan and Michael Devlin are hoping to stake their claim in Washington’s “Green Rush” as entrepreneurs scramble to cash in on the newly legalized marijuana market. The company’s Zoots product line will be some of the first edibles sold. 
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Elizabeth Sheppard's comment, October 26, 4:24 AM
The concern here is how do police regulate this and keep it from going into the hands of someone who is under the age of 21. I can see this being extremely popular with high school students being able to just pop some “candy” in their mouth and then go to class. Also the chance that a child could ingest it and get sick. They say that it is clearly labeled what it is, but then again we have kids in the ER because they are eating laundry soap that appear to look like candy. Makes me wonder as a police officer who finds someone with this product would they get a simple minor in possession fine? I don't know this just seems like something that would be a lot harder to try and control, you can only hope the ones who consume it are responsible enough to make sure kids don't eat it.
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FBI created fake Seattle Times Web page to nab bomb-threat suspect

The FBI created a fake news story on a bogus Seattle Times Web page to plant software in the computer of a suspect in a series of bomb threats to Timberline High School in 2007, documents reveal.
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Zach Bohan's comment, Today, 1:55 AM
This seems like a classic case of utilitarian versus deontological. A utilitarian would argue that this was ethical because it prevented potential harm and maintained the most good for everyone. A deontologist would argue that this is unethical regardless of its outcome because it violated privacy laws. Personally, I believe it is unethical and should not be repeated unless the person is the police's number one suspect for very serious crimes. IT is hard to argue with results, however.
Rob Duke's comment, Today, 2:06 AM
The courts allow investigative subterfuge, but it certainly seems like using a real news agency might be taking too much latitude on the part of the police. Zach, I agree on your ethics analysis. Have you looked at more recent philosophers like Rawls or Sen? I'd be interested in what you think they'd say about this....
Clay Faris's comment, Today, 5:12 AM
The whole thing seems, despite the investigative subterfuge, a complete disregard of privacy laws and protections. It's unethical to my way of thinking. It represents a slippery slope of "where does it stop". Though, as Zach said, it is hard to argue with the results even if they are Constitutionally questionable.
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The Key to Change Is Middle Management

The Key to Change Is Middle Management | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Research shows the traits that make them successful.
Rob Duke's insight:

Sergeants and Corporals.  If you win their hearts and minds, then you can change your organization.

Like with countries, you don't so much as change law (policy) as enforce it; and, interpret it for unusual situations.  The dialectic of generations' worth of norm building has already determined what laws (policies) will be accepted as legitimate.  If you want to change your organization, you must change hearts and minds and your middle managers are the ones who can help you or hinder you most.

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Man armed with pickaxe arrested at Fairbanks Sears store

Man armed with pickaxe arrested at Fairbanks Sears store | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
FAIRBANKS — A man brandishing a pickaxe inside the Sears store on Airport Way was arrested by Fairbanks police around 5 p.m. on Sunday.
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Karmen Louise Tobin's curator insight, October 29, 10:34 PM

It sounds like the suspect wanted to get caught. Who goes in to rob a place and walks up to the clerk to tell her what he is going to do and that she should call the police? That's weird. It wasn't even a half hour later that he was in custody. I'm speechless with this one. 

Alexander Yakovlev's comment, Today, 12:15 AM
Speaking of discretion, while I was reading an article I was thinking “did police do the right thing?” the guy just said he will rob the bank but he didn’t actually do anything. He probably deserves couple days of jail for scaring salesperson, but I am not sure if you can actually charge him with anything. So, did police make a good judgment call? I am hoping they did, otherwise why should we keep officers that we don’t trust.
Rachael Toy's comment, Today, 1:46 AM
First of all this is just a really weird story. I assumed that when you rob a store you don’t for warn them to call the police as you do it. I am glad that nobody got hurt though. Sometimes these types of stories don’t seem real until they show up in your local newspaper; there are crazy people out there. It makes me wonder what I would do if I had been shopping in the store at that time, especially if my children were with me. This is another one of those stories that could have gone in the complete opposite direction and been a huge disaster. Situations like this are good examples for why carrying guns should be allowed. No one expected this to happen and if he had been a bigger threat or the police weren’t able to get there in a matter of minutes; many people could have been hurt or killed.
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A guide to skiving

A guide to skiving | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
THE best way to understand a system is to look at it from the point of view of people who want to subvert it. Sensible bosses try to view their companies through the...
Rob Duke's insight:

Tips for aspiring managers...

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Mamie Davis's comment, Today, 2:47 AM
I think it is totally appropriate for companies to monitor their employee’s computers and browsing history. They are paying employees to come in and do a job, and they have every right to know if their money is being put to good use or wasted on frivolous internet ventures. On the other hand, I don’t think employers should block sites they deem “unproductive” from their employees browsing abilities. We aren’t children, and shouldn’t be treated as such. Employees should be given autonomy and a choice on whether to skiv or work, likewise the company should be able to monitor such things and have to choice to keep or fire a skiver.
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CHP chief: Controversy over photo sharing isolated

CHP chief: Controversy over photo sharing isolated | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Investigators say Officer Sean Harrington confessed to sending the photos to colleagues as a game.
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Implementation of police state delayed… again… now scheduled for summer 2015

Implementation of police state delayed… again… now scheduled for summer 2015 | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Sources close to the conspiracy to turn the US into a police state controlled by an emperor report that plans have been delayed, again.
Rob Duke's insight:

Um? This satire might not be all that helpful...

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GAME OVER? Official Autopsy Suggests Michael Brown Was Not Surrendering, Attempted to Take Officer's Gun - Bearing Arms

GAME OVER? Official Autopsy Suggests Michael Brown Was Not Surrendering, Attempted to Take Officer's Gun - Bearing Arms | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
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Forensic expert urges caution on Michael Brown autopsy analysis

Forensic expert urges caution on Michael Brown autopsy analysis | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
An official autopsy report on Michael Brown may bolster his killer's story. But a forensics expert who reviewed the report warns against jumping to conclusions.
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Speaking the “Language” of Spatial Analysis via Story Maps

Speaking the “Language” of Spatial Analysis via Story Maps | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it

"Spatial analysis has always been a hallmark of GIS, the 'numerical recipes' which set GIS apart from other forms of computerized visualization and information management. With GIS we pose questions and derive results using a wide array of analytical tools to help us understand and compare places, determine how places are related, find the best locations and paths, detect and quantify patterns, and even to make spatial predictions."


Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 21, 7:50 PM

GIS is a key tool in spatial analysis, but it can also be a driving force in using math, science, technology and (yes) geography as interdisciplinary ways of teaching the curriculum.  StoryMaps can be rich with images and videos, but also filled with data at a variety of scales.  What stories can you tell in this rich, visual format?  What visual template shown might lend itself best for that sort of project? 


Tagsmapping, GISESRIgeography education, geospatial, edtech.

Caterin Victor's curator insight, October 29, 12:16 PM

 Not only Spatial, even plain geography is very interesting and important,  but.....not everybody understands, and want to...

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Lompoc Police Officer Arrested

Lompoc Police Officer Arrested | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Lompoc Police Chief Patrick Walsh has been on the job for about a month and  now has a third officer who's been criminally charged this year while off-duty.
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Crooked Cop Let Woman Off In Exchange For Oral Sex: Police

Crooked Cop Let Woman Off In Exchange For Oral Sex: Police | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A Florida sheriff's deputy faces felony charges after officials said he accepted oral sex from a woman in exchange for not arresting her.

Ted Arboleda, 32, was arrested Monday. He is charged with unlawful compensation or reward for official behav...
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Rachael Toy's comment, Today, 1:07 AM
Like the article stated, it does give a bad reputation to the majority of men and women who are doing a respectable job as police officers. Incidents like this remind us of how we are all human and despite being held to a higher accountability for being a police officer, they still make mistakes. This is something to always remember, the majority of officers may be good but there will always be that handful that isn’t. For that we need to stand up against the cops that are bad because bad people with too much control can lead to even worse things. I think having an uncorrupt police force is one of many proud things we have in this country because many countries do not have that. I like that we continue to bring investigations upon those that do wrong instead of just covering it up.
Zach Bohan's comment, Today, 1:39 AM
This is so unethical it is ridiculous. She was on probation, had illegal drugs, and an invalid drivers license and he just lets her go after she gives him oral sex. This is probably not a one time occurrence either so who knows how many criminals he has let walk away for sexual favors. This cop deserved to be fired and arrested. Police are supposed to arrest people like this.
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Buffalo police officer fired for allegedly threatening to kill woman - The Buffalo News

Buffalo police officer fired for allegedly threatening to kill woman  - The Buffalo News | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Buffalo Police Officer Ann Vanyo, while on duty about two years ago, allegedly threatened to kill a woman she thought was making moves on her boyfriend, who is also a Buffalo police officer.An independent hearing officer who presided over the 42-year-old Vanyo’s July 23 disciplinary... - The Buffalo News
Rob Duke's insight:

Here's a soap opera tale that will illustrate some of the problems with big city policing....

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