Police Problems and Policy
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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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Two shot dead — one by police — after parking dispute in Miami Beach

Two shot dead — one by police — after parking dispute in Miami Beach | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A fight over a parking spot in South Beach escalated to gunshots late Sunday, leaving one man dead and another injured. Police also fatally shot one of the suspects.
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Arrest Made In Hit-And-Run Crash That Left LAPD Officer With Broken Leg

Arrest Made In Hit-And-Run Crash That Left LAPD Officer With Broken Leg | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The crash happened about 9:20 p.m. Saturday, at the intersection of Central Avenue and Olympic Boulevard.
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Deputies sue former high-ranking sheriff's official and former prosecutor, alleging vendetta

Deputies sue former high-ranking sheriff's official and former prosecutor, alleging vendetta | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Two Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies say they were framed for lying and that prosecutors withheld evidence that would’ve spared them a trial.
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OC supervisor wants feds to take over OC DA's office

OC supervisor wants feds to take over OC DA's office | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer wants the feds to take over the Orange County District Attorney's Office, alleging misconduct by O.C. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.
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Frustrated police want people to call 911 first, and then film for Facebook, social media

Frustrated police want people to call 911 first, and then film for Facebook, social media | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies on patrol Thursday had no idea why traffic was stopping on Highland Avenue until they came upon this scene:

A naked woman was walking on the sidewalk, and several drivers had braked to whip out their cellphones to photograph her.

But what some considered a treat quickly turned into a threat when the woman reached into a car and grabbed the head of a motorist. And when deputies intervened, the woman punched one in the mouth.

As it turns out, sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said, the deputies were unaware of the crime because none of the drivers had pulled out their phones for their original purpose, placing a call — in this case, to the 911 emergency number.

Police and fire officials in Southern California can cite few examples of misguided priorities such as filming the woman’s clothesless romp, but they are certain that people, in their excitement to document a fire or traffic collision — and be the first to post the photo or video on social media — are sometimes neglecting to summon help.

“When I watch the news, I am noticing there are a lot more people using their phones to report the news, which would lead me to believe they might use that instead of calling 911 first,” said Capt. Lucas Spelman of the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department.
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House Passes Bill Targeting Shootings of Police

House Passes Bill Targeting Shootings of Police | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The House approved legislation Thursday that makes killing a state or local police officer an aggravating factor that juries and judges would consider in death penalty cases.
Under current law, killing a federal law enforcement officer is already an aggravating factor in death penalty deliberations. The bill's supporters say it's important to apply that standard to the murder of state and local law enforcement and other first responders, too, because it sends a message of accountability.
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Off-duty police officer catches serial robber while shopping for doughnuts

Off-duty police officer catches serial robber while shopping for doughnuts | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Lieutenant Mark Askerlund said an off-duty officer shopping for a party Saturday morning recognized serial robber suspect Zane James, 18, in a hoodie and called for backup.
Dan Morzelewski, Saturday’s off-duty officer, is the detective assigned to the case.
“He had the suspect’s face committed to memory, and he acted quickly,” Lt. Askerlund said.
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Jewkes among officers involved in fatal shooting; Welborn appointed acting chief

Jewkes among officers involved in fatal shooting; Welborn appointed acting chief | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks Police Chief Eric Jewkes was involved in the police shooting that killed a man Thursday afternoon on a Mitchell Expressway on-ramp.
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SF police too quick to go for their guns, critics say

SF police too quick to go for their guns, critics say | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
If the statistics are revealing, they are difficult to assess, as there are no historic data to compare them to. While many police departments consider the pointing of a firearm to be a reportable use of force, few release the figures publicly.

Chuck Canterbury, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, a national organization, said officers aren’t drawing their weapons lightly, but tactically.

“We are trained from day one that if you clear your holster, it is perhaps the most serious thing you do,” he said. “From an officer’s perspective, being ready and being prepared is much better than being administered CPR.”

Scrutiny of gun-pointing by officers is beginning to generate debate in many cities, including New Orleans and Washington. In some places, including San Francisco, police unions have objected to the requirement that it be documented as a use of force.

The issue came to the fore in Oakland in 2011, when a court-appointed monitor said police were often too quick to draw their guns, especially when confronting black suspects. “Officers frequently presumed — often, with no basis — that whomever they were contacting was armed,” the monitor said.
Rob Duke's insight:
Only 7 times a day?  Having worked a metro, I'd say that 7 times a day pulling the gun is low...if you're doing your job and getting out of your car and checking out everything that is suspicious, then the gun should be out more.  It's too easy to ambush an officer and it takes too long to react, draw, and then react.  If you start requiring officers to justify every draw, then officers won't take that precaution, and officer assaults and murders of officers is going to go up.
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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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Phillip Hill's curator insight, Today, 4:51 AM
This is an article that I take heavy concern for. 30 years ago, there were as substantial amounts of racial tension throughout America. In today's society, there is a new threat which is terrorism. Racial propaganda has significantly decreased over the years but unfortunately terrorism has increased. I hope all of the law enforcement agencies come together in conjunction among efforts to decrease the terrorist acts happening in Europe. Although the threat level of terrorism has been increased to red, multiple law enforcement agencies must assure security and safety for their civilians. My condolences for the loss of life from this unfortunate catastrophic event.
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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:
What are your thoughts?
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Phillip Hill's curator insight, Today, 4:57 AM
As an individual of multiple diverse backgrounds of decent, I am uncertain if I fully support black lives matter. I do have a portion of African American descent within my family but the reason for my perception on my statement is the fact that other races are not recognized in this fashion. The native American Indians had endured endless amounts of torture and killings within our American history. The Mexican American war took enormous amounts of land from Mexico. Jewish people were exterminated catastrophically by Hitler. During World War II, Japanese people were racially profiled within America. My question is, why is there not an Asian lives matter, Mexican lives matter, Native American lives matter, Jewish lives matter, and any other race that has been subject and victims to unfortunate negative situations? This is my personal emphasis and perception.
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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.
Laura Lee Smith's comment, Today, 9:30 PM
I love the use of technology and understanding of human behavior that go into changes in policing like this, an excellent use of tools and data tracking can make a real difference in the lives of residents of these neighborhoods as well as substantially affect crime for years to come if the disruptions to crime networks are severe enough to force them to shut down or relocate, now imagine if EVERY department did this! As our world becomes more and more connected, the technology we develop can be used to solve problems individuals cannot by increasing our ability to see, hear, and respond to crime in ways criminals may not always anticipate.
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'Community member' term for suspects on Seattle police use of force reports

'Community member' term for suspects on Seattle police use of force reports | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
When Seattle police officers write use of force reports they no longer call a suspect a suspect.

“Community member” is the new term. Several officers say the term is offensive, explaining their work with violent suspects.

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Sources point to the suspect who shot three officers last month after a downtown Seattle armed robbery. When officers involved in that incident were writing their use of force reports they were required to refer to the shooter, Damarius Butts, as a “community member,” not a suspect, police sources said.

Police fatally shot Butts after they said he shot the officers.

“I think this is all in an effort to make sure our report writing sounds politically correct,” Seattle Police Officers' Guild Kevin Stuckey told KIRO 7.

The online use of force reporting system, called Blue Team, is used for more than just use of force reports. It also tracks the department’s administrative investigations and the Early Intervention System among other reports. A photo sent to KIRO 7 shows the Blue Team in a recent online department training.  

The “community member” terminology changed for multiple forms – but it’s only in the use of force reports that officers find offensive.

“The change appears to be part of a routine update by the software developer, which services more than 600 law enforcement agencies worldwide,” department spokesman Jonah Spangenthal-Lee said. “The department’s force review section has not received any inquiries about the change.”
Rob Duke's insight:
Communities have varying standards and Seattle has long sought to limit its police officers' power....
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LAPD officer is spared time behind bars in South L.A. assault case caught on video

LAPD officer is spared time behind bars in South L.A. assault case caught on video | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
An LAPD officer who pleaded to an assault charge in connection with a video-recorded arrest in South L.A. was sentenced Tuesday to probation.
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Poll Shows A Majority Of Contra Costa Residents Want DA To Resign

Poll Shows A Majority Of Contra Costa Residents Want DA To Resign | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Troubles continued to mount for Conta Costa County’s embattled District Attorney Tuesday as an exclusive new KPIX 5 poll showed a whopping 70 percent of respondents saying he should resign.

A civil grand jury and prosecutors in DA Mark Peterson’s own office have already called for his resignation.

Last week, Peterson was officially indicted for misappropriating $66,000 from his campaign, spending the money on travel, hotels, restaurants, and movie tickets.
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On CBS's 60 Minutes, DA Tony Rackauckas Tells OC Snitch-Scandal Lies

On CBS's 60 Minutes, DA Tony Rackauckas Tells OC Snitch-Scandal Lies | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Huddled with his advisers in his 10th-floor, downtown Santa Ana office, the DA told the CBS news program's crew eight lies in 12 aired remarks.
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A new report on the San Bernardino terrorist attack details the shootout with San Bernardino & Redlands police

A new report on the San Bernardino terrorist attack details the shootout with San Bernardino & Redlands police | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it

SAN BERNARDINO >> Here are key takeaways from the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office’s report on the police response to Dec. 2, 2015 terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino:

SHOOTERS HAD AN ARSENAL OF WEAPONS

THE SHOOTERS’ WOUNDS

SECRET SERVICE INVOLVED

CELL PHONE HELPED LOCATE FAROOK

BARRAGE OF BULLETS

TERRORISTS WERE DIFFICULT TO STOP

FAROOK TRIED TO MAKE HIS WEAPON AUTOMATIC

TASHFEEN MALIK ‘BLINDLY FIRING’

POLICE FEARED PIPE BOMBS

TERRIFIED GRANDMOTHER RESCUED FROM SCENE

Rob Duke's insight:
A final report from the Dec. 2015 terror attack....Redlands is my "home" department.
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Police Officers With Troubled Pasts Are Hired for Schools

Police officers forced out of law enforcement agencies have been able to find jobs in Georgia's public schools, even after being accused at their old jobs of using a stun gun on a handcuffed woman, beating people, lying and other offenses, state records show.

Statewide, school system police departments employ officers who have been terminated or resigned under the cloud of an investigation at twice the rate of local police departments in Georgia, an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV revealed.

About 12 percent of the 656 officers working in the state's 31 school police departments have been forced out of a previous job, versus about 6 percent of the officers who work in local police agencies, statistics show.
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WATCH: Hilarious Video Of Handcuffed Suspect Running From Cops, Catches A Ride On The Lightning

WATCH: Hilarious Video Of Handcuffed Suspect Running From Cops, Catches A Ride On The Lightning | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it

 Surfside, Florida - Surveillance video shows the moment that a handcuffed suspect got tased while running from the officer.  The suspect had just been arrested for suspicion of stealing a bike when he attempted to escape.

Rob Duke's insight:
Sometimes a bad guy needs a little "Edison Medicine".  While I wouldn't call it "hilarious", this video demonstrates how completely your nervous system shuts down.  Serious injuries can result.
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Suspect remains on the run after shooting 2 police officers

Suspect remains on the run after shooting 2 police officers | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Police are searching for a suspect along Godby Road.
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Phillip Hill's curator insight, Today, 4:47 AM
I hope that the community comes together in efforts to catch the individual responsible for this tragedy. I commend the Fairbanks Police Department on all of their efforts to provide safety and security to the community. I believe that the suspect will be apprehended shortly because of the nature of the community within the Fairbanks which is a small community. Even if the individual were to leave Fairbanks on the highway or by plain, this individual will be caught and persecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
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Fired Pittsburgh police sergeant convicted in civil rights trial over violent Heinz Field arrest

Fired Pittsburgh police sergeant convicted in civil rights trial over violent Heinz Field arrest | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A federal jury delivered a split verdict Friday in the civil rights trial of a former Pittsburgh police sergeant charged with wrongly beating a drunken man outside Heinz Field and then lying about it in a report.
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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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