Many thanks to our very own "MJ" Goyings, a resident of Ohio,
for her daily research that provides us with the news related material that appears on the LACP & NAASCA web sites.
Johnston Police Bust Kids in the Community...In a Good Way
by Maria Lisignoli
JOHNSTON, Iowa — Johnston Police officers were busy last weekend handing out tickets to kids in the community. But don't worry… these tickets were a part of a program that rewards for good behavior. The “Busted in a Good Way” program allows officers to reward kids' good behaviors when it comes to safety.
While on their regular patrols, Johnston police officers look for kids wearing their bike helmets, buckling their seatbelts, and looking both ways before crossing the street. They hand the kids a yellow ticket which kids can turn in the Van Dees for a free small ice cream cone. Van Dees saves up all the tickets and at the end of the summer there is a drawing for a free bike.
“Officers like doing it. It's a great way for officers to get out into the community, do some community policing while they're on patrol and the kids obviously love ice cream and the bike at the end,” Johnston Police Officer Zach Grandon said.
Officer Grandon said this program is a way to get kids out of the house and riding their bikes and it's also a way to recognize good safety practices. The program has been going on for more than five years and has been well received in the community.
“We've even gotten calls from parents that said hey my kids been out the last three days with his bike helmet on trying to get your guys' attention so it's always fun to do that,” Officer Grandon said.
He also said the program is a great way for officers to get out and engage with the community in a non-enforcement manner.
“It's always good to build those relations because it's not just one officer or two officers assigned to community policing it's an entire organization that engages in that and so this program is really helpful for everybody on all sides,” Officer Grandon said.
The “Busted in a Good Way” program started June 1 st and will continue all summer through September 4 th .
How Lehigh Valley cops could help change U.S. policing for the better
by Sara K. Satullo
A team of Lehigh University researchers are digging into public perceptions of law enforcement in the Lehigh Valley and looking into ways to reduce biases on all sides.
The research is still in its early stages with the team gathering data through surveys and focus groups with a wide swath of Lehigh Valley residents, including police officers, community groups, Lehigh students and folks who have served time in jail.
The idea for the project -- Democratic Policing: Bias Reduction and Police-Public Interactions -- sprung out of informal conversations about bias amongst Lehigh faculty in the psychology, sociology and political science departments.
"The real motivation here is to learn about those institutional factors that we can affect that will make policing safer for the police and the public," explained Holona Ochs, Lehigh associate professor and graduate director in the political science department, who has been studying policing since 2009.
Nationally, law enforcement has been put under a microscope in the wake of high-profile police shootings of black men, raising questions about bias and the militarization of police in the post 9/11 age.
And for officers the job is more complicated than ever as they navigate these waters while dealing with the opioid epidemic, the mentally ill and a push back to community policing strategies.
While the use of force by police in the Lehigh Valley is pretty rare, researchers think the region's unique geography and demographics may result in real life applications across the country.
The team wants to know how participants view their community's relationship with police and what they think an officer's job actually is. And they want to hear from officers about the challenges of modern policing.
"We're trying to understand where are people's perspectives aligned and where are they misaligned," said Dominic Parker, associate professor of psychology and associate dean of research and graduate programs in Lehigh's College of Arts and Sciences. "They are really exploratory focus groups."
Adjunct Lehigh professor and recently retired Bethlehem police Sgt. Wade Haubert thinks inherent bias is a fascinating research topic with real world applications.
"Start off acknowledging what we all know: every single person in this country has grown up in some environment where they ultimately have bias," Haubert said. "It doesn't mean that it is bad, that you are a bigot. Let's just all acknowledge, we have some stereotypes. Let's identify through a study why those things might occur and we can look at what we can do to potentially recognize that and factor that in as a conscious factor in how we make decisions."
Informal conversations about police tactics and procedures in the wake of high-profile police shootings started forming the questions that are now the basis of the research, Haubert said. His own concerns about the direction of policing attracted him to the project.
"I was very frustrated with the way the profession of policing has changed over the last 20 years," Haubert said. "...When I first got hired, community policing was a big thing and the Bethlehem Police Department was one of the poster children for good community policing."
This was lost nationally in the wake of 9/11.
"We lost our ability to put the citizens first and have the ability to communicate with them and understand that most people support us," Haubert said.
While much of the research on police bias occurs in major cities, like Philadelphia and Toronto, much of the nation's policing happens outside of urban areas in places with unique challenges.
"One of the great things about the Lehigh Valley for the study is that within a very small geographic area you have a huge diversity of different kinds of environments," Parker said.
This geographic diversity paired with the region's evolving population diversity make it a very interesting place to study policing. You can be in an urban environment in Bethlehem, drive two miles and find yourself in the rural countryside, Parker said.
"Different communities have different expectations of the police and relate to the police in different ways and it affects the complexity of policing and whether people think the police are doing a good job," Ochs said.
The Valley is going through a number of demographic changes that have the potential to increase community tensions, said Ochs, who is also interim associate dean of interdisciplinary programs for Lehigh. The population is aging while there's also an influx of younger people, many without children, and the region's ethnic make up is changing, she noted.
The economic landscape is vastly different as the Valley is reinventing itself and moving away from its industrial past.
"You have all of these people living in these different environments," Parker said. "The nature of the job is really different in all of these contexts. You can have officers in the same department that face different challenges."
As a commonwealth, Pennsylvania gives local control to police departments, which can be bad and good for a multitude of reasons, Haubert said.
"If we had the Lehigh Valley metro police department that covered the entire region, you could imagine what the borough of Coplay might want from their police officers might be different than what the city of Allentown might want," Haubert said.
But as the region changes demographically those differences could potentially be problematic if a "past practice of acceptable policing behavior is applied to a diverse community," Haubert said.
If a brown skinned family moves into a largely white and homogeneous borough, the police might be called as they are moving in, Haubert said. Or if you're driving a certain type of car while gawking at mansions in Upper Saucon Township you may get stopped.
"To me, those are the ugly types of things that are within and we need to be willing to acknowledge," Haubert said. "It is not saying that the police should not be able to do their job."
Researchers hope these focus groups can spur wider conversations among communities with the police, so residents can gain a better understanding of ins and outs of policing and how to communicate with police.
"The bigger goal is to bring different communities together with the police and talk about the challenges and complexities of policing and how different communities can better relate and interact using the police as intermediaries," Ochs said.
The team is still organizing focus groups -- researchers say they'll speak with anyone that wants to sit down with them -- and hopes to start analyzing data this fall and then building further community conversations off of that.
Parker is hopeful that the data gives rise to a whole new line of research in his lab where they can test things that might reduce conflict or bias.
"If we can build this research further we'd like to create Center of the Study of Democratic Policing -- that center would be an online forum and a public space where we would organize conversations about maintaining peaceful relations without the use of force," Ochs said.
If police departments are interested in specialized training or resources, the center could offer that as well, she said.
The research inspired three Lehigh students -- Kalyani Singh, Kristin Hernandez and Henry Fisher -- to create a short documentary film about the project called "Boundaries of Truth" with funding from a Mellon Digital Humanities Initiative grant.
"I was very interested and excited that I was in the room with all these professors from poli sci to sociology to criminology," Singh, who worked as a research assistant on the project, said. "All of them were coming together in this room with all of their different perspectives and they were all testing their knowledge."
Since the research is still underway, the film focuses on the power of putting together a team from a variety of backgrounds to try to solve a societal problem.
"That will foster better understanding and it will progress the goal of bridging those communities together," she said. "You need to have different perspectives. You can't get the whole story by looking at it through one lens."
Retired detective's hunch leads police to suspected serial killer in Arizona
by CBS News
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - - A hunch from a retired detective helped lead police to a man suspected of shooting six people to death in the Phoenix area, some of whom were connected to his divorce, authorities said after the assailant killed himself with officers closing in. A round-the-clock investigation that began late last week led police Monday to an extended-stay hotel in suburban Scottsdale where 56-year-old Dwight Lamon Jones was staying. As officers approached, they heard gunfire and found his body .
Jones' victims included a well-known forensic psychiatrist who testified against him in court in 2010, two paralegals who worked for the law office that represented the suspect's wife, a marriage-and-divorce counselor who was apparently targeted in a case of mistaken identity and another man and woman who have not been identified, authorities said.
In an unexpected twist, the suspect's ex-wife, Connie Jones, said her current husband, a retired police detective, made the connection between her divorce and the crime scenes and notified police of his suspicion Saturday night.
Connie Jones said in a statement that her ex-husband was a "very emotionally disturbed person."
Jones posted disturbing audio on YouTube and those uploads have since been removed, CBS News correspondent Mireya Villarreal reported. In one of them, he accuses his ex-wife's attorney of spreading lies.
"Her attorney told her to plant those tapes and do all that devious stuff she did," Jones said in one clip.
Jones was arrested in May 2009 at his family's Scottsdale home on a domestic violence charge after his wife said he backed her against a wall, hit her in the face and threatened to kill her, according to court records. The arrest was cited by his then-wife when she filed for divorce.
"Personally, I have feared for my safety for the past nine years. I cannot express the emotions I feel for the innocent families touched by this senseless violence," Connie Jones said.
"We started to see that Mr. Jones was visiting them in an effort to right some wrong based on what we could see," said Rich Slavin, assistant police chief in Scottsdale.
The slayings began Thursday with the fatal shooting of Dr. Steven Pitt , who, according to court records, had evaluated Jones and testified in 2010 that he had anxiety and mood disorders and symptoms of a paranoid personality.
Pitt said Jones did not conform to social norms and acted impulsively and aggressively. He lacked remorse and close friends and required excessive admiration, the records said.
The testimony was cited in the couple's November 2010 divorce, which granted Jones' wife sole custody of their now 21-year-old son.
"This is not a success story, but it's a story that has closure," Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said.
The 59-year-old psychiatrist was well known in his field and assisted in high-profile murder cases, including the JonBenet Ramsey mystery in Colorado and a notorious Phoenix serial killer investigation.
Paralegals Veleria Sharp, 48, and Laura Anderson, 49, worked at the law office that represented Jones' wife. Police believe Jones may have been targeting the attorney, but she was not present Friday when Jones went to the office in downtown Scottsdale.
Sharp was shot in the head but ran out of the office to get help before collapsing on the street, police said. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Counselor Marshall Levine, 72, appears to have been mistaken for someone else who once occupied the same office. At one time, the space was used by a counselor who saw Jones' son as part of the divorce. Levine, who took over the space, was not involved in the divorce case.
Police would not speculate why Jones tracked down people connected to his divorce so long after it happened. They say he had been living in extended-stay hotels for the past nine years.
Analysis of shell casings found at Pitts' office, the law firm and Levin's office confirmed that the victims were killed with the same gun, police said.
Jones' DNA was found on one of spent casings. And traffic cameras showed a vehicle fitting the description of Jones' gold Mercedes near the law firm 30 minutes before the double killing on Friday, police said.
The suspect has also been linked to two additional killings in Fountain Hills, an affluent suburb in the northeastern corner of metro Phoenix. The man and woman found dead inside the home have not been named publicly.
Jones, who was seen driving around Fountain Hills, was later seen dumping a .22-caliber gun stolen from the Fountain Hills home.
Some neighbors who were home on Monday afternoon stepped out to observe the police presence that remained on the street, which is usually a serene area.
"It's quiet around here," said landscaper Saul Ramirez, who stopped to take cellphone videos of the scene.
As police shared new details of the case, several hundred people crowded into a chapel at a mortuary in Scottsdale to honor Pitt with music, humorous stories and a Hebrew prayer of mourning.
He was remembered as a perfectionist in his work on major cases and a loving man who doted on his fiancee and family members. Phoenix police Lt. Bryan Chapman, who had become a close friend during their work on criminal cases, said Pitt volunteered countless hours to help investigate many lesser known crimes.
"He was the hardest working person I ever met," Chapman said.
More than 1,000 people shot in Chicago so far this year
by Madeline Buckley
F ive months into the year, more than 1,000 people have been shot in Chicago and there have been more than 200 homicides, according to data kept by the Tribune.
As of early Monday at least 1,071 people have been shot this year, below the last two years when violence hit record levels in the city but well above other recent years. There have been at least 202 homicides, the data shows.
Chicago crossed the 1,000 mark after the long Memorial Day weekend, when seven people were killed and 32 were wounded by gunfire.
This past weekend, 29 people were wounded and three people were killed in shootings across the city. Another three people were injured in accidental shootings.
Early Monday, an 11-year-old boy was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head. He was found unresponsive on the floor of an apartment in the 900 block of West 119th Street in the West Pullman neighborhood on the Far South Side. Police said they were investigating “all possible motives.”
The weekend's first homicide happened around 8:45 a.m. Saturday when a DEA agent shot and killed a man during a cocaine bust in the 700 block of South Central Avenue on the West Side. The man hit the agent with a car during an attempted stop, authorities said.
Early Sunday morning, 35-year-old Ari Armour was shot dead after two people in an SUV fired on a gathering in the 1200 block of West 73rd Place in the South Side's Englewood neighborhood. Three other people were injured in the attack.
Three teen boys were among those wounded over the weekend, including a 15-year-old shot Sunday evening and a 17-year-old shot late Friday night. A 16-year-old boy injured himself in an accidental shooting early Sunday morning.
Pregnant woman among the 5 shot during South Dallas football game
by Fox4 News
DALLAS - Police say there were dozens of witnesses to the Sunday night shooting on a football field in South Dallas that left five people injured, but only a few have come forward.
Dallas PD says the shooting happened around 9:30 p.m. at the Juanita Craft Recreation Center. There was a neighborhood football game in progress and police said a disturbance broke out.
Witnesses told police a man drove into the middle of the field on a moped and opened fire on the crowd. Others began shooting towards that shooter on the moped. Of the five people injured, one of them was a pregnant woman.
"We were getting ready to leave and they were about to fight. We stopped to look back. They started shooting from every angle,” said one witness who spoke to FOX 4. “We got on the ground in the middle of the field and they were just shooting for like a good two minutes."
The pregnant woman was shot in the chest. Before she was taken to the hospital, police applied a special bandage designed for chest wounds. At last check, she was in critical condition and the baby was in good condition.
A second woman suffered a gunshot wound to the head and reportedly was in serious condition at the hospital. Three others, two men and another woman, suffered bullet wounds to their legs. Police applied tourniquets to two victims before ambulances arrived.
Deputy Chief Thomas Castro says police need the public's help in identifying the shooters. Out of a crowd of hundreds, he says only a few people returned to the scene to give police information about the suspects.
"Keep in mind you know we had five victims, one victim was pregnant,” he said. “We need to get these individuals off the street."
At this point, police said it's unclear whether any of the victims were deliberately targeted or simply caught in the crossfire. The motive for the shooting is also still unclear.
The suspect is described as a black male in his 20's, 5'08?-5'10? tall, thin build, short hair (tapered haircut). He was last seen wearing black Nike shorts, black shoes and no shirt.
Dallas PD is asking anyone with any information about this offense to please contact Detective Gaffney at (214) 671-3703.
Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information called into Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest. Call Crime Stoppers at 214-373-8477.
How the NYPD keeps making the city safer
by James P. O'Neill
The recent column in The Post calling American police officers “bystanders to chaos” certainly bears zero resemblance to New York policing in 2018.
Naysayers living in the past and devoid of their own ideas on modern policing are quick to sound the alarm about returning to the high-crime days of the 1970s and 1980s.
But there's no sign of it here. And the NYPD is watching — very closely.
Contra critics' simplistic dismissal, neighborhood policing has our hardworking patrol officers engaging at the most local of levels, to an unprecedented degree. This isn't some community-policing charade with a handful of special officers glad-handing local activists.
New York City cops are embedding in smaller groups within precincts and getting a granular understanding not only of the residents, but of the problems, the crimes and, specifically, the criminals in those neighborhoods.
Today in New York, our cops are much better equipped to take on local challenges, to go after local criminals, and to continue to have a massive impact on local violence and disorder.
Don't take my word for it — the facts are undeniable: New York City in 2017 recorded its lowest number of murders and lowest per-capita murder rate since 1951, and its lowest number of shootings on record.
Robbery is at its lowest level since 1965, and neither burglary nor auto theft has been lower since 1950.
In 2015 and 2016, the US murder rate rose nearly 20 percent. Academics will continue to debate the “Ferguson effect,” “de-policing” and other theories as to why that happened. But for evidence of failure, they'll have to look outside New York City, and well beyond the ranks of the NYPD.
New York policing today means a targeted method of crime-fighting and, judging by its results, a highly effective one.
Our summary enforcement, or police intervention prior to violence, is precisely aimed with respect to the “where, when and who” of crime and disorder in the city. In crime-fighting, an ounce of precision is worth a pound of indiscriminate enforcement.
In New York City, we continue to drive down crime with improved focus and relentless attention to detail, both of which are hallmarks of our neighborhood-policing philosophy.
We know that increased communication between officers and those we serve promotes greater trust and collaboration — and a sharpened focus on the small percentage of people engaged in violence.
On the investigations side, our patrol cops toil in concert with squad detectives to put street-level intel to work. And our focused approach to violent gangs and crews represents an acceleration of targeted investigations by at least an order of magnitude.
Since March 2016, with a new unified investigations model in place, our detectives have closed out case after case and arrested many violent criminals involved in murders, shootings and other violent crimes. Most of these suspects, facing overwhelming evidence of their guilt in court, have either pleaded guilty or been convicted, and now face extended sentences in state or federal prison.
Meanwhile, civilian complaints against NYPD officers are down, and officer firearm discharges have plummeted. As cops use less force and engage more, the police and community partnership is helping drive crime down.
When New York City went from 2,245 homicides in 1990 to 292 in 2017, observers said we had hit the floor on how far we could drive down crime. When we had fewer than 100,000 total index crimes last year (96,517) for the first time since 1957, pundits claimed we couldn't go any lower.
But at the NYPD, we know better.
We know that significantly fewer arrests, summonses and street stops is not a step backward — it's a path to an even safer city.
Even in this low-crime era, the NYPD is committed to paying scrupulous attention to changing conditions in every neighborhood across our city and sustaining a powerful sense of urgency about preventing the next violent act.
This is our way forward.
And this is how everyone who lives, works and plays in New York City — sharing the responsibility for public safety with their police — will be able to enjoy the peace of mind that can only be delivered by the highest quality of life possible.
James P. O'Neill is New York Police Department commissioner.
Police substation way to engage community
by Greg Olsen
Jacksonville police soon will have another home.
The police department is partnering with the Morgan County Housing Authority to open a police substation at 300 E. Walnut St.
“The substation will be another way to get our police officers engaged in the community in a non-enforcement capacity,” Police Chief Adam Mefford said. “The substation will be a place for area residents and law enforcement to interact.”
Mefford said his reason for opening a police substation on East Walnut Street has little to do with crime prevention and more to do with police building trust in the community.
“We made great strides last year with our Boots on the Ground program, getting officers out of their squad cars and out into the community,” he said. “The substation will provide a location for police and community members to meet.”
Mefford believes police and the general public have a responsibility to work together.
“Law enforcement agencies across the country have seen success in programs such as this,” he said.
The department's Boots on the Ground and Adopt a Park/Playground programs provide opportunities for positive interaction between officers and residents, he said.
“In recent years, there have been some animosities between citizens and police across the country,” Mefford said. “Part of my community policing philosophy is to try to dilute some of that animosity and re-establish trust between police and citizens that may have been damaged.”
The substation, which should open in mid- to late June, will not have a full-time staff of police officers, Mefford said. Current plans are to have the substation open in the afternoon and early evening.
“I have yet to decide which days it will be open, but I hope to staff it at least three to four days a week from two to four hours a day,” Mefford said. “There will be no additional cost to taxpayers for the substation. The Housing Authority is providing the space free of charge.”
The substation will be staffed by one or two on-duty officers, he said.
“Officers at the substation will not be responsible for other calls throughout the city, but they will be available for emergency situations,” Mefford said. “Their main responsibility will be to staff the substation.”
He envisions the substation being a community resource, a place where police officers help children repair their bicycles and adults get guidance on properly installing child safety seats, he said.
“These are just a couple of examples of how a substation could benefit a neighborhood,” he said. “The main purpose of the substation is still going to be to provide a place for interaction between police and individuals in the neighborhood."
St. Louis County's new police unit aims to pair creativity with fighting crime
A new unit within the St. Louis County Police Department plans to take a different approach to fighting crime.
Tuesday morning, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger plans to announce the Special Response Unit, which will begin operations in north St. Louis County . The new unit, which was funded by Proposition P last December, will emphasize community policing and environment rather than suppressing crime throughout the county.
The Special Response Unit will base its model on four key principles:
Prediction: Forecasting models and concepts to strategically target crime and criminals
Prevention: Crime prevention and victimization reduction
Pursuit: Active enforcement and apprehension of criminal offenders
Partnerships: Includes relationships with other law enforcement agencies and partnerships with the communities they serve
“The goal of the special response unit is to address crime using innovative techniques that incorporate police technology, skill and community engagement," Stenger said.
The SRU aims to actively develop relationships with stakeholders within the community to "promote the participation of citizens and communities in policing." In addition, there will be a Community Advisory Board, which will be made up of citizens that will have consistent communication with the SRU commander.
"This unit, a first for St. Louis County , will be comprised of officers trained in skill sets appropriate for addressing a variety of challenges," said St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar. “Their responsibilities include everything from responding to specific crime trends or problem individuals to helping with crisis intervention and community engagement.”
Proposition P, a half-cent sales tax in St. Louis County , has already funded several initiatives, including the hiring of more police officers, improved police pay, new contracts for body cameras, expansive officer training and more.
L.A. mayor's pick for LAPD chief is 36-year veteran with deep mastery of crime statistics
by Cindy Chang, David Zahniser, Richard Winton and James Queally
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Monday that he had chosen Michel Moore, a 36-year LAPD veteran known for his mastery of subjects including crime statistics and budgets, to be the city's next police chief.
For Garcetti, who is contemplating a run for president, Moore offers the security of a proven administrator who has headed every major branch of the department. But the choice disappointed some who had hoped Garcetti would appoint the city's first Latino police chief.
At an afternoon news conference, Garcetti described Moore as “one of, if not the most, qualified law enforcement professionals in America, acknowledged by everyone for his exceptional intelligence.”
“I've seen his work personally,” the mayor added. “No one works harder. No one reads more. And no one has a greater breadth of experience.”
Moore, 57, who runs the LAPD's patrol operations, was one of three finalists chosen by the civilian Police Commission from a field of 31 applicants to lead one of the nation's largest police departments.
“One of the most important questions of the moment may be, ‘Why do I want to be the next chief of police of this great city?' And it's pretty simple. I wish to continue the momentum in building trust, particularly in communities of color, and improving public safety,” Moore said.
Moore said he also wants to make the department “more diverse and representative,” while continuing to support those who work for the Los Angeles Police Department.
The other finalists were also LAPD veterans: Deputy Chief Robert Arcos, who runs the department's Central Bureau, and Bill Scott, who left Los Angeles 1 ½ years ago to lead the troubled San Francisco Police Department.
Arcos, a third-generation Mexican American, had the backing of some powerful Latino civic leaders and would have been the first Latino chief of a city that is nearly 50% Latino. Scott, who is African American, had strong ties in South Los Angeles after heading the LAPD's South Bureau. Of the three, Moore has the most experience at the highest echelons of the LAPD.
Councilman Gil Cedillo and a group of former elected officials from L.A.'s Eastside had argued that hiring Arcos would send a message at a time when the Trump administration has “declared war” on immigrant communities.
After the mayor announced his pick, Cedillo struck a somewhat muted tone, noting that Garcetti's announcement is only one step in the process. Moore must still be confirmed by the City Council, which will decide “what experience matters most and who the next police chief will be,” he said in a statement.
“I look forward to engaging in a rigorous vetting process with my colleagues to ensure that our city and our police department's leadership reflects the best of what our city is and can be,” said Cedillo, who represents neighborhoods from Westlake to Highland Park.
In picking the next police chief, Garcetti said he was not “looking to fill a demographic or to make history.”
“I wanted the best person for the job, and that was Mike Moore,” he said, noting that an African American is in charge at the airport and that the city's fire chief is Latino.
Moore's father was Basque, and he is listed on department rosters as Hispanic. On Monday, he reiterated the LAPD's longstanding policy that its officers' primary focus is public safety with no active role enforcing civil immigration laws.
“They can have that confidence in us, because their status, whether they are here lawfully or otherwise, is not a police matter, as it has not been for more than 40 years,” he said of immigrant residents.
Moore had faced the possibility of becoming a perennial also-ran, having been a finalist when Chief Charlie Beck was chosen in 2009 and recently failing to secure the top jobs in Dallas and San Diego.
In a statement, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents sworn officers, congratulated Moore and pledged to work closely with him to improve morale among the rank and file.
“We are hopeful that if Chief Moore is appointed, he will take immediate action to address low officer morale stemming from our critically low police staffing and that he will be absolutely committed to collaborating on new ideas to reduce violent crime and prepare our city for the 2028 Olympics,” the statement said. “These are huge issues to tackle, but we're ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work with Chief Moore to move our Department forward and improve public safety in Los Angeles.”
The new chief will face heavy public scrutiny of his department's use of force, sparked by the fatal shootings of black people in police encounters nationwide, including some controversial shootings by LAPD officers.
The LAPD has made strides in improving its once-abysmal relationships with black residents. But, according to a 2016 survey commissioned by the LAPD, African Americans have significantly less trust in police officers than other residents do, with only a third saying that people of all races or ethnicities are treated fairly. Black Lives Matter activists have been a regular presence at Police Commission meetings, often disrupting the proceedings and calling for Beck to be fired .
Melina Abdullah, a Cal State L.A. professor and a leader of the local Black Lives Matter movement, said Moore was the worst choice of the three finalists because he is deeply entrenched in the LAPD's leadership.
Garcetti “chose to appoint the person who's the most disconnected from the community,” Abdullah said. “That is an indication of what he thinks of community engagement and meaningful reform for policing.”
Connie Rice, a longtime civil rights lawyer who has partnered with the LAPD on community policing strategies, said she hopes Moore will continue the gang intervention and community policing programs implemented by Beck and his predecessor, William J. Bratton.
“I am looking forward to working with Chief Moore on reform,” Rice said. “He is going to be running the next leg of this reform relay.”
Moore, who pulled the trigger in two shootings as a young police officer, said the LAPD will continue to train officers to give them the best chance of preserving their own lives as well as the lives of suspects.
“The use of deadly force by a police officer — there is no other decision in policing that carries with it more responsibility and is also, frankly, the one that every officer wishes they will never be called upon to make,” Moore said.
When Beck announced his retirement in January, Garcetti said there were many good candidates for chief who were from the LAPD or had recently left the agency. The police commissioners chose the three finalists from that pool — an indication that they want the LAPD to continue on the course set by Beck, whose last day on the job is June 27.
There was speculation that perhaps the moment was ripe for the city's first female police chief. But an early favorite, Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala, did not apply, and retired Assistant Chief Sandy Jo MacArthur did not make the final three.
As a boy growing up with six siblings, Moore moved constantly while his parents looked for work. He remembers a Christmas night in Flint, Mich., when officials came to repossess the family station wagon. While living in Arkansas, his stepfather suggested that he stop using his Basque last name, Sanchotena, because of the racial prejudice there. He has been Michel Moore ever since, with “Michel” pronounced like “Michael.”
In 1985, four years after joining the LAPD, Moore shot a man at a downtown loading dock who pointed a handgun at truck drivers and then aimed at him, according to a report by then-Chief Daryl Gates. The man survived, and Gates found that the shooting complied with department policy.
A year later, while moonlighting as a security guard at a shopping mall in the San Fernando Valley, Moore killed a man who was firing a semi-automatic rifle in the parking lot. With parked cars obscuring his view, Moore was unsure what the man was firing at. The man pointed the rifle at Moore, who fatally shot him in the head, according to a report by Gates. It later became clear that the man was shooting at his ex-wife, killing her.
Gates praised Moore for “excellent self-control” and restraint but criticized him for not wearing a ballistic vest or carrying extra ammunition. Moore received the LAPD's Medal of Valor , awarded to officers who display courage in the face of imminent peril.
At that point, he said, he was happy to join the department's DARE program and teach kids about the dangers of drugs. Later, as a sergeant, Moore got his first taste of the wonky data-crunching he would become known for, creating the department's first automated crime-mapping system.
After stints in internal affairs, Wilshire Division and vice, he was tapped to lead Rampart Division in 1998, the day after Officer Rafael Perez was arrested in a corruption scandal that came to define the department in that era. Officers in Rampart thought Perez was wrongly accused, Moore said. As a newly minted captain, he had to persuade them to abandon the “Rampart way.”
Under Bratton, Moore was deputy chief of West Bureau and then Valley Bureau. Soon after taking control of the department, Beck promoted Moore to assistant chief . Moore rotated through special operations, which includes detectives, counter-terrorism and SWAT; administrative services, including the behind-the-scenes realms of budget, personnel and training; and his current position, patrol operations.
Moore is by all accounts a demanding boss who expects his subordinates to be as versed in every detail as he is. Yet, he balances his high expectations with his recollections of what it was like to be grilled by an unforgiving superior.
He has been at the forefront of the LAPD's efforts to reduce fatal shootings by encouraging officers to use Tasers and beanbag shotguns. He recently proposed a system to quantify positive community interactions such as public meetings and roll calls held on city streets.
Moore, who lives in Santa Clarita, has said he will move to L.A. if he becomes chief.
Fatal shootings by LAPD down but less lethal use of force is up, report says
by Nicole Santa Cruz
Despite adopting new policies to reduce police shootings, use of deadly force by Los Angeles police increased slightly in 2017 from the previous year, but the number of fatal shootings continued a downward trend, according to a report released Tuesday.
The number of shootings by LAPD officers increased to 44 from 40 in 2016, according to the report presented to the Police Commission.
Of the 44 incidents, 31 people were hit by gunfire. The 17 people who were killed by police represented a slight decrease from 19 in 2016. Officers killed 21 people in 2015, according to the department.
Last year, Latinos represented 58% of those shot by police and whites 29%. In a positive trend, African Americans represented 13% of those shot, a significant drop from 2016 when nearly a third of police shooting victims were black. Nearly half of those shot by police last year — 48% — were armed.
The report comes as the Police Commission, the civilian panel that oversees the department, has adopted a series of changes in recent years that require officers to attempt to defuse potentially deadly encounters before firing their guns and posed questions about how those changes are affecting the level of force used on the streets of Los Angeles.
“It shows we're in the right direction,” said the commission's president, Steve Soboroff. “Community policing is demanding more in 2018, 2019 than it ever has.”
One revised policy tells officers they must try to de-escalate a situation “whenever it is safe and reasonable to do so,” by taking more time to let the incident unfold, or by talking to individuals and calling in other resources. The civilian board has also been pushing the department to provide officers with less-lethal weapons and more training that emphasizes avoiding force whenever possible.
The new policy allows commissioners to consider whether an officer tried to defuse a confrontation when they decide whether a shooting was justified.
Law enforcement agencies around the country, including the LAPD, have come under intense scrutiny in recent years after controversial shootings of black men, and many have adopted new training approaches and policies. The Seattle Police Department requires officers to attempt de-escalation strategies, such as trying to calm someone down verbally or calling a mental health unit.
Santa Monica police have similar rules in place, telling officers to try to "slow down, reduce the intensity or stabilize the situation" to minimize the need to use force.
The number of incidents in which less-lethal force was used by LAPD officers was up 10% last year compared with 2016. Incidents in which a bean bag gun was used were up 31%, according to the report. Officers are required to be equipped with a bean bag shotgun when responding to a call of a person armed with a sharp object, said Capt. John McMahon, whose office compiled the 400-page analysis.
Soboroff said there should be a “demand” for more ways to use less-lethal force.
However, the LAPD leads the nation in fatal police shootings, according to the report. More people were killed by police in the city last year than in Chicago, Houston, New York and Philadelphia. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department tied with the Chicago Police Department, with eight fatal shootings. The New York Police Department came in second, with 10.
McMahon stressed that encounters where force is used — 2,195 incidents — represent a very small fraction of the 1.6 million contacts that police had with the public last year.
Attacks on officers were up 26% in 2017 from the previous year, according to the report.
Commissioner Cynthia McClain-Hill said the report showed an “extraordinary level of transparency.”
Some members of the public were skeptical.
“It's a PR tool,” Melina Abdullah, a leader of the local Black Lives Matter movement, told commissioners Tuesday, adding that the report is a “tool of propaganda.”
Valerie Rivera, whose son, Eric Rivera, was one of the 17 people killed by police last year, questioned the report's use of the word “suspect” to refer to people killed by police. Eric Rivera was holding a toy water gun on June 6, 2017, in Wilmington when officers fired 11 rounds, striking Rivera in the head, chest and legs. A patrol car then rolled over him. In April, the commission cleared the officers involved in the shooting, ruling that they were justified in using deadly force.
On Tuesday, Rivera stood in front of the commission in a white T-shirt featuring her son's photograph.
“My son was not a suspect, he was a victim,” she said.
Police: Cop impersonators responded to 911 calls, made arrests for years
Police said that a core group of about 10 people have been impersonating police across Genesee County, Michigan and fooling first responders since October 2015
by PoliceOne Staff
FLINT, Mich. — Law enforcement officials said a group of police impersonators in Michigan spent years making arrests and fooling first responders.
The Flint Journal reports that a core group of about 10 people have been impersonating police across Genesee County, Michigan since October 2015. They are currently facing felony charges.
The group is accused of making false arrests of people they accused of committing crimes and tricked real first responders at crime scenes. Police said the group, who called themselves the Genesee County Fire and EMS Media-Genesee County Task Force Blight Agency, had impersonated police at county parks, house fires, vehicle crashes and other crime scenes.
"We believe that on some occasions, they were the first to show up on crime scenes," Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said. "On some occasions, the real police would ask them to perform tasks at the scene, not realizing they were imposters."
On Sept. 21, 2017, an investigation into the group was launched after Kevin Shanlian, chief of the Genesee County Parks ranger division, received complaints from victims who said they were mistreated by park rangers. Shanlian soon learned that the park rangers the victims were referring to were imposters.
On Friday, Emily Burrison, 27, Jeffrey Jones, 29, and Auston Rose, 23, were arraigned on charges of impersonating a police officer and unlawful imprisonment, according to WNEM . Leyton said the imposters were found wearing uniforms, badges and utility belts.
Court records indicate that there are five other defendants in the case who have not been charged.
"We believe they've done this to other people," Leyton said. "We're asking people to come forward if, in fact, they believe they've been victimized by people they don't believe are real police officers."
An attorney for Jones told the Flint Journal that the group had “good intentions” and that they were trying to make the community a better place.
Study: Drone use in public safety greatly increasing
The Center for the Study of the Drone extimated that the number of public safety agencies using drones has increased by 82 percent in the past year
by PoliceOne Staff
DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. — A recent study found that the use of drones in the public safety sector has greatly increased.
According to a study by the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College, at least 910 public safety agencies including fire, police and EMS departments are now using drones.
They also found that the number of agencies using drones has increased by around 82 percent in the last year alone, and that there are twice as many agencies that own drones as there are that own manned aircrafts.
The study added that the states that take the lead in drone use are Texas, with 67 agencies using drones, California, with 58 agencies using drones and Wisconsin, with 56 agencies using drones.
The county with the greatest number of public safety agencies using drones is Cook County, Illinois, with 11 agencies utilizing the unmanned aircrafts.
A class of 8th graders were given bulletproof shields before starting high school to protect them from shootings
by Alexandra Ma
A class of eighth-graders graduating middle school have been given bulletproof shields as gifts to prepare them for potential mass shootings when they get to high school.
The students at St. Cornelius Catholic School in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, were given 10-inch by 12-inch ballistic shields to place in their backpacks.
According to their manufacturer, the shields would protect students from handgun and shotgun attacks if the students were shot from behind. They would theoretically also be able to protect themselves if they held up the shields in front of their bodies.
The shields were a gift from Unequal Technologies, a local sportswear which makes the shields. The company's CEO, Robert Vito, has a daughter at the school.
He gave a shield to every member of the outgoing class and an extra 25 to the school's faculty.
Vito told a press conference aired by the local WTXF TV channel: "It's sad the times have called for such a product to be invented, but we have answered the call."
The bulletproof plates are 10 by 12 inches large and a quarter-inch thick, and weigh about 19 ounces (1.19 lbs/0.5 kg). Each one has a retail value of $150.
There have been more 20 school shootings in the US in 2018 alone. A teenager student fatally gunned down 10 people wounded 10 others in Santa Fe, Texas, last month.
Seventeen people were killed at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida this February, which prompted a school walkouts and national debate over US gun laws.
There have been 101 mass shootings in the US so far in 2018-here's the full list
by Melia Robinson, Skye Gould and Samantha Lee
On Friday, a 17-year-old gunman opened fire on students and staff at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, killing 10 people. The suspected gunman was arrested and detained.
The incident marked the 101st mass shooting in 2018, according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, which tracks shootings in the US. To put this into perspective, we are 138 days into the year, which means the US has had nearly as many mass shootings as days in 2018.
Americans are more likely to die from gun violence than many leading causes of death combined, with some 11,000 people in the US killed in firearm assaults each year.
There is no broadly accepted definition of a mass shooting. Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as a single incident in which four or more people, not including the shooter, are "shot and/or killed" at "the same general time and location."
The government also doesn't have an official definition. In 2013, a report from the Congressional Research Service, known as Congress's think tank, described mass shootings as those in which shooters "select victims somewhat indiscriminately" and kill four or more people — a higher bar than Gun Violence Archive's, as it doesn't take injuries into account.
In 2013, a federal mandate lowered that threshold to three deaths. By this definition, using data from Gun Violence Archive, the Parkland event was the sixth US mass shooting in 2018.
Data from Gun Violence Archive also shows that more than 5,400 people have died from gun-related violence so far this year and more than 9,800 others were injured.
Here's a complete list of the mass shootings — as defined by Gun Violence Archive — that have occurred in the US so far in 2018.
You can view a report of any incident by visiting the list at gunviolencearchive.org.
Major Cities Chiefs calls for universal background checks on all gun sales
Members of the association recently gathered in Nashville, Tennessee to consider measures to prevent gun violence in wake of recent mass shootings
by PoliceOne Staff
WASHINGTON — The Major Cities Chiefs Association recently released an updated and expanded Firearms Violence Policy in light of mass shootings across the country.
The association announced on Wednesday that police chiefs recently gathered in Nashville, Tennessee to consider measures to prevent gun violence in wake of shootings in Florida and Texas. After a vote, the chiefs adopted new policy statement that includes calling on Congress to:
Adopt a Universal Background Check for all gun sales and transfers;
Expand screening for prohibited buyers to include persons with violent mental health history;
Seek “Red Flag” measures to prevent guns from reaching persons who threaten violence and murder; and
Urge legislation that permits court orders barring gun purchases in domestic violence cases.
The association said the new policy “reflects the lessons learned” in recent mass shootings and pleas from parents and youth from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a shooting in February.
“As first responders, we have seen the toll that firearms violence takes on our communities
and it is time that we as a Nation take the necessary steps to reduce the risk of such tragic events,” said J. Thomas Manger, Major Cities Chiefs Association President and Montgomery County Police Chief. “Reform to this system is overdue and we must all play a role in keeping firearms off our streets and out of our schools.”
The association, which is comprised of chiefs and sheriffs representing the largest cities in the U.S. and Canada, has been “a strong advocate for sensible gun policy for many years.”
(The assiciation's full and expanded policy statements can be seen on site.)
From the Department of Homeland Security
DHS Releases Soft Target and Crowded Places Security Enhancement and Coordination Plan
by Bob Kolasky
Too often, we see news about attacks on ordinary people who are simply going about their everyday lives around the world, and even here at home. While we remain vigilant about preventing terrorist attacks on traditional targets and high profile events, it's equally important that we focus on securing soft targets. These are places where people gather freely, like music festivals, houses of worship, or shopping centers, which are easily accessible and often have minimal security, potentially making it easier and cheaper to carry out an attack.
Given recent trends, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has redoubled its efforts, including publicly releasing the DHS Soft Target and Crowded Places Security Plan Overview. The overview describes how the Department is working to enhance and organize its efforts around the security and resilience of soft targets and crowded places across the United States.
We have been working for many years to address security and preparedness around soft targets and crowded places, through four overarching lines of effort: directing security operations and support; facilitating awareness, intelligence and information sharing; building partner capability and capacity; and conducting research and development.
Looking ahead, the plan outlines several DHS initiatives that will leverage capabilities from across the Department to build the foundation for future success. These efforts include:
Enhancing a culture of awareness through a major education and awareness campaign;
Engaging with key international partners to share best practices and lessons learned;
Increasing awareness of and access to resources;
Focusing and incentivizing investments in soft target and crowded places security; and
Focusing research and development on soft target-crowded places security.
In conjunction with the plan, the Department's National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) has also developed the Security of Soft Targets and Crowded Places Resource Security Guide. The guide is a catalog of soft target resources, many of which were created in collaboration with our partners to ensure they are useful and reflective of the dynamic environment we live in. This guide is being further expanded to include resources from across the Department.
The bottom line is that the U.S. government has no greater responsibility than protecting the American people, but all levels of government, the private sector and even individual citizens play important roles in protecting communities and preventing attacks. I encourage you to get involved, visit www.dhs.gov/hometownsecurity, and review the Plan, Resources Guide, and other key information.