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.
EMS resiliency, readiness relies on combating fatigue
Take these steps to get quality sleep to protect against mental and physical health effects
by Amy Eisenhauer, student, Political Science at American Public University
Fatigue and poor sleep habits are commonly accepted as status quo in first response communities. Fatal traffic accidents caused by paramedics falling asleep while driving, both in ambulances and in their private vehicles, are frequently in the news. Lack of sleep also impairs decision-making, attentiveness and the ability to learn, which are all necessary when interacting with the public and other responders during an emergency response.
Unfortunately, the effects of chronic sleep deprivation and lack of quality sleep can also have serious long-term effects on first responders' mental and physical health. Fatigue and lack of sleep have a strong association with obesity, diabetes , hypertension, cardiac disease and stroke , as well as increased development of mental health illness, notably depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
The cause of fatigue is difficult to untangle as it involves actions by both agencies and individuals.
Agencies must take responsibility by determining policies and shift schedules that ensure first responders are able to get appropriate quantity of sleep. For example, agencies need to revise schedules and adjust shift times to ensure there's sufficient staffing and first responders aren't forced to work overtime. Some agencies stay short-staffed because overtime is cheaper than the hiring process, which includes training, health benefits and other expenditures to employ additional staff.
Agencies also need to address culture. In many police, fire, EMS and dispatch communities, it's considered an honorable sacrifice to be able to stay awake for multiple hours at a time or work multiple shifts consecutively. Such a culture does not encourage first responders to get the appropriate amount of quality rest.
Similarly, first responders must take responsibility for getting enough rest. Often, due to poor financial planning or other financial reasons, first responders often rely on working overtime or having multiple jobs “to get by,” which can lead to inadequate rest.
Sleep tips for EMS providers
In order to get quality sleep while not working, first responders can take steps such as:
- Be consistent – Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same times every day, even on weekends. This is difficult with certain rotating shifts, but be consistent as much as you can. You can also adopt a routine for bedtime to signal to your body that it is time to relax and go to sleep.
- Maintain a comfortable sleep environment – You should aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. That is a long time in one place, so being comfortable is key. If your mattress and pillows match your comfort preferences (soft to firm) you are more likely to fall asleep faster and stay asleep. Temperature is also a comfort factor; being too hot or too cold can wake you from sleep. Investing in blackout curtains that keep out light and noise is a good idea for those who work nighttime shifts.
- Adjust lighting – Light at night can limit your natural melatonin production, altering your natural circadian rhythm , potentially exposing you to cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Blue light emitted from electronics like phones, tablets and LED lights alters production of melatonin by twice as much compared to other light . Limit your exposure to blue light two to three hours before bed, or use blue light blocking glasses if you work the night shift.
- Try reading – Reading for a short time before bed can reduce stress and potentially degenerative brain disease. This can also be a good addition to a bedtime routine. Just be aware of the presence of blue light with some tablets or electronic reading devices versus traditional books.
- Remove distractions – Reserve your bedroom for sleeping and relaxing. Don't bring your work, computer or cell phone into bed with you. If the television keeps you awake, take that out of your bedroom as well. Pets and co-sleepers can also interrupt your sleep, so consider devising alternate sleeping arrangements if this is the case. If you work the night shift, talk with your family about disturbing you during the day while you are trying to sleep and educate them on why you need your sleep.
- Limit caffeine use – NASEMSO includes caffeine use in its recommendations to mitigate fatigue, but it's important not to use caffeine too close to bedtime. Studies have found caffeine can still disrupt sleep six hours after consumption. It won't cause you to be sleepless, but can interrupt continuous, quality sleep. Try to limit consumption of caffeinated products for at least six hours before bedtime.
- Utilize naps – Naps don't make up for shortened or poor nighttime sleep and are not meant as a replacement for continuous sleep, but they are an excellent short-term fix to improve mood, alertness and performance. A variety of studies have shown that naps ranging between 10 to 30 minutes are best for improving alertness and performance. A nap that is too short or too long has either no effect or leads to sleep inertia, which makes the individual drowsier on waking.
The fatigue problem in the first responder community is not a simple one to solve and involves a multitude of complexities. Addressing this mental and physical hazard will require everyone, employers and responders alike, owning their responsibility to each other and themselves to increase safety and longevity.
About the Author
Amy Eisenhauer is currently studying Political Science at American Public University. She is a dynamic presenter at EMS conferences nationwide, raising awareness on topics such as provider suicide, response to hoarding events and career development for EMS professionals. As a certified EMT, she has served the New Jersey Emergency Medical Services community as a volunteer and career provider since 1995. In addition to providing high-quality medical care, Eisenhauer has taken on challenging roles as an EMS educator and training officer. She also hosts an interactive blog, TheEMSsiren.com. To reach her, email IPSauthor@apus.edu. For more articles featuring insight from industry experts, subscribe to In Public Safety's bi-monthly newsletter.
Everyone Studying Juvenile Justice Must Read This Important Book
by Judge Steven Teske
It's about time someone wrote a book that informs readers about the unadulterated truth of how we treat kids in America. It isn't flattering, and worse, the future doesn't look promising despite reform movements peppered across our nation.
In his book “The Evolution of the Juvenile Court: Race, Politics, and the Criminalizing of Juvenile Justice,” Professor Barry C. Feld employs a historical approach coupled with a prolific blending of artistic and technical prose to convey that policymakers have allowed social structural change factors like the economy, race and ethnicity, urbanization and politics to influence how kids should be treated as opposed to doing what is in their best interest.
As a juvenile court jurist of almost 20 years, a reformer for most of those years and an adjunct law professor, I can adamantly state that this book is not only a must read, but should be added to the reading lists of those studying juvenile justice, including law students.
Among several salient takeaways, the overarching one is the political scapegoating of the juvenile court by politicians. They target the courts for not fixing what ails our youth, mostly kids of color living in poverty, when in fact it's their own policies — conceived out of a combination of racial bias and political fears — that exacerbates what ails our youth. In other words, the juvenile courts can't fix the problems that politicians and policymakers create.
The bottom line from this book is that our society does more to exacerbate what ails our youth than we do to help them, and the more we do unto them, we do unto ourselves. This book makes clear that our juvenile justice system has become more like “The Killing Fields,” where too many kids are demonized for their god-given impulsive nature, and their future is slaughtered for a pound of flesh.
‘Dog whistle politics”
Feld draws a parallel between the “Red Scare” of the '50s, when Sen. Joseph McCarthy exploited America's fear of communism, and the “superpredator” youth scare of the '90s, when politicians exploited people's fear of an onslaught of violent youth crime. Both scares took partial truths and exploited them to create the belief that if we don't do something drastic now, bad will happen to all of us.
Both resulted in creating more harm than good for individuals and for the public in general.
Feld refers to this as the “politics of race and crime” to describe how politicians seized the rising crime rates among youth in the '80s and early '90s to manipulate mass media. These politicians sensationalized violent youth crimes to scare the public by describing a wave of “superpredator” kids coming to maim, rape and kill our mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers.
This period, says Feld, is commonly described as the “get tough era.” Many have written about it, but Feld's assessment includes the ugly exploitation of race to gain this political advantage. He superbly lays out how conservative politicians exploited people's fear to garner support for mass incarceration of adults and juveniles alike by exploiting the rise in crime rates, which they implicitly attributed to blacks.
He references Ian Haney López, who coined the phrase “dog whistle politics” to describe how the tactics of conservative politicians — using code words that triggered racial animosity — simultaneously allowed for “plausible deniability by crafting language that lets the speaker deny that he's even thinking about race.” These code words exploited latent racial anxieties to garner support for their “law and order” agenda by blaming individual black people for making poor choices without any consideration that choices are influenced by conditions affecting the person.
What I glean from Feld's assessment is that it doesn't serve the interest of conservative politicians to re-examine the policies that create the structural conditions that produce poverty and crime: To do so would require a shift in social and economic policies in America that are contrary to their political interests.
These politicians would rather project the causes of crime on the personal choices of individual blacks than address the real causes. Those voters harboring racial animosities were the most excitable and feared the worst of the black “superpredator” kids when they heard politicians utter code words for blacks like “welfare queen,” “entitlement society” and more.
What is ironically sad, as Feld observes, is there are more whites collecting welfare than are blacks. Too many whites believe they are financially supporting blacks through welfare when in fact it's the other way around.
Worse is the media that sensationalized these coded words. Feld points to a study conducted of media outlets that reported stories about poor families. It revealed they chose to feature black families in their coverage 59 percent of the time, even though only 27 percent of families living below the poverty line are black. The same results were found involving coverage of welfare, revealing that 60 percent of families portrayed were black, even though only 42 percent of families receiving welfare are black.
Politicians, with the aid of the media, used the same tactics to appeal to the racial animus of whites when Republicans declared a war on drugs in the '80s. Feld cites the sharp increase in media coverage that depicted drug users and dealers as black and bombarded television viewers with images of “crack whores” and “crack babies” that “confirmed the worst negative stereotypes of poor inner-city residents.” The disparities in how we treat blacks versus whites are so apparent, he writes, that one only need contrast our approaches to the crack cocaine epidemic affecting mostly blacks in the urban areas of the '80s and the opioid epidemic affecting mostly whites in rural America today.
The book highlights criminologist Michael Tonry's argument that the Republicans' war on drugs was a cynical approach that had “a disastrous impact on the black community while doing little to alleviate the causes of drug use or crime,” while today conservative politicians take a softer approach by sympathetically portraying whites addicted to heroin and opioids.
And so, the slaughter of future black lives began with the passing of legislation to “avert the coming wave of violence” by creating automatic transfer laws and prosecutorial direct filings to treat kids as adults, or building more juvenile secure facilities to detain more kids and hold them longer.
Never mind that the prediction of “superpredator” youth never came. Never mind that the crime rate has declined dramatically since the mid-'90s. What did matter was that the harsh policies enacted to stave off a mythical Armageddon resulted in a mass incarceration of black youth and adults, and we continue to reel from its devastating effects.
Feld keenly points out that we continue this slaughter after 23 years despite knowing that the “superpredator” scare was a myth, and that the juvenile crime rate has been declining. He leads the reader down a well-researched and documented path that would cause any reasonable person by its winding end to question the motives of these mostly conservative politicians who continue their support of these harsh laws, notwithstanding that the reasons for creating them have been proven to be a myth.
Life in prison without parole
This book asks the rhetorical questions: If the motivation for incarcerating so many juveniles is not grounded in a real threat, was it always about race, and does it continue to be about race, and do the rest of us go along with “dog whistle politics” because our implicit biases prevent us from seeing the truth?
The reader can glean that what we need to expose the truth are more of what many conservative politicians describe as naïve and unpretentious-sounding people shouting that the emperor is parading around in his birthday suit. Doing what's right for kids may look naïve to the politician, but to those of us who specialize in juvenile justice it is our reality.
Feld understands the dynamics of policymaking in a democracy that often produces unintended consequences. He points out that politicians seek acceptance to get elected, and to that end they appeal to the intuition and common sense of the masses.
The harshest of all penalties imposed on youth during this “get tough” era was the automatic transfer laws subjecting kids to life in prison without parole (LWOP). Fortunately, as Feld points out, the U.S. Supreme Court in Roper v. Simmons, Graham v. Florida and Miller v. Alabama “recognized what get tough legislators did not—‘children are different'—and halted the most extreme sanctions.”
Notwithstanding this relaxation of harshness, the court in Miller mandated judges to conduct individualized assessments to determine youthful mitigation. But Feld raises a valid concern that Miller provided minimal guidance to judges, and the guidance they did provide invited subjectivity, making it difficult to implement these assessments “fairly and consistently.”
Feld makes a well-reasoned case that states should recognize a categorical prohibition against LWOP based on youthful mitigation and adopt a “youth discount” system in lieu of subjective individualized assessments to determine adult culpability. A youth discount would account for the diminished capacity of kids and would promote truth-in-sentencing for kids by including a constant factor that “Youth who produce the same harms as adults are not their moral equals and do not deserve the same consequences.” This, Feld says, is not an excuse for criminal actions because it does hold the youth accountable, but does so by proportioning punishment to their diminished capacity.
Defender programs most crucial
Despite the politics of race and crime employed by most conservative politicians that has put a wrecking ball to our juvenile justice systems, Feld does shine a light, albeit small, to recent reforms taken on by states like my own in Georgia. Notwithstanding these reform efforts, he observes that it's not enough to slash commitments, save taxpayer costs and reinvest the cost savings into evidence-based programs. Not to diminish the positive impact of these reforms, he makes a persuasive point that more savings could be realized if more emphasis were placed on improving legal representation for youth.
For example, Feld cites the underfunding of defender programs, which create high caseloads that in turn dilute the effective assistance of counsel for children. This is compounded by a lack of funding for investigators, evaluations and other tests to contravene the state's case, and lack of appellate support to challenge injustices.
I cannot agree more with his observation that “The lack of appeals from juvenile courts retards the development of substantive law. Our juvenile justice systems will never grow and become healthy if we don't give appellate courts the opportunity to expound on issues that will expand the law on justiciable issues.” This will never occur unless we take In re Gault seriously and dedicate funding sufficient to defend youth charged with crimes, especially those facing removal from their homes.
Feld's book begs the question of how many of our youth are sucked into a juvenile justice system who have no business inside but are there because they lacked adequate legal representation. The more kids we allow to enter, the more costly our system. When we allow low-risk kids to enter a high-risk system that makes them worse, the costs begin to outweigh the benefits.
As a law professor, Feld knows full well that the “rule of law” is the bedrock of our system of American jurisprudence, but he is also aware that from time to time we are confronted with changed circumstances that call into question the legal precedent we have followed for years.
Plessy v. Ferguson is a case in point. The Supreme Court held in Plessy that segregation was constitutional by rationalizing that separating our children based on race was not discriminatory provided the treatment was equal in both settings. We look back at this decision with what we know today and say, “What the hell were they thinking?”
They were thinking how they were living, a culture that had recently ended slavery by a violent civil war that left many people bitter and angry. The next best thing to slavery was segregation, and so the policymakers of the day gave birth to “Jim Crow” laws to assimilate the culture of slavery and appease the angry and bitter white folks.
Their thinking doesn't justify their actions, the same point Feld makes in relation to our harsh treatment of kids during the superpredator scare. Conservatives then reacted to the sudden rise in violent crime just as Jim Crow enthusiasts did when slavery ended. Both imposed harsh and disproportionate laws to stave off what they feared and “to restore a previous halcyon social order” as Feld describes it.
Bench trials vs. jury trials
But he raises another point — that what was constitutional then is no longer constitutionally viable today — by pointing to a juvenile's Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial. Despite the Supreme Court's decision in Duncan v. Louisiana that guaranteed adults a right to a jury trial if they are facing more than six months of incarceration, the court held in 1971 in the case of McKeiver v. Pennsylvania that juveniles are not entitled to a jury trial primarily because juvenile courts operate with a rehabilitative design more so than punitive, and believed that judges can ascertain the facts as accurately as a jury.
Feld's point about the issue of jury trials can be summed up by the immortal words of Bob Dylan, “The times they are a changin'.”
First, what we already know about the “get tough” era is that in many states youth are facing greater punitive sentences and for longer periods of time that turns McKeiver on its head. In Georgia there are more than 30 felonies for which a kid is facing secure confinement for up to 18 months or five years. These facilities are prisons. They have razor-wire fences, and they look like adult correctional facilities. It really doesn't matter how much rehabilitation is attempted in these prisons, the fact remains that upon their release 65 percent reoffend and return, and that is not rehabilitation.
Second, Feld challenges the notion in McKeiver that judges can determine the facts just as accurately as juries. That is simply not true, he says, and he is right. Studies show that although “juries and judges agree about defendant's guilt or innocence in about four-fifths of criminal cases, when they differ, juries acquit more often than do judges.” The problem with bench trials in juvenile matters, says Feld, is that judges, unlike jurors, hear from the same police officers, probation officers and from the same kid and have formed opinions of their credibility or character, and these factors may rule the day over the facts of the case.
Let's just say that Feld has this judge rethinking the way evidence is evaluated and the credibility of witnesses are weighed.
When it comes to losing one's liberty for an extended time, our founding fathers created a jury system to take into account more than just a factual evaluation, he says. Jurors also assess culpability and are more inclined than judges to consider factors such as “the reasonableness of a response to provocation, the perceived need for self-defense, immaturity, and the like.” Jurors are inclined “to carry the community's norms and sense of justice when they apply the law to the facts.”
Poverty the major factor
Among other reasons that kids should have a right to a jury trial in serious matters is something I am too well familiar with: the argument made by prosecutors and probation officers alike that the kid needs help and the court is the only one to make that happen. Forget about guilt and innocence. It's like the days before Gault when the court operated under the parens patriae doctrine, and that's exactly the point Feld makes — it doesn't matter what Gault did to protect the due process rights of kids if parens patriae behaviors are still allowed to occur. Sure, it's better, but we're still not there, and a lot of that has to do with depriving kids the right to a jury trial when they are facing lengthy sentences.
But Feld makes clear that it's not enough to do system reform to bring about evidence-based practices to the local courts. This brings me to another takeaway, which is the biggest problem feeding our juvenile courts — poverty.
Feld makes a bold statement, but one that he can support with evidence: “Harsh as it may sound, child poverty is the United States' public policy.” (P. 285)
There is a reason, he says, that our child poverty rate is double or triple that of most European countries. He points to our economic policies, which resist social welfare programs, as the single greatest factor driving our children to “comprise the largest age group in poverty …” Consider that “countries that spend more on social welfare and have lower levels of income and wealth inequality also have lower crime rates and levels of imprisonment.”
Feld points out that earned income “is the single best antidote to child poverty and influenced by many government policies” such as tax codes, housing subsidies, minimum wage, job training and other similar policies, but in comparison to other developed nations, the United States provides fewer resources that can reduce child poverty. Yet, he observes, “Compared with other developed nations, the United States provides fewer resources or income transfers to reduce child poverty, especially for female headed households whose children are most vulnerable.”
He correctly reveals how child poverty is the result of structural and political conditions arising from our “political-economic policies, wealth and income inequalities, and racial barriers.” What is sad, he says, is that “To hold young children responsible for their parents' shortcomings offends basic decency and morality.”
Despair and decency
Feld offers ideas on what can be done to help alleviate child poverty, which in turn would reduce juvenile delinquency and eventually adult crime, but, sadly, he has serious doubts that we have the courage or the resolve to do what ought to be done.
Why, you may ask?
He sums it up quite simply by saying, “Even though white children comprise the largest number of children in poverty and would benefit most from programs to alleviate it, too many white people and public officials resist structural reforms to aid the poor because blacks and other children of color would benefit disproportionately.” In essence, he says that we fail the “my child test,” which occurs when we view other people's kids, especially those kids of color, with “suspicion, hostility, and as potential threats to their own children's well-being.”
Feld is adamant, and I agree, that we will never overcome child poverty and the traumatic impact it has on our children, which in turn leads to crime, until we acquire the political will and leadership to break down the structural inequalities that are the root causes of child poverty in America. But this will likely never occur, he says, because “Americans in general, place greater emphasis on individual behavior and cultural factors, than on structural inequality to explain the differences in people's circumstances.”
As I have said in the past, and Feld has accentuated in his book, people don't commit crimes because of the color of their skin. They do so because of their circumstances, which in America has been exacerbated by our economic and political policies.
He concludes his book expressing his “sadness and anger” for having studied juvenile justice for 40 years and observing how the plight of two generations of children have worsened. He describes his feelings of despair over the unwillingness of politicians to act and do what's right for children, but still holds on with “fervent hope that future, more enlightened generations of Americans will look back with shame on the contemporary child abuse inflicted by the state.”
His last words in the book poses the same question to our politicians today and of the future that was posed to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, whose politics of fear caused the end of careers and even lives of good people.
“Have you no decency, sir? At long last have you no sense of decency?”
Steven Teske is the chief judge of the Juvenile Court of Clayton County, Georgia, is the national chair of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice and won the 2018 leadership prize from the Juvenile Law Center.
Strengthening the Bond of Guardians
by U.S. Department of the Army, Office of the Provost Marshal General, Antiterrorism Division
Law enforcement leaders across the world represent a critical element in the sustained security of their respective communities. In the United States, this has been true since the initial European colonization of North America in the 17th century. In fact, in Jamestown, Virginia, and Plymouth, Massachusetts, Captains John Smith and Miles Standish, respectively, were assigned the essential role of police chief from the very beginning. What is sometimes lost in the role of police chief in those times is that Smith and Standish were also military leaders responsible for the defense of their communities. In their dual roles as police and military chiefs, one might say they were the antiterrorism officers of that time, protecting the community from all criminal threats—domestic and foreign. In spite of today's seemingly greater complexity, the simplicity of that defense concept is not lost and serves as a reminder of the shared responsibilities of police and military leaders forged long ago.
U.S. Army's Role in Combating Terrorism
In the 17th and 18th centuries, as the U.S. population exploded and legislation increased, it became necessary to draw clearer distinctions between the roles of law enforcement and the military. However, that did not change the essential principle of sharing information and lessons expressed from the very beginning. A recent Army Antiterrorism Strategic Plan advises that “awareness and vigilance is our most certain defense.” 2 Of course, that important awareness comes from partnerships among like-minded and mission-oriented organizations like civilian law enforcement and military security professionals. For example, most U.S. Army installation antiterrorism working groups include representatives from local law enforcement agencies. Even more critically, Army law enforcement personnel use the same eGuardian system for sharing information that most civilian U.S. law enforcement agencies use. Moreover, the Joint Terrorism Task Forces at the state level frequently include a military liaison and the information, by design, is shared with appropriate local, state, and federal entities, including all branches of the military. One might make the point that links between law enforcement and military, although more complex, are as formidable as they were in John Smith's time.
According to the U.S. Army's posture statement, counterterrorism—which many civilian law enforcement officers also engage in—is a key role for the military:
The United States Army is the most formidable ground combat force on earth. America's Army has convincingly demonstrated its competence and effectiveness in diverse missions overseas and in the homeland. Today, these missions include: fighting terrorists around the world; training Afghan and Iraqi Army forces; peacekeeping in the Sinai Peninsula and Kosovo; missile defense in the Persian Gulf; security assistance in Africa and South America; deterrence in Europe, the Republic of Korea, and Kuwait; rapid deployment global contingency forces; and response forces for the homeland.
U.S. Army installations like Fort Hood; standalone facilities such as recruiting stations; and operational units, including Reserve and National Guard embedded within local communities, demonstrate both the diversity of the Army and its integration with local communities. As such, the U.S. Army's presence within these communities involves continuous interaction with local, county, state, federal, and international law enforcement agencies. The Army and police also share a common mission in the prevention of terrorism. The Army is fighting terrorists around the globe and partnering with host nation and U.S. law enforcement to protect communities and restrict the spread of terrorism. The complexity of threats and the overwhelming need for cooperation among the U.S. Army, local civilian, interagency, and host nation law enforcement communities is a reality in today's environment to effectively counter terrorist activities. These relationships are vital to protecting all communities throughout the world. Increasing partnerships and collaboration between the U.S. Army and law enforcement is a critical part of the Army's antiterrorism strategy and how it organizes for success.
One of the U.S. Army's premier capabilities to understand and track the threat of terrorism is the Army Threat Integration Center (ARTIC). The ARTIC serves as a 24/7 joint law enforcement and intelligence fusion center, responsible for global threat information sharing focused on both internal and external threats to the Army. Operated by the Office of the Provost Marshal General, the ARTIC directly supports current and future operations from an all-threats and all-hazards perspective. The ARTIC integrates, analyzes, and disseminates all-source threat information for commanders, law enforcement, and force protection officials at all levels. This threat information enhances the Army's operational capabilities and provides shared situational awareness, effective risk-based decisions, and the protection of Army personnel, assets, and information worldwide. Perhaps most important, the ARTIC connects and coordinates regularly with both the intelligence and law enforcement communities at all levels, and is connected to sister services through the U.S. Department of Defense Global Watch and the Pentagon's Combined Intelligence Center, as well as collaborating with non-U.S. entities such as INTERPOL and the Canadian Transport Security Authority. fiscal year 2017, the ARTIC generated more than 300 terrorist threat reports to support Army senior leaders and subordinate commands; more than 150 suspicious activity and situational awareness products of force protection interest in support of multi-service and law enforcement partners; and processed reports of non-imminent threats that affected more than 2,200 soldiers, Army civilians, contractors, retirees, dependents, and family members. The ARTIC is linked directly to the Homeland Security Information Network, a shared system used by U.S. federal law enforcement and local law enforcement partners and agencies that enables communication with 78 fusion centers.
Looking Ahead: Improved Information Sharing
For a longer view of future threats and necessary preparations, the U.S. Army periodically updates the Army Antiterrorism Strategic Plan, which, for many years, has expressed the Army's vision for preventing terrorist attacks. The most recent strategic plan, titled Closing the Ring , appropriately includes objectives to improve fusion of information and intelligence. 3 These objectives could not be met unless the requisite formal and informal links with civilian law enforcement supported these efforts. There are numerous examples where alert citizens and active policing have thwarted potential terrorist attacks. These examples include the 2011 arrest in Killeen, Texas, of Naser Jason Abdo, who planned to attack soldiers at a restaurant outside Fort Hood, and the 2016 arrest of Lionel Williams, who favored “hard targets” such as military or police in an alleged plan to conduct a San Bernardino–style attack. In a more recent example, police in Ithaca, New York, foiled a potential attack in March 2018 thanks to a report from a Walmart employee. Although the prospective terrorist target is unclear, it is worth noting that multiple Army recruiting stations, Army ROTC detachments, National Guard armories, and Army Corps of Engineers projects are within a few miles of where the arrest took place. Sharing information of this kind could have long-term implications for protection and partnerships across a broad local area.
There are numerous examples where alert citizens and active policing have thwarted potential terrorist attacks.
A recent major initiative and long-term investment for the U.S. Army is the development and fielding of the Joint Analytic Real-time Virtual Information Sharing System (JARVISS). JARVISS is a threat common operating picture designed to support the antiterrorism and force protection community, the law enforcement community, criminal analysts, emergency management personnel, and operations centers. The system uses advanced analytic algorithms and commercial analysts to provide users with threat information originating from more than 80,000 open sources, including social media, news media, local municipality services, commercial business, and government sources. Threat information is geolocated, providing the user with the distance to the closest Army assets. JARVISS is cloud based, making it accessible from anywhere in the world through fixed-line or mobile applications.
Law enforcement users in JARVISS will be able to view installation and off-post crime data overlaid on an installation map, with detailed geospatial data outlining building footprints and other points of interest. This information can be displayed in a number of ways, including pin mapping and hot spot mapping for the installation as a whole or by patrol zone. JARVISS will also enable users to automatically generate crime reports that display crime data over a specified period or provide detailed information on specific offenses. The functions within JARVISS are designed to save time for military police and criminal investigators and standardize reporting across the Army. While investigating the recent package bombings in Austin and San Antonio, Texas, the ARTIC and Army Operations Center were able to leverage JARVISS to provide updates to leadership and threat advisories to the field. As JARVISS continues to be embedded in Army operations worldwide, the value of enhanced information sharing across the Department of Defense and the U.S. government, and back and forth with local and host nation law enforcement, is extremely promising.
The U.S. Army's antiterrorism community is constantly seeking ways to improve, and the principal guide that drives improvement is a strategy reflecting the long-term objectives of the organization. Some objectives of the Closing the Ring strategy address subject areas that may overlap with many police organizational strategies. Topics such as how to address threats posed by small unmanned aircraft systems and improving detection and defenses against insider threats have spawned the sharing of best practices and lessons learned. The same can be said about addressing terrorist attacks. In fact, the Army has gathered critical information from civilian law enforcement case studies of the Mumbai swarm attack in 2008, the Washington Navy Yard insider attack in 2013, and the Las Vegas mass shooting in 2017. Moreover, the Army's largest push toward increased public awareness of the terrorist threat originated in 2009, with a campaign called iWATCH Army, closely coordinated with and developed in conjunction with the Los Angeles, California, Police Department's iWATCH initiative. However, it is not only the large metropolitan police forces that Army organizations share intelligence with. Today, the potential for terrorist attacks requires that Army and civilian law enforcement agencies become learning organizations at all levels. The variety and lethality of terrorist attacks intuitively require effective adjustments to the shared protective posture. As Closing the Ring proposes, “the adaptive nature of terrorism requires a decentralized but coordinated and collective effort in preventing attacks.” 4 Part of the solution is in analyzing and sharing lessons learned.
Today, the potential for terrorist attacks requires that Army and civilian law enforcement agencies become learning organizations at all levels.
At the most recent Annual Army Worldwide Antiterrorism Training Seminar, a gathering of more than 350 antiterrorism professionals, presentations from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Department of Homeland Security; National Counterterrorism Center; INTERPOL; and the New York City, Las Vegas, and Amtrak police departments reinforced the importance of education and the significance of partnerships between civilian law enforcement and the Army antiterrorism community. Importantly, police representatives from Israel, Canada, and France reminded the attendees that the threat is worldwide and so the partnerships also must be. In 2010, a U.S. State Department counterterrorism official commented that “addressing the challenge of terrorism over the long term demands multilateral cooperation; capacity building; and considered efforts to counter violent extremism by all levels of society and government.” 5 Partnership is indispensable to success in achieving the long-term goal of preventing terrorist attacks.
The Annual Army Worldwide Antiterrorism Training Seminar was created 18 years ago for the purposes of improving information sharing and seeking unity of effort in the prevention of terrorist activities. The seminar focuses on the development of training that benefits the shared counterterrorism community by increasing the understanding of the threats and current operational issues and by providing insights to improve protection efforts. Improving communication with local, state, and federal organizations, as well as international partners, is also an objective. More than 15 separate focus groups provided ample opportunity for deep dives into current and emerging challenges faced by the U.S. Army and its partners.
Over the past 10 years, the Army's Antiterrorism Division has embraced the value of a guiding strategy to focus priorities and resources, as well as the importance of expanding partnerships and community outreach. Outcomes from the 2018 antiterrorism seminar reinforced these tenets and identified the current near-term priorities for the Army: integration across the security enterprise, threat information sharing, counter-unmanned aircraft systems, cyber awareness, community awareness with increased emphasis on school security, and the need to continuously evolve doctrine and training to remain a step ahead of the terrorist threat. In addition, the fielding of JARVISS demonstrates the commitment to information sharing and understanding of the threat across all environments. The publication of a quarterly newsletter, The Sentry , helps to keep the entire U.S. antiterrorism community of interest informed. 6
Encouraging sustained and expanded relationships between the U.S. Army and local, county, state, federal, and international law enforcement partners is as vital today as it was in colonial times and will undoubtedly remain a critical aspect of success for the future. Baseball player Yogi Berra once supposedly opined, “You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there.” Yogi's homespun wisdom serves to remind all those involved in public safety to focus on the vision of preventing terrorist attacks. The counterterrorism community knows where it is going—to “get there” requires partnership between civilian law enforcement and military antiterrorism officers at all levels.
Tasers Get Stunned by San Francisco Supervisors
SAN FRANCISCO – A vote by San Francisco supervisors this week to abruptly cut funding for police Tasers has stirred doubt about whether officers will ever get the weapons they've been trying to add as standard equipment for nearly a decade.
Police rank-and-file and opponents of Tasers alike see a possible unraveling of work by the San Francisco Police Department, the city's Police Commission, the officers' union and others who have been in contentious negotiations over the rollout of the police tool, reported San Francisco Chronicle.
“The policy goes through an arduous process and all of that seemingly could be lost, which would be a shame,” said Rick Andreotti, vice president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association. “My concern is, what kind of message does that send to the men and women of the San Francisco Police Department? That politics is more important than not only their safety, but the safety of the people of San Francisco.”
Sadly, Taser opponents welcome the stall; with some holding out hope the city will kill the plan to arm officers with the weapons, which the Police Commission approved in November.
“There's definitely some momentum there for the supervisors to take a step back and see where we're at,” said Alex Post, co-chair of the Justice Committee for the San Francisco Democratic Socialists of America. “I think given the studies indicating Tasers don't reduce police shootings, I think it makes sense to consider other options.”
Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer is maneuvering to kill Tasers altogether.
On Monday, Supervisor Fewer introduced a motion at a meeting of the board's Budget and Finance Committee to cut funding for Tasers next year and shelve the cash for the following year. It passed 3-2, with Supervisors Malia Cohen and Norman Yee also voting in favor.
Fewer, a progressive, said she doesn't support officers having Tasers. However, she claimed her decision to eliminate the funding was about cost, not politics—a claim that appears disingenuous.
“I feel my job on the budget committee is to weigh everything with a budget focus,” she said. “This has been about fiscal and financial responsibility. That's what the people of San Francisco deserve.”
Fewer cited a report by the city's Budget and Legislative Analyst's Office that estimated Tasers would cost $7 million up-front in equipment and training costs.
This is in conflict with the Police Department's request for $3.5 million.
Police Cmdr. Peter Walsh, who has been overseeing the implementation of Tasers, told the committee the analyst's report was inaccurate. Its estimated cost for the weapons was based on the $2,200 the Sheriff's Department paid for each of its Tasers more than a decade ago. Walsh said the Police Department would probably pay less than $1,600 per weapon.
“We're talking about a $600 difference, and if you multiply that across 2,000 officers, that's a dramatic drop,” he said.
The report also factored in training costs, which Walsh said won't cost the police agency anything because the department's regular staffing covers training.
With Tasers on hold, there's an opening that could allow city lawmakers to take them off the table altogether.
When new District Eight Supervisor Rafael Mandelman takes office in two weeks, the majority on the Board of Supervisors will shift from moderate—as defined by the Chronicle—to progressive. And the board will change fundamentally in January—in the November election five seats will be decided, only two held by incumbents.
Moreover, the Police Commission, which voted to equip officers with Tasers and approved the policy for their use, has also been reshaped recently, further exacerbating SFPD's efforts to equip officers with a much needed tool.
Former commission President Julius Turman died last month, Commissioner Bill Hing did not seek reappointment, and the supervisors didn't approve the reappointment of Commissioners Joe Marshall and Sonia Melara, who both supported Tasers and were seen as being aligned with the police union.
Marshall and Melara lost favor with progressives on the board in part by declining to sign onto a ballot argument opposing Proposition H, a measure put forth by the police union in this month's election that would have armed officers with Tasers by the end of the year and would have instituted a reasonable policy on their use.
The proposed law could only have been changed at the ballot box or by a four-fifths vote of the Board of Supervisors. The measure forced the Police Commission to adopt a policy on Tasers before the election, in part to sway voters away from Prop. H.
As expected, John Crew, a retired American Civil Liberties Union attorney who's been active in discussions around Tasers in San Francisco, welcomed Fewer's move to drop the funding. He said the police union's move with Prop. H may raise questions in any future Taser use-of-force incidents that violate department policy.
“We cannot pretend the last eight months didn't happen,” he said. “The Police Commission voted that we're going to do Tasers, and there could have been an orderly process of how to budget them and roll them out. But the police officers association chose to blow it up and tried to undercut the chief and the commission with Prop. H.”
This has been a long battle for SFPD. Proposals to equip police with Tasers have been repeatedly shot down over the last decade, making the department the last major urban police department in the country without them.
This has occurred even though the U.S. Department of Justice strongly recommended SFPD get Tasers when it did a top-to-bottom review of the department following controversial police shootings.
Before moving forward with a Taser policy, the agency held numerous public meetings to gather community input. The policy ultimately adopted by the Police Commission is more restrictive than many other Bay Area jurisdictions.
Local politicians apparently view Tasers as controversial because of the deaths associated with their use. However, they appear to ignore the reality of excited delirium during these circumstances.
Still, people on both sides of the issue altogether see losing Tasers as a long shot, according to the Chronicle. Fewer said she's waiting for documentation from the Police Department countering the Budget and Legislative Analyst's Office report.
“You can always request a midyear budget appropriation,” she said. “We do that all the time.”
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said he's working to get the necessary paperwork to submit to the board. In the meantime, he is optimistically moving forward internally with training and planning for when his officers eventually get Tasers.
“We will continue with the things we had to do with implementation,” he said. “It's just a matter of timing.”
IMPD Officers Quitting in Alarming Numbers Says FOP President
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The number of IMPD officers quitting their jobs has reached alarming levels, according to the union president.
“What we are starting to see is signs of a mass exodus from the police department,” said FOP president Rick Snyder.
Snyder spoke out about his concerns because he says city leaders need to get ahead of the problem, reported CBS4Indy .
Moreover, Snyder says in a perfect world, IMPD's hiring would resemble a funnel, with a lot of qualified candidates coming in and very few leaving.
Unfortunately, he says for a variety of reasons this year, IMPD's hiring funnel has been turned upside down.
“Logistically, it does not appear possible to out hire the number of officers that are leaving,” said Snyder.
Exactly one year ago to the day, a police vehicle pursuit ended with two IMPD officers shooting and killing an unarmed Aaron Bailey.
As a result, a controversial merit board hearing this year, in which the two officers were allowed to keep their jobs despite the chief's request they be fired, fractured morale within the department, according to Snyder.
“Officers feel like they are being treated like the bad guys versus having the support they need,” said Snyder.
The FOP president now claims the department will lose 96 officers this year and maybe more. Furthermore, he said there are only 86 budgeted to be hired. That difference comes during a time of record violence.
On the other hand, the police chief said the number of expected departures is actually 85. Although that number is higher than the 69 they initially predicted, most of those are retirements that have nothing to do with morale.
But who do you believe has the pulse of the organization, the FOP president or chief of police?
“It concerns us people are leaving. That's a lot of knowledge walking out the door, but we're an older police department,” said IMPD Chief Bryan Roach. “I haven't heard that anyone retired because of a decision I made or because of morale. This is a different job than it was 20 years ago.”
While the IMPD just swore in a new recruit class this month, many factors, like a strong economy and violence against police nationwide has made it difficult to recruit.
Still, the chief says the goal remains gaining 31 new officers every year for 4 years, for a total of 1,712 at the end of this year.
“I anticipate I may not be at that 1,712, but we'll have more officers on this department than we've ever had,” said Roach.
IMPD is not alone. Law Enforcement Today recently reported on similar problems at Seattle Police Department.
The Seattle Police Department is experiencing a “mass exodus” of officers due to a lack of support from the city, an aggressive Office of Professional Accountability, and toxic city politics, multiple law enforcement sources confirm to the Jason Rantz Show.
These losses aren't solely due to attrition. These are young and mid-career officers who are unhappy with the city, reported Jason Rantz for mynorthwest.com .
“There are lots of people walking out the door,” an officer explained. “This is a mass exodus. We're losing people left and right. Why stick around when the City Council doesn't appreciate you? [These officers are] fleeing the ‘Seattle mentality.'”
Rantz said the officers he spoke to are apprehensive. And it stems, in part, from their experiences with the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA).
The frustrations have been building for years. Many officers have complained they're investigated for every minor complaint, including perceived rudeness.
The OPA has been prickly for many officers who feel it is exceeding its mission. Civilian-lead, the purpose of the OPA is to ensure officer compliance with federal, state, and local laws. But officers that Rantz spoke to feel the office drifted dramatically off course.
The United States Is One of the World's Safest Countries
What role does law enforcement play?
by Leonard Sipes
Some suggest that the United States is one of the world's most violent countries. Some suggest that it's comparatively safe. Who is correct?
For decades, we have been told that the United States is one of the world's most violent countries, filled with dangerous cities and endless illegal firearms. Critics cite a history of violence towards any group not part of mainstream life. Movies and television shows portray the American West as endlessly violent (it wasn't). China currently warns visitors about gun violence in American cities. I've heard dozens of times that violence is as American as apple pie.
The observation of the U.S. being one of the world's most violent countries isn't true; there are an endless array of countries with more serious crime problems, Crime in America.
No one is suggesting that the United States doesn't have a problem with violent crime (especially in recent years), but the portrayal of America as one of the most violent countries was always a myth.
Gallup's Law and Order Index provides some context as to where the U.S. stands in relation to other countries and safety.
Gallup (direct quotes)
Gallup sees strong relationships between people's answers to questions about their own security and their own experiences with crime and law enforcement and external measures related to economic and social development. These relationships illustrate how high crime rates can often suppress social cohesion and negatively affect economic performance.
Gallup's Law and Order Index uses four questions to gauge people's sense of personal security and their personal experiences with crime and law enforcement:
In the city or area where you live, do you have confidence in the local police force?
Do you feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?
Within the last 12 months, have you had money or property stolen from you or another household member?
Within the past 12 months, have you been assaulted or mugged?
The 2018 Global Law and Order report presents the results from Gallup's latest measurements of people's answers to these questions based on more than 148,000 interviews with adults in 142 countries and areas in 2017.
Latin America and the Caribbean Score Lowest on Security. As in previous years, people in Latin America and the Caribbean are the least likely among all global regions to feel secure in their communities.
The region scored a 62 on Gallup's Law and Order Index — slightly worse than its score of 64 in 2016.
Residents of the U.S. and Canada, Southeast Asia, East Asia and Western Europe are the most likely to feel secure, with index scores of 85 or higher.
When you look at individual countries, the United States ranks 35th out of 142 countries measured on Gallup's Law and Order Index with a score of 84.
Singapore was highest with a score of 97.
The vast majority of the countries scoring higher than the U.S. are small with a history of less complex population and religious demographics. There are exceptions such as Canada (score of 90), China (score of 88), Spain and Germany (score of 85).
The lowest scoring countries include Mexico (score of 40), South Africa (score of 31) and Venezuela (score of 17).
The United States is not one of the world's most violent countries regardless of its current crime problems. We've known that for many years.
In fact, many of the 34 countries posting higher scores than the US are small and lacking in the intense multicultural aspects of American life. Generally speaking, traditionally homogeneous societies have less crime.
I'm not quite sure that comparing Singapore, Norway or Iceland (top three scoring countries for safety) to the United States indicates a level playing field. Same with Finland, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Denmark, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden and others who had better scores. It would be like comparing Montana to France.
If you only included large, multicultural and multireligious societies, the United States would score much higher. Regardless, placing 35 out of 142 countries isn't shabby.
Yes, we have our problems with violence, but there are many others far worse.
Police Chaplains . Life
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Tell your chaplain about www.policechaplains.life, a secure, free online meeting place to learn, network, and debrief.
(Video on site)
Officer buys food for hungry kids after mother's medical emergency
When the children told the officer they hasn't eaten for a day, the officer stepped in
by PoliceOne Staff
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina officer went above and beyond for two children after their mother suffered a medical emergency.
WJZY reported that a Charlotte-Mecklenburg officer, identified as Officer Harkey, responded to a call at a home about a woman in extreme crisis. When the woman had to be taken for medical evaluation, her two children, under the age of 10, had nowhere to go.
Harkey took the children to a temporary group home for children, where they would be safe while their mother was gone. While en route to the home, the officer asked the children when they last had a meal.
When the kids told him they hadn't eaten since the day prior, Harkey pulled over to a Chick-Fil-A and bought them each a meal with his own money.
The CMPD recognized the officer's act of kindness on Facebook. The department said his kind act only came to light because he had to inform dispatch that he was making a stop while driving the children to the temporary home.
"Some calls can be heartbreaking but it's a simple random act of kindness that can change a life,” the department wrote.
(Video on site)
Richmond County authorities push gun safety message
by Jozsef Papp
When 4-year-old Justin Foss Jr. fatally shot himself with his father's gun July 7, according to authorities, it represented a fairly rare occurrence in the Augusta area.
The Columbia County Sheriff's Office and Aiken Department of Public Safety haven't had a case in which a child was hurt or died as a result of an unintentional firearm discharge in years. The North Augusta Department of Public Safety has had four cases since 2014 in which a firearm was discharged unintentionally, but none of them involved children.
The most recent similar case was 2017, in which the Aiken County Sheriff's Office responded to an incident in which a father gave a handgun to his 3-year-old child to chase someone and the gun discharged, striking the victim in the chest.
Between 2012 to 2016, there were 17 deaths in Georgia as a result of unintentional discharge of firearms for children less than 1 to 15 years old, according to the latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In South Carolina, for the same time frame and age group, there have been 15 deaths as a result of unintentional discharge of a firearm.
Capt. Martin Sawyer, an investigator with the Aiken Department of Public Safety, believes gun safety is important to keep everyone safe in a home. He said parents need to be responsible and lock their guns up so children can't get to them.
Like Sawyer, Sgt. William McCarty, a public information officer at the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, feels parents should take every precaution to secure a weapon. He recommends using things such as lock boxes or gun locks.
“Pretty much from the time a child is able to move around, to crawl and to walk and as they get older, it's very important to secure your weapons. Keep them out of reach from the children, if at all possible,” McCarty said. “It can take seconds for a child to get out of your sight. It can take just a couple of minutes for a tragedy to occur.”
Both McCarty and Sawyer say it's important to talk to children about gun safety.
“When a child gets old enough where you can have a conversation with them to teach them about guns in the house and to stay away from them,” McCarty said. “Something we want to stress, too – just because you don't have a gun or a firearm in your home, that it's still important to talk to your kids about guns and gun safety.”
McCarty said sometimes children go to other households or places where they might encounter a gun, so they need to be taught not handle the weapon and find an adult.
Steven Fishman, a gun owner and president of Sidney's Department Store & Uniforms, sells guns at his store. When making a sale, he said he makes sure the customer understands gun safety and the gun they are thinking of purchasing.
“You try to be realistic about the sale. You have to actually look a customer over and realize how they handle the gun,” Fishman said. “Whether they are afraid of the gun, afraid of it being loaded, the intentions that they have when they begin to think about home safety with a firearm. You have to, based on your experience, look at the customer and try to come up with the best possible fit for their need.”
He feels that if you own a firearm, your primary concern should always be safety.
“A wise old man once told me, ‘Safety, safety, safety. First, last and always.' Firearms are tools,” Fishman said. “They are developed for several reasons, one of them which is for personal safety. If a tool is used in an improper fashion, it is dangerous.”
Jack Logan, the founder of the group Put the Guns Down Now Young People, was recently in Augusta to give out gun locks to people who wanted them. He came to Augusta after he heard about the Foss death. Justin W. Foss Sr., 27, was indicted on a felony murder charge, and he and his wife, Shelby, were also indicted on charges of murder in the second degree and cruelty to children in the second degree. .
“I have been keeping up with violence in Augusta, and the first thing I thought about was gun locks,” Logan said. “I feel that gun locks are the key to protecting, not only children, but innocent adults.”
His organization aims to educate teenagers and young people to stay away from gun violence and guns. Logan said adults should be taught how to use a weapon prior to purchasing one, in order to eliminate accidental deaths.
In the U.S. between 2012 and 2016, there were 334 deaths as a result of unintentional discharge of firearms for children aged less than 1 to 15 years old, according to CDC data. In 2016, there were 81 deaths from unintentional discharge of firearms for the same age group nationwide.
However, in the U.S., for all ages, there were 2,498 deaths as a result of unintentional discharge of firearms between 2012 to 2016, with 131 in Georgia and 88 in South Carolina, according to the CDC data.
McCarty said education and keeping firearms secure are essential to decreasing the number of accidental shootings. Both the Richmond County Sheriff's Office and Aiken Department of Public Safety have held gun safety events and safety talks with different organization across the area.
McCarty encourages people to call the sheriff's office if they have any questions about gun safety. Aiken Public Safety provides free gun locks to residents , Sawyer said.
“Part of our job is to keep our community safe,” Sawyer said. “If we can provide gun locks that parents will use to put on their guns and it saves one life, it's worth what it costs us to get them.”
Sawyer wants people to be cautious when handling or securing a gun to ensure accidents don't happen.
“You can't take back what is already done,” he said. “Be cautious and take the precautions to prevent these accidents from happening. Be responsible for the gun you have in your house.”
Gun safety tips
- Store guns and ammunition so they are not accessible to children.
- Talk to your child about guns and gun safety.
- Having gun safety discussions might result in a child being less curious about guns and more willing to follow safety rules.
- Keep guns out of reach of children.
- Keeps guns locked up or locked with a gun lock.
- Teach children not to touch guns and if they see a gun to leave it alone and tell an adult.
- If children visit another home, talk to the parents about gun safety.
- Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
- Don't keep guns in your home if someone in your family has a mental illness, severe depression or potential for violence.
- Always point a gun in a safe direction.
- Keep fingers off the trigger until ready to shoot.
Source: Columbia County Sheriff's Office, Aiken Department of Public Safety, Richmond County Sheriff's Office
The Flag and Free Expression
University of Kansas removes art after governor finds it disrespectful. Was this about public safety or political sensibilities?
by Emma Whitford
An art piece at the University of Kansas featuring a U.S. flag with illustrations on it is stirring up a decades-old debate: Should the flag get special protection under the First Amendment? The Supreme Court says no and has affirmed the right to burn the flag, but the Kansas dispute is one of many in which colleges have been questioned for uses of the flag to make art and/or political points.
"Untitled (Flag 2)" by German artist Josephine Meckseper was intended to serve as commentary on the deep divisions in the United States, according to a statement by the artist. Meckseper drip painted a rough illustration of the U.S. on the flag and a striped sock in the left-hand corner to symbolize children imprisoned on the border. Some are viewing the work as an affront to active military and veterans. Among them is Kansas governor Jeff Colyer, who called for the flag's removal in a statement Wednesday.
“The disrespectful display of a desecrated American flag on the KU campus is absolutely unacceptable,” the statement read. "I demand that it be taken down immediately."
After speaking with Colyer, the university's chancellor, Doug Girod, ordered the removal of the flag , and it is now awaiting a new home inside the Spencer Museum of Art.
The University of Kansas cited public safety concerns as the reason for the flag's removal, but some at Kansas are skeptical about the severity of any threats related to the art piece. In discussions on Twitter and Facebook, users mocked the safety concerns, with one commenter saying the university was "full of crap" about the rationale and another writing that the concerns were code for being "unable and unwilling to protect free speech." The university did not respond to requests to comment on the details of the threats or the flag's removal. According to the university police's daily crime log , an individual reported being harassed on the phone at the Spencer Art Museum around 1 p.m. Wednesday. It is unclear if the incident is related to the flag display.
Peter Bonilla, vice president of programs at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said public safety concerns are not uncommon excuses for censorship on campus.
"We've had enough experience of universities using the public safety justification to rationalize censorship, and in many of those cases, it turns out it wasn't an issue of public safety but a PR move," he said. "People are reasonable to be skeptical of those kinds of justifications until KU shows its work."
The University of Kansas College Republicans sparked the discussion that led to the governor's demands.
"We would like to know who approved and authorized this display of the flag," the group wrote in a Facebook post tagging the university. "Simply put, this is disgusting."
Of late, Republican politicians have generally portrayed themselves as champions of unabashed free speech on campus. But Bonilla said that many people have a few issues that they feel fall outside those principles.
"We see a lot of arguments of the ‘I'm all for free speech, but …' variety," Bonilla said, the flag being the "but" in this case. "Clearly [the flag is] something that when it is used in a way that people find offensive, there's a strong reaction," he said. "I think any of us could think of a way that the American flag could be appropriated that we would find offensive."
The University of Kansas isn't the first to face criticism for flag-related art. Broward College received pushback in February for an art piece that resembled the flag as a doormat , an art exhibit involving the flag at the University of Nevada at Reno (at right) was criticized in November and protests erupted at Valdosta State University back in 2015 after students repeatedly stepped on the flag at a demonstration.
Few people admit to favoring censorship, said Nadine Strossen, a law professor at New York Law School and former president of the American Civil Liberties Union. Instead they advocate protection and safety.
"I'm not aware of even the most adamant censor who agrees that the c-word applies to him to her," she said. "I think strategically, it makes sense not to be against something but to be for somebody -- 'I'm not against your message, but I'm for veterans.'"
When it comes to college campuses, Strossen believes that political pressure can dictate what's censored and what's not, instead of free speech commitments that she believes should always be paramount.
"Whatever message is the most unpopular on that campus, or by politicians around that campus, that's what's going to be censored," she said. ?
A recent report by FIRE chronicles a history of art censorship by colleges and universities. Meckseper's work is an example of how quickly an artist's intention can be lost in the noise of public reaction. Meckseper wrote about her work for Creative Time, the organization sponsoring her piece and 15 others as part of the "Pledges of Allegiance" collection.
"The flag is a collage of an American flag and one of my dripped paintings which resembles the contours of the United States. I divided the shape of the country in two for the flag design to reflect a deeply polarized country in which a president has openly bragged about harassing women and is withdrawing from the Kyoto protocol and UN Human Rights Council," Meckseper wrote.?
Guest Oped: What Community Policing can mean to Trenton
by Rolando Ramos, Retired Trenton Police Lieutenant
Most everyone has heard the phrase “Community Policing” but few truly understand its meaning. “Community Policing” is a major buzz phrase when discussing public safety in today's world. As a retired police lieutenant, my hope is that by presenting a proper definition, the expectations of the community will be more in line with what the police department can actually accomplish.
Misunderstanding of flashpoint issues takes many forms. As I attended the numerous public mayoral forums leading up to the first Mayoral election on May 8 th , I was astonished how some of the seven individuals who were running for office could not accurately articulate or define “Community Policing”, let alone describe how they would implement it.
One candidate, for example, continually focused solely on forcing officers back into the city as a form of “Community Policing”. His thought process was that by forcing officers to live in the city, the citizens could knock on their doors at any time for them to solve problems. While having more police living in the city may help in some instances, the probability that the city could force all of its officers back is unlikely. In addition, state guidelines only use residency as a requirement in becoming a police officer during the testing and hiring processes. State law would need to be changed for any future residency requirement.
Another candidate's version of “Community Policing” would have mandated officers to “volunteer” as coaches and mentors. The word volunteer in and of itself means someone who freely gives of himself or herself. To force officers to volunteer is an oxymoron and that candidate did not have any regard to the officer's own personal lives and responsibilities.
One candidate continually attacked hiring practices stating that his “Community Policing” policy would force the police department to hire more of “our children” as a means of implementing “Community Policing”.
While this candidate played on the current divide between the community and the police as a means to garner votes, he never explained why there weren't more homegrown officers on the force or how he would work to hire more officers reflective of the community's diversity.
Having always present foot patrols as the “Community Policing” panacea for what ails the city's public safety needs was introduced by yet another candidate. While foot patrols may have worked in earlier historical time periods (where crime and violence was not as pervasive), limited resources makes it almost impossible to provide foot patrols as a mainstay of Trenton's policing. The necessity to be readily available for critical incidents limits the ability to provide this type of old-style policing. However, a proper public safety plan can provide better officer/community relationships and allow officers to do more in terms of being more interactive with the community.
Sadly, these political interpretations are short-sighted and create more divisions, anger and mistrust between the community and the police.
In its purest form, “Community Policing”:
· creates partnerships between law enforcement and the community in an effort to prevent crime before it happens;
· builds a safe social environment by engaging residents in helping to determine which crimes they are most affected by; and,
· encourages residents to assist the police in keeping their communities safe.
Simply put, “Community Policing” utilizes organizational transformations, community partnerships and innovative problem solving in an effort, which is usually forgotten when discussing community policing, to ENFORCE THE LAW.
“Community Policing” is not solely about lollipops and teddy bears as one retired officer once stated. It is about engaging the community to partner with the police in helping to make geographical neighborhoods and business areas safer. Only by working together in a truly concerted effort can we significantly curtail the success of individuals bent on causing chaos and mayhem.
Please understand that building these relationships involves everyone for “Community Policing” to truly take shape and work. Everyone includes elected officials, police, religious institutions, media, business owners, non-profits, hospitals, and the residents of this city working hand-in-hand to proactively identify and work to address current and potential public safety problems. By creating these relationships, Trenton can become a safer place and a city we can all be proud of.
NLR Officer's Community Policing Takes Step Further
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - From a million followers on social media to a non-profit aiming at making a difference, North Little Rock police officer Tommy Norman is without a doubt searching for solutions in Central Arkansas.
"If I'm not making a difference here then the followers don't matter," says officer Tommy Norman.
You've seen him on the Today Show, on CNN, and probably on Instagram.
"God has really blessed me with a worldwide platform but my heart is here in North Little Rock, my heart is here in Arkansas," says Tommy Norman.
Officer Tommy Norman, no doubt, has made a name for himself with a giving heart, and that's why two years ago he started a non-profit.
"It's my way of knowing that when my career is over as a police officer, I still have a chance to give, I still have a chance to make a difference," says Tommy Norman.
It's called the Mission Give Foundation and it is making a difference with donations both locally and around the region, but its heart is much like its founder, hitting the streets.
"For us to keep our promise to the community, for us to keep our promise to get out and to get to know people, to get to know their stories, but most importantly to come back," says Tommy Norman.
Board member Gina Trotter knows with passion like this anything is possible.
"I have a sense of peace in mind, I think that Officer Norman's focus is right on target," says Mission Give Board Member Gina Trotter.
Building bridges and breaking barriers, Mission Give is searching for solutions in Central Arkansas.
"You have to be out there every day, you have to be seen, you have to be involved," says Tommy Norman.
In just a couple of weeks, officer Norman is hosting Mission Give Day.
It is a free event for the public, for more information click here.
Schember releases eight "priorities" in community policing review
In April, Erie Police Chief Dan Spizarny and community members launched the Strengthening Police and Community Partnership. It's a plan aimed at building better relationships between police and Erie residents.
by Matt Knoedler
In April, Erie Police Chief Dan Spizarny and community members launched the Strengthening Police and Community Partnership. It's a plan aimed at building better relationships between police and Erie residents.
At his weekly news conference, Thursday, Mayor Joe Schember revealed some of their findings.
“The first one is education, cultural awareness and sensitivity, generally,” Schember said. “We're not pointing the finger at any group. We're just saying generally in our community, we need more of that.”
That's one of just eight priorities the Schember administration wants to implement as soon as this year. They include the following:
- Education/cultural awareness/sensitivity
- Addressing racism/stereotypes
- Police Dept. representative of community
- Family structure/parental control
- Human & material resources/police
- Us vs. Them
The city will work with the Multicultural Community Resource Center and other agencies to build break down barriers with the city's growing refugee population. Last month, Erie News Now showed you police work with those groups, using translators and interpreters to help during emergencies.
“We want to build that bridge so we can all be on the same page,” said Fatima Alimohamed, a member of the SPCP Council.
But developing a plan of action is key. From that meeting, the SPCP has organized a council to turn those eight priorities into reality.
“It's only going to help in so many different ways, when people feel trusted and they can trust the police and the police can trust in the people,” said Stephanie Montgomery, a member of the SPCP Council.
Some of those solutions include activities that engage Erie's youth, such as the Police Athletic League (PAL); enhanced education between both parties; and assigning police to a neighborhood, so they can learn more about the residents and vice versa. That, Schember says, is a cornerstone of community policing.
“Members of (SPCP) Council are committed to attending these events and interacting with the officers, introducing them to residents, and trying to build those relationships,” he said.
Let's redefine community policing: It should not be a paramilitary force
by Andrea McChristian
Fifty-one years ago today, the Newark Rebellion was sparked by police abuse of a black cab driver . At that time, the police force was overwhelmingly white in a city with a substantial black population. Newark residents took to the streets to protest law enforcement abuse and the oppressive conditions under which they had been forced to live.
Fifty-one years later, and on the second anniversary of the Newark Police Division Consent Decree , this story of policing is part of a broader national conversation.
In today's America, on any given day, there is another police-involved shooting. Another unarmed black person. Another failure to indict the officer responsible. The tragic shooting of black people, from city to city, has become our status quo.
In the face of this endless wave of violence, numerous solutions have been advanced to stem the tide. More policies and practices! Better training! Increased oversight! Transparent accountability!
But underlying this discussion are two threshold questions: Who polices? And what does it mean to police?
A constant refrain that I have heard time and time again in response to this second question is that "the police are a paramilitary force."
Instead of seeing New Jersey police departments as agencies that treat communities as enemy combatants in war, how do we instead build a relationship of trust between law enforcement and the communities it serves?
To that point, much has been made of the concept of community policing. According to the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, community policing is "a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime."
Yet, to me, community policing is so much more. A true vision for community policing is one in which, far from being a paramilitary force, law enforcement joins together in partnership with the community; police officers are held accountable for their misconduct; and there is a recognition of the historic broken relationship between law enforcement and the community in building the way forward.
In short, effective community policing must bring together law enforcement and the community to problem solve and strengthen understanding. And it would stand to reason that ensuring law enforcement represents the community it serves would be of paramount interest in carrying out these goals.
New Jersey has significant work to do in this area. A 2015 Governing report found that New Jersey police departments are characterized by some of the greatest underrepresentation of people of color vis-a-vis communities served among the country's largest police departments. And a 2017 survey assessment of 1,050 Newark Police Division officers and 42 non-officers found that 37.9 precent identified as black in a city that is 50.2 percent black ; even more stark, 40 percent of those surveyed identified as white, while just 24.4 percent of Newark is white .
Importantly, the work to create a community policing model cannot be done until law enforcement agencies first grapple with the harsh reality that generational discord, trauma, and conflict have undermined the relationship between law enforcement and the community. Police must take a step back and listen to what the community wants and needs. What they need to police. Who they want to police. And why they should police.
But what could such a community policing model look like in practice?
First, law enforcement agencies should look to the community to put forth recommendations on potential recruits from their own neighborhoods. Since community members are the ones policed, they are in the ideal position to recommend which of their own members would do the job well. In addition to the selection of potential recruits, community members can also be asked their top priorities for policing in the neighborhood -- a dialogue that should ultimately frame policing strategy.
In this way, community members have ownership over the policing of their communities, increasing police legitimacy and community-police relations. Law enforcement agencies should also commit themselves to funding and implementing these community recommendations.
And second, to supplement these community proposals, law enforcement agencies must do more to increase community recruitment, including by developing positive relationships with local schools to identify students who exhibit the necessary skills to become effective and respected officers, strengthening mentoring opportunities between current officers from the local community and potential recruits, and providing comprehensive support and resources to prepare local applicants for the civil service exam and any other requirements.
With this, we can eventually reach a point where the police are unequivocally and uniformly not a paramilitary force policing the community. Instead, they will be the community. https://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/07/lets_redefine_community_policing_it_should_not_be.html
APD continues to push toward community-focused policing
by Jessi Devenvns
Since the Austin Police Department made its switch to a more community-oriented focus last year , it has continued to plow forward in its efforts to reorient its policies and position APD more as a force for the people.
In a presentation to the Public Safety Commission on July 2, Police Chief Brian Manley updated commissioners on the status of the department's two-year-old project to implement its new set of recommendations from a report prepared in 2016 by Matrix Consulting Group. Council hired the group to study APD's current practices and recommend improvements to strengthen the department's relationship with residents. The department has completed 50 of the 79 recommendations, and 25 are still in progress. However, there are two recommendations that the department opposes.
APD continues to oppose one recommendation from the Matrix report that suggests tracking the time that police officers spend volunteering with community organizations when they're off duty. Manley said that tracking volunteer hours would make them mandatory, which would be an overreach into an employee's personal life that could potentially be illegal.
Nevertheless, said Manley, the department encourages officers to be involved in civic life and volunteer in their free time.
Another recommendation that the department is opposed to is bringing community service officers into the department. Manley said routine calls “can always turn into an incident pretty quickly,” and he does not want a civilian mistaken for an officer if a situation becomes dangerous.
Still, changes have been made to the structure and mentality of the policing in the city. “We have rewritten the vision for the APD,” said Manley, and the department has also changed its mission statement “through innovative strategies and community engagement.”
More concretely, the department will increase its number of patrol commanders from five to nine, so that each of the nine districts can have a dedicated leader, and five out of 18 commanders are already assigned to the streets as officers to oversee patrol units. “Fifty percent of our command staff is actually assigned to the patrol function,” said Manley.
Commissioner Sam Holt applauded the department's efforts but asked how not having a contract with the city is affecting the police's relationship with community policing.
According to Manley, the situation does not change day-to-day activities. He said lacking a city contract only limits the manpower the department has access to because of attrition. If too many officers leave the department, he explained, it will not be equipped to provide adequate community engagement “because (officers) will spend too much time answering calls.”
With 168 officers on staff and a “caseload (that) grows year after year,” APD will need to continue hiring officers to serve both on the streets and in the office as investigators. Sadly, with no more thrills and chills in the recent revamp of the recruiting video, things may be a little less exciting for potential recruits.
Santa Cruz police offer de-escalation training for community
Santa Cruz Police Department Chief Andy Mills wrote the following blog Monday announcing de-escalation training for community members
"Mental Health Crisis"
Put a football helmet on your head, grab some drumsticks and pound (lightly) on the helmet with the sticks while someone is talking to you. What do you hear? You hear the pounding of the drumsticks of course. A person hearing voices in their head hears the sound of drumsticks, not you. So how does one deal with a person having a psychotic break or a person hearing voices?
This week SCPD will begin de-escalation training for community members. The idea of the exercise is to help educate community members who are forced to confront people challenged with mental health issues. Students will learn to de-escalate the conflict until the police can arrive and take over. It has been our experience that confrontations occasionally get amped up into a physical confrontation due to a lack of knowledge, and training in de-escalation.
Don't feel bad, the police have lived this experience thousands of times and have only recently learned to de-escalate mental health problems through Critical Incident Training and now Tactical De-escalation.
While the police are not perfect in our handling people in crisis, 1/3 of all police shootings are people with mental health problems, we are getting better and now pass some of what we have learned to community members.
I want to be clear, not all confrontations can be de-escalated, and we are not asking community members to proactively attempt to confront people in crisis or place themselves in jeopardy. This training is for when a crisis finds you.
In de-escalation training, community members will learn how to assess the symptoms of a disorder and put distance and objects between the person having an episode and themselves. Attendees will receive hands-on practical learning to distinguish between a mood and thought disorder and how to use tactics to improve personal safety.
Yes, it's scary to deal with people in crisis, however, learning to build a safe space while a person is in crisis will only make you safer. In doing so, we promote Safety Through Vigilance.
The first class is completely full with a waiting list, and another is planned for August 14, 2018. You can sign up by contacting Carter Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling my office at (831) 420 5810."
--Click here for more information
BRPD to teach kids soccer skills through new camp
by WBRZ Staff
BATON ROUGE - Young soccer fans yearning to learn more about the sport can do so through the Baton Rouge Police Department's inaugural soccer camp.
'Kicking with the Badge' is a camp for kids 7 to 14 years old. According to BRPD, the free camp will run from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. July 17-20. During the camp, children will learn how to play soccer, receive mentoring, and learn new skills.
The camp is limited to the first 100 kids who sign up. Applications can be picked up at BRPD headquarters.
For more information, contact the BRPD Community Policing Division at 225-389-4801.
Why local law enforcement is a cornerstone of homeland security
Building strong relationships with the community allows local police to develop sources of information that can be vital to preventing acts of terror
by Waldorf University
Since September 11, 2001, law enforcement has worked closely with federal agencies to more effectively coordinate strategies to prevent and respond to terrorism. However, despite the involvement of federal agencies, the Department of Homeland Security has always contended that homeland security begins with hometown security. In other words, the safety and security of our nation relies in large part on the men and women serving their communities all across the country, and their knowledge and insight into what's happening on their streets.
This focus on local law enforcement stems from the fact that when individuals or groups plan or execute acts of terror and violent extremism, regardless of their ideologies, the crimes are, in the vast majority of cases, local crimes. Terrorists generally aim to impact a specific local area, whether an outdoor market or demonstration in a small city or a major sporting event in a large urban center.
The crimes of planning and carrying out of acts of terror take place on a local level, meaning that local law enforcement is on the front line of protecting their communities. It's simply impractical — even impossible — for federal agents to monitor everything taking place in every community in America, and therefore it's vital to have local police on the streets serving as the eyes and ears for DHS — and building the relationships that can help keep our homeland safe.
Community Policing and Homeland Security
The idea of community policing is not necessarily new, but it has taken on new life in the post-9/11 world as the field of homeland security develops and officials learn more about what works when it comes to protecting our country. Officially, community policing is a proactive approach to law enforcement that requires working within the community to identify and solve the underlying issues that lead to crime and other public safety issues. The guiding principle of community policing is problem-solving; all police operations and decisions are guided by the notion of solving problems.
One prime example of community policing in the context of homeland security is the city of Dearborn, Michigan. Dearborn has one of the highest concentrations of Arab-Americans in the country; in 2001, nearly 200,000 people of Arab descent called Dearborn home. In the days and weeks following 9/11, hate crimes against Arabs in the U.S. increased by 1,700 percent , and Dearborn was a primary target, given its large Muslim population and erroneous reports that the people of the city were celebrating the attacks in New York and Pennsylvania.
However, unlike in many cities in the U.S. at the time, the Dearborn police stepped up protections of the Arab-Americans in their community. Although the residents of Dearborn may have had concerns about other aspects of the police force in their town, the response to the increased threats to those living in the community helped establish trust and foster stronger relationships, and became a model of community policing. Instead of responding to hate crimes after the fact, the police stepped up to prevent them from happening in the first place.
The Dearborn police response to terrorism after 9/11 underscored the role of local law enforcement and community policing in the fight against terror. Community policing in terms of terrorism and extremism should be focused on community protection. This includes investigating suspicious packages and behavior, securing and patrolling potential targets of attacks, and developing emergency response plans to limit casualties by training future officers with emergency management degrees .
Again, community policing is about building partnerships with the community and proactive problem-solving. Maintaining those partnerships through trust is a crucial element to community policing, and sometimes requires a complicated balancing act.
In the case of Dearborn, federal officials requested that local police officers interview a number of foreign U.S. visa holders who hailed from countries with suspected ties to terrorism. While these interviews were voluntary, and designed only to provide officials with information that might be useful in the war on terror, the residents of Dearborn were concerned that the meetings were little more than ethnic profiling, and could result in deportation or worse. The police were concerned that the mere fact that they were conducting the interviews would irreparably damage the trust they had built with the people of the community. Ultimately, the police were only present at the interviews, and did not conduct them, but the entire incident revealed the delicate nature of local law enforcement's role in homeland security, and the importance of maintaining a strong community police presence.
Ultimately, the concept of community policing is effective in preventing terrorism, as well as street and property crime. Building strong relationships with the community allows local police to develop sources of information that can be vital to preventing acts of terror, something that is all but impossible for federal intelligence agencies.
Community policing also engages the public in homeland security, helping to ensure that accurate information is shared, and that citizens are equipped with the tools and knowledge they need to help keep their communities secure. In the end, local police truly are a cornerstone of homeland security.
To Stop Fatal Police Shootings, Cities Should Look to the 1980s
by Rachel Dovey
What do airplane crashes, surgical errors and nuclear power plant meltdowns have in common? According to a paper from criminologist Lawrence W. Sherman, as “rare events in complex systems,” they hold valuable lessons for city police departments — particularly in the area of reducing fatal shootings.
Sherman's research, published in the 2018 Annual Review of Criminology, takes a detached and wide-lens look at fatal police shootings, in what he terms a “system-crash prevention approach.” Particularly of interest to municipal leaders, as the Washington Post recently pointed out , is the now mostly-forgotten fact that cities dramatically reduced police gun violence through a series of training and legal reforms throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s — and if the political will were there, history could repeat itself.
From the paper:
From 1970 through 1985, 50 cities of more than 250,000 residents each took actions that cut in half the annual total count of citizens killed by police in those cities from 353 to 172 per year (Sherman & Cohn 1986). The major change during this period was a growing ban on shooting nonviolent fleeing suspects. This now-forgotten change in police-citizen violence saw both killings by and killings of police fall dramatically, by 51 percent and 65 percent, respectively.
Reform-minded police chiefs such as Patrick Murphy in Washington, D.C. (who later moved to New York City), played a big part in those reductions as well, according to the Post. Murphy implemented changes in the areas of training, supervision and monitoring, even going so far as to establish what Sherman terms “the equivalent of a National Transportation Safety Board” to conduct inquiries on each firearms discharge.
But police killings went back up in the ‘90s, when big-city homicide rates spiked and, in response, many law enforcement agencies switched from revolvers to semiautomatic pistols. A Supreme Court decision around the same time made the now-infamous ruling that officers could justify their gun-fire if they reasonably believed a life were in danger.
“Although many leaders of black communities in cities both large and small seemed well aware of the continuing police killings they faced, by the mid-1990s the national good news of declining general homicide rates became the dominant long-term crime story,” according to the paper.
Of course, using criminology to deter police brutality isn't a new idea — it's just a chronically under-funded one, particularly since President Trump slashed funding for the COPS community policing program earlier this year. (Even before the cut, that program was sometimes criticized for fostering too many buzzwords and team-building barbecues and too few actual reforms.)
But the paper takes aim at several real-city examples — the Cleveland killing of Tamir Rice (a 12-year-old holding a toy gun), for example, contrasted with what could easily have been another slaying in Camden, New Jersey. In Camden, however, officers formed a circle around a man wielding an actual knife, followed him around, cleared traffic and had tasers at the ready, but eventually de-escalated the situation instead of using force.
“Note that this case does not require the re-engineering of an entire police agency,” Sherman writes. “All it required was a focus on patience. What Camden did can arguably be attempted in any police agency of any size in the United States …”
The paper can be read here.
Murder and rape up in NYC, says NYPD
Despite uptick in serious crime, overall crime is at a six-month low
by Kristin Toussaint
The number of murders and rapes in New York City have increased in the first half of 2018, the New York Police Department announced on Tuesday, but the overall crime rate has dropped to record lows.
Murder is up 8.1 percent city-wide so far this year, but the total number of murders, 147, is still the second lowest amount for a six-month period in the modern era, police said.
The Bronx is driving this increase, NYPD Chief of Patrol Terry Monahan said at a Tuesday news conference in the borough, with 58 homicides having occurred there in the first half of 2018 — which is 21 more murders than the same period last year. There have been 29 fatal shootings in the Bronx so far, compared to 17 by this time last year.
“We see this trend throughout the rest of city as well,” Monahan said, “with 82 murders citywide this year by way of shooting, increase of 20. So our shootings are going down, but the people who have died after they were shot has gone up."
The other crime in New York City that has increase is rape, which is up 33.2 percent so far in 2018 compared to the first half of last year. The number of reported domestic rapes — historically, Monahan said, the most underreported crime — has increased even more, by 37.4 percent.
This increase is actually encouraging to law enforcement, Monahan said.
“Rape, we've always know, has often been an underreported crime — nationally, they say one of the most underreported — and we've been pushing people to come out and report it,” he said. “That's one crime that when it goes up, it's actually a good thing, because more people are coming forward.”
But it's not all bad news. Overall crime across the five boroughs is down 1.8 percent compared to the first six months of 2017, and the NYPD also made 11.5 percent fewer arrests over the same time period, for a total of nearly 17,000 fewer arrests so far this year.
The number of robberies, burglaries and grand larceny have all dropped, as have the overall number of shooting incidents, though there have been more fatal shootings, police said, which is tied to the increase in murders.
“We have exceeded historic reductions that we had achieved at this time last year,” Monahan said.
Efforts underway to reduce crime in New York City
Mayor Bill de Blasio commended the overall decrease in crime in New York City, but noted that there's still more work to do to make this "the safest big city in America."
Part of the effort to increase safety here come through community policing initiatives, and to help connect community members and police officers even further, the mayor announced that the 40th Precinct will get a new station house.
Construction has already begun on the new South Bronx station house, which is set to cost $68 million and to be completed by spring of 2021. The new 42,000 square-foot building will be located at 567 East 149th Street and have a dedicated space for the community to help strengthen “the bond between neighborhood and police,” officials say.
“All the people who live, work and visit here will be able to come in and be part of the police department like nowhere else in the five boroughs,” NYPD Commissioner James P. O'Neill said at the news conference. “Our message to New Yorkers going forward is ‘These are your station houses.'”
NLEOMF: 24 percent increase in firearms-related LODDs in 2918
Seventy-three LEOs were killed in the line of duty in the first half of 2018, 31 of which were firearms-related
by PoliceOne Staff
WASHINGTON — A total of 73 LEOs were killed in the line of duty in the first half of 2018, 31 of which were firearms-related, according to a new report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
On Tuesday, the NLEOMF issued its 2018 Mid-Year Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report with preliminary data through June 30, 2018. The report revealed a seven percent increase in LODDs over the same period last year.
Out of the 73 LODDs, 31 LEOs were killed in firearms-related incidents, 27 were killed in traffic-related incidents and 15 died due to other causes such as job-related illnesses.
Firearms-related LODDs were the leading cause of LEO fatalities in the first half of 2018. The 31 firearms-related deaths were a 24 percent increase from the same period in 2017, which had 25.
According to the report, eight of the firearms-related LODDs occurred during arrest attempts . In addition, six LEOs were killed responding to domestic disturbance calls, and three were killed in ambushes.
Traffic-related LODDs also increased slightly in the first half of 2018 compared to the first half of 2017, which had 26 traffic-related LODDs. Fifteen officers died in the line of duty of other causes, the majority of which were job-related. That's down 17 percent from the 18 deaths attributed to other causes in the first half of 2017.
Florida has the most LODDs in the first half of 2018 with seven deaths. New York, North Carolina and Texas each lost four officers this year.