Many thanks to NAASCA's Terri Lanahan, Butte, Montana,
for her research into the news that appears on
the LACP & NAASCA web sites.
Report: Nashville needs more community policing, not stop
Report recommends redirecting officers to neighborhood policing
by Travis Loller
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Traffic stops in Nashville hurt community relations and don't have the intended effect of reducing crime, a new report found.
The report, which recommends redirecting officers to neighborhood policing, was accepted by both the police department and the local police union. The Fraternal Order of Police released a statement saying that it has expressed concern with the heavy emphasis on traffic stops for years.
The report comes as Nashville grapples with calls for more police accountability after a series of fatal shootings by police officers. A referendum creating a community oversight board for police passed overwhelmingly earlier this month despite heavy opposition from the Fraternal Order of Police.
Released Monday, the report found Nashville for years has relied on traffic stops as a crime-fighting strategy. In 2017 Nashville Police conducted approximately 250,000 stops, a much higher per capita rate than many comparable cities.
The report concluded that at least part of the disparity comes from a focus on making traffic stops in certain high-crime areas and is not necessarily evidence of racial bias. Nonetheless, the report states that the stops have created animosity and should be greatly reduced in favor of a focus on neighborhood policing.
Only about 2 percent of non-moving violation stops resulted in an arrest or the recovery of drugs or other contraband. The vast majority of citations involved with these stops were for driving with a revoked or suspended license. Until a federal judge declared the practice unconstitutional earlier this year, Tennessee routinely revoked and suspended the licenses of people unable to pay traffic fines, criminal fines or court costs.
Police Chief Steve Anderson said in a statement that the department can't turn a blind eye to all non-moving violations but "we can and will refocus and rededicate ourselves to strengthening community partnerships and engaging neighborhood residents in public safety initiatives that do not make vehicle stops a priority."
Anderson also said the community partnership effort is already underway in some neighborhoods and early reports are promising.
The report was prepared by the Policing Project at New York University School of Law after then-Mayor Megan Barry asked the group in 2017 to help develop strategies to end traffic stop disparities and improve community-police relations.
Ore. police foundation uses community fund to help those in need
Last week when an officer encountered a family with small children at a homeless camp, he used foundation funds to put them in a hotel
by Chelsea Deffenbacher
EUGENE, Ore. — Police officers aren't only armed with guns, pepper spray and Tasers.
Now they're also armed with debit cards to help people in need.
The Eugene Police Foundation recently took over fundraising for a small-scale community fund that's been used by EPD over the past several years. The foundation hopes to help the fund grow with a more steady stream of contributions, rather than past practices of relying on sporadic one-time donations.
Through this program, supervisors have debit cards to use when they encounter a person with a problem.
"The Eugene Police Department had an internal fund, funded through churches and citizens, but it wasn't consistent," said Foundation Board President Lee Lashway. "There was never any ongoing support for it, and they never had the ability to predict when funds would arrive. So they asked us to pick it up, to give more consistency for it. It's no longer inside the EPD, but it's part of the foundation. And we make no decisions on its use, we just support it financially."
Lt. Doug Mozan is one of the supervisors. He can recall a number of times people have been assisted by the community fund, including just last week when an officer encountered a family with small children at a homeless camp in west Eugene.
There was some uncertainty of whether a sex offender was also in the camp, Mozan said. Rather than attempt to talk to each member of the camp before placing the family in the camp, Mozan said officers instead saw an opportunity.
They used the fund to put the family into a hotel for a couple of nights. "We had an opportunity to house these guys, as it was rainy and cold," Mozan said. "We gave them a little rest, and that's what we're trying to provide."
Domestic violence victims who needed a place to stay for the night, homeless people who needed a pair of shoes, and a man who needed a car part to leave town and another who needed a bus ticket to go home are other examples Mozan recalled of when the fund has been put to good use.
The fund also helps Eugene citizens have more positive and proactive interactions with police, Lashway said. Some of what inspired the foundation to take over the fund was new Police Chief Chris Skinner, who came to Eugene at the end of April.
"Police foundations have a tendency to raise money to buy things, like a K-9 or a SWAT truck or Tasers," Chief Skinner said last month. "Which is really, really important. But the first thing I asked this foundation to entertain is to create a section of the foundation that has a community care fund — which is money that we raise that sits in a bank account and through the ability of giving debit cards to supervisors, we have the ability to access those community care funds for people in need that we see on a daily basis."
The foundation now is working on fundraising goals, which include securing $3,000 by the end of the year.
The fund is going to be dependent on community support, but officers will have the ability to provide a "simple little one-time assist," for those who really need it, Lashway said.
Lashway said he is looking forward to seeing how officers react to a more-stable funding source and how many people they are able to help.
Skinner said he wants the department to be seen as a strong charitable personality, with more funds used to help families, as well as programs like "Shop With A Cop" taking place for underprivileged children on Dec. 8 in Eugene.
Salt Lake City
Operation Rio Grande addresses perfect storm of public safety issues
State and local leaders developed a targeted, collaborative program to address homelessness, drug and criminal activity spiraling out of control in Salt Lake City
by Chief Brian Redd, P1 Contributor
On July 25, 2017, concerns regarding public safety in the Rio Grande District of downtown Salt Lake City reached an all-time high after three murders in less than two weeks and ongoing issues related to an active open-air drug market.
The Rio Grande District has seen several challenges in recent years as a result of the opioid crisis; a lack of affordable housing, rehab treatment options and jail capacity; and an increase in crime. Within the District, which covers approximately one square mile, an estimated 2,500 people were living on the streets immediately surrounding a homeless shelter infamously known as “The Block.”
Due to the concerns, state and local leaders came together in a way not seen since the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics to address a problem spiraling out of control. As a result, "Operation Rio Grande" was launched – an unprecedented partnership between state and local government to restore public order and safety in the Rio Grande District.
WHAT IS OPERATION RIO GRANDE?
Operation Rio Grande was designed to be a collaborative effort with three phases:
Law enforcement officers would be deployed into the district to restore order;
Increased treatment and services;
A dignity of work phase established to help individuals become self-sufficient.
This approach was intended to restore order and help those in need. Costs would be split between the state, county and city. Law enforcement would receive about a third of the funding.
The Utah Department of Public Safety received new funding from the state legislature to deploy 47 officers from its Utah Highway Patrol and State Bureau of Investigation into the Rio Grande District. Overtime shifts were used to backfill the vacancies left in other areas until additional personnel were hired.
OPERATION RIO GRANDE LAUNCHES AUGUST 2017
After three weeks of planning by the Department of Public Safety, the Salt Lake City Police Department, Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office/Unified Police Department and the Utah Department of Corrections, phase one of the operation was launched.
On August 14, 2017, over 120 officers descended on the Rio Grande District to take back the streets. While doing so, officers also focused on helping individuals connect to services. Social workers from the Salt Lake City Police Department and other state agencies were made available to assist in the early weeks.
Uniformed foot patrol to deter criminal activity.
Crime suppression and undercover operations by specialized teams based on intelligence analysis.
Co-responder model with officers and social workers to connect people to services.
Development of a high-utilizer program with district attorney, legal defense, jail and county treatment providers to help the highest utilizers of the criminal justice system through treatment to reduce recidivism.
Law enforcement presence inside the shelter including patron outreach and single-purpose K9 drug searches.
Community engagement through outreach meetings and listening sessions.
LAW ENFORCEMENT RESULTS
As the weeks and months progressed, crime decreased by over 40 percent in the area in 2018. Crime is also down city-wide by 25 percent. Shelter use and meal distribution numbers have remained stable through the operation. The street population has decreased significantly and several individuals have received services, including treatment and employment.
The aesthetics of the area have improved as well. Streets are cleaner with a significant decrease in the number of littered syringes, trash and feces. There has been minimal use of force incidents and complaints against law enforcement. Many using services in the area have expressed appreciation for the much improved circumstances.
CONCERNS FROM OTHER MUNICIPALITIES
A major concern by neighboring cities near Salt Lake City was that the operation would shift the homeless population and drug distribution to other areas. From the start state leaders have been committed to working with local jurisdictions to address concerns and tasked the Department of Public Safety to assist across the state.
The Department of Public Safety has a dedicated Operation Rio Grande narcotics unit to address drug distribution and violent crime, and a separate outreach team with a social worker to address illegal camping and associated activity. While some movement certainly has occurred, requests have been manageable and support has been offered in every case.
BEST PRACTICES AND LESSONS LEARNED
We learned many lessons over the past year as a result of Operation Rio Grande. They include:
Support from elected leaders is critical to operational success.
Foot patrol and community engagement increase police visibility, deter crime and improve community relations.
Our policing approach requires enforcement of all state laws and city ordinances to ensure accountability to the law, while applying discretion, common sense and a compassionate approach to individual circumstances.
Information sharing and coordination between police, mental health and service providers can be difficult but is critical to addressing over-utilization of the criminal justice system.
Treatment capacity is critical for long-term success.
Health department support for on-going clean-up of the area including illegal camps is critical to maintaining order.
Outreach to businesses and service providers strengthen the effort.
Be transparent and available to the media and public – measure and publish results.
Executives and command staff must be visible on the street and engaged.
Support to line level officers is critical – address officer wellness, listen and provide the necessary resources.
Be agile, communicate with stakeholders regularly and continually adjust to changing conditions.
OPERATION RIO GRANDE WORKING?
At the one-year mark of Operation Rio Grande, state and local leaders reconvened to address if Operation Rio Grande is working? In the meeting, officials applauded the effort but acknowledged there is still much to be done.
While treatment capacity has doubled in the state, demand still far exceeds supply. Affordable housing is lacking and Utah real estate prices continue to climb, directly impacting homelessness. We are experiencing a shortage of mental health professionals in the state and continue to see many individuals suffering from mental health and substance use disorders.
However, the open-air drug market has been dismantled, violence has been reduced significantly and the state continues to improve access to services. Perhaps the best measure of success is in the lives of those who have been helped. One man arrested said, "Nobody likes getting arrested….but the [arrest] gave me a new lease on life."
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
In June 2019, the homeless shelter in downtown Salt Lake will be closed and three, smaller resource centers will open in new areas to more effectively service those in need.
Efforts are underway to develop policies for the new resource centers to address needs while keeping safety a top priority. State and local leaders also continue to address the need for increased treatment capacity.
COLLABORATION AND A SUSTAINED EFFORT IS KEY
The importance of the collaboration and commitment to a sustained, long-term effort cannot be overstated. The challenges with homelessness, addiction and mental health are not just a law enforcement problem or a Salt Lake City problem but a statewide, multi-disciplinary challenge. Utah will continue to move forward to make life better for all citizens. For more information, visit www.operationriogrande.utah.gov.
How Paterson community policing officers collected overtime on leave days
An inside look at the current issues facing Paterson, N.J.
by MICHAEL V. PETTIGANO
PATERSON, NJ — Officers in the city's community policing division took leave time last July and then worked on those same days to get overtime funded by a $1 million state grant to help at-risk teens, city payroll records reveal.
Nine community policing officers in 32 instances collected a total of 288 hours of overtime for days on which they had taken leave time, the records show.
The biggest beneficiary of the practice was Sgt. Tamiko Griffin, who collected 63 hours of overtime on seven leave days she had taken between July 2 and July 25, the records show.
Top-ranking officials in the Paterson Police Department said they put a stop to the practice after they spotted the trend. Police Chief Troy Oswald has said he referred the situation to the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office for investigation.
“When Chief Oswald brought it to my attention that officers on leave time were getting overtime, I told him that it absolutely would not be permitted,” said Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale.
Paterson Press previously has reported that overtime in the community policing division skyrocketed after the state provided the $1 million in funding for a program for troubled youths, soaring from $9,254 in two months before the grant to $145,593 in six weeks after the program started.
The overtime paid to officers on leave time amounted to less than 20 percent of the overtime total during that period, according to calculations done by Paterson Press.
Paterson was the only city among the three that got the state grant to allocate part of the funding for police overtime, according to public records. Newark, for example, used a portion of its grants for stipends for the young men and women participating in the program. Trenton earmarked most of its funding for recreation staff, a case manager and a consultant.
Councilman Michael Jackson, chairman of the public safety committee, said Paterson could use the examples set by Newark and Trenton in crafting future applications and budgets for the program. Jackson said Paterson learned it was getting the grant “at the last minute” earlier this year, which he said limited the way the city was able to plan to use the money.
“I think a lot of it had to do with the way the grant unfolded,” Jackson said when asked about the overtime spending. “I don't think anyone did anything intentionally to try to get over on the system. This is more about problems with overtime monitoring and regulations.”
Council President Maritza Davila said she was confident that the overtime investigation would not find any wrongdoing by the officers.
“I stand behind my community Police Department,” Davila said. “I think it's a little upsetting that they've gotten a black eye over this.”
Oswald and Speziale both were quick to praise the work of the community policing division, which handles neighborhood outreach efforts and local events like a Halloween trunk-or-treat for city children. So was the mayor.
“Community policing has been a beneficial presence in our city,” Mayor Andre Sayegh said when asked about the overtime.
The $1 million state grant is designed to help 60 Paterson teens in danger of dropping out of school because of behavior problems. State officials said the cities that received the money had a great deal of discretion as to how to spend it.
Paterson originally set aside $537,488 from the one-year grant for overtime for community policing officers, according to public records. That figure was reduced to $487,488 under a change made in the grant budget earlier this month.
Oswald and Speziale had signed off on three pay cycles of overtime forms during the summer before they stopped the officers from getting overtime while on leave days. Oswald said he figured the first spike in overtime stemmed from time needed to launch a new program. The chief said he intervened after he spotted subsequent inconsistencies in the requisitions.
Councilman William McKoy, who works in auditing, said the community policing situation highlights Paterson's lack of internal controls on overtime. McKoy paused when asked about the legality of officers getting overtime on leave days.
“I don't think there's a specific rule, because it's so obvious,” McKoy said. “Leave time implies that you're not at work. How can you be on vacation and get overtime at the same time?”
McKoy said a handful of instances in which officers got overtime while on leave days could be attributed to unusual circumstances. “But the number of instances you're talking about clearly is an indication of possible abuse,” McKoy said.
McKoy pointed out that the same supervisors would have to approve leave time and overtime. In response to a public records request, city officials provided copies of overtime records signed by supervisors. But officials said the city did not have supervisor-signed leave time requisition forms for the community policing.
“That's unacceptable,” McKoy said when told about the lack of leave time forms. “It underlines the fundamental lack of controls
Toronto police launching enhanced neighbourhood officer program pilot project
by Nick Westoll and Caryn Lieberman
Toronto police will be launching a pilot project aimed at enhancing the service's neighbourhood officer program amid ongoing concerns about gun violence and the allocation of police resources.
Established in 2013, the program operates in 27 neighbourhoods in different police divisions across Toronto. It sees officer deployed in those neighbourhoods to liaise with area residents and gather information on crime-related issues.
However, senior officers said they want to see the program beefed up. Starting on Monday, eight of the 27 City of Toronto-defined neighbourhoods in 11, 22, 41 and 42 Divisions will be a part of a six-month pilot phase of an enhanced program that will see select officers have more robust training, have an increased focus on building relationships, and require officers to serve an extended tenure in the position.
“These officers will be embedded. [They] will be part of their neighbourhoods for the next four years. I want the neighbourhoods to get to know the officers and the officers to know the neighbourhoods,” Toronto Police Deputy Chief Peter Yuen told Global News during a tour of one of the areas under the program, noting officers under the enhanced program will be issued cellphones for residents to call any time of day or night all year long.
“Strategies [to address crime] will be coming from the neighbourhood officers. They will be telling the command, they will be telling the unit commanders – working along with the communities problem-solving.”
Yuen said the approach, which is similar to programs in Glasgow and New York City, is part of the Toronto Police Service's efforts to address the root causes of crime and violence. He acknowledged the process of building relationships and gaining trust will take time, saying the results may not be seen immediately.
“Let's say for a young person that is at the verge, at the cusp of being a gang member, that person can be saved, if you want to use that word, that person could be offered the opportunities from our officers because they can identify at-risk people,” Yuen said, adding the program is a “long-term investment.”
“If our neighbourhood officers are doing what they're supposed to do, the trust will be right there. So after a shooting, I will be very confident to say to the public, the calls will be coming into the Toronto Police Service to say, ‘I saw this, I can tell you this,' … because they have a point person.
“I'm not suggesting neighbourhood officers are the whole solution. It's part of the solution working with our other resources. The whole picture put together, our neighbourhood officers, is the beginning and the end of the intelligence cycle.”
There has been a lot of criticism, especially this summer, about a policing model that some — including the president of the Toronto police union — have called reactive.
Yuen noted this program is the opposite of the controversial Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS).
TAVIS was a rapid response, short-term intervention policing unit formed in 2006 in response to a sharp spike in gun violence, during what is now known as the “summer of the gun,” that saw uniformed officers flood areas after a major incident. But the unit was also known for high rates of “carding,” the process of conducting random street checks, which critics said increased tensions between police and residents of targeted neighbourhoods. It was disbanded in January 2017.
“We don't need that term carding because they will know who belongs to the neighbourhood, who doesn't belong to the neighbourhood. It will give the justification for our officers to investigate, to speak to these people to ask why you're in these neighbourhoods,” Yuen said.
“That word carding will be irrelevant if this program fulfils its intent 100 per cent.”
Const. Jeff Ma, one of the 40 officers that are a part of the enhanced program, will be on patrol in the Lambton–Baby Point neighbourhood near Jane Street and Dundas Street West starting on Monday. He told Global News he wanted to join the program because he thought “it would be a great way to try policing in a different light.”
“It's more of proactively-based. We're going to go into the neighbourhood and we're going to interact with the community while being part of primary response — before, we never really had the time to go to interact with the individuals on a more personal basis,” Ma said.
“For them to be able to look at us on a more personal level instead of just seeing the uniform and being able to connect with them as a person.”
Const. Brendan O'Brien, who has served in 11 Division for five years and will also be joining the neighbourhood officer program, said he and others want to improve community relations.
“We can always improve on our relations with the public and I think if we work on it here and they get to know us on a more personal level, I think it would be beneficial for them and for us,” he said.
“I think it's going to take time — with time comes trust. If they get to know our faces and keep on seeing us around … hopefully the relationship improves. It's a two-way street.”
Meanwhile, a report going to the Toronto Police Services Board on Friday outlines a request to expand the neighbourhood officer program to 33 new areas in 2019 — bringing the total to 60 City of Toronto-defined neighbourhoods. The total annual cost will be $16 million if the expanded program is adopted. It's not clear if the board will consider the request on Friday or at a future time.
City Council Tells Police Chief, City Manager to Stop 'Any Change' to Community Policing for Now
by Samuel Manas
Mayor Brian Treece wanted answers late Monday night.
After more than a week of news that the number of officers allocated to community policing would be reduced and their distribution changed, Treece grilled City Manager Mike Matthes and Police Chief Ken Burton about the changes at the end of a packed city council agenda.
Columbia City Council members hadn't been a part of the decision to change the department's community policing efforts, and they put a stop to the process until the public could receive more information.
Treece suggested a vote to ask Matthes and Burton "to put on hold any change in staffing pattern, any change in assignments, any change in the (Community Outreach Unit), its rebranding, any change at all until we get the community policing report and plan of action that we asked for."
Council members agreed and seemed confused by the decision to alter the department's community policing efforts.
"It seems like we've had such a good response with the four strategic areas that we've concentrated police officers in," Sixth Ward councilwoman Betsy Peters said. "It seems like a serious step backwards to try and do what you feel the city council asked, which is to go to the citywide policing."
Matthes said he expected to present the community policing report to the council in December.
On Thursday, he announced that he would be bringing a proposal to the council to alter the Community Outreach Unit. The proposed changes would reduce the number of officers in the unit from 14 to eight, spread members of the unit across the city's eight police beats and decrease the amount of time each officer would spend in each area.
"COU is not being dismantled," Matthes said Monday night. "Community policing is not being abandoned."
In the meeting, Matthes and Burton argued that the proposed changes were made to fulfill the recommendations laid out in the community policing report.
"It's what the public said in the report," Burton said. "They wanted this concept to be spread across the city, so we made an effort to do it. Obviously, it blew up in our face, and that's where we are tonight."
Much of the confusion arose when an internal police department email written by Deputy Chief Jill Schlude was leaked early last week, detailing proposed changes to the unit, which is called the Community Outreach Unit.
In the email, Schlude said the name for the unit would be the Community Response Unit, something Matthes later walked back.
Many of the decisions around the new community policing structure happened in private meetings between Matthes and Burton, the two said. It was unclear to Treece when decisions were made, and he pressed the two on their timeline.
"When did you talk about it?" Treece asked about changing the name. "Before or after Deputy Schlude's email came out?"
"That would have been after," Burton said. "It would have been after all of the media stuff started coming out — ."
"The city manager said before; you said after," Treece said, interrupting, "so was it before or after Deputy Schlude's email came out?"
Matthes said that, when initially pitched on the new plan, he said the name should not change but that somehow it didn't take. Burton said the decision had been made after backlash from Schlude's email.
'Fair to rest of the city?'
Through the meeting, Burton maintained the current plan was unsustainable.
"We were putting an awful lot of money into four very small areas of the city," he said. "Is that fair to the rest of the city? In our estimation, what we heard from the public is that they wanted this concept to go citywide, so we had to find a way as management to try to do it."
Existing members of the outreach unit were not to be automatically folded into the new outreach unit. Instead, recruitment was open to any officer with a year and a half of experience.
"We had to figure out a way to get patrol to be exposed to the COU officers and the way they do their business out there," Burton said. "And the only way we could think of to do it was this model we came up with."
By spreading those community policing officers across the department's beat structure, they said, it would allow for more flexible community policing that could respond to needs across the city.
"If you think of it now, 100 percent of our community policing efforts (covered) about 10 percent of the city," Matthes said, "and this concept would spread 100 percent of it over 100 percent of the city."
Burton acknowledged that the changes to the community policing unit could result in less effective outreach in the areas targeted before.
'Shame on you'
Also, members of Race Matters, Friends took Matthes to task during the meeting over the changes.
“Shame on you,” Lynn Maloney, a member of Race Matters, Friends, said, pointing directly at Matthes. “Shame on you.”
She was one of several members of the social equity group that criticized city management over the changes to its community policing program. In general, they called for the removal of Matthes, and the members said the changes were a step in the wrong direction.
“It will engage in problem-oriented responses but not community-oriented preventative policing,” she said.
Another member echoed the sentiment.
“On its face,” Andrew Twaddle said, “the CPD action seems to me to be a bright, giant step backward from a good-faith effort to change the philosophy of the Columbia Police Department in the direction of a guardian mentality in its interaction with the community.”
At one point during Monday's meeting, Jill Lucht, another Race Matters, Friends member, asked those present in support of community policing to stand, and more than two dozen people did so.
During the meeting, a promotional video for the city's strategic plan was shown, and it touted the outreach unit's efforts as having reduced crime and increased trust.
The city's strategic plan annual report touted 10,014 positive interactions between community outreach officers and citizens since 2016.
Race Matters, Friends called for Matthes' resignation Monday morning. It argued there was a lack of consideration of community input in a report on community policing that was issued in August and that the “veil of darkness” theory forwarded by the police department was racist. It also critiqued the proposed reduction in staffing for the Community Outreach Unit.
Race Matters, Friends has long wanted Burton to resign, calling for it in June 2017 when data released by the state attorney general's office showed that black drivers were four times more likely to be pulled over than white drivers in Columbia in 2016. Burton has maintained that these racial disparities do not mean officers engage in racial profiling.
Community outreach officers would also work downtown part time, and officers would also be able to work across beats when needed.
The alterations to community policing efforts came after Matthes and Police Sgt. Robert Fox worked for several months on a report about community policing in Columbia. According to the report, lack of staffing and pay made community policing near impossible to implement.
That report also recommended increasing the size of the Community Outreach Unit by hiring more than 60 officers and several supervisors.
On Wednesday, Burton said cuts to the unit were due to officers' lack of interest in community policing.
“You're not doing any kind of enforcement action and things like that,” he said, “so people tend to get bored with it.”
Policing Project: MNPD's High Traffic Stop Rates Don't Reduce Crime
The long-awaited study also reiterates findings of Gideon's Army's 'Driving While Black' report
by STEVEN HALE
The long-awaited results of an assessment of policing in Nashville by The Policing Project — a New York-based law enforcement accountability nonprofit — included two main findings:
As shown by the 2016 "Driving While Black" report from Gideon's Army, black drivers are disproportionately stopped across the city.
The Metro Nashville Police Department's strategy of making high numbers of traffic stops in high crime areas — many more traffic stops than comparable cities — do not have a significant effect on crime in the short or long term.
Barry Friedman, an NYU professor and former Nashvillian who leads the project, presented the findings Monday afternoon at a meeting of the Metro Council's Public Safety Committee. Citing the aforementioned findings, Friedman recommended that MNPD stop employing a strategy that reliably produces racial disparities, but does not appear to reduce crime.
Councilmember Scott Davis, among others, expressed frustration at the fact that black Nashvillians and organizations led by black Nashvillians have been sounding the alarm about these issues for years, but have been largely dismissed.
Pith will be speaking to Friedman tomorrow and we'll have more on what comes next for policing in Nashville then. For now, here are more details on the findings, including quotes from the report:
Although MNPD traffic stops have gone down in recent years, the department's per capita stop rate is still much higher than cities of comparable size. "Nashville makes more than twice the number of stops per capita than Raleigh or Charlotte, and more than five times the number in Austin and Columbus."
"In 2017, the per capita stop rate was 44% higher for black drivers than for white drivers." The report also divided stops into moving violations (speeding, for instance) and non-moving violations (a broken tail light). "Racial disparities are notably higher for non-moving violation stops than for moving violations. Thus, if one disaggregates the 44% figure into moving and non-moving violations, in 2017 the per capita stop rate for black drivers was 68% higher for non-moving violations — as compared to 24% for moving violations."
"Traffic stops do not appear to have a significant impact on long-term crime trends. As the number of traffic stops declined between 2012 and 2017, crime rates remained quite flat." The assessment also found that stops do not appear to have any effect on crime rates in the short-term. "As officers increase the number of stops in a particular area, crime does not necessarily fall as a result."
Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson released a lengthy statement in response to the assessment (emphasis his):
I very much appreciate the work of Professor Friedman and his team from the Policing Project, including the staff from the Stanford Computational Policy Lab, in the thorough analysis of Nashville's vehicle stops.
The MNPD has consistently acknowledged for years that black drivers have been stopped at a higher rate than white drivers relative to the respective black and white driving age populations. Officer deployment, that is assigning larger numbers of MNPD officers in high crime areas and crime hotspots, is certainly a factor in the disparity. And, as today's report observes,“Disparity… is not necessarily evidence of discrimination.”
Weekly data-driven analyses inform our eight precinct commanders where and when crime is occurring, along with where and when citizens are calling for MNPD assistance. Based on these analyses, this police department prioritizes and assigns our finite resources to areas of need, regardless of racial demographics or socio-economic status. So long as crime victimizes citizens and families in some of our city's most vulnerable areas--communities most often in transition and impacted by gentrification, housing issues or lack of economic development--the police will necessarily be staffed in these areas with the primary goal of reducing victimization.
Today's report deals significantly with vehicle stops for non-moving violations. As noted in the Stanford Appendix at page 4, “These maps (maps of population, non-moving violation stops and reported crime) thus provide some indication that the racial disparities in non-moving violation stops are at least partly attributable to such stops being made in high-crime areas—which, in Nashville, tend to be predominantly black.” While the language in today's report is somewhat technical in parts with mathematical formulas, the Stanford staff also concluded, “we do not find statistically significant evidence that predominantly white and predominantly black zones are differentially policed after adjusting for reported crime” (Stanford Appendix page 5).
Nevertheless, I appreciate the finding of the researchers that vehicle stops for non-moving equipment violations and the police visibility related to them do not appear to be having a significant impact on short-term or long-term crime trends. Just as important, is the concern for trust with the police department by citizens in areas where these stops most often occur. Just as Nashville continues to evolve, so must our police department's strategies and partnership efforts to best serve all of our communities. While incidents of major crime in Nashville have fallen from a high of 59,000 in 1997 to a modern time low of 31,000 in 2014 (during a period in which Nashville's population grew by 76,000 persons), it is true that we reached a relative plateau and that crime has begun to inch up since 2014.
While our police officers cannot turn a blind eye to all non-moving equipment and registration violations, we can and will refocus and rededicate ourselves to strengthening community partnerships and engaging neighborhood residents in public safety initiatives that do not make vehicle stops a priority, unless a particular neighborhood is plagued by moving traffic violators and is in need of enforcement. In fact, that refocused community partnership effort is already underway with programs in the Cayce neighborhood of East Nashville, the Napier-Sudekum neighborhood just south of downtown, the 40thAvenue North/Clifton Avenue area of West Nashville, and the Buena Vista neighborhood in Bordeaux. The reports from these initiatives thus far are very promising and we will look to expand them by retooling our strategies that help families and police officers meaningfully engage in safety and quality of life. We are committed to working with Mayor Briley's office and the Community Oversight Board to strategically position Nashville with an evolving model community policing program.
We will closely review the recommendations presented by The Policing Project, some of which have already been implemented (placing the department's policy manual on-line and consistently reviewing policies such as use of force and searches to ensure that they are consistent with policing's best practices).
The ultimate goal of the MNPD and its community partners through refocused strategies remains the reduction of overall victimization, which, in Nashville, greatly and disproportionately impacts communities of color. For 2018, through October 31st, victims of major crime in the Buena Vista area have been 94% black, in the 40th & Clifton area 84.5% black, in the Cayce neighborhood 71.4% black and the Napier-Sudekum area 82.5% black.
We all realize that challenges are ahead of us as we work to ensure the safety of a growing and changing Nashville. This police department is committed to meeting those challenges in full partnership with the diverse communities we serve.
SFPD adding cops to walk the beat in gritty Mid-Market
by Dominic Fracassa
San Francisco beat cops on bicycles detain a man on Market Street, where foot patrols will be beefed up.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed has directed the Police Department to ramp up foot patrols around the Mid-Market corridor — it's the latest incremental step in the city's effort to rejuvenate the area and rid it of the drug pushers that have long congregated there.
On Wednesday, Breed is expected to announce that 10 additional officers, two sergeants and a lieutenant will be reassigned to the SFPD's Tenderloin Station. They'll be walking beats through Mid-Market, Civic Center and U.N. Plaza — all highly trafficked areas that city officials are trying to unify into safe, active gathering spots for tourists, residents and surrounding businesses.
Breed said the new cops will also work to forge deeper bonds with the people who live and work in and around Mid-Market, a part of the city that includes clusters of dense housing and commercial buildings.
“I've been focused on adding foot patrol officers in our city because we know community policing works,” she said in a statement sent by a spokesman. “When our officers are out there everyday walking the streets, talking with people and developing relationships, they create a positive presence and build community trust, which helps our efforts to make our city clean, safe and welcoming for everyone.”
Not long ago, the area — home to the local government and many of the city's most important arts and cultural institutions — was a grim showcase of San Francisco's most persistent problems, including homelessness, open-air drug use and aggressive street behavior.
“Visitors can feel threatened. They don't feel safe going down Market Street,” said Joe D'Alessandro, CEO of SF Travel, the city agency that markets San Francisco as a destination. “We've had many cases where people got their phones stolen, that kind of thing.”
But a concerted effort over the past year has directed city departments and resources to cleaning up the area and transforming it into a vibrant public gathering spot. A Bi-Rite Cafe just opened in Civic Center, a stone's throw from the Helen Diller Civic Center Playgrounds, which opened in February. A winter park — complete with a 6,000-square-foot ice rink — is set to open this month.
“People have been very encouraged by the investments we've been making and the commitments we've stood behind in terms of additional officers,” said Joaquin Torres, director of the city's Office of Economic and Workforce Development. The slowly improving conditions in Mid-Market and Civic Center, Torres said, have helped to attract nonprofits and businesses along Market Street.
SFPD Chief Bill Scott said the officers who soon will be walking the Mid-Market and Civic Center beats will be working closely with the health and homelessness departments to provide aid to homeless people and addicts who assemble there.
“We can be a conduit to get people to services. We have to take advantage of the many services the city has to offer,” Scott said. “And we want to reduce crime in that area as well. We want to make sure that people can come there and enjoy the public space for what it is.”
21st Century Policing: Leadership, Vigilance, Collaboration
It has been an honor to address issues during the course of five years of published works for the Epoch Times, which in my opinion are critical to America.
Along with the many topics that have been covered, policing, built on iron-clad partnerships with the community has been underscored.
These partnerships must be built on the pillars of leadership, vigilance, and collaboration, and are only productive when trust is the foundation.
American Policing: Reviewing Issues and Responses
Based on the extensive amount of material covered over these five years, a review to summarize the articles is now in order.
Here follows highlights from a select group of ten articles. Hopefully, this summary will ensure that police-community partnerships have the encouragement needed to continue building bridges of trust.
“A unity of effort between the police and community is the foundation for protecting America and critical for securing our neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces.
“Protecting our communities and the morale of the nation demands unwavering shared responsibility, the lifeline of public safety.
“America must be fully committed, without reserve or excuse, to building bridges between the police and community as our way of life demands this collaboration.
“Failure to share responsibility is not an option as without cohesiveness the results will only be distrust, discord, and disorder.”
As a follow up to this article, just this past weekend, New York City experienced the first weekend without a murder in 25 years.
Based on this statistic, and the importance of Neighborhood Policing, I communicated information to the New Jersey Attorney General on Oct. 16, 2018 which included the following:
“Neighborhood Policing, an outstanding step-up from community policing, deserves implementation in agencies and communities throughout New Jersey. We should enhance collaboration with the NYPD, fine-tune this model for New Jersey, and provide the necessary leadership.”
“America's law enforcement professionals are in critical roles of protecting and serving our communities.
“We must recognize, appreciate, and support them in their challenging work. We must also realize our shared responsibility and do everything in our power to forge iron-clad police-community partnerships.
“These partnerships must be built on an ethical code, essential not only to law enforcement professionals, but on every community member privileged to call America home.”
“Policing is critical to American society and must perpetually stand on the pillars of ethics, trust, collaboration, and moral courage.
“When these principles are honored, police-community unity is forged, and America's way of life is protected from discord, lawlessness, and turmoil.
“Yet, one would be oblivious, irresponsible, and naïve to miss the challenges policing in America is experiencing.
“The spotlight on policing illuminates the critical need for trust. Society will thrive when trust is the catalyst for police-community partnerships.”
“America's police and communities are being challenged to unify to remedy our drug crisis.
“An entire generation of America is suffering from the drug pandemic and we must unify to prevent continual heartbreak to families.
“As we rise to the occasion with moral courage, we must remember that the police and the people are one.
“We must forge iron-clad police-community partnerships to take back our communities from the drug pestilence.
“The reality of the drug crisis is a matter of family tragedies, heartbreak, and death. Our drug crisis also inflicts suffering on the morale of our nation.
“We will be on the path to reawakening the nation when, as ethical protectors, we dedicate ourselves to unity.
“America is suffering, and we must all respond to take back the nation from the scourge of the drug crisis.”
“During the last few years, there have been incidents, controversies, and protests throughout America that must serve as a clarion call to renew, restore, and rejuvenate police-community unity.
“A policing incident in any community can spark intense repercussions throughout the nation. Any breakdown of trust between community and police demands an urgent, unwavering, and complete dedication to remedy the problem.
“Police-community collaboration will only be possible when leadership builds bridges of trust.
“These ideals will become reality when human contact, with respect as the foundation, is enhanced between police and the community.”
“There has always been corruption in government, but this is no excuse for unethical behavior to continue.
“The dignity that represents America demands renewal, and our police, so vital to the integrity of government and security in our communities must rise to the occasion.
“Every law enforcement official who takes the sacred oath to protect and serve must be fully dedicated to society as an ethical guardian.
“There can be no compromise by law enforcement officials of ethical values. Law enforcement must be totally and wholeheartedly committed to their sacrosanct duty, never faltering with the responsibilities bestowed upon them.”
“Police-community collaboration is critical to renewing the values of America and the lifeline of public safety throughout the nation.
“America must rise to the occasion with an unwavering commitment to facilitate police-community collaboration, the lifeline of public safety.”
“When our teachers and police collaborate to enhance security, character, and the preventive system of education, we will inspire our youth to carry the torch of America's decency.
“The school resource officer (SRO) is a priceless component of violence prevention and character education for our schools. This initiative also promotes a positive image of law enforcement to our nation's youth.
“Our schools should do everything possible to have an SRO program and law enforcement should be fully committed with the most qualified, trained, certified, and dedicated professionals available.”
The nine principles of American policing include the following:
“Moral courage must be encouraged, as police must be empowered make decisions that are legal, ethical, and moral.
“Patriotism is mission-critical. Honoring America, our flag, and our military personnel must be part and parcel of the police officer's creed and take place at every police event.
“Police interventions must always be proportional, constitutional, and uphold quality of life issues deserved by all communities.
“Police require a discerning recruitment process, education credentials, and ongoing training/certifications, including constitutional policing, diversity, civil rights, race-relations, violence prevention, community policing, crisis management, ethics, leadership, gangs, private security, and use of force.”
“Community policing must be central to reawakening the nation. It deserves full dedication from every member of law enforcement (not just selected members assigned to a community policing unit) and from all members of every community.
“Endless rhetoric, political appointees, and self-serving commissions will only be a waste of time.
“America deserves action, leaders of character, and police–community cohesiveness so we may live the legacy of justice destined for our nation.'
As expressed through this selection of articles, a unity of effort, or “mutual responsibility” as emphasized by the NYPD, is critical to safeguarding America.
It is my hope that our nation will have the unwavering commitment to police community collaboration, as this unity is essential to the health of our nation.
Town where the police have GIVEN UP
Hartlepool has only ten officers for a population of 90,000 people - forcing residents to patrol the streets and try to solve crimes on Facebook
by Eleanor Hayward and Chris Greenwood for the Daily Mail
A town with a population of 90,000 has had its ‘streets abandoned by police' and been left with just ten officers on duty at a time.
Residents of Hartlepool, County Durham, band together to patrol their neighbourhoods after police failed to respond to a spate of thefts and burglaries.
Locals have taken to solving their own crimes on Facebook after budget cuts saw the number of frontline officers at Cleveland Police slashed by 500 in the past eight years.
Politicians said police had ‘given up' responding to some calls from hard-working taxpayers and warned that the situation is similar in towns across Britain.
They complain that the Cleveland force receives less funding than more affluent areas while struggling with high crime in Hartlepool, Redcar, Cleveland, Stockton and Middlesbrough.
Just ten officers are on duty overnight in Hartlepool, a coastal town with a population of 92,000, and police cars sit empty because there are not enough officers to fill them. Cleveland Police announced on Monday they were shutting down the town's custody suite to save money – forcing officers to drive anyone they arrest to Middlesbrough police station 15 miles away.
Gas engineer Paul Timlin captured thieves stealing all of his tools on CCTV, but was forced to solve the crime himself because police failed to turn up for two weeks. The 57-year-old grandfather was unable to work when £1,500 worth of tools were stolen from his van outside his house.
Mr Timlin posted footage of the theft on Facebook, and when someone recognised the thieves he contacted a ‘local hard man' who persuaded them to return the tools.
Mr Timlin said: ‘Posting on Facebook solves crimes quicker than ringing the police. It's a low-grade crime to the police, but for me it's £1,500 of tools that are essential for my job. I called the police straight away and went to the station the next day, but was told there were not enough police to cope.'
Another local business owner, Corrine Winwood, 37, said: ‘People post their own CCTV footage of when they have been broken into on Facebook saying, “have you seen this person?” '
Resident Darren Price helps organise early-morning patrols of the streets in a bid to deter criminals, and says the volunteers are ‘doing the job of the police'.
‘We just want to try and make our area safer. The police don't come out,' he told the BBC. ‘We want the people who are coming around our area nicking things to know that there are people walking the streets actively looking for them.'
Hartlepool mayor Allan Barclay said: ‘Criminals are very happy because they know they can get away with it. Policing is now non-existent for low-level crimes and things like burglaries and shoplifting because the police's hands are tied by budget cuts.
The empty police building in Hartlepool, County Durham
‘Police have effectively given up on coming out because they just don't have the resources – victims get a crime number and that's it.' Hartlepool's Labour MP Mike Hill said: ‘Frightened, hard-working taxpayers feel the streets have been abandoned by police. The situation in Hartlepool is typical of most British towns. It is a damning indictment of underfunding up and down the country.'
Police chiefs and politicians say Cleveland's budget has been ‘cut to the bone' since austerity struck in 2010. Cleveland Police have closed 12 police stations, triggering protests by residents carrying placards reading: ‘We need to feel safe.' Over the past eight years, the force has shed 500 officers, leaving it with a uniformed force of 1,257.
Community policing superintendent Alison Jackson, of Hartlepool Police, said: ‘We make the most efficient use of the resources available to us and those resources are directed to incidents based on levels of threat, harm and risk to our communities.'
Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger added: ‘The Government must sit up and listen to what we are telling them about the crippling impact of their cuts on policing in Cleveland.'
In Bristol, thieves breaking into three vans at one property were caught on CCTV – but the owners claim police refused to investigate or even watch the video.
Darren Smith, 25, said: ‘The police said they don't come out to this type of crime and there was nothing they could do.
‘They didn't want to come out and take the CCTV and they haven't given me a way to send it to them – I feel let down by it and I don't feel safe.'
An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: ‘The investigator allocated to Mr Smith's crime emailed him introducing herself, giving her contact details and with a link for him to upload the CCTV. She has had no reply.'
Chief Constable calls on public to ‘help not hinder' his frontline PCs
A police chief yesterday joined calls for the public to ‘help and not hinder' frontline officers.
The comments by Lancashire Chief Constable Andy Rhodes came after officers condemned the ‘walk on by' culture in which members of the public film attacks on their phones instead of stopping them.
Mr Rhodes said: ‘We are not saying to the public that we expect you to get involved in physical violence on the streets.
‘What we are saying is there are ways and means of helping us and some of the things that we are seeing are hindering us. This isn't a green light for have-a-go heroes.'
The Mail yesterday revealed how footage of a London woman police officer being kicked into the path of a bus was shared online. It prompted Ken Marsh, chairman of the Met Police Federation, which represents almost 30,000 junior officers, to warn that officers may let thugs go if the public fails to back them up.
However speaking to the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire, Mr Rhodes said: ‘We are trained to deal with violent incidents. If our officers feel they are not in a position to make a safe arrest without being harmed they will back up and wait for more support to come.'
Responding to the footage of the London policewoman being kicked, Met Commissioner Cressida Dick said: ‘I was shocked, I thought it was sickening to see the violence that my officers were subjected to.
‘I was honestly appalled that somebody should be filming that and laughing about it.'
When asked if the public should intervene, she said: ‘It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who you are, how fit and able you feel and what is in fact unfolding in front of your eyes.'
(video on site)
$1.1 million on police recruitment hailed as money well spent
by Tom Hunt
Two thousand one hundred Kiwis took the first step to becoming police officers in the wake of a kooky campaign video.
If all those followed through and became police officers, it would easily fill the 1800 extra police officers pledged by the Government - but it did come at a cost equivalent to 19 officers' salaries.
Figures supplied to Stuff show that police spent $1.1 million on recruitment marketing in the last financial year - up from $75,000 the year before - which included about $460,000 on a promotional video.
A police officer in the first year out of college earns a base salary of $57,795 - the equivalent of one-19th of the recruitment marketing spend.
Police Minister Stuart Nash said he would have been disappointed if police had not increased recruitment marketing given the extra 1800 frontline officers needed.
The NZ police recruitment video Breaking News came with a $460,000 cost.
"Police advise that in less than four weeks after the launch of their latest recruitment video, 700 people formally applied to become a police officer," he said.
"A further 1400 took the first step towards application."
Police were working to recruit more people from different backgrounds and, in the last financial year, 36 per cent of all graduates were women.
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office provides Thanksgiving meals for 52 families around their community
by Kamara Daughtry
PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (WWSB) - As the Community Policing Unit in Pinellas County patrol the community for safety, these officers noticed certain members in the community who could use some support this Thanksgiving.
On Thursday, November 22, CPU loaded the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office vehicles with turkey dinner for 52 families throughout the county.
The project is an annual event which partners the Sheriff's Office, the Indian Rocks Beach Rotary Club, Calvary Episcopal Church, and Publix to assist families who might not be able to afford a traditional meal for this holiday.
The meal included: fully cooked turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, peanut butter, iced tea, and apple juice.
In Northern Ireland, Vigilante Violence Keeps Terrorizing Communities
Twenty years after the end of the nation's civil war, real peace is still far off.
by KATHY GILSINAN
“We have to go, son.”
The young man trots down the stairs and climbs into a car. His mother drives in silence, tears gathering in her eyes. She stops near a parking lot. “I love you,” she says.
He doesn't respond. He pushes the car door open and walks into the lot, behind some low-slung buildings. His breath grows rapid, ragged, anxious. Men in balaclavas approach.
Within seconds it's over. A pop, a scream. “Again!” Another pop, another scream. He's weeping on the asphalt; there are bullets in his legs.
His story is fictional—he's an anonymous character in a shockingly violent public-service ad—but it's representative of an old trend that is newly virulent in Northern Ireland. Two decades after the Good Friday Agreement formally ended the long-standing sectarian conflict between Catholics and Protestants there, and seemed to offer a template for ending civil conflicts around the world, a different kind of violence persists in working-class communities.
And the police have warned it is not going away.
“We call them ‘paramilitaries,' but in bygone days a lot of them would've been called terrorists,” Anthony Harbinson, the Northern Ireland Department of Justice's director of safer communities, told me.
The attackers are essentially gang members enforcing their own version of justice in communities where law enforcement is either unwelcome or fears to intervene. Sometimes they claim to be policing “anti-social behavior” such as drug dealing, but Harbinson says the perpetrators are often dealing drugs or participating in other criminal enterprises themselves and trying to protect their turf.
“It's not sectarian at all. What this is, is Catholic on Catholic, Protestant on Protestant,” Harbinson said. “It's about control within their own communities.”
Northern Ireland's struggle with paramilitaries illustrates just how complicated it is to end a war, even in the event of a successful peace deal. For many conflicts around the world, the Good Friday Agreement represents the best-case scenario of power-sharing and disarmament. But Northern Ireland's continuing violence also shows how the societal distortions and the trauma of a long-ended conflict can continue to tear at communities, leaving them in a condition that's not technically war but is far short of real peace.
The attacks take the form of shootings in the ankles, elbows, or knees (“sometimes all six,” Harbinson says), or beatings with hammers or clubs. The objective is not generally to kill, though some result in fatalities. Frequently, the victims know their attackers personally, since they all hail from the same close-knit communities. And often, as the new PSA depicts, the victims themselves show up, or their parents take them, to an appointment to be beaten or shot—they fear worse if they don't.
Northern Ireland police say so-called punishment attacks like this are markedly higher than five years ago. But the origins lie in the deeper dynamics of the conflict, which didn't so much end as shift into another domain.
The violence of the Troubles took some 3,600 lives over a 30-year period. When the Good Friday Agreement laid out provisions for a unity government and the disarmament of paramilitaries in 1998, sectarian violence across the country swiftly plummeted. Even then, though, there was evidence of a key problem left unsolved.
“It is a funny sort of peace in which people are regularly maimed and driven from their homes by paramilitary thugs,” wrote The Economist in 1999, a year after the agreement was signed. The punishment attacks weren't mentioned in the accords; they weren't, after all, the kind of Catholic-on-Protestant violence that the peace deal was meant to stop.
But the phenomenon had developed alongside the Troubles, for different reasons in different communities, explains Rachel Monaghan, a senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Ulster who has researched intra-communal violence in Northern Ireland. In the case of Catholic republican communities, who sought independence from British control, paramilitaries formed in opposition to—or defense from—the police. In Protestant loyalist areas, they formed as a kind of auxiliary to the authorities.
The phenomenon outlasted the Troubles. This year, one researcher on the Northern Ireland Policing Board tallied a toll of 158 deaths in “security-related” incidents in the 20 years since the Good Friday Agreement, most of them due to this kind of paramilitary activity. It was a total nowhere near the worst levels of the civil war, but one the researcher, Paul Nolan, told the BBC he found shocking.
“The violence has been turned inwards,” he told the broadcaster.
Those figures may even understate the prevalence of paramilitary activity, because many punishment attacks take the form of beatings or nonfatal shootings designed to intimidate rather than kill. At the post–Good Friday Agreement peak of such activity in 2001, the police counted 323 casualties tied to paramilitary activity, though given the distrust of police in many affected communities, this may be also be too low a number.
More recent statistics put the count near 90 annually for the past two years, compared with a post–Good Friday Agreement low of near 50 a decade ago. But the absence of other types of political violence renders these numbers especially stark, Monaghan said.
It persists even though communities can typically identify the assailants. Brenna Powell, a lecturer at Stanford Law School who has researched the Northern Ireland peace process, recalls meeting a teenaged boy who had been shot so many times with a nail gun that his hands were mangled. Every time he got attacked, Powell said, he knew exactly who was carrying it out. But the beatings didn't stop, because he had nowhere else to go.
Powell cited high rates of suicide and drug abuse associated with the trauma of the conflict. “Does this kind of violence disappear in the absence of progress on all those other fronts? I don't think so.
Community Help Needed
Oxford police chief: Citizens need to support police
by John Surratt
If city officials and the Vicksburg Police Department are going to successfully to combat crime, they will need the help of the community, Mayor George Flaggs Jr., the city's aldermen and Oxford's police chief told people attending a meeting of the city's crime prevention committee.
About 35 people, which included city residents, city employees and police officers, attended the Thursday evening meeting.
The committee also released a report of its study into the city's efforts to fight crime in the city.
“You can't put an officer everywhere all the time; it's just not possible,” North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said. Getting the community involved “in watching one another's back” has been the purpose of the public crime prevention committee meetings, he said.
“If you see something you feel isn't right, then say something to somebody about it,” he said, “Because it's very true; you never know when you may be on the other end of the spectrum.”
Oxford police chief Joey East outlined the composition of his department and the need to properly train and pay officers, but added more is needed to keep a city safe.
“It takes a community supporting each other; we can't just put it off on law enforcement and expect them to solve everything for us. It takes action (by residents and organizations like neighborhood watch).
“I do believe it starts with us in law enforcement. We're the backbone; we have to prove to you that we're worth what we're doing, so you have to trust us, and we have to earn that respect. When we do that, we ask that the community support us in what we do, and I think it starts with the chief, just like with me, and we set the example and hold our officers accountable.
“And when you see that, that's when you support and come after us.”
During a question and answer period, Flaggs and Moore were asked about the reluctance of people to report crimes. Moore said people can report something suspicious anonymously or through the Vicksburg Police Facebook page. Flaggs said people can call him and he would get the information to the police.
Moore said if people were not satisfied with the police department's response to calls, they can call him or the department's deputy chiefs, Bobby Stewart as Eric Paymon, or the department's internal affairs division. Flaggs and Moore also said they would also consider having one person in the department responsible for being the department's spokesperson. Flaggs also said more cameras would be installed in the city.
The committee's report outlined the police department's current programs and its community policing efforts, recommending that in the future Moore and the deputy chiefs be present at community events and talk to business and community groups about the department's programs and get suggestions from citizens on how the department can be more successful.
The report also indicated police have seen a decrease in suspicious activity where video cameras have been installed by the city, and a recent program attended by the city's information technology employees will help improve the police department's ability to use updated software.
The committee also recommended a review of city ordinances to comply with changes in state law.
Policing Tactics Can Affect Health Inequity, Association Says
by Tarryn Mento
The debate over police-community relations isn't just a political concern but also a matter of public health. That's according to the American Public Health Association, which unveiled new findings in San Diego during its annual conference focused on health equity. KPBS Reporter Tarryn Mento heard the details from Executive Director Dr. Georges Benjamin.
Q: You focused on health equity. Why is that important?
A: Well you know we brought 13,000 of — I jokingly say — my closest friends here to really explore the issue of equality versus equity, and to some degree of justice. Equality: where everyone gets the same thing; equity means where people get what they need, and trying to do it in a way where people get it in the right way, which is the justice component of that.
Q: Why does addressing this matter to public health?
A: We will never achieve our best health if we don't deal with everyone, and do it in a way that accomplishes people getting their best outcomes...You can't raise the boat unless you raise the boat for everyone and that means focusing like a laser on health equity.
Police violence and public health
Q: The association recently made a statement that police violence is a public health issue. What do you mean by that?
Congress to fund research on law enforcement violenceReview of law enforcement policies that can lead to violence disproportionately affecting certain communitiesFunding for more community-based efforts, restorative justice programs
Source: American Public Health Association
A: Police violence creates both injury and death, inappropriately of course, and it creates an environment of fear. We know that that fear environment influences our children, their health and well-being, influences their mental health, influences their actual growth. It results in early childhood trauma for those children who live in these communities in which people are afraid, so it's a big issue.
Q: What can be done to address that issue?
A: The police work very hard on community policing and we support that. We think that's a good first step, but it's important for police communities and community leaders to get together, for people to understand one another. We have to deal with stigma, we have to change things so that for me, as an African American without my tie on, I'm not afraid that I'll get stopped because someone's afraid that I have a gun because I'm going to hurt them. But you know the problem I have? Is that they feel that way anyway, because I'm a big African American guy even if I have a tie on, people feel threatened. And we have to change the environment so we're not threatened by people who should not be threatening to you.
Q: Have you been stopped a time where you believe there was no reason to stop you?
A: I've had people stop me. I've had, you know, I go into a store and I've had them follow me around. I generally go out and come back in so I can enjoy the experience a second time. Yeah, I've had people look at me and I have perceived that they're looking at me because I'm African American and they're suspicious of what I'm doing. I think most African American men have had that experience.
Q: How does that feel?
A: Oh, it's disheartening. I'm obviously a lot more knowledgeable about this, but I think we all feel a little threatened when that happens.
Q: How can that feeling be harmful to a person's wellness?
A: One of the things we clearly know is that when you feel threatened, it changes a whole range of hormones in your body. Those hormones influence your weight, your growth, how you respond to others...You put people in a more stressful environment, their blood pressure goes up because of hormonal changes and so we know it has enormous changes.
Children — when these children are in these high stress environments, it changes a whole lot of things including brain development, other physiological development. We are increasingly learning a lot about early childhood trauma and how stress plays an enormous role in that. Fast-forward to when these kids are in pre-school, then elementary school, they have difficulty in school and then they get further stigmatized in school as bad kids or kids with (attention deficit disorder) and then you have psychological issues in addition to some of the physiological issues that you see with the stress.
Q: What is the goal of the association with the approval of this policy statement that police violence is a public health issue?
A: We hope that when we pass a policy like this, that it empowers our members to take the sense of these policies to work on their communities to improve it. In fact, it becomes empowering for our members to go to city councils and show up at public hearings and say, 'Yep, I should go to that public hearing and say police violence is a public health issue.' We've made that statement and so it helps drive people there.
Fear among students of color
Q: One of the last pieces of new information that the association revealed was about how college students of color experience fear of violence and crime at a higher rate than their white peers. Can you explain the significance of those findings?
The survey asked 1,400 University of Francisco students to rank their fear on a scale of 0 (none) to 10 (maximum).
Fear of murder
Students of color: 2.29
White students: 1.23
Fear of hate speech
Students of color: 3.89
White students: 1.84
Fear (in general)
Students of color: 4.53
White students: 3.43
Source: American Public Health Association
A: It goes with all the other challenges we have for communities of color, feeling threatened, feeling targeted by others. When you feel threatened, when you feel targeted, you respond to that, to the extent that we just want people to feel equally safe. I think if we can create a society where we all feel equally safe, we'll have much more prosperity.
Q: When you think of public health, many think of infectious diseases but not so much about the state of mind. How does mental health become a matter of public health?
A: The brain is connected to everything else and the mental health of a person determines a lot of their health and wellbeing. The World Health Organization has a definition of health that's been around since about 1948 and it is a holistic definition of health and that includes mental health. When I was practicing in the emergency department, I can tell you the number of people who came in with quote-unquote somatic illness, meaning that they have abdominal pain or chest pain which turned out to have a mental health component to it. It wasn't all in their heads, quote-unquote, but it always had a mental health component to it. We often disconnect the mental health part of healthcare from the physical part of healthcare, and you can't do that. We have to treat people in a much more holistic manner. And public health tries to do that. We don't necessarily do it individual by individual, we try to do it from a broad population perspective, so that means we deal with these things. If you don't think that it's a big issue, the biggest problem -- I mean there's many that occur after these big disasters -- but the biggest problem that lingers in every hurricane, tornado, these wildfires in California, the biggest lingering major problem is the mental health aspect.
Q: How are we doing on addressing that?
A: Not well. We're not putting the resources in it, we're not addressing it holistically. I mean there are efforts obviously, the federal government tries, the local health departments try. But I remember when I was a health officer in Maryland, we had a tornado that went through southern Maryland, the lingering impact on not just the local community but the elected leaders who all had to stand up and be strong for their community was profound. They were all under enormous stress, and we tried to help them through that.
Highlighting The Progress
Q: We talked about a number of concerning issues in public health, but where is the hope?
A: We are making progress in health in this country. We are seeing much more lower rates of cardiovascular disease, for example. We're making tremendous progress in tobacco control for combustible tobacco; we're having challenges now with e-cigarettes but we're getting our hands around that or at least trying to get our hands around that problem.
You're seeing some leveling off on things like obesity. We're doing much better health education. I think overall the health of the public is getting better in general. We do have things to intervene like opioids, which has entered the community. And we have things like these new scooters, right, which is now going to be a major disruptor because we have people wearing seatbelts in their cars and helmets on their bikes but they're all on scooters without helmets, going very quickly through the community, so we do have some challenges. But I think we‘re very good at identifying those challenges and I think the hope of improving the health of the public is very strong.
Paterson: How a program for troubled teens spiked police overtime
An inside look at the current issues facing Paterson, N.J.
by JOE MALINCONICO
PATERSON — Overtime payments to officers in the city's community policing division skyrocketed last summer after the city got a $1 million state grant to start a new program for troubled teenagers, municipal payroll records reveal.
The sudden spike in overtime for a unit that rarely received extra pay in the past raised concerns among top-ranking officials in the Paterson Police Department. Police Chief Troy Oswald said he has asked the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office to investigate what he described as “inconsistencies.”
City payroll documents show that the three highest-ranking members of the community policing division — Lt. Sharon Easton, Sgt. Carl McDowell and Sgt. Tamiko Griffin — received a total of $51,950 in state-funded overtime and put in for working 561 extra hours during a six-week period in July and August. That represented an average of 31 hours of overtime per week per officer and an average of $2,866 in extra weekly pay.
In contrast, before the start of the new youth program, Easton had gotten $7,538 in overtime during the two-month period of May and June, while McDowell and Griffin received no overtime, city records show. In September, after the payments caught the attention of the chief, none of the three received any overtime, the records show.
The overtime binge extended well beyond the top officers in community policing, according to a Paterson Press analysis of the city payroll data.
Officers in the division received $145,593 in extra pay in three city biweekly paychecks issued on July 27, Aug. 10 and Aug. 24, according to public records. Overtime for community policing members during that time far surpassed the payments for detectives who investigate shootings and officers who patrol Paterson's streets.
Mayor Andre Sayegh said Police Director Jerry Speziale had alerted him to the overtime situation.
“I'm confident he's going to handle it the right way,” the mayor said.
Speziale said the department's chief, Oswald, learned of the “overtime situation” and alerted the Prosecutor's Office. Oswald confirmed that.
“After I noticed the inconsistencies in the overtime, the investigation was turned over to the Prosecutor's Office,” Oswald said, declining to elaborate on his concerns because of the probe.
The community policing division, composed of 29 officers, provides programs for city youths, like a Halloween Trunk-or-Treat, as well as for adults, including a Valentine's Day dance for senior citizens. The unit's officers attend various community events and essentially serve as liaisons between Paterson residents and the Police Department.
“They've done tremendous service over the years for the people of Paterson,” Speziale said. “Nobody can dispute that.”
State funds teen outreach program
Earlier this year, the community policing division was put in charge of Paterson's new “Anti-Violence Out of School Youth initiative,” a $1 million state program that targets 60 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17, particularly those connected to street gangs. Newark and Trenton received similar grants.
The program focuses on youths “identified as being on a trajectory towards academic dismissal and a congruent path towards delinquency and formal stationhouse adjustment programs,” said an email that Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver sent to then-Mayor Jane Williams-Warren in March, notifying Paterson of the grant.
The grant was accompanied by a contract between Paterson and the state that says participants would “attend programs and activities designed to provide mentorship and role modeling, bolster confidence and self-worth, team building and participation in education-based initiatives that assist in overcoming barriers to effective learning.
“After-school sessions will be held three (3) times a week for 4 hrs,” reads the contract. “The program will consist of formal and informal classroom instruction, lecture, open discussion forums, role playing, field trips and community service activities.”
The original grant budget included $537,488 for overtime. That figure was reduced to $487,488 under an amendment approved earlier this month.
State records say the grant will run from Feb. 1, 2018, through Feb. 28, 2019. Paterson officials said the at-risk youth program funded by the grant did not start operation until schools closed in late June. The program is run out of the community policing division's offices at a new substation at the South Paterson library branch on Main Street.
Deputy Police Chief Lourdes Phelan, who was placed in charge of the city's use of the $1 million state grant, did not respond to a phone message seeking her input for this story. Easton, McDowell and Griffen did not respond to a phone message left for them at the community policing offices.
Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes did not respond to a media inquiry seeking to find out what her staff did about Oswald's referral of the investigation involving the overtime payments.
Previously low on overtime
Before the state-funded program, Paterson's 29 community policing officers were low on the list of department's overtime earners, city payroll records show.
In May and June, just before the state grant took effect, the combined overtime pay for the members of the community policing unit was $9,254, the records show.
In six weeks in July and August that total jumped to $145,593. During that time, the Paterson Police Department's 10 top overtime earners were all members of the community policing division, according to a Paterson Press analysis of payroll data. Those 10 community police officers collected an average of $11,340 apiece in extra pay during that period, about 7.5 times greater than the average amount of overtime paid to other members of the Police Department, the data revealed.
The grant providing the money for the overtime was awarded by the state Legislature and is being monitored by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.
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Under the grant, the DCA provided Paterson with a $500,000 advance, for which the city is supposed to file subsequent invoices, said a spokeswoman for the state agency. The state will provide the rest of the money as bills come in from the city, said the spokeswoman, Lisa Ryan.
So far, Paterson has not submitted any invoices, for either the advance or additional money, Ryan said.
The DCA was not aware of the overtime spending until contacted by Paterson Press, Ryan said. Based on the budget for the program, community policing has expended almost a third of its 13-month overtime allocation in six weeks.
Not everyone in the community policing division reaped an overtime windfall, the records show. About half the officers received either no overtime or just a few hundred dollars' worth of extra pay during the time when their colleagues' paychecks soared.
Oswald did not reveal exactly when he alerted the Prosecutor's Office to the situation. Payroll records show that the community policing overtime plummeted in September, to $3,644, returning to a level comparable to what it was before the grant.
Community, police come together to help South Kona garden
by Tiffany DeMasters
KAILUA-KONA — Thefts at a South Kona community garden have stalled since news of the problem was brought to light.
It has been three weeks since West Hawaii Today reported on the growing number of thefts occurring at Maona Community Garden, located on Honaunau Road. However, on Tuesday, Chantal Chung, volunteer and project manager for the garden, said the problems have stopped thanks to increased police patrols and community awareness.
Chung added a lot of “abandoned vehicle” notices were put on cars in the area.
For the past six months, various items and fruit were regularly stolen from the garden. Chung attributed the surge to the homeless population growth near the Honaunau Rodeo Arena, which is less than 1,000 feet from the garden. Established in 2007, the garden is run by volunteers who are mostly women and children. Since the beginning, Chung said, there has been an issue with theft because of squatters and drug traffickers.
Since word got out about the recent theft incidents, Chung said, the community came together to donate materials so garden volunteers could build sheds to protect their equipment and supplies. They received donated wood from Kona Young Farmers and plyboard from Mauna Loa Helicopters.
“Fifteen volunteers showed up to build the sheds,” Chung said.
A special volunteer event was set up at the garden on Nov. 3-4 where they could organize equipment and start constructing the structures. Chung said one is nearly complete. They plan to finish both sheds on the next regularly scheduled volunteer day, which takes place on Sunday.
While the volunteers continue to work on ways to protect the garden, they are also finding ways to assist their homeless neighbors.
“I took them blankets from the Neighborhood Place of Kona since the weather is going to be getting colder,” Chung said Tuesday.
While Chung has fed them on her own in the past, she said they are looking for a partner to do regular outreach so the homeless receive regular meals. On Nov. 2, the Food Basket worked with the volunteers to deliver food and bottled water to 12 to 15 homeless people in the area.
“It feels like we're improving community cohesion, which also adds to resilience,” she said. “The more we're able to work together it increases the community's capacity to be resilient and sustainable.”
Hawaii Police Department Community Policing Officer Robin Crusat confirmed Tuesday there has been an increase in patrols in the area.
“I've told officers when they get a chance to go down there,” he said.
Crusat said the issue is being looked by the Department of Public Works and South Kona Councilwoman Maile David. There's been discussion about appropriate signage at the rodeo grounds area.
Grand Rapids plots next steps for improving community-police relations
GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Strengthening its police department's youth-interaction policy, green-lighting a staffing and deployment study, and considering a replica gun ordinance are some of the topics on deck for Grand Rapids as it continues to work toward improved community-police relations.
On Tuesday, City Manager Mark Washington provided the city commission and police department with a list of short- and long-term priorities in the ongoing effort to reduce crime and build community trust.
In doing so, Police Chief David Rahinsky said the city manager provided clear direction for the city's ongoing efforts to improve relationships between police and the community.
"It's huge," Rahinsky said. "I think we've had so many irons in the fire; everything from 21st Century Policing to the task force, to the ongoing training, to the Lamberth (Consulting) study, and some of the training we've implemented regarding cultural competency and implicit bias. You can reach a point of diminishing return.
"Wrapping our hands around and consolidating some of these efforts and coming up with a clear direction will serve the department and the community well."
The city manager said Grand Rapids will delay a few studies until 2020 in order to prioritize the recommendations and actions proposed between the 12-point plan , Lamberth Consulting report , Police Policy and Procedures Review Task Force , and the 21st Century Policing Solutions' analysis.
"We have about 73 recommendations between the various studies," Washington said. "In discussing it with the chief, we felt it was best to prioritize what we can get done in the short term and long term. Obviously, we don't have the ability to do it all at the same time."
21st Century Policing firm gives review of GRPD
Additionally, the city manager laid out a timeline for upcoming discussion points, with the goal of having a handful of current and future initiatives wrapped up before FY2020 budget discussions.
The police department is expected to update its youth-interaction policy by Saturday, Dec. 1. Department officials were scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon to discuss the proposed changes with the city's legal staff.
Chief David Rahinsky said Tuesday that it'd be premature to discuss changes to the policy. He acknowledged that the Grand Rapids Policy and Procedures Review Task Force's recommendation for a minimum age being added to the youth policy was on the table, but said it would still leave room for officer discretion.
The recommendation is to: "Prohibit the handcuffing of a child under the age of 12 unless exigent circumstances are present such as violent behavior, possession of a firearm, etc. It is important for officers to determine the context and situation when they handcuff a youth."
"I want to ensure that officers don't have any hesitation in terms of following through training, common sense and their discretion," Rahinsky said. "Even if we have a number, there's still the recognition that violent behavior or the potential to be armed would trump any age."
City manager 'committed' to improving Grand Rapids police's youth policy
Later this month, the city commission will vote on whether or not to pay an independent group $137,000 to provide an extensive staffing and deployment study of the police department.
The study, which is expect to start in December and conclude by March, would analyze how officers use their time, and likely provide a recommendation for additional sworn and non-sworn department personnel.
Before the end of the year, Grand Rapids will also continue looking at alternate crime-reduction strategies like Cure Violence and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), the latter of which
In June, the commission approved an initial assessment from Cure Violence -- a health model that looks at non-traditional responses to violence. CPTED is a multi-disciplinary approach to reducing crime through urban and environmental design and the management and use of built environments.
"We look forward to continuing those conversations around what things we can do through zoning to also address crime in our community," Washington said.
Since he began in Grand Rapids in October, Washington noted that there has been at least two incidents in which youth in possession of a replica gun, or BB gun, were stopped by police.
Prosecutor clears police officer who shot at BB-gun-wielding teen &
Youths with 'replica gun' stopped by Grand Rapids police
The city manager said the two incidents have led to discussions between him and Mayor Rosalynn Bliss about considering a potential replica gun ordinance. Washington scheduled the topic to come before the commission in January, but said it could be on the table earlier based on commissioner interest.
"Just as we are attempting to address training inside the police department, I think it's also important for us to have community conversations about the responsibility of our community and citizens when using replica weapons, the importance of making sure those who sell and those who use them do so responsibly," Washington said.
As for the long-term, Washington recommended the police department delay partnering with Grand Valley State University to measure effectiveness of police-community relations work and evidence based crime reduction strategies, and to delay a new traffic stop study, until spring 2020.
The previous traffic stop study analyzed 2013-2015 data and was published in April 2017.
Rahinsky also presented at Tuesday morning's committee of the whole meeting at City Hall. He responded to each of the task force's 38 recommendations, and explained what the department has already done in the last year to adopt many of the recommendations.
"The task force was a true collaborative effort between our community and our police department," Rahinsky said. "This extensive joint listening and learning process has prepared us for moving forward.
"The needs and wants of our community drive what we do. We are committed to providing professional, progressive and responsive services to the public and continuously strengthening our relationship with the community.
How Brazil's Bolsonaro can apply global lessons learned in fighting crime
by Michael E. O'Hanlon
What should incoming President Jair Bolsonaro do to advance his anti-crime agenda in Brazil? His tough-on-crime rhetoric has done much to catapult him to the Brazilian presidency. Yet his actual ideas for fighting crime, including giving police and army units greater prerogatives to use force and employing the army in street patrols, seem incomplete at best. Some of his proposals also imply the use of extralegal measures that could bear too much similarity to the abusive practices of President Rodrigo Duterte's policing policies in the Philippines, to take one undesirable example.
It is true that Brazil's crime rates are horrible, and a major shakeup in approaches to public safety is needed. It is also true that Brazil has already tried one of the key ideas recommended below, a variant of community policing, the Pacifying Police Unit (Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora, or UPP) program—though it wound up under-resourced in terms of both law enforcement and its associated economic and social programs.
Still, Bolsonaro would do well to bear in mind principles that have been learned in creating successful strategies to fight crime around the world. Several are highlighted in a 2017 study, “Securing global cities: Best practices, innovation, and the path ahead,” that I co-authored with former U.S. Army Chief of Staff and Iraq commander General Raymond Odierno. Below, in short, are the core findings of our research, which examined a range of major challenges to the world's cities, including “normal crime,” transnational criminal organizations and drug cartels, terrorism, and massive disasters. Not all the principles are equally relevant to Brazil's core problems today, but it is still useful to summarize all of them in case the situation evolves. It is also worth emphasizing that the general concept of community policing must be adapted to the circumstances of a given country; in Brazil, this will admittedly be a challenge, yet it is important not to give up, or to think there is an easier way.
CONTINUE TO REFINE COMMUNITY POLICING
Community policing is foundational in the urban security enterprise. It has helped drive major reductions in crime rates not only in many U.S. cities, but also in other countries from Latin America to Europe and beyond. It is also crucial in the fight against transnational crime and terrorism, largely for the intelligence it can provide when communities feel engaged in helping ensure their own safety. The concept includes methods such as: decentralized organization of police with delegation of authority; stable assignments of officers in certain beats and neighborhoods, to foster relationships and communications; an emphasis on crime prevention rather than response (for example, patrolling more heavily in places and at times when crime is otherwise most likely to occur); analytics designed to identify and highlight patterns of crime, allowing for targeted strategies at the local level to address high-risk areas; and encouragement of assistance from the broader community—including local businesses—in identifying dangers as well as solutions to crime. Other simple tactical innovations have helped too, such as enhancing confidence and safety in public places like parks. Close cooperation between police and prosecutors is also important for ensuring that the latter are invested in cases, and that the former understand what kinds of evidence will hold up in court. Finally, sentencing as well as prison conditions need to be designed with the goal of lowering future crime rates. Ultimately, community policing and related activities need to shore up the rule of law and citizen security as preeminent
Collaboration is needed to share intelligence and to address cross-jurisdictional threats, particularly for the purposes of stopping terrorism, but also for taking on organized crime and transnational criminal networks. Police forces need to work closely with national-level intelligence or security agencies, like MI5 in the United Kingdom and the FBI and CIA in the United States. This means, for example, determining which agencies take the lead on surveillance and on arrests, which are responsible for tracking any given suspect, how to obtain security clearances for some police officers, and how regular beat-patrol policemen can help provide information about suspected terrorists through their normal jobs, even without extensive specialized training. Information sharing also requires compatible and secure cyber systems across different agencies—necessarily imposing further demands on resource requirements for the public safety mission. In a number of countries, a recent history of terrorist attacks has motivated authorities to cut through bureaucratic resistance and demand cooperation in these ways. Sometimes, however, authorities have acted even in the absence of a major catastrophic experience, though this takes decisiveness and foresight, and excellent leadership. Either way, once established, collaborative mechanisms and patterns of behavior need to be institutionalized and perpetuated.
ESTABLISH CLEAR STRATEGIES AGAINST ORGANIZED CRIME
In dealing with narcotics traffickers and other sophisticated, often transnational, criminal organizations, priorities are needed to sustainably reduce violence. Authorities can preferentially target those gangs, groups, or organizations that are the most violent. This latter tactic can weaken the worst of the worst, while also deterring the excessive use of violence by other organizations. Another key choice in attacking criminal networks and terrorist organizations is whether to target just the top leadership of these organizations, or instead to develop a more patient strategy emphasizing action against mid-level operatives. Evidence suggests that the latter approach is usually more effective. There can be times when removing one key leader makes a big difference (arguably this was true for Pablo Escobar in Colombia, the Shining Path movement in Peru, and to some extent al-Qaida). But it is generally important to extend targeting down a layer or two in an organization.
EXPLOIT NEW OPPORTUNITIES FROM TECHNOLOGY
Technology can aid criminals in protecting the content of their communications from authorities. Technology also creates new vulnerabilities, notably in the cyber realm. But it offers great advantages to police forces and other security organizations too. Helpful technologies include inexpensive closed-circuit TV, facial recognition technology, license-plate readers, smart phones and GPS trackers for police cars, acoustic gunshot detection systems and other advanced sensors, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Yet where technology has been effectively deployed, it has not been at the expense of officers on patrol. We found no examples of cities that were successful in fighting crime and terrorism unless they simultaneously maintained or increased police personnel and focused intensively on the quality and training of those personnel.
PROMOTE SOCIAL COHESION
To gain support from communities and address the root causes of crime and terrorism, authorities must promote social cohesion as a central element—not an afterthought—of the urban security effort. The neighborhoods and demographic groups most affected by crime and violence must be treated as essential allies. Moreover, education and employment opportunities must be expanded in urban areas suffering from lack of opportunity and hope in order to address the root causes of crime. Our research has uncovered several creative ideas—for example, using fire departments or national army outreach efforts in places where police departments may not be easily trusted, and engaging formerly incarcerated individuals or rehabilitated former members of violent gangs or groups to reach out to disenfranchised communities. The private sector can make inclusion a priority in hiring and retention policies. Public-private partnerships can also help steer private funds and energies to programs that promote inclusion.
PREPARE FOR “BLACK SWAN” EVENTS
Beyond dealing with omnipresent threats, it is crucial to be as ready as possible for one-time catastrophes. Most cities may never experience truly horrific events, but it is important not to take solace in such probabilities, and to prepare for disasters before they occur. Those catastrophes could be purely natural. They could also become complex emergencies that superimpose themselves upon, or help to create, violent or anarchic security conditions. They could take place in cities already suffering significant violence; they could also produce shocks that create a breakdown in order. Given the growth of megacities, they could also easily affect 10 times as many people in a single incident as have been directly threatened by the world's 21st century natural catastrophes to date. The private sector can have a role here too—as in Manila in the Philippines, where a consortium of utilities and other companies has organized to help authorities in emergencies, with a single point of contact and clear coordination channels.
ENHANCE PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS
This theme is so central to our findings that it is interwoven throughout all six of the above principles, and hard to separate out from any of them. The “Securing Global Cities” paper attests to many examples of where it is working already—and argues strongly for expanding such efforts in the future. The importance of public-private collaboration bears emphasis in any summary of the core principles of the urban security enterprise.
President-elect Bolsonaro has been a divisive figure in Brazilian politics, but as he begins his presidency, he will have an opportunity to help unify the country if he can deliver on his promise to take on crime. That is an important priority for Brazil, to be sure, but it is also a daunting challenge. To be successful, he will need to emulate and implement best practices from around the world. Fortunately, many ideas and approaches have by now been tried in enough different places and settings that we are beginning to know a lot more about what works. I hope Bolsonaro will take the time to study and to learn.
L.A. County sheriff's sex crimes investigator arrested on suspicion of raping minor
by RICHARD WINTON and MAYA LAU
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Neil Kimball was arrested on suspicion of raping a 14-year-old girl who was part of a case he was investigating. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy assigned to handle sensitive sex abuse crimes, often involving vulnerable minors, has been arrested on suspicion of raping a 14-year-old girl in a case he was investigating.
Neil Kimball was taken into custody Friday evening after a monthlong inquiry into the allegations by the sheriff's criminal internal investigation bureau. He was booked on suspicion of rape by force and preventing or dissuading a victim from testifying.
The 45-year-old investigator with the special victims unit met the girl during the “scope of his work,” a department spokeswoman said Monday.
Kimball, a 20-year department veteran, has investigated dozens of child molestation cases in Los Angeles County as a member of the elite specialized unit since 2013.
“The investigation and arrest resulted from information provided to the department by a member of the public,” the Sheriff's Department said in a statement. It did not announce the arrest Friday and provided the statement after an inquiry by The Times.
Kimball was investigated previously, after a woman told the Sheriff's Department in February 2009 that Kimball had grabbed her hand several months earlier and tried to make her touch his genitals, according to a memo from the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. Prosecutors ultimately declined to charge Kimball in the case.
Addressing questions about why Kimball why was selected to join the Special Victims Bureau despite the 2009 investigation, the department said in a statement:
“The prior allegations involving Det. Kimball were presented to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office and criminal charges were declined due to insufficient evidence. The department will conduct a review of the internal process related to Det. Kimball's assignment at Special Victims Bureau.”
The statement also said that a review of Kimball's prior cases to ensure that there are no additional victims is underway.
Officials said the department has not reached out to prosecutors because there are no pending cases or allegations.
News of the arrest sent a tremor through the ranks of sex crime investigators, who are normally thoroughly vetted before receiving such assignments.
Dan Scott, a retired Sheriff's Department sergeant in the special victims unit who has investigated hundreds of child sex abuse cases, said of Friday's arrest: "This is a shock. The unit has never had something like this happen.”
The alleged attack occurred in November 2017 in Ventura County, said Ventura County Chief Assistant Dist. Atty. Michael Schwartz, whose office has been involved in the case for the last month. L.A. County sheriff's internal criminal affairs investigators reached out to the Ventura County office for assistance, officials said.
Kimball was relieved of duty with pay and was booked at the Los Angeles County Inmate Reception Center shortly after 11 p.m. Friday. His bail is set at $2 million.
Kimball has been away from the unit since August at a medical facility, said Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Nicole Nishida. Kimball was at the facility when the allegation was reported Oct. 10. A colleague at the special victims unit who took over some of his criminal investigations and contacted some of those involved learned of the accusation against Kimball, Nishida said.
"The internal criminal investigation bureau aggressively investigated the case and got a removal order for him from the facility on Friday and that is when he was arrested," Nishida said.
Citing confidentiality laws, Nishida said she could not provide details of the type of medical facility.
Efforts to reach a representative for Kimball were unsuccessful.
Ron Hernandez, president of the Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, said his group had not been contacted by Kimball for representation.
“Any time I hear allegations of law enforcement crossing the line of their authority and trust it's appalling, but I try to reserve my judgment until I know more details,” Hernandez said
In the 2009 allegation, a woman and her friends were stopped by Kimball and another deputy in the parking lot of a hotel where the group was staying in August 2008, according to the memo by Deputy Dist. Atty. Deborah Escobar.
While the group of friends was being questioned by Kimball, some of the women in the group asked to use the bathroom in their hotel room, and Kimball allowed it. The deputy followed them to their room, near where the woman who later complained started filling up a Jacuzzi, according to the memo.
The woman said Kimball told her and her female friends to get into the hot tub, and some of them complied, wearing their underwear, as Kimball flirted with them, the memo said.
When Kimball used the bathroom in the group's hotel room, the complainant went to check on him, and found the deputy exposing himself, according to the memo by Escobar. The woman said Kimball took her hand and placed it on his genitals and grabbed her buttocks, but she pulled away.
Prosecutors declined to file a charge of sexual battery against Kimball, finding no corroborating evidence of the woman's complaint. The witnesses in the hotel gave contradictory statements and the complainant failed to cooperate with investigators, Escobar wrote.
Scott said any prior allegations of sexual misconduct would normally exclude a person from the special victims unit.
"An investigation like this requires [that] you interview all the prior victims he came into contact with during his time there,” said Scott, who has served as a consultant on federal and county child abuse commissions. "You have to be very careful with the vetting for this unit because they come into contact with vulnerable victims."
Dep of Justice
Former L.A. County Deputy Sheriff Sentenced to 17½ Years in Prison for Scheming to Escort Large Amounts of Narcotics for $250,000
by Nicola T. Hanna, United States Attorney
Central District of California
LOS ANGELES – A former Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy was sentenced today to 210 months in federal prison for participating in an interstate drug trafficking conspiracy in which the deputy agreed to use his role as a law enforcement officer to ensure that narcotics were successfully transported.
Kenneth Collins, 51, of Chino, was sentenced by United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II, who also ordered the defendant to pay $38,000 in restitution.
In August, Collins pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana. Collins, who separated from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in late February, admitted to conspiring with at least two other individuals to accept cash payments in exchange for distributing large amounts of controlled substances. Collins also admitted to actively preventing the legitimate efforts of state and local law enforcement in exchange for cash payments up to $250,000.
“For years, former deputy Collins abused the trust of the people of Los Angeles County as a corrupt law enforcement officer motivated by greed,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna. “In public, he was sworn to uphold the law, but in private he was a gun-for-hire willing to help drug smugglers in exchange for getting his cut of the dirty profits.”
“Today's sentencing is a sober warning that those in a position of public trust will not be allowed to abuse their authority as a law enforcement officer,” said Assistant Director in Charge Paul Delacourt of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office. “Former deputy Collins betrayed the public's trust by placing a higher priority on satisfying his personal greed rather than ensuring the safety of our communities he was sworn to protect.”
As part of an undercover operation, FBI special agents arrested Collins and his two co-defendants in January after they arrived in Pasadena to provide security to transport nearly 45 pounds of cocaine and more than 13 pounds of methamphetamine to Las Vegas. Previously, Collins had negotiated a cash payment of $250,000 for his escort services. What Collins didn't know at the time was that he had entered into an agreement with an undercover FBI agent posing as the partner of a wealthy investor financing a drug trafficking operation.
Collins admitted that he and his co-defendants provided security in November 2017 for a Pasadena-to-Las Vegas shipment of what he believed was six kilograms methamphetamine, as well as marijuana and counterfeit cigarettes. Collins received $25,000 in cash for his team's security services that day.
Collins justified the high fees for his services by telling the undercover agent “we're cops” and “all of our transports make it through.” During one meeting with the undercover agent, Collins displayed his Sheriff's Department badge and firearm as proof that he was a law enforcement officer, thereby rendering his services more valuable to drug traffickers.
The undercover agent bought two pounds of marijuana from Collins for $6,000 in October 2017 as a “test run.” If the “test run” sale went well, Collins offered to sell up to $4 million of marijuana every month to the undercover agent, claiming he had a “connection” through which he could secure up to one ton of marijuana every month, according to court documents.
In recorded negotiations with the undercover agent, Collins also offered to intimidate and physically assault people in exchange for cash, court documents said. “I fix problems,” Collins bragged. “I make a lot of things go away.” Collins even claimed to have recently set someone's “$85,000 Cadillac truck on fire” for one of his other criminal “clients.”
When he pleaded guilty, Collins also admitted that, in an entirely separate encounter, where he again corruptly used his law enforcement position, he illegally seized approximately $160,000 in cash from a vehicle after conducting an unlawful traffic stop. Prior to the stop, Collins was aware there would be a large amount of cash in the vehicle and never reported the stop or the cash seizure to the LASD.
In his plea agreement, Collins further acknowledged that he used to be an instructor at the Emerging Leaders Academy, a life-skills class where LASD deputies were supposed to mentor adult ex-offenders to help them reintegrate into society. It was through the academy that Collins first met his co-defendant Grant Valencia, a student at the time.
Two co-defendants in this case – David Easter and Grant Valencia – each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. Valencia has been sentenced. Easter's sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 8.
The case against Collins and his co-defendants was investigated by the FBI, with cooperation from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lindsey Greer Dotson of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section.
from: Ciaran McEvoy, Public Information Officer