Many thanks to NAASCA's Terri Lanahan, Butte, Montana,
for her research into the news that appears on
the LACP & NAASCA web sites.
Bill that would end 'court-ordered rape' passes Senate
by TAYLOR STUCK, The Herald-Dispatch
CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Senate on Friday passed a bill to ban a little known but often traumatic practice currently permitted to occur in the state's court system.
Senate Bill 563 overrules a West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals decision allowing court-ordered gynecological and physical exams of victims in sexual offense proceedings. The bill prohibits a court from requiring an alleged victim from undergoing exams of the breasts, buttocks, anus or any part of the sex organs.
This is often referred to as "court-ordered rape."
"The court experience for victims of rape is intimidating and harrowing, but that's just the nature of the beast," said Sen. Mike Woelfel, D-Cabell, an attorney. "However, this bill, in my view, will take away one of the more onerous court opinions that involve that - and that is a defendant who we presume is guilty is going to force a victim to undergo a gynecological exam. It was just bad law. It's counterproductive."
Woelfel said it was another way for defense attorneys to intimidate a victim into dropping charges.
West Virginia and Kentucky are the only two states where court-ordered examinations were permitted by Supreme Court rulings out of 22 cases identified in the country where the practice was requested, according to a 2018 report by Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law professor of law Michelle Madden Dempsey.
In the 2009 case "State ex rel. J.W. v. Knight," the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled the Mercer County Circuit Court could order a limited physical exam of a 15-year-old sexual assault victim. The defendants, the victim's brothers, were trying to prove no sexual intercourse had occurred.
The court found there was no basis to deny the defendants' request.
"I don't know what the court was thinking," Woelfel said. "I'm glad we've corrected that, and I expect the House will go through with it, we will affirm it and the governor will sign it."
In her report, Dempsey says there are four reasons why court-ordered examinations should be prohibited.
First, it violates the victim's right to privacy, when in criminal proceedings they are just a witness. Second, there is the chance defendants will use the examination to harass and further traumatize a victim, and the mere possibility such an examination could be ordered could deter sexual assault victims from reporting crimes in the first place.
Lastly, Dempsey writes, the order is based on debunked science regarding female body structure, injury, healing and what are "regular" or "abnormal" medical findings, specifically relating to a female's hymen.
Illinois is the only state to have a law that regulates court-ordered examinations. In the 1980s the state's general assembly banned court-ordered psychiatric or psychological examinations of victims of alleged sex offenses, and the Illinois Supreme Court later expanded that to include physical examinations.
The law does not address, however, whether a victim's refusal to voluntarily undergo an examination at the defendant's request should impact the admissibility of other evidence.
Dempsey suggests specific language to address that, which is found in the Senate bill.
The Senate passed the bill unanimously, with Sens. Mark Maynard and Greg Boso absent. The bill was made effective from passage.
5 Killed in Workplace Shooting Near Chicago
by GINA MARTINEZ
Five people are dead and five police officers are wounded after a shooting Friday afternoon at the Henry Pratt Co. warehouse in Aurora, Ill., authorities confirm.
At a press conference in the hours after the shooting, Aurora Police Department Chief Kristen Ziman identified the gunman as 45-year-old Gary Martin, who was also killed.
On Saturday, Ziman identified the five victims of the shooting as human resources manager Clayton Parks, human resources intern Trevor Wehner, mold operator Russell Beyer, stock room attendant and forklift operator Vicente Juarez and plant manager Josh Pinkard.
Martin's motive remains unclear, though the Associated Press reports Martin was fired on Friday after working for the company for 15 years.
Ziman said Martin brought his gun into the warehouse, aware that there was a meeting happening, although officers do not know if he knew prior he was going to be fired. Police also do not yet know the reason behind his termination.
“He was called in,” Ziman told reporters. “We can surmise that he was speculative of what was going to happen, evidenced by him going with a firearm.”
Ziman said Martin shot and killed three of his co-workers who were in the room during the meeting. The other three co-workers were shot outside of the room. Two of them died.
The Henry Pratt Co. makes valves for the “potable water, wastewater, power generation and industrial markets,” according to its website. It's about 40 miles outside Chicago.
Ziman told reporters that immediately upon arriving at the scene, first responders were confronted by the gunman. Armed with a handgun, Martin struck two of the four first responders, she said.
Several teams of officers then entered the 29,000 square-foot building in an attempt to locate and stop Martin. When officers located the gunman, he fired at them, leading officers to shoot and kill Martin, Ziman said.
In total, five Aurora police officers were shot and treated for non life-threatening injuries, authorities confirmed.
“I know how quick response from our officers saved lives today,” Ziman said. “They took on gunfire but they pressed on until they located the shooter. Some are recovering from their physical wounds and others are home safe recovering from their emotional wounds. They are true heroes and we honor them for their selfless service to the citizens of Aurora.”
“But we still lost lives today and it cannot be over stated that those people did not deserve this,” she added. “Their families have our support.”
Aurora police also confirmed that in January 2014 Martin was issued a firearm owner's identification card after passing a background check.
Police said in March 2014, Martin purchased a Smith & Wesson .40-caliber handgun from an Aurora gun dealer. According to police, he applied for a concealed carry permit five days later, which required a fingerprinting and background check, and was rejected because of a 1995 Mississippi felony conviction.
President Donald Trump offered his condolences to the victims on Twitter Friday night.
Aurora gunman opened fire on his coworkers as soon as he lost his job
by Madeline Holcombe, CNN
CNN) Illinois gunman Gary Martin brought a pistol to his termination meeting at the sprawling Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora. When he found out he'd been fired Friday, he started killing the people in the room, authorities said.
After fatally shooting several people in the room at the manufacturing business he'd worked for 15 years, he stormed into the warehouse, witnesses said. There, he shot at more employees. In a rampage that lasted about 90 minutes before police killed him in a shootout, Martin killed five people and injured six people -- including five officers. "During this meeting he was terminated and my understanding from the witnesses is that he opened fire right after the termination," Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said at a news conference Saturday. "We believe that several people who were involved in that meeting are the ones who are deceased."
Gunman had been written up before firing
While it is not known whether the gunman knew he would be fired when he brought a firearm into his workplace, a company official said he had been going through a discipline procedure and had been written up before. Scott Hall, the CEO of Mueller Water Products, which owns the Henry Pratt Co., said the company has a progressive discipline process that can result in termination. "In order to be at the final step, he would have been through previous steps," Hall said. The gunman was being terminated for the culmination of various workplace rules violations, he said. "The only thing I know is that he was called in," Ziman said. "Once again we can surmise that he was speculative about what was going to happen as evidenced by him arming himself with a firearm. ... I don't know exactly what was communicated to him."
He 'went ballistic' and opened fire
Martin was "running down the aisle" gunning down people with a pistol that had a green laser sight on it, an employee told CNN affiliate WLS. "As soon as I saw the green thing and heard the shots, we left," said John Probst, who has worked at the plant for 40 years. "He started opening up on the room, and he was just shooting everybody." Probst said one of the victims who ran out with his arm bleeding told him the gunman "went ballistic." Four minutes after the first call to 911, police officers arrived on the scene and came under immediate fire, possibly from a window, police said. All those who were killed or hurt by gunfire -- except for the gunman -- appear to have been hit in the first few minutes of the incident, Ziman said. The shooting stopped as Martin apparently hid deeper within the warehouse. He was found about an hour and a half into the hunt in a rear machine shop, police said. He opened fire and officers fired back, killing him, authorities said.
Police released details about the victims. They included a plant manager, a human resources manager, an intern on his first day, and two other workers who were gunned down in the attack. Another of the gunman's colleagues was wounded. He also shot at responding police, wounding five. Police released the names of the five workers killed at the industrial valve manufacturer's 29,000-square-foot warehouse:
• Clayton Parks of Elgin, Illinois, the human resources manager.
• Trevor Wehner of DeKalb, Illinois, a human resources intern and a student at Northern Illinois University.
• Russell Beyer of Yorkville, Illinois, a mold operator.
• Vicente Juarez of Oswego, Illinois, a stockroom attendant and forklift operator.
• Josh Pinkard of Oswego, Illinois, the plant manager.
The names of the five wounded police officers and the wounded worker -- all men -- were not immediately released. Of the wounded officers, four were shot and one had shrapnel wounds, police said. At least three of the officers were still hospitalized Saturday, police said.
He didn't legally own the gun
The gunman did not legally own the pistol he used in the attack, police said. He had been issued a firearm owner's identification card, or FOID card, in January 2014, and in March of that year passed a background check and purchased a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun from a dealer, according to Ziman. But when he applied for a concealed-carry permit later that month, his fingerprints for another background check flagged him for a felony conviction, Ziman said. Authorities discovered that the gunman was convicted of aggravated assault in Mississippi in 1995. Ziman said his concealed-carry permit was rejected and his FOID card was revoked. State police sent him a letter telling him to voluntarily relinquish his weapon to police, Ziman said. How the gunman ended up keeping the gun will be part of the investigation of the incident. "We're looking into whether we followed up on that, and what agencies followed up on that," she said.
2 million victims a year
More than 2 million Americans each year report being victims of workplace violence, according to the federal government. Many more cases go unreported. "The point of termination is perhaps the greatest opportunity for deadly workplace violence," said Kathleen Bonczyk, the founder and executive director of the Florida-based non-profit Workplace Violence Prevention Institute. Bonczyk said the firing of longer-term employees can involve the greatest risk.
"It's almost like a divorce from a family," she said. "Americans today tend to spend more time at work than they do even at home. They tend to have more lunches, dinners, meals, time spent with their coworkers. You're severing perhaps the most stable relationship that the employee may have." In 2017, about 77% of workplace homicides involved a firearm, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And, even as workplace homicides decreased over the past decade, the number of killings has increased in recent years.
CNN's Faith Karimi, Ray Sanchez, Jason Hanna and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.
Jussie Smollett Case To Go To Grand Jury
Doubt MAGA Comment Because Trump Folks Don't Watch 'Empire'
(TMZ) -- A grand jury will hear the Jussie Smollett case early next week ... law enforcement sources tell TMZ.
Law enforcement sources connected to the investigation tell TMZ, the 2 brothers who were arrested and then released are staying somewhere around the Loop in downtown Chicago under the watchful eye of police so no one gets to them. We're told cops especially want to make sure Jussie does not contact the brothers.
We're told when police raided the home of the 2 brothers they found magazines with pages torn out, and authorities are now trying to determine if the missing pages are connected to the threatening letter that was sent to Jussie 8 days before the alleged attack.
Our sources say early on they asked Jussie if he'd sign complaints against the 2 men who attacked him and he was clear that he would. But, when he found out the 2 brothers were the ones in custody we're told he said he knew them, felt bad for them and declined to sign the complaints.
Our sources say although cops believe the brothers purchased the rope that was around Jussie's neck after the incident, there is no surveillance video at the hardware store because it erases after a week.
We're told the way they tracked the 2 brothers down was by their movements in arriving and leaving the scene around Jussie's apartment building. As we reported, they left in either a cab or an Uber, but we're told cops tracked the vehicle and the 2 brothers got out on their way home and into another vehicle. As one source put it, "It was almost like a bad spy movie."
The sources say there were red flags from the get-go. Cops were extremely suspicious when Jussie took them out to the area where he said he was attacked and pointed to an obscure camera saying how happy he was that the attack was on video. Turns out the camera was pointing in the wrong direction. Cops thought it was weird he knew the location of that camera.
And, there's this. We're told investigators didn't believe the 2 alleged attackers screamed, "This is MAGA country," because, "Not a single Trump supporter watches 'Empire.'"
And, a few loose ends ... we're told when cops picked up the 2 brothers at O'Hare Airport, police were armed with 3 warrants for each man, one of which was to seize their phones.
We're also told there is no video of a "rehearsal" of the attack in the street.
Jussie and his lawyer have vehemently denied the attack was staged, maintaining this was a hate crime.
Police sources: New evidence suggests Jussie Smollett orchestrated attack
by Ryan Young, Brad Parks and Dakin Andone, CNN
Chicago (CNN) -- Two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation tell CNN that Chicago Police believe actor Jussie Smollett paid two men to orchestrate an assault on him that he reported late last month.
Smollett denies playing a role in his attack, according to a statement from his attorneys.
The men, who are brothers, were arrested Wednesday but released without charges Friday after Chicago police cited the discovery of "new evidence."
The sources told CNN the two men are now cooperating fully with law enforcement.
Smollett told authorities he was attacked early January 29 by two men who were "yelling out racial and homophobic slurs." He said one attacker put a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him.
The sources told CNN there are records that show the two brothers purchased the rope found around Smollett's neck at a hardware store in Chicago.
Smollett's attorneys, Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, issued a statement to CNN Saturday night saying Smollett was angry about these latest developments.
"As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with," the statement read. "He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying."
Smollett's attorneys said they expect further updates from Chicago police on the investigation and will continue cooperating with authorities.
"At the present time, Jussie and his attorneys have no inclination to respond to 'unnamed' sources inside of the investigation, but will continue discussions through official channels," the statement read.
Smollett identifies as gay and since 2015 has played the gay character of Jamal on the Fox TV drama "Empire."
According to Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, the actor told detectives he was attacked by two men near the lower entrance of a Loews hotel in Chicago. Police were told the two men yelled "'Empire' fa***t" and "'Empire' n***er'" while striking him.
In a supplemental interview with authorities, Smollett confirmed media reports that one of the attackers also shouted, "This is MAGA country," a reference to President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan.
The day after the incident, police released surveillance images that showed two silhouetted individuals walking down a sidewalk, and police said they were wanted for questioning.
The two men were arrested Wednesday. Police on Friday said the men were being viewed as "potential suspects" and that detectives had "probable cause that they may have been involved in an alleged crime."
But by Friday night they had been released, Guglielmi said, "due to new evidence as a result of today's investigations."
"And detectives have additional investigative work to complete," he added.
One of the men has appeared on "Empire," Guglielmi said. A police source also told CNN on Friday night that the men had a previous affiliation with Smollett, but did not provide additional details.
Smollett has expressed frustration about not being believed
Following the alleged attack, Smollett's colleagues and fans rallied around him, expressing shock and sadness.
"We have to love each other regardless of what sexual orientation we are because it shows that we are united on a united front," Lee Daniels, the creator of "Empire," said in a video posted to his Instagram page on January 29. "And no racist f*** can come in and do the things that they did to you. Hold your head up, Jussie. I'm with you."
Smollett gave his first detailed account of what he says was a hate crime against him, and the aftermath, in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" that aired Thursday.
During the interview he expressed frustration at not being believed.
"It feels like if I had said it was a Muslim or a Mexican or someone black I feel like the doubters would have supported me a lot much more," Smollett said. "And that says a lot about the place where we are as a country right now."
Smollett stated that one of the attackers shouted "this is MAGA country" before punching him in the face. But he refuted reports that said he told police the attackers wore "Make America Great Again" hats.
"I never said that," he told ABC's Robin Roberts. "I didn't need to add anything like that. They called me a f****t, they called me a n****r. There's no which way you cut it. I don't need some MAGA hat as the cherry on some racist sundae."
CNN's Ryan Young and Brad Parks reported from Chicago, while Dakin Andone reported and wrote this story in Atlanta. CNN's Lisa Respers France, Sandra Gonzalez, Deanna Hackney, Shawn Nottingham and Amir Vera contributed to this report.
Audio / Video (runs 2:37)
NYPD Officer and DJ: Community Policing Through Music
by Evgeny Maslov
A New York disc jockey wearing a policeman's uniform. The outfit is not a costume, it's the work uniform of New York City Police officer who takes his hobby as a DJ seriously. Lieutenant Acu Rhodes says it started as a casual pastime, but quickly became a serious devotion. So serious that Rhodes, or DJ Ace, turned it into part of the NYPD's community policing outreach. Evgeny Maslv reports from New York City, in this story narrated by Anna Rice.
Goshen Police District shifts to need for community policing
by KEVIN HOWELL
Salem, OHIO -- Statistics for all three of the jurisdictions in the Goshen Police District are as follows:
2018: 3,790 total calls; 496 traffic stops; six assaults; four breaking and enterings; two burglaries; one detective investigation; 36 domestics; two overdoses; nine OVIs; six sex offenses; 26 thefts; eight injury crashes.
2017: 4,752 total calls; 667 traffic stops; four assaults; two breaking and enterings; two burglaries; three detective investigations; 16 domestics; seven overdoses; seven OVIs; three sex offenses; 13 thefts; 10 injury crashes.
2018: 5,162 total calls; 554 traffic stops; four assaults; two breaking and enterings; four burglaries; no detective investigations; 19 domestics; five overdoses; eight OVIs; four sex offenses; 10 thefts; 15 injury crashes.
2017: 4,883 total calls; 602 traffic stops; no assaults; one breaking and entering; one burglary; one detective investigation; 20 domestics; two overdoses; seven OVIs; no sex offenses; 18 thefts; 15 injury crashes.
2018: 1,892 total calls; 221 traffic stops; five assaults; three breaking and enterings; two burglaries; no detective investigations; 24 domestics; one overdose; three OVIs; one sex offense; 18 thefts; one injury crash.
2017: 2,458 total calls; 135 traffic stops; four assaults; two breaking and enterings; one burglary; no detective investigations; nine domestics; one overdose; two OVIs; two sex offenses; 16 thefts; one injury crash.
GOSHEN TOWNSHIP — A decrease in total calls and traffic stops in two of the three jurisdictions of the Goshen Police District in 2018 shows the department's shift from a need for enforcement to a need for community policing, according to police Chief Steve McDaniel.
In 2018, the department saw a decrease from 2017 in total calls in both Goshen and Green townships, as well as a decrease in traffic stops in Goshen Township and Beloit. There was an increase in total calls in Beloit and in traffic stops in Green Township.
McDaniel said his officers were being more proactive in 2018, making more traffic stops for more issues in Green Township, but the decrease in total calls was due to less problems. He said the areas that had less traffic stops were due to weather (rain slows down drivers) and drivers being more aware of the patrolling officers.
“Tickets are down, but warnings are up,” he said. “It's a way of saying ‘slow down' and documenting our stops,” he explained.
Overall, McDaniel said he is pleased with the enforcement in 2018.
“2018 was a good year. I hope 2019 stays that way,” he said.
In 2019, McDaniel said his department will be looking to increase community policing, noting the enforcement has evidently been addressed, as shown by the decrease in total calls and traffic stops.
“We want to become more community oriented with officers, be more visible in the community,” he said, noting a new radio system will make foot patrol possible. “I want officers to stop and talk to people who are outside, interact with residents.”
McDaniel said he hopes to have more community days and Coffee with a Cop days in 2019, as well having an officer become a safety seat instructor to hold events to ensure seats are properly installed.
The department is also open to residents at any time.
“I welcome anyone to stop in and see the police department and talk with officers,” McDaniel said.
Bond Neighborhood honors Tallahassee Police Department for community policing efforts
by Mariel Carbone
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- With Tallahassee's Bond Neighborhood seeing a decrease in crime, the community is coming together to honor the efforts of the Tallahassee Police Department.
"We're doing that because it's time, we're doing this because it's the right thing to do," said Jacqueline Perkins, Chair of the neighborhood's crime and safety prevention committee.
Perkins helped develop the Bond Neighborhood First Plan, which includes a focus on public safety. She said through efforts to work hand in hand with TPD, the neighborhood is seeing great success. And, over the last year TPD has stepped up community policing in the area, specifically with its COPPS Squad, which is tasked with enhancing community relations.
"We supported the cameras, we support any efforts they have with community policing. And we know that the neighborhood has been improved tremendously," said Perkins. "Everybody is happy. We are all excited to know that we have reduced crime in our neighborhood and that we're working together. And so while it's not perfect and anything can be improved, we're on our way."
Efforts by the COPPS Squad can include biking through the
neighborhood, talking with residents, playing basketball with children and more. All, to help forge a stronger bond and prevent crime.
"It's more than just seeing a cop in a car, you're seeing them on a bike, or playing basketball," said COPPS Squad member Austin Kauffman, who patrols in Bond. "We can go out on any given day and bike or walk through the community and really feel the support."
Some long time residents said they can really tell the difference.
"I thank the lord for the police. Because if it wasn't for the police, I'd dig a hole and get in it," said Bond resident Larry Murray.
However, instead of holding a ceremony, Murray said there is a better way to honor the police department. That is by helping the police in any way you can.
"If I do what I'm supposed to do to help the police and help Bond, I'm honoring the police," he said.
Local department expanding community policing with technology
CASTLE SHANNON, Pa. - Castle Shannon Police are using a new app to improve public safety.
Last week, the department became the first in western Pennsylvania to formally join the Neighbors App.
The goal is to help police have eyes on all areas of the borough.
"You have the larger cameras actually protecting the main arteries coming in and out of Castle Shannon. The piece that's missing is the back streets and the neighborhoods," Police Chief Ken Truver said.
The app allows residents to quickly share home surveillance video with police if a crime is committed.
"If you had a crime in your neighborhood the police would go door-to-door to neighborhood canvass. Now that we have all of this technology out there, it's a force multiplier where we can get all of this activity and evidence," Truver said.
The video can only be shared with the users permission.
"If you see something, say something. It's the Homeland Security motto and we've been using it for years on our website. Now, with this new portal, if you see something, say something and if you have something, share something," Truver said.
Castle Shannon residents can join the Neighbors App by clicking here.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
New community policing program could bring more officers to your neighborhood
by Shelby Cashman
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque Police say a man killed himself with an explosive device last week behind the Smith's on Coors and Central. Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said the situation could have been much worse, had it not been for a new Problem Response Team that was already patrolling the area. The shopping center is now part of the city's new West Central Safety Corridor. "They were able to triage the situation and keep the public safe in a way we could never do by calling it in,” said Mayor Keller.
Officers are designated to specific areas to start building relationships with the community. "Every one of the business owners behind me have my cell phone number,” said Sergeant Larry Middleton, who is assigned to the area.
The pilot program launched last month, and, according to Albuquerque Police, they have already seen a decrease in calls. This time last year, 90 percent of calls were through 9-11. So far this year, only 50 percent came in that way. The others were from the officers already on scene.
"Essentially we are cutting out the middle man of citizens calling in and we are actually proactively policing again,” said Mayor Keller.
Business owners are thankful for the new program and say so far it has made a difference. "It truly has helped. It's a huge difference from a year ago when we first moved into this space,” said James Pecherski, who owns the Casa Taco in the Smith's shopping center.
New York City
Community Policing, Rightly Understood
From the beginning, the crime-fighting revolution, starting in 1990s New York, was based on a cooperative relationship between cops and the public.
George L. Kelling
Over the last quarter of a century, the United States has seen historic drops in crime—most famously in New York. These gains, once thought impossible, were achieved largely through dramatic innovations in policing, especially the adoption of an approach that stressed order maintenance in communities, data- and intelligence-gathering, and a problem-solving approach to crime and disorder.
In recent years, however, antipolice sentiment has risen in the U.S., sparked in part by a series of tragic, high-profile police-involved killings in major cities but also by the work of critics, mostly on the left but also on the libertarian right, who argue that targeted policing aimed at public disorder is coercive, hostile to community life, and often racist. These critics see such policing as the antithesis to what they call community policing. The arguments that have gained popular currency among police critics have essentially blinded them from seeing that the sort of aggressive policing that they object to can actually be an element of a community-policing model.
The increasingly widespread view that community policing and order-maintenance efforts are at odds represents a fundamental misunderstanding. In reality, the proactive policing that New York first undertook in its subway system under then–transit police chief William J. Bratton in the early 1990s—informed in significant part by Broken Windows theory—was a core element of community policing. Indeed, the very behaviors that residents wanted more heavily policed called for exactly the sort of approach that many modern community-policing advocates now decry.
For decades prior, the prevailing model saw the role of police as responding to serious crime, and it relied on traditional measures of enforcement actions such as arrests and response time to gauge whether they were accomplishing their mission. Call it the law-enforcement model. Policing and criminal-justice policy were, as I wrote in City Journal back in 1992, driven by “the official crime problem as defined in crime, response, and arrest statistics.” But a shift was already under way; soon, police forces would begin to focus their attention on what community members perceived to be the most serious problems that their neighborhoods faced.
Origins of the paradigm began to emerge around the country during the 1980s, when some of its basic ideas began to be implemented in programs such as team policing, increased foot patrol, and improved community relations. But it wasn't until the 1990s that there was, in the Big Apple, a full-scale reorientation of policing around the community; and that development constituted a once-in-a-generation paradigm shift, setting an example that would be followed by urban police departments across the country. Integral to this move was Bratton, at the time a young police chief from Boston. He would serve first as chief of the transit police in New York City, from 1990 to 1993, and then as NYPD commissioner from 1994 to 1996. He returned for a second stint as New York's police chief, under Mayor Bill de Blasio, in 2014, serving until 2016. I worked with him as a consultant during both periods.
Community policing is often portrayed as being soft on crime. A Google search of the phrase turns up images of smiling police officers allowing children to sit on top of motorcycles, posing for pictures, playing touch football, and making presentations to schoolchildren. This risks making community policing seem like a publicity stunt, an insincere attempt by cops to foster a gentler image—what some law-and-order critics mock as “hug-a-thug” enforcement. Community policing, rightly understood, can be, and often is, aggressive and even intrusive, depending on the community's concerns.
It's important to understand the context in which the new policing model emerged; today's police critics fail to appreciate that context. In essence, they can't help but see the efforts of New York City cops in the 1990s through 2019 eyes. Compared with today, the New York of the 1990s was a very different world—and residents' worries were different, too. The decay of public spaces was at the forefront of many New Yorkers' minds. People wanted to use public parks, ride public transportation, and walk in their neighborhoods without fear of being victimized by an aggressive beggar, mentally disturbed street person, or young gangbanger.
Crime was then a daily fear for New Yorkers. In 1990, New York saw 2,262 murders, along with more than 100,000 robberies; in 2017, by sharp contrast, there were 292 murders and 14,000 robberies in the city. Yet, scary as crime was, community fear has always been more closely correlated with public disorder. And by the early 1990s, as City Journal readers know well, New York City was two decades into a meteoric rise in visible disorder. Subway trains were covered in graffiti. Times Square was overrun by prostitutes, pimps, and drug dealers. A drive through the Bronx would reveal whole blocks on which only one structure—if any—remained standing. A trip to the corner store would often require cutting through a group of youngsters dealing drugs, drinking, playing loud music, or catcalling young women.
As this kind of disorder worsened, law-abiding residents began to feel increasingly vulnerable to more serious street crime. The disorder made people feel that no one was in charge, and if no one was in charge, anything could happen. More and more New Yorkers began to avoid many public spaces. And the absence of law-abiding citizens from public spaces allowed those spaces, and the surrounding neighborhoods, to fall further into disorder. Eventually, this breakdown encouraged more serious criminal behavior. My colleague James Q. Wilson and I explained the phenomenon in a 1982 article for The Atlantic . I saw my role as a consultant working with Bratton in the 1990s as helping police to incorporate this reality into how they approached their jobs.
The only way to give law-abiding citizens the confidence to begin taking back public spaces from those ruining them—with litter, noise pollution, overaggressive panhandling, drug dealing, boorish behavior such as public urination, and more serious criminal acts—was to respond to their concerns. Police needed to make clear that the problems that the community identified as priorities would be addressed. This focus on the community was an all-important first step in turning New York City around.
Though there is a popular conception today of what “community policing” means, it was actually a concrete idea that my colleague Mark Moore and I described in great detail in a 1988 paper published as part of the Harvard Kennedy School's Executive Session on Policing. In short, the various forms of policing are best understood as integrated organizational strategies with seven essential elements: the function of police in society; how police departments are organized ; how police manage demand for their services; how police interact with the external environment ; how police measure success ; the sources from which police obtain their legitimacy and authority ; and the tactics that police adopt to perform their function. Community policing, properly understood, reflects a department's reorientation around public concerns with respect to each of those elements. Though some police department officials had been paying lip service to community policing for nearly a decade, it had never truly and fully been done until Bratton and his colleagues ushered in a new approach with respect to each of these elements. This process involved considerable trial and error.
The new approach broadened the main function of earlier policing—law enforcement and response to crimes after they are committed—to include crime prevention, order maintenance, and fear reduction. Instead of just reacting, policing in 1990s New York started to pursue crime prevention, partly by recognizing the relationship between disorder and crime. As Bratton often acknowledged, the idea that cops could and should prevent crime and disorder could be traced back to the father of British policing, Sir Robert Peel, whose nine principles of policing, promulgated in 1829, opened with that preventive role. When Bratton arrived in New York, police were still being told that they couldn't do anything to deter crime. But experience told him that wasn't true: “I could do something about crime,” he said. “I could do something about disorder; and it was key to do both.”
Enlisting the public in this battle was a key aspect of Bratton's plan to turn New York City's crime crisis around. As he saw it, police had to work with everyone with skin in the game. The broader and deeper the partnerships the police forge with community members, the stronger the resulting trust, which will be crucial in times of stress, such as when police make inevitable mistakes. As chief of the transit police, Bratton ensured that the department assumed responsibility for reducing the then-endemic crime and disorder in the subways and that it made its efforts as visible as possible, in order to make riders feel more secure. One example: transit cops began regularly to board trains and address any issues they came across—such as a homeless person sleeping on a row of seats—and announcements of an inspection would be made on the train's public-address systems, so that riders knew that it was happening. Another example: the department launched new anti-fare-evasion efforts, which included the use of “bust buses”—hollowed-out transit-authority buses deployed as mobile arrest-processing centers. This signaled to the public that the transit police were doing something about fare-beaters, and it also cut down on the overtime logged by arresting officers, who no longer needed to go all the way downtown to do their bookings.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority did its part to promote the change, via clever subway ads. Bratton remembers “a wonderful cover photograph done in black, white, and blue fogged images, which was used on posters that were put up in the subway to advertise Transit Police efforts, to say ‘we're here, we're working.' ”
Responding to the subway disorder had early and unexpected benefits. Transit police found that one out of every seven fare-evaders was wanted on a warrant, while one out of 21 was carrying a weapon. Cops called it the “Cracker Jack box” effect. Kids would buy a box of the caramel-covered popcorn snack for the toy inside as much as for the popcorn itself; when it came to enforcing laws against fare evasion, the “toy”—the thing that made the effort even more worthwhile, for both the cops and the public—was the weapon or wanted criminal taken off the street. By making what turned out to be important arrests through the enforcement of what was (and is still today) regarded as a minor offense, transit cops began seeing their role as preventing more serious crime through order maintenance; previously, the sense among the rank and file was that they were there primarily to protect the city's revenue stream.
Reorienting police also required fundamental changes to how they were managed and organized . Prior to the early 1990s, police departments were highly centralized, both geographically and structurally. Now, geographic decentralization and discretion for lower-level management and beat cops were promoted. Limiting discretion had its uses—it lessened opportunities for officers to engage in corruption, for instance. But beat cops and lower-level supervisors were closer to the neighborhoods that they policed and had greater insight into their problems than did their departments' executive officers. Empowering them made the police more responsive to the public—and more effective at fighting crime.
Decentralization encouraged less reliance on 911 and more direct contact with precinct officers, allowing police to manage demand for their services more directly. One of the most effective ways of creating such interaction is through police/community meetings, where citizens can air their concerns. But foot patrols are perhaps even more important. Foot patrols place officers within arm's reach of the community, looping them into disputes and allowing them to field requests for service on the spot, with no middleman. In addition to making cops more accessible, foot patrols help restore the sense of security that citizens need in order to do their part to enforce community norms, knowing that backup is not far away.
Community policing, as we understood it, called for an unprecedented level of interaction between police and the external environment —which included the public as well as the private sector. When it came to giving the community a voice in identifying and dealing with problems in the subway, the MTA used focus groups to learn what subway riders thought about the system. The results enabled transit police to understand public frustrations. Abundant research on community concerns taught Bratton that disorder, unlike major crime, was something people experienced every day, viscerally and personally. If robberies declined, people might not feel the effect immediately; but if fare-evaders and aggressive beggars disappeared and subway stations were cleaner and brighter, people using the subway would feel safer. Not only did focus groups give police a better idea of the public's priorities; they also proved useful in getting a sense of whether their efforts were alleviating the public's fears about crime and disorder. Using these sorts of data to measure success is another example of how policing in 1990s New York bucked the old standard.
The NYPD also worked with the private and nonprofit sectors on initiatives to restore public order. For example, the department partnered with local business-improvement districts to identify areas of New York that needed cleaning, better lighting, and other services.
While working with the community as a partner, police sometimes have to take unpopular, tough stances. It's true that disorder drives public fear—and that members of minority groups themselves wanted relief from it—but addressing it meaningfully was not easy, given racial tensions in New York City during the late 1980s and 1990s. Because crime in New York wasn't spread equally throughout the city's five boroughs, the disproportionate impact of enforcement efforts put significant strain on the department's relationship with some members of New York's black and Latino communities. Much of the crime—and, by extension, the law enforcement—was concentrated in these areas. Yet the city's extraordinary crime problem demanded a strong police response. “It had to be done,” Bratton says. “The police had to be more assertive.” (The assertiveness of Broken Windows misdemeanor enforcement, however, does not equate with “zero tolerance” policies and high-arrest strategies, as is sometimes alleged; done correctly, order-maintenance policing does not rely on such practices.) The resolve paid off: in the years following, major (and minor) crime declined enough to save countless lives, reduce public fear, and make the city's meanest streets walkable again—and the greatest drops citywide occurred in heavily minority neighborhoods.
In a city with, as Bratton puts it, “something like 275 recognized neighborhoods, all with different priorities and problems that changed from time to time,” the NYPD also had to be adaptive. No two expressions of community policing will be identical across locations and communities—whether in New York or any other city. Changes in the characteristics of one element of the strategy require complementary adjustments in others: for example, the development and use of more aggressive tactics to deal with particular crime problems requires that police involve citizens even more closely to maintain their consent and support, because part of the paradigm shift involved a recognition that the police derive their legitimacy and authority from the public they serve. Likewise, a move toward decentralization requires administrative refinements: those gaining new authority on the ground will need additional training and accountability measures to handle their expected use of discretion in problem-solving, while managers will have to develop new skills for supervising their officers' wider-ranging activities. For community policing to work, ongoing and continual adjustment of its various elements is required; it is not set in stone.
Police forces have many tactical options at their disposal. For the NYPD, perhaps one of the most important tactics was the use of data to inform police in deploying their resources, allowing them to develop solutions to specific problems. Bratton saw CompStat—the computer-based system allowing police to record and analyze crime patterns and enforcement activity—as the ultimate blend of data and accountability. Making crime data available in nearly real time helped the police track their progress and measure success. Giving power away also required ensuring that it was being used appropriately. Using data to track crime and enforcement activity made it possible to hold precinct commanders accountable by showing clearly whether their approaches to crime in their jurisdictions were effective. CompStat enabled the police to prioritize high-crime areas and target the types of offenses that community members were most concerned about.
One reason such initiatives were so effective in reducing crime was that they reflected an understanding of the critical link between crime and disorder. That connection was stronger than most thought, as my colleague William Souza and I documented in a 2001 report for the Manhattan Institute. It found that, on average, every misdemeanor arrest in a given precinct was associated with 0.036 fewer violent crimes. Order maintenance serves effectively as a tactic for overall crime reduction, partly because of the overlap between violent and nonviolent offenders.
Unfortunately, some New Yorkers seem to be noticing a regression toward the sorts of public disorder that characterized the city decades ago. That perception has followed an official push on the part of some city leaders to roll back police authority to deal with such public-order offenses as fare evasion and public urination. The push reflects a misunderstanding of what true community policing is. New Yorkers who don't wish to see the city's gains eroded only need look to the transformation that its police were responsible for bringing about in the early 1990s—one that set an example for cities and police around the country. The lessons learned then remain applicable today; but applying them properly will require recognition that the law-enforcement model should give way to real community policing.
George L. Kelling, a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and longtime contributor to City Journal, is one of the nation's leading thinkers on the topic of urban policing.
Independent monitor asks judge to approve 'much-needed' community policing plan
by Sarah Buduson
CLEVELAND — The independent monitor overseeing reforms to the Cleveland Division of Police requested a federal judge approve extensive plans to improve the oft strained relationship between police officers and the citizens they serve in the city.
In a motion filed Thursday, Matthew Barge asked U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. to approve the community policing plan, a key part of planned reforms in the consent decree the City of Cleveland signed with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2015.
Barge said the plan is “an important, much-needed document that sets out necessary organizational changes and new expectations” for the city's police force.
The plan requires patrol officers to spend significantly more time building positive relationships with citizens during their shifts. The plan also says the city will track the amount of time officers spend making community engagement efforts.
The community policing plan has been in the works for more than two years. It was created after the monitoring team held several meetings to solicit public input.
Barge also recommended the court sign off on plans to improve the hiring and recruiting process and related to district policing committees in two additional motions he filed yesterday.
Cleveland has already implemented other key policies required by the consent decree, including training officers to deal with mental health crises as well as how and when officers should use force during interactions with citizens.
Completed Cleveland community policing plan is ‘much-needed,' monitor says
by Eric Heisig
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The monitor overseeing reforms within the Cleveland police department recommended that a federal judge approve key plans that address how officers are used and how the city will recruit a more diverse police force.
Matthew Barge, in three motions he filed in federal court Thursday, said his team approves of a comprehensive community policing plan that the city worked on for the better part of two years.
Barge also said U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. should OK plans related to the city's police recruitment practices and its district policing committees – which is tasked with fostering relationships between police and community leaders.
(You can read the motions and the plans at the bottom of this story.)
Of the three plans, though, the community policing plan is the one designed to have the biggest impact on how officers do their jobs.
Community policing is one of several key areas the police department agreed to address as part of its 2015 reform agreement with the Justice Department. The city previously drafted and enacted new policies as a result of the agreement, known as a consent decree, to regulate how officers use force and deal with the mentally ill.
Under the plan, patrol officers would be required to interact with the public in a positive way instead of simply running from call to call. The goal is to improve a historically fraught relationship between police and the people they're sworn to serve. The city will track the efforts of officers through its computer-aided dispatch system.
While the plan calls for specialized community policing, the brunt of that work would fall on the patrol divisions, which make up the majority percent of the police department's manpower. The plan requires patrol officers, on average, to spend 20 percent of their shifts on community engagement efforts.
However, talking to residents and solving problems would be required of every officer.
City consent decree coordinator Greg White said in May that the community policing plan may be the one that has the biggest impact, as improving a historically fraught relationship between many residents and police could help to reduce crime.
The city drafted the final plan after soliciting input from the public, as well as the monitoring team and the Justice Department. Barge wrote in Thursday's motion that the plan “is an important, much-needed document that sets out necessary organizational changes and new expectations for all CDP members.”
The recruitment plan has been in the works for more than three years.
The plan says the group is tasked with finding people who can most easily incorporate community policing into their daily routines, as they must recognize that the primary task of officers is typically not to arrest people but instead solve community problems.
The city created a recruitment team while developing the plan that consists of two police officers, one firefighter and one emergency medical technician. Police Sgt. Charmin Leon serves as the officer in charge. The team must receive training on recruitment techniques, the plan states.
Cleveland police rolled out plans related to community policing, staffing and recruiting at the same time in May of last year. The monitoring team has not yet asked Oliver to approve the staffing plan, though work on it continues. Police Chief Calvin Williams presented the plan (see the article below) to the City Council's safety committee on Wednesday.
Cleveland City Council quizzes Chief Calvin Williams on deployment, seeking a more visible police presence
by Robert Higgs
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Members of Cleveland City Council looked to Chief Calvin Williams for reassurance Wednesday that his bolstered police ranks would mean residents would see more officers in their neighborhoods.
Williams presented a new deployment plan for his department to council's Safety Committee, a plan he says will make for more efficient operations and allow for better policing.
City Council President Kevin Kelley said increased recruitment efforts – Cleveland graduated five classes of police cadets in 2018 – should help the department meet public expectations.
"To me the main things people expect from the police is that they see them, that they show up when they're called and that they are respectful to people in the community.” Kelley said.
Members quizzed the chief on a variety of topics over the course of the three-hour hearing, from re-establishing mini-stations in wards to providing greater traffic control.
Here's some of the issues they raised.
What are the numbers?
Cleveland has aggressively sought to increase the size of its police force. It graduated 239 cadets in 2016, to bring the force to nearly 1,640 officers. Nearly 1,200 are patrol officers.
The department had been struggling to regain staffing since layoffs in 2004 and 2006 that eliminated 375 jobs. After voters raised the city income tax from 2 percent to 2.5 percent in 2016, money became available to expand the force.
Two more classes are underway now. Another two are expected to be started before the year is up.
Is that enough?
Councilman Mike Polensek sought assurances that the department would be able to maintain its size, given that each year it loses 80 to 100 officers to retirements and attrition.
And even if that's the case, Polensek said he would like to see more officers. A member of council since the 1970s, he recalled efforts in the late 1990s that expanded the department's to more than 1,900 officers.
Williams said each recruitment class should yield about 40 officers – enough to collectively keep up with retirements. The department has averaged about 75 departures annually year over the last 10 years. The average is more like 90 a year over the last five, driven up by an unusually large number – more than 100 – in 2016.
Will the plan foster a sense of safety?
Violent crime and serious property crime declined in Cleveland for a second year in a row. Yet Williams has acknowledged that Cleveland is fighting a perception that some neighborhoods are crime-ridden.
Ward 1 in the southeast part of Cleveland provides an example. It registered the lowest crime numbers for 2018 of any of the wards on the East Side, yet Councilman Joe Jones described it as struggling with crime.
“It almost feels like I'm in a war zone at times when I'm in my neighborhood,” Jones said. “The people want to see the police officers in their neighborhood. They want to know the police are here.”
The staffing numbers in the deployment plan were set based on what the department would need to efficiently handle about 270,000 calls for service a year, the department's average. Those include everything from barking dog to shootings.
Those numbers reflect a net gain of patrol cars on the street and staffing for community engagement.
Does that mean mini-stations might return?
They are not included in the deployment plan.
Cleveland's wards once had police mini-stations, but then-Mayor Jane Campbell closed them as part of budget cuts.
Members of council still clamor for their return. Last April, 12 members wrote to Williams asking they be reopened.
"When mini-stations were active in our wards, there was continuous engagement between officers and residents," their letter states. "Officers patrolled streets and developed one-on-one relationships with residents that allowed them to de-escalate safety threats and identify nuisances."
On Wednesday, Polensek again mentioned police mini-stations to ease fears in the neighborhoods.
Williams has resisted, arguing that it isn't efficient to tie officers to mini-stations, rather than allowing them to be deployed on patrol and to engage with the public.