Many thanks to NAASCA's Terri Lanahan, Butte, Montana,
for her research into the news that appears on
the LACP & NAASCA web sites.
Global effects of gangsterism and policing
Union calls on all community structures mandated to fight gangsterism to closely work with police
by Richard Mamabolo
In our country, just as in many other parts of dwellings across the world, gangsterism has since time-immemorial been a common occurrence at varying levels. In current times, its growing emergence has largely been attributed to poverty, inequality and unemployment. As a country, we are beginning to realize heightened altercations like no other time since our democratic breakthrough twenty-five years ago, and this has even spread to our schools where there is a huge concentration of our young people.
Gangsterism is a gross human rights violation, and a global phenomenon inclusive of the formation of groups with the aim of committing violence and crime, and to defend themselves physically against violence of other groups. It is an anti-social behavior that emerges from within communities themselves, with drugs usually being their main currency, therefore becoming foot soldiers of a much more sophisticated underworld economy, engaging in serious and violent crime, money laundering, human trafficking, drugs peddling and arms smuggling, all at varying scales.
However, gangsterism differs in terms of its magnitudes and focus areas, whereas you can identify its three aspects as being along those whose crimes and actions are not planned, those well-organized with gang members having gone through ritual rites which separate them from non-members and corporate gangs which are highly structured criminal conspiracies that are usually organized to sell drugs.
Its spread into schools can be seen as a community problem in South Africa since schools are part of the community. In our case, this has resulted in learners often challenging and dismissing legitimate authority in this evolution of an urban identity determined along racial and economic lines.
The main challenge within schools is that during these gangsterism fights, both learners and educators are terrified of being caught in crossfire, not only at school as some of these altercations are further perpetrated on their way back home. At most, some opt not to go to school until calm has been restored, therefore becoming a serious impediment to learning and teaching.
Quite often, in environments suffering socially and economically, gang members (mostly youth) are provided a sense of belonging and protection against other gangs, and often where the prospects of gainful employment are low, gangs provide illegal means of earning a living such as trafficking in narcotics or stolen property, extortion and assault.
They are very diverse and different, and sometimes become targets of choice for some ideological and extreme beliefs, which influence and motivate them. South Africa has had to review travel laws at some point due to many youngsters being recruited into terrorist groups through the internet, demonstrating the sophisticated nature within which different gangs operate in recent times.
Unfortunately, innocent people can get caught in the crosshairs, so all those who live in the community where a gang is present are in greater danger as a result of the effect of the gang on their society.
It is common that gangs have become a permanent feature of urban landscape around the world, and with communities striving to do anything possible to prevent gang crimes, to make life safer and to create foundations that will be able to protect them, in the modern world cooperation and communication on the topic of gangs is quiet important. Without the cooperation of the community and police it will be very difficult to protect the families and to live in safety.
Most notably, the process of globalization has in some cases led to convergences in lifestyles and behaviors in distant communities. These marked lines of stratification in which social, cultural and spatial mobility is a central theme. The process of socio-spatial segregation and inequality have adhered in the development of spaces of advanced marginality in urban settings across the globe have seemingly proved to be breeding grounds.
Due to globalization, gangs can no longer start and stop with local conditions but today must also be rooted in a global context. Studying gangs is important because of unprecedented world urbanization, the retreat of the state under the pressure of neoliberal policies, the strengthening of cultural resistance identities, including fundamentalist religion, nationalism, and hip-hop culture, the valorization of some urban spaces and marginalization of others, and the institutionalization of gangs in some cities across the world.
Community policing becomes a necessity as it is based on the assumption that an effective fight against crime and antisocial behavior requires close cooperation between the Police and members of the community.
We are of the view that it is both a philosophy and an organizational strategy that allows police and community residents to work closely together in new ways to solve the problems of crime, fear of crime, physical and social disorders, and neighborhood decay that has engulfed our communities. This involves increasing the number of pedestrians Police officers (and other similar services), they should be the members of the communities in which they work.
Building mutual trust and faith in the rule of law continues in through the establishment of direct contacts with the people-police should be open to citizens by showing patience, understanding and willingness to help, even if you entrusted to the problems have no direct connection with the violation of the law. Conceptually, the police officer has to be more a sort of “friend” than a civil servant and representative government. You can then count on the active participation of community members in efforts to combat crime.
Their main goal should be to bring community resources together to solve problems, decrease fear of crime, to listen to and address citizen concerns, to increase public confidence in the Police Department, to impact specific crime problems, and educate the public about its Police Department.
A change in its police service to the public is how the police can identify what is truly high-quality service and how it subsequently provided to the public. In the past, police always respond only to specific problems, and do so quite peculiar way and did not pay almost no attention to the proactive approach. For this, the work of the police today is truly effective, and there is the need to: take seriously the needs of the public, take into account the needs of police actions and programs, which are then focused on the public. It is in this sense that the police are becoming more receptive to public needs and can also better understand how their work has an impact on society.
Earlier this year, POPCRU argued in the South African parliament that the introduction of an anti-gangsterism strategy put forth by the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee (NICOC), based on four pillars, Human Development, Social Partnership, Spatial Design and Criminal Justice Process, should not only focus on police officers' role, but that of communities as well since the fight against any form of criminal activities affects us all.
The union argued for the need to have a dedicated team that would fight gangsterism in all of South Africa's nine provinces, which should be made up of officers with specialized training in ensuring they become more proactive instead of reacting to eventualities. Most importantly was that this establishment should be done in accordance with existing legislative frameworks.
The union further argued for strong social partnerships which would include amongst others, the establishment of the community safety forums and community police forums with restored relations as such had previously collapsed.
These forums must be resuscitated such that they can serve as vehicle that will help in combating crime and building a bridge between community and police officers in communities, and must equally be vetted such that criminals do not harbor themselves within these structures to advance their own inimical activities.
The required resources needed to deal with this problem are still unevenly allocated within police stations in communities, which is often worsened by the lack of proper spatial design and population dynamics in some of the areas.
POPCRU has, on numerous occasions, raised a grave concern on the fact that the South African Police Service's human and physical resource allocation has been, and continues to be, a deep-seated challenge with severe adverse effects to both the police officers and the community at large.
Majority of the police stations, more especially in townships and rural areas, do not have basic equipment such as well-functional CCTV cameras, bullet proof windows and burglar doors while members do not have adequate protective gear. This effectively renders these police stations and police officers on the ground susceptible to incursion by heavily armed gangsters.
This unfortunately leaves many of our members unnecessary perishing at the hands of these heartless criminals.
Another hindrance to the effective and efficient fighting of gangsterism and other forms of crime is understaffed police stations. It is practically impossible for understaffed police station to service and respond to the crime scene because the stations cannot be left unattended. Most police stations find themselves with only one police vehicle and two police officers to service their widely scattered jurisdictions. This kind of situation affects and prolong the turnaround time for police officers to report on crime scenes or reported complains.
The union also reflected that the disintegration of this strategy to other tiers of government reflects a dismal failure to come up with implementable strategy that can be used to combat gang related crimes and other form of crimes. The union is of the firm view that any crime preventing and fighting strategy should locate SAPS at the center of implementation and operationalization.
There must be a value chain within the Criminal Justice Cluster departments wherein a synergy will be built in terms of crime prevention and combating.
For this to be realized, the Criminal Justice Cluster departments stop working in silos but begin to synergies their efforts and resources to develop one comprehensive crime prevention and fighting strategy to deal with all form of crimes including gangsterism. With this submission we envisage that our correctional centers, in a situation where arrest and conviction were secured, are able to rehabilitate prisoners and eliminate reoffending.
Any strategy should provide tangible and concrete solutions to deal with the scourge of gangsterism and other form of crimes. Its disintegrated and incoherent approach on implementation and coordination is a recipe for failure.
POPCRU calls upon all community structures mandated to fight gangsterism to closely work and synergies their work with that of police such that they make impact in fighting this scourge in our communities.
All in all, it can be said that there are many issues that disturb the society and there is a considerable influence from the gangs. The effects of gangs in the community and the effects of community policing take place in the society, but there have to be taken more proper measures to ensure safety and living in comfort for the people. As a fact, the best way is to eliminate the groups of people who harm the society. Consequently, there has to be tighter cooperation between the community and police, there has to be developed the new of communication, etc.
There have to be present the newest technologies that will allow police to take proper actions and to know everything in advance. Nowadays, the importance of the national security has become one of the main issues, as different circumstances lead people to committing different crimes, either in groups or individually. This problem has to be revised at the state level and its importance does not have to be underestimated under any circumstances.
The World According to AI
How will Artificial Intelligence be used in the future? Who will it be used by and who will it be used against?
Episode 1: Targeted by Algorithm
Artificial intelligence is already here.
There's a lot of debate and hype about AI, and it's tended to focus on the extreme possibilities of a technology still in its infancy. From self-aware computers and killer robots taking over the world, to a fully-automated world where humans are made redundant by machines, the brave new world of Artificial Intelligence is prophesied by some to be a doomed, scary place, no place for people.
For others, AI is ushering in great technological advances for humanity, helping the world communicate, manufacture, trade and innovate faster, longer, better.
Marginalized communities are experimented upon, and they're on the front lines of these technological systems, the front lines of harm. They are also on the front lines of rebellion and refusal.
But in between these competing utopian and dystopian visions, AI is allowing new ways of maintaining an old order.
It is being used across public and private spheres to make decisions about the lives of millions of people around the world - and sometimes those decisions can mean life or death.
"Communities, particularly vulnerable communities, children, people of color, women are often characterized by these systems, in quite misrepresentative ways," says Safiya Umoja Noble, author of the book, Algorithms of Oppression.
In episode one of The Big Picture: The World According to AI, we chart the evolution of artificial intelligence from its post-World War II origins and, dissect the mechanisms by which existing prejudices are built into the very systems that are supposed to be free of human bias.
We shed a harsh light on computerized targeting everywhere from foreign drone warfare to civilian policing. In the UK, we witness the trialing of revolutionary new facial recognition technology by the London Metropolitan Police Service.
We examine how these technologies, that are far from proven, are being sold as new policing solutions to maintain order in some of the world's biggest cities.
The Big Picture: The World According to AI explores how artificial intelligence is being used today, and what it means to those on its receiving end.
Episode 2: The Bias in the Machine
Artificial intelligence might be a technological revolution unlike any other, transforming our homes, our work, our lives; but for many - the poor, minority groups, the people deemed to be expendable - their picture remains the same.
There are human biases in targeting on the battlefield, there are human biases in who gets loans, there are human biases in who is subject to arrest ... The algorithms have refined the worst of human cognition, rather than the best.
"The way these technologies are being developed is not empowering people, it's empowering corporations," says Zeynep Tufekci, from the University of North Carolina.
"They are in the hands of the people who hold the data. And that data is being fed into algorithms that we don't really get to see or understand that are opaque even to the people who wrote the programmed. And they're being used against us, rather than for us."
In episode two of The Big Picture: The World According to AI we examine practices such as predictive policing, predictive sentencing, as well as the power structures and in-built prejudices that could lead to even more harm than the good its champions would suggest.
In the United States, we travel to one of the country's poorest neighborhoods, Skid Row in Los Angeles, to see first-hand how the Los Angeles Police Department is using algorithmic software to police a majority black community.
And in China, we examine the implications of a social credit scoring system that deploys machine learning technologies - new innovations in surveillance and social control that are claimed to be used against ethnic Uighur communities.
As AI is used to make more and more decisions for and about us, from targeting, to policing, to social welfare, it raises huge questions. What will AI be used for in the future? And who will stand to benefit.
All Pittsburgh Police to Have Body Cameras By Year's End
According to Police Chief Scott
Schubert, the cities nearly 900 officers will be outfitted with body-worn cameras in 2019. The move comes as an influx of small-town police departments statewide ponder similar programs.
by NATASHA LINDSTRUM
(TNS) — Two-thirds of the Pittsburgh police force now is equipped with body cameras, and all of the city's nearly 900 officers will be wearing the recording devices by the end of the year, police Chief Scott Schubert said Wednesday in an annual report.
The Tribune-Review reported in November that the plan was to have all of the city's police officers using body cams in 2019.
The police bureau's 60-page annual report published this week confirms that Pittsburgh remains on track to make that happen in coming months. Exceptions could include officers working undercover.
‘Invaluable on many levels'
The bureau's self-imposed broad body cam mandate comes as an influx in small-town police departments across Western Pennsylvania and statewide ponder similar programs.
“Impartial video evidence retrieved from the cameras has proven to be invaluable on many levels and has helped with our commitment to professionalism and fairness,” Schubert said in his introduction to the Department of Public Safety's 2018 Statistical Report.
The state as whole lags behind the rest of the country in terms of actively using the technology. Cost is a deterrent for some cash-strapped agencies, and others have been reluctant to embrace body cams amid potential legal challenges related to the state's wiretapping law, privacy issues and police unions.
In Pittsburgh, motorcycle and bicycle officers have been using body cams since 2012.
Interest in the technology soared nationally following a series of highly publicized fatal encounters between police and unarmed citizens in the past several years.
Droves of police departments around the country began turning to or expanding the use of body cams following the August 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.
Pittsburgh police began beefing up their body cam program in 2015 with help from a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to buy 200 more of the devices.
By the end of last year, at least 535 uniformed officers had been outfitted with the cameras, which cost about $400 to $500 each.
Pittsburgh police use two models of body cams, both made by Axon, formerly known as Taser International. Any camera within a 30-yard radius will activate when an officer turns on a patrol car's lights and sirens during a “hot call.”
The department forged ahead with requiring all officers to wear cameras this year despite a pending complaint the police union filed with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board. The police union raised concerns over the rights of police to view body cam footage before being questioned about serious incidents.
A bill signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf during the 2017-18 legislative session aimed to prevent officers from being sued for using the devices.
“It gives the public more faith in what happens,” Cmdr. Ed Trapp, who heads the Special Deployment and Public Safety Planning divisions for Pittsburgh police, told the Trib in late November. “It shows what happened from the viewpoint of an officer involved. Numerous studies have shown that complaints go down drastically and the use of force drops when there are body-worn cameras involved.”
Decline in homicides, shootings
The number of homicides citywide decreased by 5% in 2018 compared to the previous year, and homicide detectives cleared about 71% of the cases, the bureau's annual report said.
Pittsburgh police investigated 58 homicides last year, the report said. More than half involved victims ages 34 or younger.
The figure includes the 11 people killed by a gunman at a Squirrel Hill synagogue in October, marking the deadliest attack on Jews on U.S. soil.
“What stood out most to me was how the community and Public Safety came together as one to overcome one of the darkest days in Pittsburgh history during the synagogue attack,” Schubert said. “We will never forget the victims of the Tree of Life, New Light and Dor Hadash congregations or the selfless courage our officers and other members of Public Safety displayed during and after the senseless tragedy.
“Together, Pittsburgh showed the world that we are one and that we are truly stronger than hate.”
The police bureau also entered into an agreement last year with Allegheny County Police to investigate all police-involved shootings and in-custody deaths.
“This move strengthens our commitment to transparency and impartiality,” Schubert said. “We recognize that it's the right thing to do and consistent with national best practices.”
Non-fatal shootings dropped by 19% from the previous year and are down by 40% from late 2015, when the department formed its Group Violence Intervention program, Schubert said.
Other issues spotlighted in the annual report include:
Cops reprimanded — Last year, 55 disciplinary actions were initiated against Pittsburgh officers. Five officers were fired for reasons related to insubordination, truthfulness, standard of conduct and obedience to laws and orders, the report said. Six were suspended from work for issues including domestic violence, neglect of duty, unbecoming conduct, truthfulness and firearm regulation.
Another 14 officers received oral reprimands, five received written reprimands and 17 received counseling or more training, with reasons ranging from neglect of duty and improper use of a Taser to violating social media policy and not wearing a seat belt. At least one disciplinary case still is pending arbitration, and six charges were withdrawn.
Officers sued — Twenty-four officers — less than 3% of the force — were sued last year. Eight of those cases involve alleged excessive force, four involve alleged false arrest or imprisonment, two related to alleged malicious prosecution and three dealt with civil rights.
The department and city agree to pay three settlements, the largest being $5.5 million awarded to Leon Ford Jr., who was shot and paralyzed by an officer during a 2012 traffic stop in Highland Park. Ford, who was 19 at the time, had argued the officer had no right to pull him over and used excessive force. The city will make payments of $2 million in 2018 and 2019 and $1.5 million in 2020 under terms of the legal agreement struck in January 2018.
Focus on ‘community policing' — Schubert said that advancing the bureau's “community policing strategy” remains a top priority, with such efforts including attending local meetings and events and cultivating relationships with residents during non-crime and non-crisis situations. Schubert thanked the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers sports teams for collaborating with police on initiatives to engage youths.
The police chief cited among achievements a new public safety center that opened in Northview Heights in the fall.
“We are highly optimistic that we'll be able to replicate this type of partnership in other communities that have an unfortunate history of being underserved,” Schubert said.
View the full report online via the city's website.
Civil society demands ‘community policing' legislation
Civil society urged Government to introduce legislation for community policing, fiscal decentralization of funds to police stations, allocation and provision of funds to investigation officers at all levels in Punjab.
As part of new PTI led Government, Police reforms agenda is one of the major parts of its manifesto that aims to provide relief to the local communities and access to justice.
Community policing is a successful model introduced in many countries of the world but the provincial and federal government have not yet made any legislation to introduce and strengthen community policing in Pakistan.
The initiative of community policing can help in reforming police and controlling crimes through community engagement at every police station level.
Syed Kausar Abbas, Executive Director of Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO) said that the PTI led Government at federal and provincial level could not take any practical steps yet and need to introduce community policing as part of their police reforms agenda.
He said, the community policing is the successful model to bridging gaps between police and the public and combat crimes through community engagement at local level. He also emphasized on the allocation of budget and fiscal decentralization of budget to the Station House Officer of each police station.
Kauser maintained that the police stations does not have the enough resources to deal with the criminal activities in their localities and provide relief to community due to unavailability of funds and lack of resources due to which they takes bribes from the victims.
The budget of the police station should be given to the Station House Officer (SHO) of the respective police station and he/she should be responsible to manage the affairs of the police station through budget, he suggested.
There is a lack of trust between the police and the citizens due to which the criminal activities are not controlled by the engagement of the community. Government should make immediate legislation on the community policing to engage the local communities and stakeholders to build the trust and bridge the gaps between communities and the local police, Kausar Abbas added. He urged the government to take immediate measures of police reforms and introduce community policing at all levels in Pakistan.
Outcry pushes Phoenix to roll out body cameras for officers
by ANITA SNOW
PHOENIX -- A Phoenix police officer yelled obscenities and forced an unarmed black man suspected of shoplifting up against a patrol car. Another aimed his gun at the man's pregnant fiancée, ordering her out of the car with the couple's two small children.
Dramatic video of the confrontation stirred outcry last month, and it came from bystanders' cellphones rather than from officer-worn body cameras.
The police weren't wearing them.
Although body-worn cameras are becoming a police standard nationwide, Phoenix was among the last big departments to adopt their widespread use. Leaders of Phoenix, the fifth-largest U.S. city with about 1.6 million people, quickly moved to fix that after the video emerged.
"Every single precinct will have body-worn cameras by August," Mayor Kate Gallego said after the May confrontation she called "completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional."
The couple said their 4-year-old daughter took a doll from a store without their knowledge and rejected police suggestions they stole, too. No charges were filed. The couple has filed a $10 million legal claim against the city, alleging civil rights violations.
The department has had several hundred cameras for years, but it wasn't until February that city leaders approved $5 million to buy and maintain 2,000 devices for a force approaching 3,000 officers. About 950 cameras were being distributed this week.
The purchase followed a city-commissioned National Police Foundation study that says Phoenix police had more officer-involved shootings than any other U.S. department last year. A separate database that tracks fatal shootings by police showed Phoenix officers also killed more people than any other agency in 2018.
The use of body cameras has burgeoned over the past decade following several high-profile killings of black people by mostly white officers in places like Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore.
When a Missouri grand jury in 2014 decided not to charge a white officer who fatally shot unarmed African American 18-year-old Michael Brown, his family called for police nationwide to use cameras.
Cameras are supposed to promote accountability and transparency and reduce officers' use of force. A survey by the Washington-based Police Executive Research Forum says U.S. law enforcement agencies overwhelmingly support using them. A third now use cameras and nearly 47% plan to adopt them.
"When body-worn cameras first came out, there was some trepidation among officers that use of cameras would have unintended consequences," said Chuck Wexler, the group's executive director. "The reality is working cops now feel it is an essential part of defending what they do."
The New York Police Department, the largest in the U.S., completed its rollout of some 20,000 body cameras early this year.
Around the same time, Phoenix police said they would speed up camera distribution after the study said they opened fire more than any other department last year.
"In 2018, Phoenix police faced more subjects armed with guns (or simulated guns) than in years past, and were no more likely to shoot at an unarmed subject than in years past," the National Police Foundation report said.
It's legal to carry a gun in plain sight in Arizona. The study said Phoenix had 44 police-involved shootings in 2018, including 23 that were fatal. That compared with 21 total shootings in 2017, 25 in 2016 and 17 in 2015.
The study referenced the Washington Post's "Fatal Force" database, showing Phoenix far outpaced other departments in deadly shootings by police. No other agency registered more than 14 last year. New York City had four.
The findings weren't surprising to many Hispanics and other minorities in the Phoenix area, who remain wary of law enforcement because of past racial profiling under Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He was convicted of contempt of court two years ago for ignoring a 2011 order to stop patrols targeting Hispanics, then pardoned by President Donald Trump.
Police departments in Phoenix and a handful of other cities also are investigating a database that appears to catalog thousands of social media posts by active-duty and former officers disparaging Muslims, black people, transgender people and others.
Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams, a black woman, called the postings "embarrassing and disturbing."
The recent video of the black couple left many in Phoenix's communities of color clamoring to describe their own encounters, revealing distrust, fear and resentment of police. They have called for wider use of body cameras and an independent review board to let residents weigh in on police behavior.
City leaders this week discussed a civilian review board, a move long opposed by the powerful police union.
The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association views body cameras as a valuable tool, though they can't show "the totality of any situation," including nuances of body language, union president Britt London said.
Jody David Armour, a University of Southern California professor of law and criminology, said body-worn cameras "have done quite a bit of good" but only work with strictly enforced requirements.
There have been complaints of officers not keeping their cameras rolling, including an Albuquerque, New Mexico, officer fired in 2014 for repeatedly failing to turn on the device, including the night he shot and killed a 19-year-old woman.
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg briefly pulled himself from the presidential campaign trail last month after the fatal shooting of a black man by a police officer in his city. An investigation was launched into why the officer's body cam was not recording and the city is considering buying more cameras for the force.
But even when used correctly, "technology is not a substitute for building trust," said Mary D. Fan, a professor at the University of Washington School of Law and author of "Camera Power: Proof, Policing, Privacy and Audiovisual Big Data."
The experts say both sides can benefit from cameras, which are meant to push police and the public to behave better because they know they are being recorded.
The devices bring contested police actions to light, including showing an officer in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe shooting a 14-year-old burglary suspect as he ran away in January.
Another video shown to media but not publicly released shows the boy on the ground, a fake gun under his arm.
"He's just a (expletive) kid," Officer Joseph Jaen said. "It's just a (expletive) toy gun.
Community Policing or Policing the Community
The challenges and prospects of community policing in South Sudan
by Akuot Aquila Apiu
(PW) — Community oriented policing is a proactive philosophy that promotes solving problems that are either criminal, affect the quality of life, or increase citizens fear of crime. It involves identifying, analyzing and addressing community problems at their source. Strategies involve in community policing include community partnership, problem solving and change management. However, in South Sudan, we are saddled with major challenges of policing.
These are manpower shortage; inadequate funding, corruption, inadequate logistic support and infrastructure, lack of serviceable information and technological equipment to cover all the areas of the State are responsible for the current state of the police. Therefore, it is recommended that there should be serious retraining towards attitudinal change and professional efficiency and proficiency among both the rank and file and other officer cadre of the police.
Community policing is anchored on a systematic relationship between the police and the entire citizenry. Police roles and functions are not simply law enforcement but also include tackling a huge range of community problems. The transition from traditional policing to community policing is a global phenomenon and the South Sudan police cannot be an exception. Indeed, community policing as a philosophy and practice is a veritable vehicle for police reforms.
The South Sudan police Act 2009 embraced community policing as a pragmatic approach to police reforms. The stage was indeed set for a clear departure from traditional policing, that was reactive and incident based, to a problem – solving oriented policing that is proactive with the community as the cornerstone of policing objectives.
Like several other nations world over, South Sudan police force embraced the philosophy of community policing on the principle that in a democratic society, the police are interested by their fellow citizens to protect and serve the public's fundamental rights to liberty, equality and justice under the law. To fulfil that privileged role, the police must be a part of, not apart from, the communities they serve.
Community policing is a paradigm shift that seeks to focus on constructive engagement with people who are the end users of the police service and re – negotiate the contract between the people and the police thereby making the community co – producers of justice and a quality police service. The most recent attempt made by the South Sudan police force to improve its performance was the introduction of community policing programmed in 2009.
This was part of the Force's effort to change policing to a modern and professional policing capable of providing maximum security of lives and property. Community oriented policing is a proactive philosophy that promotes solving problems that are either criminal, affect the quality of life, or increase citizens fear of crime. It involves identifying, analyzing and addressing community problems at their source.
Police are organized to defend and preserve the interests of the dominant groups and classes in society. Consequently, the significance of police as either facilitators or inhibitors of change initiatives will depend on the character of their society. In a totalitarian and economically inequitable society, police role will be more to defend the status quo of political oppression and economic injustice. In contrast, in a democratic society the police are more likely to provide services that will enhance development and democracy.
Strategies for Community Policing
Community policing perspective differs in a number of ways from a traditional policing perspective. In community policing, the police must share power with residents of a community, and critical decisions need to be made at the neighborhood level. Achieving the goals of community policing requires successful implementation of three essential and complimentary components or operational strategies: community partnership, problem solving, and change management.
Community Partnership: Establishing and maintaining mutual trust between citizens of a community and the police is the main goal of the first component of community policing. Police have always recognized the need for cooperation with the community and have encouraged members of the community to come forward with crime-fighting information. The police no longer view community as a passive presence connected to the police by an isolated incident or series of incidents. The community's concerns with crime and disorder become the target of efforts by the police and the community working together.
Problem Solving: Problem solving requires a lot more thought, energy, and action than traditional incidents-based police responses to crime and disorder. In full partnership, the police and a community's residents and business owners identify core problems, propose solutions, and implement a solution. Thus, community members identify the concerns that they feel are most threatening to their safety and well-being. Those areas of concern then become priorities for joint police-community interventions. For this problem-solving process to operate effectively, the police need to devote time and attention to discovering community's concerns, and they need to recognize the validity of those concerns.
Change Management: Forging community policing partnerships and implementing problem-solving strategies necessitates assigning new responsibilities and adopting a flexible style of management. Traditionally, patrol officers have been accorded lower status in police organizations and have been dominated by the agency's command structure. Community policing, in contrast, emphasizes the value of the patrol function and the patrol officer as an individual. It requires the shifting of initiative, decision making, and responsibility downward within the police organization. The officer must become responsible for managing the delivery of police services to the community. Patrol officers are the most familiar with the needs and concern of their communities and are in the best position to forge the close ties with the community that lead to effective solutions to local problems.
Under community policing, police management must guide, rather than dominate (which is not the case now). The actions of the patrol officer must ensure that they have the necessary resources to solve the problems in their communities. Management must determine the guiding principles to convert the philosophy of the agency to community policing and then to evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies implemented.
Challenges to Community Policing in South Sudan
Despite numerous efforts by various police administrations to curtail the level of crime in South Sudan, crime and social disorder still persist in the country. Thousands of lives and millions of pound worth of property are being lost as a result of one crime or the other. Some believed that the inability of the South Sudan police to ensure maximum security in the country is as a result of so many social and technical constraints, among which are lack of equipment and sour relationship between police and public.
Corruption: Wide spread corruption in the police force is fueling abuses against ordinary citizens and severely undermining the rule of law in South Sudan on a daily basis. Countless ordinary citizens are accosted by armed police officers who demand bribes and commit human rights abuses against them as a means of extorting money. These abuses range from ordinary arrest and unlawful detention to threats and acts of violence, including sexual assault, torture, and even extrajudicial killings (Human Rights Watch).
Police is not unique. Corruption exists in South Sudan police force much the same as it does in any other police organization the world over, except perhaps, in terms of its extent and the organization's reaction to it. However, the issue of corruption in the South Sudan police as noted above cannot be treated in isolation of the larger society.
Police routinely extort money from victims of crimes to initiate investigations and demand bribes from suspects to drop investigations. Corruption in the police is so endemic that it has eroded public trust and confidence they have in the police. To achieve any success in combating corruption in the South Sudan police one has to take a holistic approach and most importantly understanding the growth and existence of corruption within the police.
Institutional Constraints: According to allegations levelled against the institution and its personnel, some of which have proven to be true, include arbitrariness in exercising its power, corruption, perversion of justice, and delays in the administration of justice. Various factors have been blamed as constituting a stumbling block to the effective administration of justice and efficient maintenance of law and order in South Sudan.
Other factors are inadequate manpower (both in strength and expertise), insufficient education and training, inadequate equipment, and poor conditions of service of the average policeman. The long-term failure of the authorities to address police bribery, extortion, and wholesale embezzlement threatens the basic rights of all South Sudanese. Therefore, good policy is the bedrock for the rule of law and public safety.
The police is arguably the most visible agent of government and citizens often assess the character of a government through its police force. This is because the police are the “guardians” of society. To a large extent, the growth , action and behavior of the police as an institution not only reflect the political and economic character of society, but also mirror what those in power are willing or able to tolerate or condone or perhaps even demand of the police.
Police Perception: Another important factor that has been neglected for many times is the perception of the police force itself by the police officers. Questions that readily come to mind are: What is police officer's perception of the citizens they claimed to be serving? What is the perception of citizens to police officers in South Sudan? To be frank, the image of police in the eyes of South Sudanese is bad arising from all the factors enumerated above.
Military Orientation: The police as it is now coming out of a military administration. That is probably the biggest challenge we face – turning it from a force into a service.
Godfatherism: is an endemic problem in South Sudan, which the police still battle with. Godfatherism is the funding and abetting of vices and shielding “connected” criminals from justice by government agents and highly placed officials entrusted with the power and authority to investigate and prosecute such vices. It has become a dominant issue in African polity and impedes the course of justice in virtually all the countries in Africa.
Furthermore, many highly placed public officers in South Sudan are known to pervert the course of justice by the virtue of their closeness to the seat of power. Often, the police get sucked in, and this accounts for their complicity in several unresolved crimes across the country.
Many of these problem in the South Sudan police force are self – evident and have been sources of serious concern to the public, governments, police authorities and officials, the mass media and human rights organization in the country. What is required is a determination to address the problems.
The knowledge of human rights among the majority of policemen is poor. This might be as a result of the long period of military struggle. Although policemen are taught the principles of the rule of law, in reality this is not put into practice because military rule does not recognize the rule of law. In the new democratic dispensation, policemen should be given intensive on-the-job training on citizens' fundamental rights which they must uphold at all times.
Community Policing and Community Development in South Sudan
As noted above, security is crucial to the community and constitutes one of the important social services provided through community development. In other words, it requires the cooperation of the government and the community. Communities cannot handle matters of security alone it requires the cooperation of the security agents like the police. Conversely, the police cannot ensure security or tackle crime alone, it requires partnering with the community.
Security is very essential to community development because both life and property have to be safeguarded for development to occur. No development, not even community development for that matter can take place where there are no peace, law and order. Security does not only facilitate development; it is one of the features or ingredients of development that is to say that it is co-extensive with development.
Community policing as implemented in South Sudan has not ensured security and safety in South Sudan let alone facilitate community development. Rather than community policing, the South Sudan police has been busy policing the community alienating the people more. Thus, insecurity, crimes and disorder have scared investors away from South Sudan, crippled economic activities and hindered development in the communities. So long as the South Sudan Police Force engages in policing the community instead of partnering with the community in matters of security, safety and development in the communities will continue to elude South Sudan.
The South Sudan police force has not met the minimum demands of democratic policing which cardinal elements are “Justice, equality, accountability, and efficiency” These elements imply the following: Justice means that all individuals ought to be treated fairly and their rights are respected. Equality means, first, that all…ought to receive policing service sufficient to feel safe in their community.
Equality also means that there ought to be representative participation from all members of society in the delivery of policing services. i.e. that it requires equal and inclusive security forces. Accountability means that the actions of a body are subjected and that there are formal channels that individuals can use to lodge a complaint. Finally, efficiency means that services are provided in a cost-effective manner.
To enhance community policing in South Sudan, I recommended that: There should be serious retraining towards attitudinal change and professional efficiency and proficiency among both the rank and file and other officer cadre of the police. There is need for the police to improve its public relationship. They should see South Sudanese as their fellow human beings who deserve to be treated with a high level of courtesy and decorum.
The National Government should as a matter of urgency equip the police with ultra-modern arms and ammunitions as well as security gadgets. This has become necessary now more than ever to enable the force fight the gruesome scourge of armed robbery and orchestrated kidnappings ravaging the entire length and breadth of the country.
South Sudanese should help the police to discharge their duties optimally. They could do this through giving vital information to them on the activities of undesirable elements in the society. Such invaluable information could help the police to perform creditably.
The police should be shielded from political appointments (though not possible now). The role of law enforcement in any civilized society is to serve and protect the citizens. This is because political appointments corrupt the officials, destroy spirit de corps, skew their sense of neutrality and impartiality, and infuse a sense of allegiance to appointing authority. It is a major obstacle to police effectiveness and must be discouraged at all cost if improved police performance must be achieved.
There is the need for Government to steadily increase logistic funding, so that the police can work towards attaining the standard patrol practice of developed countries. There should be a massive injection of funds into the police force so that operational and logistics equipment can be acquired.
Crime in our society has become rather sophisticated. The police should, therefore, acquire up-to-date weapons and equipment, which it deems necessary for the successful performance of its duties.
There should be an improvement in the conditions of services of policemen. This will go a long way in removing any justification or predisposing circumstances for corrupt practices or the extortion of the public in the performance of their duties. The living conditions of policemen should be improved. Policemen live in barracks built several years ago which are poorly maintained.
Police authorities should put in place structures to motivate honest, dedicated and hardworking policemen. Promotion should be giving to deserving officers as at when due. This is because denial of promotion is a major cause of the low morale and that seems to have permeated and pervaded the entire force.
There is every need to reposition the police in South Sudan to conform to what is obtainable in other countries of the world. Security is a very sensitive issue and no nation can afford to toy with it. Corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of South Sudan society and seems intractable, but the situation can be remedied given disciplined and forthright leadership and a citizenry that is united in its resentment to corruption.
The police force as an institution is one that the South Sudanese society cannot do without. It is however, necessary that in-depth and comprehensive reforms be carried out within it to make it a force that will satisfactorily discharge its constitutional duties without alienating, or making itself an enemy of South Sudanese people.
Column: Hartford must affirm the value of all its residents
by JO-ANNE UNRUH
Hartford -- I am a Hartford resident and have been since 1998. I was the special education administrator for the Hartford School District from 1987 until I retired in 2006. My son graduated from Hartford High School and my husband worked for the district as an educator and program director 30 years. For me, this has been a wonderful town in which to live and work.
I am also an immigrant.
I have been a U.S. citizen for 30 years. In 1971, I settled in the Upper Valley with an extension of a student visa. Later, I received permanent residency status from what was then known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and citizenship in about 1989. I have no recollection of ever being asked about my citizenship except when leaving or entering the country, and once at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement checkpoint on Interstate 89 several years ago. Even when I received speeding tickets, the question of citizenship has, in my memory, never been raised.
This is no accident; I believe that privilege was simply because I am white, and therefore look like 94.5% of Vermont residents. I came from a largely English-speaking country, Canada, and therefore talked like most Vermonters and U.S. citizens. I belonged.
The Hartford Selectboard met on June 4 and focused on taking public comment on amending its existing Fair and Impartial Policing policy. Testimony was taken from many black, brown and white residents from many Upper Valley towns. The following week, I attended a “Community Forum for a Hate Free Vermont” in Hartford about the impact of race in Vermont communities, and I was reminded yet again that racial discrimination is a forceful and profoundly negative influence in Upper Valley towns.
I had seen this earlier in my career in students who were brown or black — it was not easy going for them. They were subject to prejudice and racism. This is not to suggest there weren't many supportive and caring students and teachers. So often these students were isolated — there was not a critical mass of other students who were brown or black who could support them with deep understanding in our dominantly white and relatively rural communities.
Given pressure from the current U.S. administration on local law enforcement to assist in identifying those who are in this country illegally, our police are put in a difficult position.
Separating families and incarcerating children in inhumane conditions convinces me that we must resist efforts to pressure our community police to act as an arm of the federal government, whose actions demonstrate that honoring the humanity of each individual in custody is not a priority. Incarcerating children is itself a crime against the humanity of each of these children, who have broken no laws and committed no wrongdoing. Aren't their parents seeking the same refuge and asylum from brutal governments and poverty as did many of our forefathers and foremothers?
The health effects, including the mental health cost of such family separation and incarceration, are profound and long-lasting. As a special education administrator, I worked diligently and collaboratively with the Hartford School District staff and community and state agencies to mitigate the effects of childhood trauma through specialized programs, support for parents, and educational and mental health programs. As executive director of the Vermont Council of Special Education Administrators between 2012 and 2017, I saw many of my colleagues do the same for students and families.
And now I watch as our own federal government traumatizes children and families. These experiences are enormously challenging to address and mitigate. Significant life-long health and mental health effects are now well established in the research literature.
We all know that just because something is legal does not necessarily mean it is just, moral or humane, as our own history tells us again and again. Slavery, denying women the right to vote and interning Japanese citizens during World War II are just three examples where laws were both unjust and inhumane.
Each of these remains a shameful legacy from which we are still recovering. Legal is not enough.
I strongly support the proposed amendments to the town's Fair and Impartial Policing policy, which support our local police in keeping the needs of our residents first and foremost, and I resist strongly the intrusion of federal immigration officials into the local community policing role. The policy must not discourage, through fear of deportation, the reporting of domestic assault or other crimes, or discourage immigrants from serving as a witnesses to a crime.
Now is a pivotal time in the town of Hartford when we have the opportunity to affirm the value of all our residents.
When American justice came to New Zealand
by Will Harvie
HISTORY: It's been 188 years since Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont inspected the American prison system on behalf of the French government.
Their report has largely disappeared from history but American ideas and policies on policing, justice and incarceration bestride the narrow world.
"Perhaps more than any other Western country, [New Zealand] followed the broad American path toward get-tough crime control over the last three decades," wrote Dr Liam Martin in a 2018 academic paper called The Globalization of American Criminal Justice: The New Zealand Case.
"To me, America provides a stark warning about what happens when you go down the path of 'Lock them up and throw away the key'," Martin said in an interview.
"It's a completely dysfunctional system," the criminology lecturer at Victoria University said.
"America both incarcerates more people than anywhere else in the world and is also the most violent, developed nation on Earth. I look at America and see a warning of what not to do.
"More often, it seems we're copying that system," he said.
The roots and heart of Kiwi justice are still English – Parliamentary sovereignty, common law, and mostly unarmed police – but American influence dates to the early 1960s.
That's when Auckland Prison was being designed and the Department of Justice was drawing directly from ideas coming out of the US federal prison at Marion, Illinois, Martin wrote.
That prison replaced Alcatraz and was designed for the worst of the worst. New Zealand had some of those and wanted the latest and greatest prison to control them.
Senior officials from the ministry travelled to Marion, as well as Britain and Sweden, to study the architecture and control systems. "The American influence was especially important to the final design" at Auckland, Martin wrote.
Auckland Prison, now called Paremoremo, was "a modernized version of its big sister in Illinois", according to Greg Newbold, the University of Canterbury criminologist.
Prisons are never static and officials at Marion were soon developing "super maximum" procedures and systems of control. In 1983, as a result of prisoner violence and the murder of two guards, Marion went into a permanent lockdown for 23 years.
Paremoremo encountered similar issues in the late 1970s and officials followed "Marion's turn to increasingly severe disciplinary measures to assert control", Martin wrote. "Administrators were borrowing directly from American principles."
By the 1990s, officials didn't need to tour prisons overseas, they were downloading Marion documents and discussion papers from the internet.
An investigation by the Ombudsman and a successful lawsuit brought the regime to an end in 2004.
"The American supermax has not been imported wholesale to New Zealand," Martin wrote. "Paremoremo is a hybrid that combines local and global elements, an institution founded on liberal ideals shaped by the contested introduction of supermax principles."
Another example of American influence was zero tolerance or "broken windows" policies, Martin says.
These are usually attributed to Rudolph Giuliani, the mayor of New York City, who introduced them starting in 1993.
The idea was that authorities should crack down on minor incivilities – such as panhandling, breaking windows (vandalism), and fare dodging – to prevent a spiral into more serious offending.
In practice, zero tolerance became shorthand for racial targeting and a rapid growth of the prison population. "The claimed impact on crime rates was challenged and debunked," Martin wrote.
Nonetheless, broken-window policing sometimes surfaces in New Zealand, often in election years and often at the local level rather than from police headquarters.
Top cops didn't much adopt the "heavy-handed tactics of the NYPD", sticking instead with a model of community-oriented policing, according to Martin.
But the rhetoric still gets used.
"Broken windows became important symbolic resources for those promoting increased police budgets," Martin wrote.
Giuliani fans "adopted the language of zero tolerance and broken windows not as concrete plans for operations, but as signposts advertising a get-tough approach.
What has happened to modern policing?
by DATUK SERI AKHBAR SATAR
In February last year, Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) reaped the rewards of being one of the first to be part of a modern policing initiative by the Royal Malaysia Police which took almost 20 months with a significant reduction in crime rate. The pilot programmed, which started in June 2016, helped crime rates go down by 40 per cent, as well as improve the overall public perception of crime in the area.
TTDI police station chief Deputy Supt Ahmad Mohsin Md Rodi said the programmed has brought the community and police closer together. A study done by Pemandu showed that the public's perception of crime in TTDI has also dropped from 59 per cent in 2016 to only 18 per cent in 2017.
According to TTDI residents, their relationship with the police has also improved significantly. The modern policing programmed worked well with community policing programmed as residents could see the police patrolling and keeping the place safe.
But what has happened to this modern policing initiative in other districts? The TTDI police station was the first to see modern policing and now, sadly, it may be the last. During the time of former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Fuzi Haron, modern policing was not given priority although it improved the police force's image and gained respect from the raiyat.
In November, Bukit Aman Management Department director Commissioner Datuk Seri Asri Yusoff said more than 500 or 65 per cent of the 791 police stations in the country were facing a shortage of personnel, including police station chiefs.
Balancing traditional training components (technical and tactical aspects of policing) with working with the community as partners to achieve safety is essential.
This policing can assist the police to overcome the shortage of personnel.
Policing has traditionally been reactive while modern policing is more proactive. Traditional policing has had very little impact on reducing crime rates, while modern policing is expected to assist community-based policing in efforts to reduce crime at a much faster rate.
Modern policing also involves the latest software, equipment and assets which will be given to the police at all levels, especially at crime hotspots. This includes better equipment for police personnel, including protective gear for police officers, logistics tools, as well as non-lethal weapons like stun guns, car video cameras body cameras and other system enhancements.
The use of software allows the police to check the database to hunt for crime patterns in robberies, thefts and other crimes at the click of a button.
The investigations can be conducted in a more professional manner and the case solved faster.
The traditional method of investigating crime by going through reports is slow and could result in inaccurate analysis.
Big data technology can assist the police to become more proactive as big data can detect, deter and prevent crimes.
Using the person-based predictive policing theory, the police can identify potential criminal activity. The computer and big data can predict who might be violent or the target of a shooting.
This information is very important to the police when seeking to track criminal elements in society. American police departments are using predictive policing to deter crime and many mystery cases have been solved accordingly.
Increasingly in a high-tech world, there will be more crimes involving technology and police must be prepared to work on upgrading the force by adopting evidence-based policing strategies that can effectively deter, detect crime and adapt their services to meet future needs.
Many studies show that the traditional policing model is no longer effective and discordant with principles of good governance.
Therefore it is important for the police to have best practices and good governance, thorough overhaul of personnel, strategies and training within their departments.
The force should continue with modern policing, which has been practiced in Europe and the United States.
It is practical to continue modern policing in Malaysia. Modern policing is a “people business” and not an “enforcement business”.
The social outreach is vital in today's police management. It will result in an incredible improvement in relationship between the police and raiyat.
In 2012, the police and the Federal Department of Town and Country Planning (FDTCP) unveiled a GPS-based crime fighting tool to improve community safety and promote a culture of crime prevention.
Integrating crime data from the Police Reporting System with FDTCP's land use information, the Safe City Monitoring System (SCMS) acts as a single-point-of-truth for authorities, allowing them to identify potential hotspots, and closely monitor existing trouble areas.
In addition to streamlining collaboration between hundreds of law enforcement agencies, SCMS has also allowed police to move away from pin maps — a dated method formally used to visualize crime information.
Crime mapping should be rebranded and widely used by the authorities in Malaysia to visualize, analyses, and identify crime incident patterns and hotspots.
It is believed with the appointment of the new IGP, police services are ready to embrace cultural, technological, operational and organizational changes.
There are many new policing strategies and the police can take a wide and holistic approach to bring these changes.
We want to regain the achievement in 2011 when the Global Peace index ranked Malaysia as the most peaceful country in Southeast Asia and the fourth safest in the Asia Pacific.
Last year, we were ranked 25th in the Asia Pacific. Modern policing will go a long way to bring us up again as a peaceful and safe nation.
Bismarck Police Launch New Community Policing Initiative
The Bismarck Police Department has launched a new program that aims to better connect officers with the community.
by Associated Press
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Bismarck Police Department has launched a new program that aims to better connect officers with the community.
The Bismarck Tribune reports that the department announced the Bismarck Community Oriented Policing Program on Monday.
The program will divide the city into six community policing districts where officers will improve services and organize local meetings and events. It'll also revive the Neighborhood Crime Watch and Business Watch programs to help neighbors look out for one another and bring attention to suspicious activity.
Officers will conduct outreach through neighborhood canvassing, presentations and home and business security surveys.
Sgt. John Brocker says the program "is about reconnecting with the public" and "finding out what you have to say."
He says he felt there was a need for the department to be more transparent.
Fit for purpose? Cops call for overhaul of 'broken' physical competency test
by Anna Leask
Cops are calling for a rehaul of the police fitness test - saying the current model is "broken", biased, outdated and in some cases, harmful both physically and mentally.
They say some staff are simply set up to fail with the current test including "tasks fit people can fail and unfit people can pass" and are demanding top brass modernize the exercise to make it more realistic and holistic.
But police say they will not budge on the test, which they describe as "world leading" and "gold class".
Currently all sworn officers must pass the biennial Physical Competency Test comprising of a set of tasks spanning a 400m course.
Tasks include pushing a car trailer 10m, carrying a car wheel assembly 10m, running 200m, walking a 5m right-angle beam, long jumping 1.8m, running around cones and over hurdles for 30m, climbing through a window 1m off the ground, over a solid 1.8m-high wall and a 2.2m high-wire fence and dragging a body 7.5m.
The test was introduced in 1986 and has been tweaked slightly over the years but remains effectively as it was more than three decades ago.
In March 2013 police introduced a rule that officers without a current PCT were withdrawn from the frontline, could not interact with the public or be deployed until they had passed.
The Police Association is now calling on management to revamp the process after a number of its members criticized it and spoke out about why it just does not work for a modern police force.
President Chris Cahill told the Herald on Sunday that policing had changed immensely since the PCT was introduced - including a more diverse staff, the removal of the retirement age, and advances in technology such as the introduction of body armor.
It was time for the PCT to change too, he said.
"Is this test designed to represent that diversity or does it actually hinder it to some degree?" he said.
"Simply because some officers can't complete the PCT, they are not fit for purpose and that's a very blunt way to assess it."
Cahill said he had never personally had a problem with passing the PCT.
"I've always found it relatively easy, but that's my build and fitness," he said.
"Other people who might actually be fitter than me but because of their build - they might be shorter - they can struggle ... and mothers returning to work after having children, it can be a real stress for them.
"It is a significant issue ... It's a really good time to reassess the PCT."
Cahill did not want to see the PCT scrapped as a whole.
"We want some level of fitness testing, health testing - but a much more holistic approach in this day and age," he explained.
"What we don't want to see is a bunch of unfit officers who are not safe to deploy."
In this month's association magazine Police News, a senior office described the PCT as "broken".
"Fit people can fail it and unfit people can pass - it's not a measure of fitness," he said.
"Additionally, some physically competent people are being injured doing the test."
He said there was a view among cops that the risks "both physically and mentally" of completing the PCT under time pressure, outweighed its value to the organization.
Police people and capability deputy chief executive Kaye Ryan said a review of the PCT was completed in 2011 and determined it fit for purpose.
"The PCT is a world-leading test, and a gold standard example for many law enforcement organizations," she said.
"It is a functional assessment, with the purpose of establishing our people's ability in a controlled environment.
"To pass they have to demonstrate their ability to perform the physical tasks they will face in a potentially challenging policing environment.
"This way we can be sure the staff member is safe to deploy and capable of protecting our communities."
Ryan said the test was not about fitness.
"To complete the test you need to be fitter than average, but high fitness ability doesn't necessarily translate into functional competency," she said.
"You may be very fit, but unable to perform the necessary tasks. This would make a person unfit to deploy."
In this month's association magazine Police News, a senior office described the PCT as "broken".
He said it was "out of date and not designed to progress our business or look after staff".
"At the heart of the problem is that the biennial burst of energy is an anaerobic rather than aerobic test that doesn't align to higher overall fitness or modern police values," he told Police News.
"Fit people can fail it and unfit people can pass - it's not a measure of fitness.
"Additionally, some physically competent people are being injured doing the test."
He said there was a view among cops that the risks "both physically and mentally" of completing the PCT under time pressure, outweighed its value to the organization.
According to the Police Association, the "rigid approach to suitability to do the job" has caught out many officers.
While more than capable of doing their jobs they, for a variety of reasons, could not pass the test.
The advocacy group said the PCT is a "blunt tool" that has become the "only assessment" of a police officer's worth.
"The Police Association has represented members who have found their careers and livelihoods on the line for the sake of a few seconds or an age-related drop in flexibility or upper body strength," Police News said.
"It also believes that decisions about operational capability should be made on an individual basis because the PCT may not be the whole picture of an employee's physical competency to do their duties.
"The Commissioner appears to be relying on the PCT as the sole judge of a constable, sergeant or senior sergeant's suitability, rather than assessing each individual's competency."
Four officers spoke to Police News anonymously about their struggle to pass the PCT and the impact it had on them.
"A common theme is that the PCT has had a disproportionate impact on their lives. Names and some details have been changed to protect their privacy," the magazine reported.
"As one noted, not having the PCT can make staff feel like second-class members of police until they pass it again – or they buckle under the pressure and leave the job.
Will a new ‘community policing' strategy make a dent in Anchorage's crime?
by Zachariah Hughes
Police in Anchorage are trying something new: having officers patrol beats built around community boundaries, rather than covering the entire city. It's an attempt to deliver “community policing,” a general set of tactics the mayor's administration has emphasized as it continues increasing the size of the police force.
On a recent weekday morning, Officer Brian Fuchs was patrolling his beat in the Mountain View neighborhood. He got out at a popular park and began checking on people sleeping in their vehicles to make sure they weren't in distress.
Then he wandered down a footpath into the woods, where there were a half-dozen tents and piles of rubbish. Hidden under branches and a tent cover was a small Mazda, spray-painted black. In the backseat, two people were asleep.
“Hey, open the door,” Fuchs said, knocking on the window and growing increasingly alarmed.
“Is she alive?” he asked a bleary-eyed young man. Fuchs couldn't see her breathing, and when the boyfriend tried shaking her, she hardly stirred.
“Ma'am, are you OK?” Fuchs asked, reaching into the car.
The 19-year-old woman gradually began to come around. She exited the car but had trouble standing.
Fuchs asked the 20-year-old boyfriend if they'd been using drugs. He said no, but the backseat was littered with used syringes. Worried the woman might have overdosed, Fuchs called for an ambulance to check her out. There were no drugs on hand, and the car's ownership status was unclear. Short of having medics evaluate the young woman, there was not much for police to do.
“These kids are out here, addicted to drugs, living on the streets,” Fuchs said. “It's just a sad state of affairs for these kids. Wish I could do more for them.”
This interaction didn't happen in response to a specific call for service. Essentially, it was a spontaneous intervention in the course of an officer patrolling his community beat. And it's the kind of policing that the Anchorage Police Department and Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz's administration want more of.
For the last few months, APD has been sending officers to the same parts of town each shift, making them responsible for safety in one area rather than the city as a whole.
“It does give you a greater sense of ownership to the one area where you work,” said Fuchs, who has been with the department for more than a decade and lives outside of the municipality.
In the past, officers moved around the city during their shifts. One minute they might be responding to a call in South Anchorage, downtown the next, and the east side after that. A lot of this was simply triage, with available units racing between the most serious incidents while deferring less time-sensitive requests for help.
The department's staffing levels fell low enough that it became a central campaign issue in the 2015 mayoral race.
According to Fuchs, the situation left officers frequently scrambling to react. And the public never knew who would show up to a call.
“If the officers are constantly changing in an area, that can cause contention for some people if they don't know who they're going to get,” Fuchs said during the course of a ride-along that lasted the majority of his morning-to-afternoon shift.
It's not as if under the new strategy Fuchs is confined to Mountain View — he still responds to calls in other areas. At one point in the morning there was a request for backup, and Fuchs turned his sirens on as he sped through traffic to get downtown.
Mostly, though, he spent this particular weekday responding to lower-level calls, like de-escalating a tenant-landlord dispute, transporting a woman to jail and investigating a tripped alarm inside an industrial park.
He also spent a lot of time simply rolling through Mountain View's side streets, waving at people, listening to scanner messages and looking to see if anything appears suspicious, like a pile of discarded junk next to two burned-out, abandoned buildings.
As Fuchs examined a mound of old couches, a broken TV and a bucket of spent bullet casings, a woman wandered over to him.
“Hi ma'am, how are you?” Fuchs said cheerily. “I'm Brian.”
They began commiserating about how all the garbage had appeared in just the last week or two. And Fuchs had credibility in the conversation, because he had been by frequently enough to understand where the woman was coming from, and how the site had already been once cleared. He shared her frustration. He told her who at the city to call, and the phone number she could reach him at if she needed.
Interactions like these are what the city means when it says it wants more community policing. However, it's hard to measure the effectiveness of this approach in reducing crime. The new patrol model started in March.
Assembly members and the heads of several community councils say that, to the extent residents are noticing the changes, they are pleased.
“We've seen more cops,” said Mark Butler, who lives in the North Star Community Council's area. “They seem to be interacting with the public a lot more.”
“It's totally great,” said Patti Higgins of the Abbott Loop Community Council, adding that anecdotally people she has spoken with feel somewhat safer.
Allen Kemplen with the Fairview Community Council has not yet seen a difference from the new policing strategy, but he said that the neighborhood generally has a cooperative relationship with APD. Still, he believes the community boundary policy's efficacy is constrained by other limitations in the criminal justice system.
“I don't see the connection with the prosecutor's office,” Kemplen said as an example. The point he and others have made is that proactive policing has limits in an environment that lacks access to substance abuse treatment, sufficient housing for the homeless and a severely strained legal system.
What everyone does seem to agree on, though, is that this type of policing is only possible because APD has grown its ranks, putting enough officers on the street that they aren't constantly in a state of reaction. Which, according to Fuchs, is crucial.
“If you're constantly going call to call to call to call to call, which we do a lot of, then you never have the opportunity to do community-based policing, and going out and talking to people and doing all these different things,” Fuchs said.
Currently, APD is staffed at 406 officers — significantly higher than in recent years, but still about 40 positions short of what is recommended for Anchorage, based on a comprehensive report issued by the Police Executive Research Forum.
Atlantic City launches community policing program
by Michael Hill
Albert Herbert and Jerard Ingenito are two of Atlantic City's seasoned police officers who will spend most of their on-duty time in community policing.
“We need officers on the street, talking to residents, and getting to know them so that they know us and that we know them,” said Ingenito.
There are two officers for each of Atlantic City's six wards, including the tourism district and four for homeless outreach. It's Atlantic City's Neighborhood Coordination Officer program. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority is paying $7.5 million over 5 years for new patrol officers to replace those assigned to the program. It's part of the ongoing collaboration with the local citizens advisory board and the State Department of Community Affairs.
“People feel better when there's an officer on the beat. People feel better when officers and community members are solving problems together, and that's what the NCO program will do,” said Jim Johnson, special counsel to the Governor's Office on Atlantic City.
Atlantic City police say overall crime is a third of what it was in 2013. From 2017 to last year, violent crime fell by nearly 30% and nonviolent crime dropped by nearly 32%. Police Chief Henry White says the city's looking to build on that progress.
The officers will focus on quality of life issues and crime trends in the city's six wards. They will have department-issued cellphones and email addresses so folks living and working in those wards can contact them for nonemergency issues so the officers can take action.
The new program got a big embrace from Atlantic City native Latoya Dunston, who lives in the city's 2nd Ward.
“Hopefully it'll achieve a better relationship with the police department,” she said.
Others recall when the city had community policing years ago.
“After a couple months they started to feel good that you were there and they would reach out to you,” said Detective Joseph Corson.
Herbert and Ingenito live in their assigned 6th Ward, which is home to Stockton University's new campus, revitalization and a community policing welcome from diners at a local restaurant.
“Any kind of extra safety is positive, is going in the right direction. Keeping any neighborhood safe is what we all want and need,” said Atlantic City resident Pat McCormick.
Atlantic City stakeholders say community policing worked two decades ago, so they know this reincarnation is no gamble.
LAPD Detective Charged with Making Bathroom Videos at Angel Stadium
by Eric Leonard
An off-duty LAPD detective has been charged with dozens of criminal charges after he was allegedly spotted trying to secretly record men using the restroom at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
The Anaheim City Attorney's Office said Friday it filed 37 misdemeanor counts of peeping with intent to invade privacy and 37 counts secretly videotaping in a restroom against Ryan Caplette, 42. He was also charged with a single count of loitering.
Anaheim Police said a search warrant was obtained for a video recording device and the images of 37 men were recorded in Anaheim. "Additional crimes which occurred in Los Angeles have been referred to the Los Angeles Police Department for investigation," a spokesman said.
Caplette, who works as a detective at the LAPD's Employee Relations Group, was detained by a citizen during an Angel's game June 8 and was issued a citation, police said. Caplette was assigned to home while the incident is investigated, an LAPD spokesperson said. Caplette also served as one of the departments peer support officers with experience in "Christianity struggles."
LAPD records show he was hired in 2008.
The department declined to comment on his involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters Los Angeles, which recognized Caplette at an awards banquet in 2017, according to photos from the event posted online. The group said it was aware of the allegations but declined to answer questions about the incident.
The LA Police Protective League, the officers' union, said the allegations were, if true, deeply disgusting. "Police officers are entrusted to protect the public, not exploit them. There is no room in law enforcement for anyone who violates that trust."
Caplette could not be reached for comment at his home, and officials did not know if he had hired an attorney.
Anaheim - LAPD
Evidence Supports Alleged Filming by Off-Duty Detective in Angel Stadium Bathroom, Police Say
by Eric Leonard and Phil Drechsler
Police in Anaheim said Wednesday investigators have found video evidence that backs up allegations an off-duty LAPD detective, who also serves as a department chaplain, was making video recordings inside a men's room while attending a baseball game at Angel Stadium.
Detectives obtained a search warrant for a portable electronic device that contained the recordings, Anaheim Police Sgt. Daron Wyatt confirmed.
Evidence that supports the bathroom videotaping claim were recovered, he said, though he declined to describe the recording device. Police were called June 8 after another person attending the game reported someone was recording inside a men's room.
Anaheim police said officers issued a citation to LAPD Detective Ryan P. Caplette and Caplette was released. No criminal charges have been filed.
"These allegations, if true, are deeply disgusting; filming inside a public restroom is unacceptable and inexcusable," the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the officers' union, said in a statement. "Police officers are entrusted to protect the public, not exploit them. There is no room in law enforcement for anyone who violates that trust."
Caplette has been assigned to home while the incident is investigated, an LAPD spokesperson said. He worked at the Department's Employee Relations Group, which handles workplace and labor issues. Caplette also served as one of the departments peer support officers with experience in "Christianity struggles."
LAPD records show he was hired in 2008.
The department declined to comment on his involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters Los Angeles, which recognized Caplette at an awards banquet in 2017, according to photos from the event posted online.
"We are aware of the allegations and are actively monitoring the situation. Our thoughts are with the individuals who have been impacted," Big Brothers Big Sisters Los Angeles said in a statement Wednesday.
Wyatt said if Anaheim investigators saw evidence that related to additional incidents that occurred in other locations, the local law enforcement agencies there would be notified.
He could not confirm whether or not that had happened.
An official familiar with the LAPD's side of the investigation told NBCLA its internal affairs detectives were checking reports some video records found on the device appeared to have been made inside restrooms and locker rooms at the LAPD's Headquarters building in downtown LA.
Law Enforcement News
|Texas Deputy Fatally Struck During Traffic Stop
A sheriff's deputy was fatally struck by a car while conducting a traffic stop Tuesday. According to the San Antonio Express-News, Deputy Carlos Ramirez was struck by a pickup and killed. The driver Ramirez stopped and the officer's partner were hospitalized after the incident. Ramirez's partner has since been released. Ramirez served with the Kendall County Sheriff's Office since Dec. 2016. Prior to that, he served in the Army. He is survived by his wife and two children. An investigation into the crash is ongoing. "I want his wife and his family to know that we're here for them," Sheriff Al Auxier said. "We'll help them endure this tragedy they're experiencing today."
Tennessee Officer Killed In Crash
A Metro Nashville Police officer died Thursday in a crash. According to Fox 17, 28-year-old officer John Anderson was killed when a teen driver collided with him in an intersection. A DUI officer on patrol had attempted to stop the teen driver moments prior after noticing the teen was driving with high beams on and didn't dim them for oncoming traffic, News Channel 5 reported. When that officer turned his siren on, the teen driver took off. After running the car's plates, the DUI officer found the car was not reported stolen and did not pursue. Anderson, who was not aware of the attempted stop, had the right of way at the intersection when he was hit by the teen driver. Anderson was a four-year veteran of the department. The driver has been charged with vehicular homicide, driving on a suspended license and felony evading.
Shooter Who Opened Fire On Long Beach Police Officers Sought
Police officers in Long Beach came under gunfire Thursday morning while investigating a hit-and-run crash and the shooter was at-large. Officers responded to the 1600 block of East Pacific Coast Highway at 1 a.m to investigate the collision and heard gunshots in the area, according to Lt. Byron Blair of the Long Beach Police Department. Officers moved to a nearby parking lot to take cover and as they made their way through the parking lot, shots were fired at them, Blair said. No officers were hit and a department SWAT team was called to the scene, where evidence of a shooting was located, Blair said. No arrest was reported and a motive for the shooting was unknown, he said. Detectives were on scene and an investigation into the shooting was ongoing.
3 Adults, Child Transported To Hospital Following South LA Shooting
Three adults and a child were transported to a hospital in moderate to serious condition following a Fourth of July shooting in South Los Angeles. The shooting took place in the 1900 block of Adair Street shortly before 9 p.m. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, a Hispanic man was armed with a handgun. Police said one suspect fled on a black motorcycle, and another was last seen in a gray Honda. LAPD said the shooting might be gang related and that the victims may know the suspects.
Senior Citizen LADWP Worker Critically Injured In Seemingly Random Attack In Downtown L.A.
A Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employee was clinging to life in critical condition Wednesday, a day after he was severely injured in a seemingly random attack in downtown Los Angeles the day before, authorities said. Los Angeles Police Department officials said Wednesday afternoon that the victim had died, but later said he remained hospitalized on life support. The assault took place about 4:35 p.m. in the 400 block of East Temple Street, near Alameda Street, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Tony Im said. The victim, a man of about 70 years old, fell to the ground and struck his head following the “felony battery,” the officer said. “One of our employees was walking from our Temple Street yard toward the Metro train platform when he was assaulted by an unknown suspect for no apparent reason,” LADWP spokeswoman Deborah Hong said Wednesday. “Our employee suffered severe injuries as a result of being knocked to the pavement and was taken to a nearby hospital,” she said.
Woman Charged In Hit-and-Run That Killed 91-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor In Valley Village Was Living In Her Car, Arrested On Battery Warrant
A 68-year-old woman arrested last month following a hit-and-run crash in Valley Village that killed an elderly Holocaust survivor was charged Wednesday, officials from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office said. Joyce Bernann McKinney faces one count each of assault with a deadly weapon, hit-and-run causing an injury and vehicular manslaughter, the officials said in a written statement. Prosecutors also filed a sentencing enhancement with the allegation that McKinney caused great bodily injury to a victim more than 70 years old. They said if she's convicted of all counts, she could face up to 11 years in state prison. Los Angeles Police Department detectives said Tuesday that McKinney was the woman driving the white, 2006 GMC pick-up truck seen on security camera footage striking and killing 91-year-old Gennady Bolotsky. Bolotsky was walking in a crosswalk with his dog north across Wilkinson Avenue at Magnolia Boulevard in the early morning of June 17 when the GMC hit him.
Los Angeles Daily News
One Killed In Deputies' Rolling Gunbattle With Shooters In Armored Cadillac Escalade
One person was killed and a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy was injured in a shootout with people firing rounds from a Cadillac Escalade in Compton. The shooting occurred in the 400 block of West Spruce Street, near North Oleander Avenue at 11:35 p.m. Wednesday, according to Deputy Erin Liu of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. LASD deputies said the shooters in an armored-window Cadillac Escalade fired several shots into a patrol car. Shots also were fired at a sheriff's helicopter and during a pursuit that ended in Inglewood. At times, an assault-style rifle was fired from the passenger window. "During the course of the pursuit, deputies came under heavy, sustained gunfire multiple times," said Lt. Derrick Alfred. Investigators said a 65-year-old man was likely caught in the crossfire. One person was arrested. At least one individual is sought.
2 Killed After Car Fleeing Pursuing Officers Crashes Into Parked Vehicles In Northridge
Two people were killed after a car fleeing from pursuing officers crashed into parked vehicles in a CVS parking lot in Northridge early Friday morning, California Highway Patrol said. At about 1 a.m., West Valley CHP officers initiated traffic stop for a white Toyota Paseo they suspected might have been stolen. The driver, a man in his 20s, initially yielded but as officers approached, the driver fled the scene heading southbound on Reseda Boulevard, CHP Officer Weston Haver said. Officers started pursuing the Toyota, but for public safety, discontinued the pursuit after seeing the fleeing driver run two red lights at a high rate of speed, Haver said. Seconds after the pursuit was discontinued, officers drove southbound on Reseda Boulevard, where they found that the driver had lost control and crashed into the parked cars in the parking lot south of Devonshire on Reseda Boulevard, CHP said.
Hate Crimes Targeting Jews And Latinos Increased In California In 2018, Report Says
Despite a slight decline in the overall number of hate crimes reported statewide, incidents targeting Latinos and Jewish people in California surged last year, an uptick experts have blamed on vitriolic rhetoric over immigration and emboldened hate groups. Anti-Semitic hate crimes surged 21%. There were 104 hate crimes against Jews reported in 2017. A year later, that number jumped to 126, according to a report from the California attorney general's office released Tuesday. Hate crimes against Latinos also grew, increasing about 18%. Law enforcement agencies across the state reported 149 hate crimes against Latinos in 2018, up from 126 the year prior, the report states. The increases occur as hate crimes against African Americans, Muslims and gay men showed slight decreases statewide last year. Overall, the report notes a 2.5% decline in hate crimes in California in 2018.
Los Angeles Times
Public Safety News
|Why L.A.'s Early Warning System Didn't Send An Alert Before The Magnitude 6.4 Quake
Did the ShakeAlertLA system fail to provide an earthquake early warning? Los Angeles residents were asking that question after Thursday's earthquake that was felt throughout Southern California, when they didn't get an early warning from the much-anticipated ShakeAlertLA app, released by the city of Los Angeles earlier this year. Did it fail? Not quite. The ShakeAlertLA smartphone app was only designed to alert users of cellphones physically located in Los Angeles County if there was a decent chance of destruction, with the warning system forecasting at least “light shaking,” or level 4 on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale. What was actually felt Thursday in Los Angeles County, while seemingly scary, was actually not that bad. It was forecast by the earthquake early warning system as bringing shaking too weak to cause significant damage in Los Angeles County, said U.S. Geological Survey research geophysicist Rob Graves.
Los Angeles Times
Expect More Earthquakes, Possibly Even Stronger Ones, Seismologists Say
Seismologists said the 6.4 earthquake that struck Southern California likely broke ground near the epicenter but was far enough away not to do damage in the Los Angeles area. Seismologist Lucy Jones said the quake was far enough away from the dangerous San Andreas fault “that any impact on the system will be minimal.” Still more quakes — possibly bigger ones — are likely. “This does not make [the Big One] less likely. There is about a 1 in 20 chance that this location will be having an even bigger earthquake in the next few days, that we have not yet seen the biggest earthquake of the sequence,” she added. There have already been dozens of aftershocks from the quake, and Jones says they should keep coming. “Some aftershocks will probably exceed magnitude 5, which means they'll probably be damaging,” she said.
Los Angeles Times
California Lawmakers Work On Revamping The Aging 911 System
California lawmakers have approved raising fees on phones to pay for an upgrade to the state's aging 911 system. Assembly Bill 96 would impose a fee of up to 80 cents per month on phone bills - including cell phones - starting on or after Jan. 1, 2020. The 911 system failed for some people during the Woolsey and Paradise fires in Fall 2018. The flames that ravaged the mountainous canyon communities in the Woolsey fire in November 2018 exposed a very dangerous problem - cell towers burn. Cell towers also burned up in Northern California during the Paradise Fire. California Assemblywoman Christy Smith says no longer can first responders count on communicating through landlines. At one point 40 million people in the state had landline phones. Now the number is fewer than 1 million.
Local Government News
|12-0 L.A. City Council Vote Paves Way For Warehouses To Replace 14-Acre South Central Farm
The showdown over the South Central Farm went on for hours: Dozens of protesters were arrested by deputies who pried activists loose from concrete drums using power tools, bulldozed vegetable gardens and rolled in a ladder truck to pluck actress Daryl Hannah and other protesters out of the branches of a walnut tree. That was more than a dozen years ago, when farmers and activists were evicted from a South Los Angeles plot that had become one of the biggest urban farms in the country. Their latest battle ended much more quietly in the marble chambers of City Hall, with a 12-0 vote Tuesday by the Los Angeles City Council. The decision paves the way for warehouses and offices to be built on the Alameda Street site, dealing another blow to activists' hopes of reinstating their beloved farm.