Fall 2014 Law Enforcement Inspections and Audit Courses
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LEIA-101, September 24-26, 2014
LEIA-201, October 21-24, 2014
LEIA-101, October 28-30, 2014
Silver Spring, Maryland- Baltimore / DC Area
September 16, 2014, USA Today: Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that his office is spearheading a study of potential law enforcement bias in five to-be-named cities. The study would be conducted over a period of three years by a team of criminal justice researchers who would make recommendations, Holder said. Representatives with the Justice Department could not be reached late Tuesday.
The study was in the works months before Ferguson erupted, but the clashes that overtook the St. Louis suburb for weeks afterward highlighted the need for the study, Holder said. Grants will go to researchers from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, Yale University, UCLA and the Urban Institute, based in Washington.
Representatives for the National Association of Police Organizations could not be reached late Tuesday, but the Virginia-based group has expressed sympathies toward the death of Michael Brown, but also frustration at media coverage that it feels leans unfairly against the police.
In response to claims that police are unaccountable in today’s world, the association has pointed out that every state has a law enforcement licensing body and every police agency has an internal affairs unit or something equivalent.
The study will cost $4.75 million, the Associated Press reported.
September 16, Govt. Tech: Localities are forced to deal with much of the problems associated with fracking, while states and the federal government rake in all the revenue.
The shale gas market is an economic boon for the 30-odd states that permit fracking. The severance tax states impose on the process adds up. In 2010, it generated more than $11 billion. The flow of that revenue goes straight into state and federal piggy banks, as does increased corporate income tax revenue from energy companies profiting from fracking.
Localities, however, enjoy no such benefits. Instead, they get stuck with all the fracking problems: noise from blasting, storage of toxic chemicals, degraded water sources and heavy truck traffic, as well as the rising costs of cleaning up the detritus fracking leaves behind. North Dakota counties affected by hydraulic fracturing have reported to the state Department of Mineral Resources’ Oil and Gas Division that traffic, air pollution, jobsite and highway accidents, sexual assaults, bar fights, prostitution and drunk driving have all increased.
The Columbus City Council yesterday approved using $69,000 in federal grant money to purchase software that will better separate multiple sources of DNA found at crime scenes. The issues were uncovered after Police Chief Kim Jacobs ordered a review (March 2014) of 3,000 reports in March when she learned that several of the DNA analyses omitted a necessary statistical probability.
Jacobs reported that the omissions spanned from July 2009 until October 2013.
“What we are dealing with here is mixed DNA, or when you have at least two different sets of DNA being presented,” said Jami St. Clair, the city’s crime-lab manager. “This technology will help us in assigning accurate statistics to the population in that sample.”
The city also will spend $20,000 of city money on a Dallas-based DNA consultant, Cellmark Forensics, to help review the DNA cases.
Link to March 2014 article on review:
September 16, 2014, Govt. Tech: The technology works by detecting the telltale radio frequencies that emit from a vehicle when someone inside is using a cellphone. A text message, phone call and data transfer emit different frequencies that can be distinguished by the device ComSonics is working on, according to McIntyre. That would prove particularly useful for law enforcement in states such as Virginia, where texting behind the wheel is banned but talking on the phone is legal for adult drivers.
Sorry for the delay on this one, I just found it. Lt. Dan
July 2014, OJJDP has published “Law Enforcement Response to Child Abuse.” This guide provides information to help law enforcement personnel ensure consistency in child abuse investigations, understand their role on a multidisciplinary child protection team during a child abuse case, and establish procedures and protocols for working with other professionals to meet the needs of abused children.
September 15, NEW YORK CITY — Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has hired a former top NYPD official as a special consultant helping to revamp the way police use force and interact with the public, DNAinfo New York has learned.
The return of Michael Julian, a lawyer and former NYPD Chief of Personnel, to examine the NYPD’s tactics in the wake of the apparent chokehold death of Eric Garner will be a key factor in how Bratton reshapes the way police officers make arrests and deal with the public in general, insiders say.
September 16, 2014, Star Tribune, WAUKESHA, Wis. — The state Department of Justice is asking Gov. Scott Walker for an additional $738,600 to cover investigating local officer-involved deaths.
The agency submitted its 2015-17 budget request to Walker on Monday. Wisconsin legislators passed a law earlier this year that requires police departments to let outside agencies run probes into officer-involved deaths. Since the law has passed, agencies have turned to DOJ to handle the investigations.
September 16, 2014, AP: WASHINGTON (AP) — Requiring police officers to wear body cameras is one potential solution for bridging deep mistrust between law enforcement and the public, the White House said, weighing in on a national debate sparked by the shooting of an unarmed black man last month in Ferguson, Missouri.
September 11, 2014, Govt Tech: The Text Ya Later app lets drivers turn on a customized auto response while they’re at the wheel. “Text Ya Later” allows the user to create a customized message that automatically replies to texts. The app is free and will soon be available to iPhone users.
September 15, 2014, KCRAnews: Probe found potential abuse by workers
The report, issued last month by City Auditor Jorge Oseguera, found that the city may have spent more than $291,000 last year on unnecessary wireless use.
“Our audit of the city’s wireless communication devices found inadequate administrative practices which allowed for questionable acts to go unchecked,” wrote Oseguera.
Link to audit report:
September 12, AZCentral: A former Phoenix police officer who pleaded guilty to stealing more than 2,000 narcotic pills that were in police custody was sentenced to nearly four years in prison by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge on Friday.
William B. McCartney, 40, will serve three years and nine months in the Department of Corrections followed by three years of probation, according to the sentence Superior Court Judge Peter Reinstein handed down Friday morning. Reinstein will recommend to the Department of Corrections that McCartney be transferred to an out-of-state prison to serve his sentence.
McCartney was arrested in 2011 after an internal audit showed that bags containing prescription painkillers, like oxycodone, that were handled by him were tampered with and replaced with over-the-counter medication.
September 2, 2014, Slate.com: Filming interactions between law enforcement and citizens might not stop the next Ferguson from happening.
But many assumptions people make about body-worn cameras simply aren’t true. We’re academics who have studied body cameras for years, and in our work we’ve identified three pervasive myths about the equipment. If police departments around the country are going to adopt the technology, then both law enforcement and citizens need to know about potential downsides as well.
The first myth is that video evidence is completely objective and free of interpretation.
The second myth is that on-officer video cameras will be a silver bullet for improving the way police interact with citizens.
The last myth is that because on-officer video evidence is “objective,” it will help reduce civil unrest and controversy.
September 9, 2014, Daily Herald: The latest innovation of LifeLine Response founder Peter Cahill and his team is the ability for their app to automatically summon an aerial drone, as well as police, to the scene of an attack.
September 15, 2014, The Hill: The FBI has initiated a tool to identify and search for people’s faces, it announced on Monday. The facial recognition system is one of the new programs being rolled out as part of the law enforcement agency’s new Next Generation Identification program, which it hopes will replace the current fingerprint-tracking system.
The effort, which has been in the works for years at a reported cost of $1 billion, has long been criticized by privacy and civil liberties organizations who have worried about the government tracking people’s faces.
The digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation previously warned that the FBI was planning to grow its database to 52 million pictures — many of them of people never arrested for a crime. FBI Director James Comey dismissed that claim earlier this year.
In addition to the face-tracking tool, the FBI is also rolling out a new “Rap Back” feature that lets police continuously monitor whether ex-convicts as well as teachers or other people “holding positions of trust” violate the law.
“Law enforcement agencies, probation and parole offices, and other criminal justice entities will also greatly improve their effectiveness by being advised of subsequent criminal activity of persons under investigation or supervision,’ the FBI said.
September 11, 2014, KUOW.org: Efforts to implement civilian oversight of the King County Sheriff’s Office have faced a rocky path. Last week the first person ever to head the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight resigned.
Now in a parting statement, Gaither said he’s concluded that effective oversight can’t be achieved. During his brief tenure, he said, “support for effective oversight of the Sheriff’s Office waned and the spirit of collaboration was replaced with conflict and political maneuvering.”
It’s been well-reported that the San Diego Police Department has been struggling to keep officers from leaving, but a new report shows the situation is getting worse. City Independent Budget Analyst Andrea Tevlin said in a report released Thursday the average number of San Diego officers leaving the department each month is now nearly triple the rate in 2010. From July to September, 29 officers have left the department, she said.
Link to report:
September 13, 2014, St. Louis Dispatch: Police Chief Sam Dotson asserts he cannot discuss specifics of the Kajieme Powell killing as it is still under investigation (“Aldermen question chief over shooting,” Sept. 11). Considering the time that has elapsed, that seems to be more of a smoke screen to delay pinpointing culpability with a video as evidence. The key word is “reasonable” in the use of deadly force under Supreme Court opinion, and the circumstances indicate that Powell was speaking abnormally, walking erratically and wielding a knife at a distance that alone did not justify 12 bullets to kill him.
September 12, 2014, LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Officials with the union representing nearly 10,000 Los Angeles Police Department officers announced Friday the “highly unusual” step of declaring an impasse in salary negotiations with the city.
The lawyer for a man who alleges a Chicago police commander shoved a gun into his mouth ripped Superintendent Garry McCarthy for taking no action against the commander even after DNA evidence months ago appeared to corroborate the incident.
A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday on behalf of Rickey Williams comes about two weeks after the commander, Glenn Evans, was criminally charged for allegedly putting the barrel of his service weapon “deep down” Williams’ throat, holding a Taser against his groin and threatening to kill him.
The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday denied media reports that federal authorities were investigating the Chicago Police Department over shootings by its officers..
The reports were prompted by a letter that appeared earlier this week on a popular police blog in which a lawyer who represents Chicago cops accused of misconduct said the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office were probing police shootings of unarmed individuals.
September 12, 2014, DOJ News Release: Today the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) released Implementing a Body-Worn Camera Program: Recommendations and Lessons Learned. The report analyzes some of the costs and benefits of law enforcement using body-worn video technology. The publication was developed jointly by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and COPS through a cooperative agreement
The policy recommendations cover all aspects of what a police department should consider when deciding to use body cameras including:
- Basic camera usage, such as who will be assigned to wear the cameras and where on the body the cameras are authorized to be placed;
- Recording protocols, including when to activate the camera, when to turn it off, and the types of circumstances in which recording is required, allowed or prohibited;
- The process for downloading recorded data from the camera, including who is responsible for downloading, when data must be downloaded, where data will be stored, and how to safeguard against data tampering or deletion;
- The length of time recorded data will be retained by the agency in various circumstances;
- The process and policies for accessing and reviewing recorded data, including the persons authorized to access data and the circumstances in which recorded data can be reviewed; and
- Policies for releasing recorded data to the public, including protocols regarding redactions and responding to public disclosure requests.
Link to report:
September 13, 2014, LA Times: A solid majority of California voters believes local police have a tough job and do it well, but nearly a third say law enforcement targets minorities unfairly, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll..
Date Published: August 2014: In this bulletin, two law enforcement professionals and an advocate for those who have been wrongfully convicted look at the causes of wrongful convictions and propose a number of best practices to reduce the incidence of these injustices.
Link to document:
September 12, 2014, KWQC.com: Update: At a news conference, Sheriff Jeff Boyd said he agreed to an Alford plea, which does not admit guilt, as a way “to get this behind us.” Boyd went on to say he “believes he committed no crime.” His lawyer insists he’s only been charged with attempted official misconduct for texting. Boyd said the investigation has been very hard on his family. He said he hasn’t thought about what he will do because it has all happened so fast. More details from a news release by the Illinois Attorney General:
Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that Rock Island County Sheriff Jeffrey Boyd resigned and pled guilty today to attempted official misconduct based on attempted cyberstalking.
DENVER – Denver’s Office of the Independent Monitor has submitted a letter detailing five “critical issues” within the Denver Sheriff’s Department. However, those issues are not included in the official review required as part of a $3.25 million settlement with an inmate who was abused.
Link to Monitor’s letter:
September 12, 2014, Columbus’ longtime public-safety director, Mitchell J. Brown, has announced he will retire in the wake of public criticism from Mayor Michael B. Coleman and a city councilman about recent problems in the Police Division.
City officials have criticized Brown and his department in the past month after the crime lab submitted incorrect DNA reports, police sergeants gamed the paid-leave system, resident complaints were left ignored and police dashboard cameras ran out of memory.
Brown, 66, said his departure is not related to criticism from Councilman Zach M. Klein and a letter of reprimand that Coleman sent to Brown last Friday.
September 10, 2014, KTTV. LA: Los Angeles, CA – (FOX 11 / AP) The number of cases with unanalyzed fingerprint evidence has more than doubled in the last two years, hampering efforts to solve thousands of burglaries, thefts and other property crimes, LAPD officials say.
The backlog has worsened despite a Los Angeles Police Department campaign to process fingerprints more effectively, including having officers rather than analysts collect fingerprints at some crime scenes, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In 2012, the backlog was about 2,200 cases; today, there are 5,455, according to The Times.
LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese told the civilian-led Police Commission Tuesday that the delay was so severe that some fingerprints were now useless because the three-year deadline for prosecuting offenders had passed.
September 10, 2014, McClatchyDC: Dozens of Justice Department officials, ranging from FBI agents and prison wardens to high-level prosecutors, have escaped prosecution or firing despite findings of misconduct by the department’s own internal watchdog, McClatchy Newspapers reports. Most of the names of the investigated officials remain under wraps. McClatchy says it got documents under the Freedom of Information Act showing “a startling array of alleged transgressions uncovered by the department’s inspector general.”
September 10, 2014, Wall Street Journal: Expects Crime in New York City to Decrease for the 24th Consecutive Year.
September 10, 2014, St. Louis Dispatch: Within two weeks, about half of St. Louis County police officers will be recording every call for service using tiny video cameras on their chests, glasses or collars, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Several companies are lending free technology to police departments in hope of landing lucrative contracts in an industry that surged after a national outcry about the Ferguson police shooting. In St. Louis County, 188 police officers will be using cameras. About two dozen officers got cameras and training yesterday. Chief Jon Belmar said his goal is to have all 465 patrol officers wearing them as soon as possible. St. Louis County will be among the nation’s largest police forces to deploy the technology to all its officers. For the next 90 days, the department will experiment with different types of cameras and approaches.
September 9, 2014, New York Times: Critics point to the lack of racial balance in police departments as evidence of systemic racism. But experts say the experiences of the two towns illustrate the obstacles to achieving diversity in law enforcement, even for departments that have made it a priority.
“I see all these pundits come on the Sunday talk shows and say: ‘Of course you can hire more black people. Of course they’re not trying,’ ” said Nelson Lim, a senior sociologist at the RAND Corporation’s Center on Quality Policing who has consulted with departments in Los Angeles and San Diego. “But it’s very, very, very difficult.”
There is little hard evidence that diversity correlates with better performance, in part because it is difficult to control for complex variables and to know which outcomes, from crime rates to brutality cases, to measure. In fact, one study of a Florida police department found that black officers were more likely than white to use force against black suspects.
Link to study:
September 9, 2014, Miami Herald: Florida’s Department of Corrections, facing intensifying scrutiny over a growing number of suspicious inmate deaths and reports of alleged abuse involving prison guards, introduced the online database cataloging all inmate deaths over the past 14 years.
The database lists inmates by name, prison, race and manner of death, and supplies other details that the Miami Herald had been trying to obtain from the department since May, when the newspaper began a series of articles about prison deaths.
September 10, 2014, Crime Report: National studies show that 40 percent of police families experience domestic violence, compared with 10 percent of the general public, says the Philadelphia Daily News. The paper calls it “a silent epidemic, its victims often trapped in the shadows of their own homes, lost in a debilitating mix of fear, confusion, anxiety and doubt.” Philadelphia police data show that 164 officers have had domestic-abuse complaints filed against them in the past five years. Of that lot, 11 cops were fired and criminally charged, and only three were successfully prosecuted. Most got back their old jobs. The numbers suggest that the problem is small, but domestic-violence experts say the issue is bigger than what the stats show. “That [figure] seems incredibly low to me, although not terribly surprising in that domestic-violence incidents are vastly underreported,” said Debasri Ghosh of Women’s Way, which advocates for women and funds projects to help them.
September 10, A law requiring all new municipal police patrol vehicles be equipped with video cameras was signed into law on Wednesday. Governor Chris Christie signed the bill Wednesday evening.
The bill requires all municipal police departments to equip newly purchased or leased vehicles that are used primarily for traffic stops with an in-car camera, or equip patrol officers with body cameras as a more affordable option.
A $25 surcharge on DWI convictions was set aside by the legislation to provide funding for the new equipment.
I believe NJ is the first state to require cameras through legislation: In this case they just passed legislation to require dash cams (as noted above) and if this legislation passes patrol officers in that state will have dash cams and on body cameras. Lt. Dan:
September 11, 2014, CHERRY HILL TWP. — Sen. Donald Nocross (D-5, of Camden) on Thursday announced he was drafting legislation that would require all police officers on patrol to wear body cameras.
The state senator announced the proposed legislation during a press conference outside the Cherry Hill Police Department with Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-4, of Washington Township), one day after Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a bill championed by the assemblyman requiring all municipal patrol cars be equipped with cameras.
September 11, 2014, AP: Raids in the fashion district of Los Angeles led to the seizure of $90 million — including $70 million of it in cash — in a massive crackdown on Mexican cartels’ attempts to use international trade to launder money from U.S. drug sales, federal authorities said.
The raids Wednesday came after three separate federal indictments in the biggest investigation to date into trade-based drug money laundering, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles.
About 1,000 law enforcement officers fanned out across the city’s downtown to search dozens of businesses suspected of taking bulk cash funneled by drug cartels for clothing exported to Mexico.
This report was a result of an audit completed at LAPD which we previously reported on. Consider completing an audit of your stats. If you need some assistance give us a call. LT. Dan.
September 11, 2014, LA Times: An initial review of crime statistics at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released Thursday found that the agency tends to overstate violent crime..
An audit of 240 assaults from six sheriff’s stations found that department personnel misclassified more than 31% of minor assaults as serious offenses, while incorrectly filing about 3% of serious attacks as minor ones.
September 10, 2014, press of Atlantic City: Atlantic City may consider disbanding its police force in favor of a county-based service, in order to save money as casino closings decimate the resort’s tax base.
This is another high risk area for any department, and a number of law enforcement CEO’s have had issues in this area. This is a great opportunity to do an audit. Call if you would like some assistance, as we have done several of these. LT. Dan
September 10, 2014, Local10.com: The Chief was accused of manipulating crime statistics to make city appear safer.
September 9, 2014, WFAA.com: FORT WORTH — The City of Fort Worth is standing by police Chief Jeff Halstead. Following an executive session of the City Council Tuesday evening, Mayor Betsy Price announced an action plan that will address concerns about racial harmony within the police department.
September 4, 2014, Dallas police are planning sweeping changes to the way they handle officers involved in shootings and other traumatic incidents.
On the heels of six shootings by police last month, commanders will now mandate that officers who fire their weapons go through more frequent psychological counseling and that they remain off the streets for a full month.
Assistant Chief Tom Lawrence told officer association leaders of the plans Thursday. Some of the ideas are still preliminary. But he said the new strategy starts immediately for shootings. The changes gave the association leaders some pause, but Lawrence framed the idea as a way to keep officers in good mental health. He said officers are deeply affected when they use deadly force.
September 6, Seattle Times: SEATTLE — A Seattle police officer suing to block new use-of-force policies has set up an Internet fundraising page to help pay for the legal fight, calling the federally mandated reforms “the greatest threat to the city’s public safety in our time.”
Robert Mahoney, the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit brought by 113 officers, created the crowdfunding page Saturday on the website GoFundMe. So far, the page lists $1,570 in donations on a goal of raising $100,000.
Just Monday, a Seattle attorney agreed to represent Mahoney and another officer in the case after the group of officers initially filed suit May 28 without legal representation. The attorney, Athan Tramountanas, declined in an interview Thursday to reveal whether he is being paid.
I am not sure what the take a way is when NOPD is currently under a DOJ consent decree, with a history of major problems. If you review the newsletter posting from August 23, 2014, regarding studies on this issue, it also raises some interesting questions.
August 23, 2014: Washington Post: Do diverse police forces treat their communities more fairly than almost-all-white ones like Ferguson’s?
September 7, 2014, NOLA.com. A new analysis by The Associated Press found that the racial gap between black police officers and the communities where they work has narrowed over the past generation, particularly in departments that once were the least diverse.
New Orleans, for example, fields one of the most racially balanced police departments in the country. A much larger disparity, however, is now seen in the low number of Hispanic officers in U.S. police departments. In Waco, Texas, for example, the community is more than 30 percent Hispanic, but the police department of 231 full-time sworn officers has only 27 Hispanics.
September 2, 2014, 10News: The Tampa Police Department has around 300 dash cameras mounted in their squad cars. Chief Jane Castor tells 10 News that she hopes to be testing the new body camera technology on officers by the end of the year. The officer can wear the camera on his or her uniform or glasses. Castor believes the body cameras are a trend spreading across the country. “Within the next five years, every police officer in the nation will have a body-worn camera on,” says Castor.
Castor is leading the charge to get the body cameras for more than 500 of her patrol officers and hopes to have 60 test cameras, on officers in 2014.
September 9, 2014, WDSU News, NEW ORLEANS —A 12-year veteran of the Harbor Police Department has been arrested on fraud charges, the WDSU I-Team has learned.
In a statement, Harbor Police officials told WDSU that the officer was under investigation for alleged fraudulent use of a fuel card, and that the alleged misuse “spanned into other parishes.”
Officials said an audit raised concerns regarding the use of the fuel cards and prompted the investigation.
September 9, 2014, Police Foundation Newsletter: WASHINGTON – Surplus military equipment provided to law enforcement agencies has saved lives and should be preserved, but needs better oversight and regulations, Police Foundation President Jim Bueermann told a Senate committee hearing Tuesday.
The Police Foundation recommends tighter controls and more transparency in the program to ensure proper use. Police agencies seeking surplus equipment should:
Provide proof that they have received public input, and local governing body approval of acquisition of property,
Implement a publicly accessible policy governing the use of armored vehicles and tactical units, and
Make publicly available a report on when and how it has utilized armored vehicles and tactical units.
September 8, 2014, DOJ Web News: New DEA Policy Will Authorize Pharmacies, Hospitals to Serve as Authorized Drop-off Sites for Unused Medications
September 9, 2014, CNN – Editorial: (CNN) — If the United States Department of Justice has any real interest in obtaining justice in the tragic shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement of a new civil rights investigation in Ferguson, Missouri, (population 21,000) was a step in the wrong direction.
September 9, 2014, Huffington Post: WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department’s inspector general said Tuesday that his staff is routinely blocked from getting access to documents it needs for audits and reviews of the department and its law enforcement agencies.
The interference causes delays in investigations and has several times required the intervention of Attorney General Eric Holder or his deputy to ensure that the records are ultimately turned over, Michael Horowitz, the inspector general, told members of Congress.
Horowitz’s appearance before the House Judiciary Committee came one month after nearly 50 inspectors general from a broad spectrum of federal agencies complained in a letter to Congress about similar obstruction from the departments they monitor. The inspectors general said in that letter that congressional action might be needed to ensure compliance with their requests.
Transcript of testimony:
September 9, 2014, KOAT.com: ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry and the city’s police chief are in Las Vegas, Nevada, to study how that city reformed following a series of police shootings.
September 9, 2014, Inside Indiana Business: The Indianapolis City-County Council has approved an increase in the public safety tax rate to fund the addition of about 280 Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers by 2018. Council Minority Leader Michael McQuillen says the new hires will result in the largest police force in the department’s history.
September 8, 2014, Washington Post: In Washington, D.C., where issuing traffic citations is a $179 million-a-year business, drivers get speeding tickets for violations they don’t commit and for vehicles they’ve never owned.
Those are among the findings in a 115-page audit of the three city agencies that issued nearly 2.5 million parking and traffic tickets in fiscal 2013, according to a withering report issued Monday by the D.C. inspector general.
Link to audit report:
September 5, 2014, Govt. Tech: The healthcare portal used by more than 5 million Americans continues to have growing pains. Pescatore said. “In general, the security of health-care sites is not great. These portals were rushed out there and they’re certainly not looking much better than the rest of the health-care industry.”
Check out the 2013 Breach List published by the Identity Theft Resource Center revealed that the health-care sector accounted for 43 percent of all reported data breaches, far more than any other sector.
September 8, 2014, KOAT Albuquerque (video) It’s been six months since the Department of Justice finished its investigation. This newscast video provides some limited insight into the Albuquerque Police Department actions.
September 8, 2014, AP: The police agency that oversees Warren Jeffs’ polygamous sect on the Utah-Arizona border will remain intact after a federal judge rejected the latest request from the Arizona attorney general to disband the department.
U.S. District Judge James Teilborg acknowledged in a ruling last week that disbanding the police unit could decrease discrimination in the twin communities of Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah. But, Teilborg said removing their authority and handing power over to county sheriffs would burden the twin cities and the states “with a layer of bureaucracy extending into potential perpetuity.”
September 4, 2014, DOJ News: According to AG Eric Holder, The DOJ has determined that there is cause for the Justice Department to open an investigation to determine whether Ferguson Police officials have engaged in a pattern or practice of violations of the U.S. Constitution or federal law.
“In Ferguson, our investigation will assess the police department’s use of force, including deadly force. It will analyze stops, searches, and arrests. And it will examine the treatment of individuals detained at Ferguson’s city jail, in addition to other potentially discriminatory policing techniques and tactics that are brought to light.”
“At the same time, I want to make very clear that – as this investigation unfolds and evolves – we will follow the facts and the law wherever they may lead. And if, at any point, we find reason to expand our inquiry to include additional police forces in neighboring jurisdictions, we will not hesitate to do so.”
September 5, 2014: Chicago Tribune: The new pact, set for review by top union officials late Thursday before going to rank-and-file members, does not require police officers to take part in a city wellness program that other unions have agreed to, the source said.
It also does not address the city’s underfunded police pension system, the source said. Without changes to the police and firefighter pension systems, the city could end up being forced to pay $550 million in additional pension payments in 2016.
September 4, 2014, The Crime Report: It isn’t required that agencies submit justifiable homicide data in the “Supplementary Homicide Report.” This makes the largest database of justifiable homicides in the U.S. very incomplete. Among the missing states is New York, which had 684 killings in 2012. The third-most populated state, which likely had a number of justifiable homicides, doesn’t report justifiable homicide data, says the FBI. Data from other highly populous states are missing or compromised as well.
September 4, 2014, New York Times: The New York Police Department will begin equipping a small number of its officers with wearable video cameras, a pilot program geared toward eventually outfitting the nation’s largest police force with technology that promises greater accountability.
A total of 60 cameras will be deployed in the coming months in five high-crime police precincts, one in each of the city’s five boroughs, Commissioner William J. Bratton said on Thursday.
A federal judge last year ordered the department to test the cameras for one year in five precincts as a way of evaluating their effectiveness in curbing unconstitutional stop-and-frisk interactions by officers. The court ordered an independent monitor to help set the policy for the cameras, though that order has been delayed pending an appeal.
Mr. Bratton said the department was proceeding “independent of the order” because the subject is “too important to wait.” The announcement also comes in advance of federal guidelines on body cameras worn by the police, expected to be released by the Justice Department in the coming weeks.
September 4, 2014, McClatchy DC: WASHINGTON — Justice Department investigators have largely given a thumbs-up to the department’s use of its powerful ‘material witness’ detention powers.In a 106-page report, the department’s Office of Inspector General closely examined 10 cases in which 12 individuals were held under the statute that allows arrest and detention of a person whose “testimony is material in a criminal proceeding.”
Link to report:
September 4, 2014, (CNN) — U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday a Justice Department investigation into the Ferguson, Missouri, police department, which has come under fire for its past practices in the uproar over the shooting of Michael Brown.
“Our investigation will assess the police department’s use of force, including deadly force. It will analyze stops, searches and arrests. And it will examine the treatment of individuals detained at Ferguson’s city jail,” he said.
The COPS Collaborative Reform Technical Assistance process with the SLCPD is a voluntary process that will include an open, independent and objective assessment of key operational areas of the police department, such as training, use of force, handling mass demonstrations, stops, searches, arrests, and fair and impartial policing. The assessment will include the SLCPD police academy which trains officers for many police departments in the region, including the FPD. The findings of this assessment, and recommendations to address any deficiencies that it uncovers, will be provided in a public report and shared with the community. Additionally, SLCPD Chief Jon Belmar has requested that COPS conduct an after action report on the SLCPD’s response to the protests following the shooting of Michael Brown.
September 4, 2014, JS Online: The former chief of the FBI Milwaukee office — believed to have encouraged perjury and then lied to investigators — is worthless as a witness and dishonors an agency that places a premium on integrity, according to bureau veterans and law enforcement experts.
But Teresa Carlson remains a high-ranking FBI official in Washington, D.C., and the agency won’t say whether she has been demoted, suspended or disciplined in any way.
September 4, 2014, nwitimes.com : HEBRON | Federal agents have seized documents from the Hebron Police Department in an ongoing investigation.
Hebron Acting Police Chief Tony Frencl confirmed Wednesday that the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms have been to the Hebron Police Department to collect documents.
September 4, 2014, AP: While such “early warning systems” are often treated as a cure-all, experts say, little research exists on their effectiveness or — more importantly — if they’re even being properly used.
September 3, 2014, FOX News: The Department of Justice is reportedly launching a civil rights investigation into the Ferguson Police Department after an unarmed black teen was fatally shot by one of the department’s officers.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the investigation by Attorney General Eric Holder may be announced as early as Thursday, and will be led by the department’s civil rights division.
The probe will be separate and broader than a previously announced DOJ probe into the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, according to the Post. The shooting touched off weeks of sometime violent protests in the Missouri town, which is a suburb of St. Louis.
September 2, 2014, Chicago Suns Time: An attorney who specializes in representing cops in court has warned the president of the Fraternal Order of Police about a federal investigation into shootings by Chicago Police officers.
Daniel Herbert, a former Chicago Police officer and former Cook County prosecutor, sent a letter Friday to FOP President Dean Angelo saying he learned the FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office were looking into “certain police-involved shootings, specifically ones in which an offender’s gun was not recovered.”
September 3, 2014, NEW YORK (WPIX) — If there’s anything we’ve learned in recent years, social media could be your best friend – that’s if it’s used correctly.
The New York City Police Department is learning the hard way after a few epic blunders caused more damage than good.
It’s now prompted officials to send officers to a so-called “Twitter school.”
September 3, 2014, Washington Times: The Metropolitan Police Department plans to issue body-mounted cameras to a test group of officers beginning Oct. 1 as part of a six-month citywide pilot program to explore the technology.
Details of the rollout emerged during a stakeholder meeting Wednesday involving police, lawyers and privacy advocates, some of whom confirmed the plans privately because an official announcement has not yet been made.
The department has been stocking up on equipment for the pilot program over the last several months, ordering more than $280,000 worth of on-body camera equipment, accessories and software from three different companies, according to purchase orders obtained by The Washington Times. As of this week, police had received at least 250 on-body cameras, with dozens more on the way, according to purchase orders and invoices.
September 3, 2014, Police One: Multiple parties can view live-streaming video from multiple locations – and video is stored even if the recording device is destroyed
September 2, 2014, BizJournal: St. Louis County will spend more than $4 million on its response to the crisis in Ferguson that followed the police shooting death of Michael Brown, the municipality’s COO, Garry Earls, said in an interview Tuesday. That amount, which was calculated as of Saturday, includes $2.5 million in overtime for police work.
Earls said damage to police vehicles from rioters would cost about $160,000, and food and supplies would cost about $130,000. About $1 million of the $4 million was allocated for Ferguson residents by the St. Louis County Council last month.
Police departments in municipalities around the St. Louis area sent officers to the chaotic scene that unfolded last month. They, too, face overtime costs. The state of Missouri also faces unspecified costs, as Gov. Jay Nixon sent in the Missouri National Guard to lead the law enforcement response after St. Louis County faced criticism related to its tactics.
September 3, 2014, TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) – Some call it a quota, but the top cop in Tucson, Chief Roberto Villasenor, calls it proactive policing
Tonight, we are hearing from the Tucson Police Officers Association about a requirement officers now face, to write one traffic citation a day. According to a memo dated July 24th, 2014 Chief Villasenor said that citation could not be a written warning or an equipment repair citation.
September 2, 2014, PITTSBURGH — Mayor William Peduto and Public Safety Director Stephen A. Bucar announced the hiring of Cameron McLay as the next chief of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police on Tuesday. McLay, 56, is the former police captain from Madison, Wisconsin and a leadership development consultant for the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
September 2, 2014: WatchDogND: BISMARCK, N.D. — More than 100 guns are still missing from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s hunter safety education program, some 20 weeks after an audit identified the problem.
Link to audit report:
September 1, 2014, ABC: 145 local law enforcement agencies across the country have been suspended from the program for losing weapons. Three states — Alabama, North Carolina and Minnesota — also have been suspended. A Pentagon spokesman told the station that 8,000 law enforcement agencies participate in the 1033 program and that 98 percent remain in good standing.
September 1, 2014, Click 2 Houston: SAN ANTONIO – Beginning this month, the San Antonio Police department is banning officers from having visible tattoos.
August 31, 2014, An Oklahoma City police officer was charged Friday with raping or sexually abusing eight black women, and the NAACP is asking the U.S. Justice Department to file hate crime charges.
Officer Daniel Holtzclaw, 27, was charged with 16 counts, including first-degree rape, sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy, indecent exposure and stalking, ABC-affiliated KOCO-TV reported.
Mr. Holtzclaw is accused of raping at least two women while on duty and forcing several women to expose themselves and perform sex acts to keep themselves from being arrested.
August 30, 2014, Virgin Island News: ST. THOMAS – The V.I. Police Department’s chief of detectives has been charged with falsifying evidence and making a false report.
Milton Petersen Sr., a former police chief in the St. Thomas-St. John District who has been with the department for 24 years, was handcuffed and arrested at 6:30 a.m. Thursday after Magistrate Henry Carr signed a warrant for the police lieutenant’s arrest on Wednesday. Due to the large number of cases we recommend the link below. We do not endorse the link or its views but have found it to be a good source of police misconduct information.
August 29, 2014, Govt. Tech: “Project Wing”, announced Thursday, escalates Google’s technological arms race with rival Amazon, which is also experimenting with self-flying vehicles to carry items bought by customers off its online store.
A federal judge has accepted the settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the city of Portland on reforms intended to improve the way police deal with mentally ill people.
U.S. District Judge Michael Simon said Friday he wants annual progress reports, and he set the first such hearing for September 2015.
The Justice Department began an investigation three years ago to examine whether Portland police engaged in a “pattern or practice” of excessive force when dealing with the mentally ill. Agency officials concluded such a pattern exists, and they began negotiating with city leaders on reforms.
Among the reforms, the city must create a crisis-intervention team, expand its mobile crisis units from a single vehicle to one vehicle per precinct and complete investigations of officer misconduct within 180 days.
August 22, 2014, Miami Herald: Miami-Dade’s police union on Friday moved to thwart Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s plan to equip all county patrol officers with wearable surveillance cameras, saying the devices could place “the lives of the public and the officers in danger.”
In a written grievance filed with the county’s police chief, a union lawyer wrote that wearing the cameras “will distract officers from their duties, and hamper their ability to act and react in dangerous situations …”
February 29, 2014, FedAgentNews: Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other organizations have sent a letter to President Obama urging greater federal oversight of local law enforcement and calling for a “national commission to review existing police policies and practices.”
The letter urges the administration to take action on several fronts:
•Examination and Change:
August 27, 2014, Denver Post: A Denver Post analysis found it takes an average of more than 10 months for the Denver Sheriff Department to discipline one of its deputies. In many cases, it takes well over a year whether a deputy left work early, released the wrong inmate or used excessive force, The Post’s analysis of disciplinary records from January 2012 to July 2014 found.
Link to Denver Post Analysis
The DOJ typically has used the following criteria for completion of investigations; this excerpt is from the New Orleans Consent Decree. This might be a good subject for an audit of IA procedures. If you would like an audit of your IA process or information on conducting one, give us a call. Lt. Dan
Investigative time frame
o Completed within 90 days of the receipt of the complaint
o If sustained another 30 days to determine and impose discipline
Documented extenuating circumstances 60 days
- Investigations subject to appropriate interruption (tolling period) as necessary to conduct a concurrent criminal investigation or as provided by law.
Another agency working on acquiring body cameras. LT. Dan
Denver police on Wednesday said they hope to equip 800 officers, including all patrol and traffic officers, with body cameras in 2015. The cameras, which will record audio and video, not only will protect people who make legitimate complaints, authorities say, but the technology also should protect police from false allegations of excessive force.
“The body camera will clear up those moments of conflict,” Chief Robert White said. “We’re very comfortable that we are going in the right direction.”
The equipment will cost about $1.5 million, White said. The City Council still must approve the expense. “I’m hoping financially we can afford them,” White said. “Technology is such that they are affordable. It’s achievable.”
Taser International and researchers from the University of Cambridge are administering the independent study, trying to determine the effectiveness of the cameras. Taser gave the department 125 cameras for the study.
General overview of the three systems currently available. Lt. Dan
August 25, 2014, The Wire: The Wire spoke with three companies designing and making these cameras — Taser, Vievu, and Vidcie — to understand the inner workings of their possibly game-changing accessories.
August 24, 2014, NJ.Com: TRENTON — Police in Atlantic City are the latest of at least 20 law enforcement agencies in New Jersey to start wearing body cameras during patrols. The number could grow if Gov. Chris Christie signs a law on his desk that would require that many police vehicles have cameras mounted on them.
August 29, 2014, ACLU: The Guardian reported last week that Miami Beach is planning on expanding the use of body cameras beyond the police to include “meter maids,” code enforcement officers, and building and fire inspectors. This use of the technology does not make sense.
Add Houston to the list. Lt. Dan
August 29, 2014, Houston Chronicle: 2Houston.com: Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland said Thursday he wants $8 million to equip 3,500 officers over a three-year period. He said the recorded encounters between law enforcement officers and residents will improve accountability and transparency.
McClelland had announced a pilot program last December that fitted 100 officers with the recording devices. That program is still underway and no results have been released.
The cameras are roughly the size of a pager and can be clipped to the front of a uniform shirt. The officers would have to manually turn on the devices, which can record for up to four hours.
August 29, 2104, (Reuters) – A Chicago police commander who had been praised for his crime fighting in some of the city’s roughest neighborhoods appeared in court on Thursday to face charges he put a gun in a suspect’s mouth, officials said.
August 28, 2014, NOLA.com: A contract worker who transcribed statements taken by St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives was arrested Thursday on charges of padding invoices and double-billing the agency to collect an extra $42,534, the Sheriff’s Office said. Rachel Marie Bourgois, 43, had worked in the criminal investigations division since June 2008.
August 27, 2014, Washington Post: Internal Survey Showing Complaints About ATF, HSI Doesn’t Reflect View of FBI’s Leadership, Spokesman Says. The memo provides a rare public look at the tensions that simmer beneath the surface as federal agents from an alphabet soup of three-letter agencies try to make big arrests and win prestige and congressional funding. It shows the FBI fretting that smaller agencies—particularly Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—are taking over cases the FBI should handle, sometimes causing confusion.
The FBI and the ATF, both part of the Justice Department, have been butting heads for years. In 2009, the department’s inspector general faulted the two agencies for failing to cooperate on explosives investigations.
“The jurisdiction encroachment by the ATF continues as a disturbing concern,” the memo distributed last month said, adding that “mission creep by HSI is an issue in an alarming number of field offices.” Thirty field offices reported conflicts with the agency in areas such as human trafficking, violence against children, drugs, shootings, gangs and robberies.
August 28, The Hill: Police associations are beginning a major lobbying push to protect their access to the military equipment that was used against demonstrators in Ferguson, Mo.
Law enforcement groups argue a Pentagon program that provides surplus military gear helps protect the public, and they are gearing up for a fight with lawmakers and the Obama administration over whether it should be continued.
Lawmaker drafting bill to demilitarize local police
August 29, 2104, Omaha.com: Drivers who are minorities are more likely than white motorists to get pulled over, searched and arrested by Nebraska law enforcement officers, according to a report released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The report said 22 percent of traffic stops in Omaha were of black drivers, yet African- Americans make up only 11 percent of the city’s population. In Lincoln, the black population is 3.5 percent, though nearly 10 percent of traffic stops were of black drivers.
The ACLU based its findings on data collected by the Nebraska Crime Commission. ACLU officials are, among other things, asking Nebraska law enforcement agencies to undergo anti-bias training and use body and dashboard cameras that record interactions with the public.
August 27, 2014, NOLA: The NOPD and the Civil Service Department, which manages the recruiting process, spent $600,000 on a recruitment campaign that has attracted many applicants, but only a relatively small number of recruits.
August 22, 2014, NOLA: NOPD’s new (interim) chief, five days into the new job, sat down with WWL for an extended interview. Interim Superintendent Michael Harrison talked about how he found out he was being promoted and rebuffed the notion the mayor’s office will control the department.
August 29, 2014, Miami Herald: Mayor Carlos Gimenez said several budget moves generated new savings — and more could come after another labor union settled its contract negotiations.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced Thursday he will no longer seek to eliminate 110 police officer positions in his proposed budget, after finding yet another wave of new revenue.
Detectives will use the cameras while serving search warrants. They advised their SWAT team is using the cameras as well. They indicate they are trying the cameras due to the better quality video. Evidence/policy issues will need to be addressed with this software, specifically the storage of data. Lt. Dan
August 28, 2014, ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that Daniel Isom II will become the new director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety, effective Sept. 1. Dr. Isom currently serves as the E. Desmond Lee Professor of Policing and the Community for the nationally recognized Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, a position he took after retiring as chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in January 2013. He will replace outgoing Public Safety Director Jerry Lee, who is retiring after almost three years in the position.
Hapeville, Ga.– Tahreem Zeus Rana, an Atlanta police officer is accused of shooting a Hapeville, Ga. woman and burning her body, reports CBS46.
He was arrested around 9 a.m. Thursday morning at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. He was attempting to get board a flight to Mexico, according to police. Atlanta Police Department Public Affairs Director Carlos Campos told CBS46 that Rana has been relieved of duty.
August 22, 2104: The era of sliding drawers full of aging FBI files is drawing to a close. Millions of fingerprint cards, criminal history folders, and civil identity files that once filled rows upon rows of cabinets—and expansive warehouses—have been methodically converted into ones and zeroes.
The digital conversion of more than 30 million records—and as many as 83 million fingerprint cards—comes as the FBI fully activates its Next Generation Identification (NGI) system, a state-of-the-art digital platform of biometric and other types of identity information. The system, which is incrementally replacing the Bureau’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or IAFIS, will better serve our most prolific customers—law enforcement agencies checking criminal histories and fingerprints, veterans, government employees, and the FBI’s own Laboratory.
August 27, 2014, MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Michael Marzion has been removed as Chief of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Police Department — effective Tuesday, August 26th. The action is the result of an investigation into communications Marzion had with a UWM student earlier this year.
Because of the rules governing Classified Service employees, Marzion will now return to the position of Police Captain in the department, a job he held prior to being appointed Chief. However, Marzion will remain on administrative leave while the university considers additional actions.
Marzion was placed on administrative leave in June.
August 27, 2014, Gov. Tech: The technology is here, but will guns from 3-D printers become a problem?
August 27, 2014, Forbes: Despite tweeting out a bomb threat to ground a Sony executive’s flight this Sunday and landing themselves on the radar of the FBI, hacking group “Lizard Squad” remains unmolested and continues to orchestrate attacks on various gaming services.
August 27, 2014(CNN) — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill said Tuesday that police officers across the country should be required to wear body cameras in order for their departments to qualify for federal funds.
August 27, 2014, SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – The California State Senate passed legislation Thursday night that would, in most cases, require law enforcement and other government agencies to get a warrant before gathering information with an unmanned aircraft.
The bill, which passed the Senate with bipartisan 28-6 support, comes with a number of exceptions that allow agencies to use drones for their “core mission” so long as that mission doesn’t involve a criminal investigation. There would also be warrant exemptions for law enforcement in cases such as fire response, “hot pursuit” of a suspect or hostage recovery efforts. Ongoing investigations would require a warrant.
Police chief is praising his agency’s investment in body cameras after a video captured an incident that may have been misconstrued as excessive force. Interesting Video:
August 27, 2014,BALTIMORE CBS (WJZ) — Baltimore City’s top cop will stay on the job. City Council members have agreed to extend Anthony Batts’ contract for another six years.
August 27, 2014, USA Today: A police officer fired the bullet that killed a crewmember of the long-running TV show Cops when officers responded to a robbery call, Omaha police said Wednesday.
The crewmember was identified as Bryce Dion, 38, who was working as the sound technician when he was killed Tuesday night by what Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer called “friendly fire.” The other member of the Cops crew, cameraman Michael Lee, was unharmed.
The controversy over the mine-resistant, ambush protected vehicle attracted a large crowd on Tuesday that was largely against it.
The council adopted the resolution to come up with a plan to get rid of the vehicle. A petition is circulating asking the council to press the police to either get rid of or destroy the vehicle.
Although this is a fire audit there are some common issues shared with law enforcement staffing challenges. Lt. Dan
August 25, 2014, by Sandra Phillips FOX 5: The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department should consider hiring additional personnel instead of relying on overtime to fill staffing vacancies, according to a city auditor’s report released today.
Link to audit report:
With all these hacking incidents targeting law enforcement you may want to implement some type of inspections or an audit to determine basic IT practices are being followed to reduce your agencies exposure. Contact your agency IT person for additional information regarding specific protocols. Lt. Dan
August 25, 2014, ABC: Foreign hackers have penetrated the state agency that regulates police department training in Illinois. The FBI is now trying to figure out who did it and why.
The agency responsible for training 40,000 police officers in Illinois, the Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, was infiltrated by computer hackers in June, a breach state officials say wasn’t discovered until this month.
“They were able to get through the security firewall,” said Mayor Dwight W. Welch, County Club Hills.
Welch serves on the state law enforcement board. This agency memo obtained by the I-Team has been sent to local police chiefs and county sheriffs across Illinois informing them that the state’s EDI system- electronic data interchange- was compromised by unknown suspects from outside the United States.
August 26, 2014: Forbes: Two separate reports released earlier this year by the Rand Corporation and Trend Micro delved into the workings of the online criminal underworld, otherwise known as the ‘darknet’, and found that the market had dramatically changed in the last decade. Previously, the darknet was inhabited by small dispersed groups of hackers who knew and trusted each other. Now it’s dominated by highly organised, sophisticated and financially driven groups that are operating with huge sums of money.
Rand Corp Report:
Trend Micro Research Paper
August 22, 2014, Gov. Tech: Program to share threat information was opened to state and local government last year, but few seem to be aware of it.
August 22, 2014, Gov. Tech: Inspired by recent events in Ferguson, Mo., a family of teens releases an app to keep police accountable. This week the group, based in Georgia, launched an Android app — with an iOS app soon to follow — called Five-O. Similar to restaurant review apps like Yelp, Five-O lets citizens rate and review police and departments. Officer badge numbers, race and gender are coupled with ratings on interactions, general courtesy and whether physical force was used.
August 25, 2014, Gov. Tech: For some, the battle in California is won, but a national debate is ahead. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation today, Aug. 25, that requires all smartphones sold in the state to be equipped with kill-switch functionality.
August 26, 2014: It may be surprising to learn, then, that the vast majority of the assault rifles, body armor, and armored vehicles seen in Ferguson did not come from the Pentagon. They did not come from the National Guard. They came from the Ferguson and St. Louis Police Departments’ own budgets.
August 25, 2014, Code 3: The Ford Explorer Police Interceptor is the new darling of law enforcement agencies big and small, thanks to its equipment (and perp) carrying abilities, all-wheel drive, and intimidating hugeness. But the police SUV just got a black eye in the form of a federal investigation into its brakes.
The Department of Justice released today its second report to Congress entitled Indian Country Investigations and Prosecutions, which provides a range of enforcement statistics required under the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010, as well as information about the progress of the Attorney General’s initiatives to reduce violent crime and strengthen tribal justice systems.
The report, based on data compiled from the case management system used by U.S. Attorney’s Offices (USAO), shows prosecutors in 2013 continued to bring substantial numbers of cases to federal court (a 34 percent increase over FY 2009 numbers) and prosecute a substantial majority of all cases referred to them. Of the cases that were declined for federal prosecution, most were declined for insufficient evidence or because they were referred to another prosecuting authority, such as the tribe, for potential prosecution.
Link to report:
August 25, 2014, LA Times: System designed to identify inappropriate behavior routinely flags cops who appear to pose no problem while failing to catch many of those who do. The report by the Police Commission’s inspector general, Alex Bustamante, scrutinized an early warning computer program that the LAPD has used since 2007 to track patterns of excessive force and other misconduct by its roughly 10,000 officers. The analysis casts doubt on the usefulness of the computer system, which federal officials forced the LAPD to build after years of corruption and abuse.
In light of similar concerns raised internally, department officials have asked an outside research group to conduct a comprehensive review of an entire network of databases that contain information on officers’ performance and are used to trigger the early warnings. That review, officials said, began last month and will determine what changes, if any, should be made to more effectively focus on potentially trouble-prone officers. It will also examine whether the system has had any effect on improving officers’ conduct.
The Police Commission, which oversees the LAPD, will discuss the inspector general’s report at a meeting Tuesday. Commissioner Robert Saltzman said the department’s current tracking system appears to be “providing limited predictive capabilities,” adding that Bustamante’s report raises “significant questions.”
Link to LA OIG site, report not posted at this time:
Washington, DC—USDOJ: August 25, 2014. The Justice Department today announced the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan’s termination of the consent judgment relating to the Detroit Police Department’s (DPD) use of force and arrest and witness detention practices. The Justice Department and the city of Detroit jointly sought the termination of the consent judgment and approval of a Transition Agreement maintaining federal oversight of the DPD for an additional 18 months. The transition agreement starts a new chapter of reform and accountability for the DPD as it works in collaboration with the Justice Department to better ensure constitutional policing, promote community confidence, and improve public safety in the city of Detroit. The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan have worked cooperatively throughout the duration of this matter.
This article addresses some of the issues behind UOF incidents, and the complexity of the issue for the officers involved. Law enforcement professionals should strive to educate their community members about these critical issues. Lt. Dan
August 22, 2014, New York Times: But as sweeping as restrictions on the use of weapons may be, deciding whether an officer acted correctly in firing at a suspect is not cut and dried. A host of outside factors, from the officer’s perception of a threat to the suspect’s behavior and even his size, can emerge as mitigating or damning.
August 25, 2014, USA Today: As Michael Brown was laid to rest in Missouri, a USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll finds Americans by 2-to-1 say police departments nationwide don’t do a good job in holding officers accountable for misconduct, treating racial groups equally and using the right amount of force.
Link to Pew Research:
August 25, 2014, USA Today: Another article on the body camera issue with some interesting statements to include; “In 2 to 5 years, this won’t even be a conversation. It will be as common as carrying a radio,” he said. “All it takes is one litigious event where a jury awards a tremendous settlement for that cost to be covered pretty quickly.” Lt. Dan
August 18, 2014, Wall Street Journal: One problem with the cameras, however, has been cost. Fortunately, fierce competition between the two most prominent vendors of the devices, Vievu LLC and Taser International Inc., TASR +1.53% which makes the cameras used by Rialto police, has driven the price of individual cameras down to between $300 and $400. Unfortunately, one place where expenses can mount is in the storage and management of the data they generate.
August 24, 2014, Seattle Times: Before revealing his decision to give the Seattle Police Department nine months to seek proposals for a new computer system, U.S. District Judge James Robart said events in Ferguson, Mo., caused him concern over the delay.
As law enforcement professionals we realize, body cameras are not the, “end all” solution. With all the attention the technology is getting some members of the public and special interest groups may have unrealistic expectations. This article addresses some of the challenges associated with the technology. Lt. Dan.
August 23, 2014, NPR: “Everybody’s got their version of a story, but when it’s on tape, it’s on tape,” says Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, president of the Police Executive Research Forum. “It is what it is.”
But is it? Howard Wasserman, a law professor at Florida International University who has written about police cameras, says lawyers are starting to discover what any college film student could have told them: Recorded images are not neutral.
August 23, 2014, LA Times: Troubled by images of heavily armed police facing off protesters in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama is ordering a review of federal programs that help law enforcement agencies buy military equipment.
Obama wants to know whether the programs are “appropriate” for local policing and whether police are given the training and guidance needed to use military-grade equipment properly, a senior administration official said Saturday.The review, to be led by White House staff, will also look into whether the federal government is sufficiently auditing the use of the equipment it helps facilitate, according to the official, who requested anonymity to discuss the president’s in-house directive.
August 24, 2014, AZCentral: DPS will take over an investigation of a police-involved shooting last week that killed a woman with mental illness, Phoenix Police Chief Daniel V. Garcia said on Saturday.
August 24, 2014, Star Telegram: WASHINGTON — In the face of multiple vendor protests, the FBI has cancelled plans to hand industry giant Motorola Solutions Inc. a sole-source contract worth up to $500 million, saying that it will reassess how to upgrade the bureau’s antiquated nationwide two-way radio network.
August 23, 2014. My SanAntonio: The Chief of the Elmendorf Texas Police Department was killed while executing an arrest warrant Saturday morning, according to police.
Michael Pimentel was gunned down just before noon near 1st Avenue and 9th Street where he had been waiting for the man named in the warrant to come outside the house to arrest him, according to Sgt. Jason Burchett, who is now the acting police chief.
Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau said the suspect, identified as Joshua Lopez, 24, is in custody. He will face a charge of capital murder of a police officer.
August 22, 2014, Fox News: The FBI has opened an investigation of hacking attacks directed at the personal computers and accounts of police officers who are part of the law enforcement response in Ferguson, Missouri, three U.S. law enforcement officials told CNN. The cyberattacks are believed to be the work of hackers affiliated with the group Anonymous, the officials said Friday.
And you think being assigned to the inspections/audit unit is bad! Lt. Dan
August 22, 2014, Washington Post: MEXICO CITY — Mexican avocados, on their journey to guacamole bowls the world over, often first pass through cartel-controlled farmlands, where extortion can raise prices, drag down the economy and put farmers at risk.
The same goes for limes from Michoacan, sorghum from Tamaulipas, shrimp from Sinaloa. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Friday announced the inauguration of a new police unit intended to protect the production chain and take on other unorthodox assignments.
Very interesting article, with some references to research on this subject. Lt. Dan
August 23, 2014, Washington Post: From the studies that have been done, however, there’s no conclusive evidence to show that white and black police officers treat suspects differently — if anything, some of the studies show that black officers can be can be harder on black criminal suspects.
August 22, 2014, CBS: DALLAS — An oversight by the Dallas Police Department exposed the personal information of hundreds of victims of violent crime, reports CBS DFW. Dallas police admit to inadvertently posting the names — and phone numbers — of crime victims online, the station says.
Another sad case of police suicide. Recently I met with the Toronto Police Department who are in the process of enhancing their Early Intervention System (EIS). In 2000 I was involved in the creation and implementation of the EIS in Phoenix. The recent meeting reminded me of this critical issue in law enforcement. If your department does not have an EIS you should consider implementing one in coordination with a robust Employee Assistance Program (EAP). I have attached a link to an article on police suicide with some additional links in the article. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding EIS. Lt. Dan
Analyzing Law Enforcement Deaths: What’s Missing from These Statistics?
August 21, 2014, Houston Chronicle: A Houston police officer on Tuesdsay was found dead, apparently at his own hands, inside a parking garage behind the HPD Jail near downtown, authorities said.
The officer was discovered about 4 p.m. inside his HPD patrol car parked at the garage along Washington near Riesner. Other HPD officers spotted him while they arrived prior to starting their Tuesday evening shift. He was still in uniform and slumped over inside the patrol car, authorities said.
August 22, 2014, KSAT.com: HOUSTON – Texas authorities have jailed a Houston Police Department officer who they say transported a kilogram of cocaine while her 6-year-old son was in the car.
Well, for those of you who have attended our training, and read the newsletter, this confirms what we have been saying. In a day, not too far off, all officers will be wired. As we have discussed before, remember the maintenance cost AFTER the cameras are bought, and a number of other critical policies and inspections that will need to be implemented to insure the program has a positive outcome for your agency and not a negative one. Lt. Dan
August 21, 2014, WSBRadio: Atlanta’s police chief wants all of his officers on the street to wear body cameras.
The media and politicians are on the 1033 bandwagon, only time will tell what the outcome will be on this issue. The program has supplied a lot of valuable equipment to law enforcement. You may want to consider taking a look at what your agency has on hand from this program and evaluate if the items can be accounted for, and if they are worth keeping. You may also want to evaluate your policy and approval procedure for the procurement of items from the 1033 program. Some success stories regarding these items might be beneficial to your CEO. Lt. Dan
August 21, 2014,Gov Executive: Using data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and covering 2006-2014, we looked into the type and cost of equipment that local law enforcement has been receiving from the Pentagon. Items ranged from aircraft (some costing over $5 million each) to screws and washers (36 cents each). Most of the equipment filtering down to local law enforcement will not surprise the average citizen — mostly rifles, handguns and related equipment — but we found a lot of questionable line items.
Link to NY Times interactive map of 1033 items. Someone spent a lot of time putting this together, worth a look. LT. Dan
August 21, 2014, Denver Post: A group of task forces, convened in the spring to review the policies of the troubled Denver Sheriff Department, on Thursday night released 40 draft recommendations.
Suggestions — designed to reduce the number of excessive force complaints — include automatic notifications to the independent monitor, a review of the Taser policy, and training deputies on how to intervene in a crisis.
The groups also recommend shorter work shifts and a revised break policy.
The draft recommendations will be refined before a final report is submitted to Public Safety Department executive director Stephanie Y. O’Malley, as well as a third-party oversight firm, by the end of September.
Link to executive summary:
August 22, 2014, Govt. Tech: Stephen Goldsmith, professor of practice at the Harvard Kennedy School and director of the Innovations in American Government Program, discusses performance measurement, job creation and cloud computing.
August 23, 2013, Govt. Tech: Large volumes of data sets derived from sophisticated sensors and social media feeds are increasingly being used by government agencies.
August 21, 2014, Police One: Although the majority of those arrested are Missourians, just seven live in the St. Louis suburb where the shooting occurred.
August 21, 2014, NBC: The pursuit driver swerved and sped through South Los Angeles to downtown LA in a Corvette for more than a hour before T-boning another car in an intersection and then being shot by officers.
August 20, 2014, In Public Safety: Incidents of dogs being shot and killed by law enforcement officers continue to make national headlines. There’s even a term for it, “puppycide,” a term coined by investigative journalist Radley Balko, who reports on the dramatic increase of cases involving police officers killing family dogs.
Legislation and Required Police Training
The outcry from citizens has prompted legislators to take action to decrease the number of deadly encounters with family pets.
August 19, 2104, Gov Tech: By not digging through the numbers, police departments can create an appearance of transparency but miss an opportunity to learn about — and potentially break — patterns of racially biased policing.
August 18, Gov Tech: A computer-controlled drone launched, flew and landed alongside a fighter jet during an exercise Sunday off the Virginia coast — proving for the first time that manned and unmanned aircraft can operate together.
In tests aboard the Norfolk-based USS Theodore Roosevelt, the Navy launched an F/A-18 Hornet and the X-47B, a prototype unmanned aircraft. After a 24-minute flight, the X-47B landed on the carrier’s flight deck, folded its wings and taxied away from the landing area, allowing the Hornet to land.
An audit by the Office of the Inspector General found the Los Angeles Police Department’s station security camera system “inadequate,” failing to capture or retain important information about events that needed reviewing by department watchdogs.
Link to report:
August 19, 2014, Fox News: The following is the letter to Congress from 47 inspectors general on record access problems. The federal Inspectors General write regarding the serious, limitations on access to records that have recently impeded the work of Inspectors General at the Peace Corps, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Justice.
August 19, 2014, Kaiser Health News: In San Antonio and cities across the country, police officers often serve as de-facto mental health workers. When a family confronts an emergency with a loved one in a state of psychosis, they usually dial 9-1-1, and the police respond.
August 18, 2014, q13Fox: SEATTLE – King County Sheriff John Urquhart announced Monday that he had hired former Seattle Police interim chief Jim Pugel as his undersheriff. Pugel announced his retirement from the Seattle Police Department after 31-years back in March.
August 18, 2014, Dallas News: The Dallas Police Association has been cold to the county’s plan to have district attorney’s office investigators simultaneously conduct their own probes of police shootings.
But if they can’t beat the DA’s plan, they’ll hope the DA’s office will join them.
The DPA, the city’s largest police association, released a proposal Monday to fold the two assistant district attorneys into the police department’s Special Investigative Unit, which handles police shootings. In other words, the association wants the DA’s investigators in the same group with their own rather than having two groups trying to do separate investigations at the same time.
They are also calling for the department to equip all cops with uniform-worn cameras and new two-man patrol teams.
August 18, 2014, The Tennessean: NEW ORLEANS — Ronal Serpas is leaving after our years as New Orleans police superintendent and 25 years in the city. He will be , joining the faculty at Loyola University of New Orleans’ Criminal Justice Department. http://fox17.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/former-nashville-police-chief-announces-retirement-new-orleans-post-22965.shtml
Serpas has come under fire from officers upset by changes to rules for off-duty work and to disciplinary policies that sent scores of officers out of the department. Mayor Mitch Landrieu says the interim chief will be 7th District Commander Michael Harrison.
August 18, 2014, The council is scheduled Monday to debate a bill that would overhaul the Police Oversight Commission by removing the current board and giving it more money. Another proposal would abolish the current commission and wait for the final Department of Justice report before establishing a new one.
The city and federal officials are finishing up an agreement over ordered reforms following a harsh report into police excessive force.
August 10, 2014, NY Times: In 1982, after another year of record lawlessness in New York City, two college professors advanced — or, more accurately, rekindled — a plausibly uncomplicated theory that would revolutionize law enforcement in the city: Maintaining public order also helps prevent crime.
“If a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken,” Professors George L. Kelling and James Q. Wilson wrote in The Atlantic.
Today, controversy over their metaphorical “broken windows” theory is reverberating again after Eric Garner, a Staten Island man, died of a chokehold last month while being taken into custody for illegally selling cigarettes.
Critics denounce the theory as neoconservative pablum resulting in overpolicing and mass incarceration for relatively minor offenses that disproportionately target poor, black and Hispanic people. Moreover, they say it was not derived from scientific evidence and its connection to the city’s drastic decline in major crime remains unproven.
August 18, 2014, AP: Calling for a sharp separation between the nation’s armed forces and local police, President Barack Obama on Monday urged a re-examination of programs that have equipped civilian law enforcement departments with military gear from the Pentagon.
August 15, 2014, Gov Tech: The “hacktivist” group Anonymous had one of its Twitter accounts deactivated Thursday after it released the name — which turned out to be wrong — of the officer it believed to have fatally shot teenager Michael Brown.
Interesting editorial out of NJ. Lt. Dan.
One candidate running for sheriff, Republican David Jones, has taken a stand of courage and self-sacrifice by opposing the double-dipping practice of collecting a state pension while also receiving a salary for service in another public office: He has said he will forego his pension if elected sheriff. Jones further pledges to save taxpayers even more money by refusing to hire undersheriffs and/or directors who double-dip. One undersheriff and one director on Kemler’s staff collect two forms of compensation: pension payments and a current salary. Total pension payments going to those employed in the sheriff’s office amount to $249,000 per year.
August 18, 2014, The Atlantic: Interesting editorial, Lt. Dan
We have been tracking this issue for the last several months in the newsletter, in particular, the ACLU’s attention to the issue to include their recent publication, “The War Comes Home”, https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/assets/jus14-warcomeshome-report-web-rel1.pdf . The issue is being highlighted by the media in their coverage of the Ferguson demonstrations. Regardless of your position on the issue, this is definitely an issue we should all be aware of. Lt. Dan.
August 16, 2014, WASHINGTON (AP): — After a decade of sending military equipment to civilian police departments across the country, federal officials are reconsidering the idea in light of the violence in Ferguson, Missouri.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The FBI’s premier cybersquad has focused attention on computer-based crime in recent months by helping prosecutors charge five Chinese army intelligence officials with stealing trade secrets from major companies and by snaring a Russian-led hacking ring that pilfered $100 million from bank accounts worldwide.
Because of the Pittsburgh squad’s success, the FBI is rewarding the office with more manpower, allowing it to take on even more cyberthreats.
August 14, 2014, GARLAND (CBSDFW.COM) – The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation released a new statistic, which states 8 out of every 10 law enforcement members are overweight.
I am not sure why this is a “new story”. It took some time, but I was finally able to track down the “FBI report” the CBS station referenced. The information came from a 2005 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, and the data came from a 2003 study. Even then, only 75 police agencies were polled. I am not sure if the results from 2003 apply to 2014. I would like to think things have improved. At any rate it is a good reminder for law enforcement officers to stay in shape. Lt. Dan
Link to 2005 FBI article:
August 13, 2014, Chicago Times: The feds plan to dispatch 65 FBI agents to the streets in high-crime areas on the South and West Sides in an all-out battle against gang crime.
August 15, 2014, ABC7News: OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) — A federal judge has called for a sweeping review of Oakland Police Department’s disciplinary procedures. New attention is being focused on police tactics and weapons there after the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer Missouri.
August 17, 2014, Washington Post: Interesting blog with some charts on the subject. LT. Dan
August 15, 2014, Dallas News: Amid outcries over shootings involving police locally and nationwide, District Attorney Craig Watkins is planning to create a unit to independently investigate such cases in Dallas County.
Watkins said the two-person unit will go to the scene any time a shooting by police occurs. Its investigations will run concurrent with police inquiries. Prosecutors will no longer wait for police to bring cases to them, he said. “I think it would be somewhat irresponsible if we didn’t address the fact that there is a lack of trust with the police,” Watkins said.
SAN DIEGO – On Tuesday evening, the San Diego Police Officers Association is holding a recruiting and retention briefing to discuss the problem and possible solutions for officers leaving the department for other agencies. A top step police officer makes about $75,941. A deputy with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department makes approximately $84,532, according to numbers from the SDPOA.
The SDPOA said staffing is at its lowest levels in more than a decade. There are currently 1,652 full duty officers in San Diego. Sources tell Team 10 morale is at an all-time low.
August 12, 2014, AZCentral: The Phoenix Police Department will begin hiring hundreds of officers next spring, but a union president says the move will not grow the force, which officials have deemed understaffed for years.
City leaders announced Monday plans to hire 300 officers during the next three years, starting with 15 in March. A hiring freeze has shrunk the department by more than 500 officers since 2008, leaving the department with fewer than 2,400 rank-and-file officers.
The department will lose about 175 officers to retirement over the next three years, but that figure doesn’t account for the officers who will leave unexpectedly. The department loses on average about 100 a year overall, Clure said.
August 16, 2014, LA Times: In L.A. County, male inmates often are released after 10% of their sentences, and female prisoners after 5%. Across California, over 13,500 inmates a month are being released early to relieve crowding in local jails;
Interesting article by with Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne.com Editor in Chief
August 14, 2104, WLWT.com: Officers will wear cameras, record all interactions,
CINCINNATI —The Cincinnati Police Department is introducing a pilot program where officers will use body cameras in the field to record various responses on emergency calls. About a dozen District 3 officers will start wearing the cameras on their lapels starting Monday.
Officers are not required to tell you they’re wearing the cameras because, according to the CPD Body Worn Camera Systems Pilot Program guide, there isn’t “a reasonable expectation of privacy” while interacting with the officer. The video recordings will be kept for 90 days.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia police department is planning a pilot program for body cameras for officers.
Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey, a proponent, says he hopes to have a small number of officers — perhaps ten — equipped with the body-worn cameras by the end of this year or early next. Vendor has not been selected.
August 15, 2014, Govt. Tech: In the future, we will all be a part of a hyper-connected global society, and the small footprint of our data’s contribution will make the network smarter than it was without it.
The Internet is going to accelerate people using you and your data to create their own economic value.
August 14, 2014, Miami Herald: Miami-Dade County has put about 400 police staffers on notice that they could be losing their jobs in the fall.
Police brass on Monday afternoon ordered hundreds of officers, sergeants, lieutenants and civilian workers to a mandatory meeting next week at the Florida International University football stadium to discuss staffing cuts mandated in Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s proposed budget.
August 14, 2014, Gov Tech: Free platform from the Department of Homeland Security identifies software flaws, hoping to make a dent in the $100 billion U.S. cybercrime industry.
Tactics employed by Anonymous to put pressure on the Police Chief to release the officer’s name in the shooting. Interesting info. Lt. Dan
August 13, 2014, Gov Tech: In the hours after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer, Anonymous urged residents to the streets. “It is an anarchist collective of autonomous individuals,” wrote one hacker who responded to an email from the Post-Dispatch. “Most of us are friends and work together, but we are not responsible for anything anyone else in the global collective does.”
That team member, who declined to be identified but said he was out of the country, said the core Ferguson operation is run by about a half-dozen Anonymous operatives, invited by local St. Louis activists, with thousands of “Anons” from about 75 different countries “joining in to help.”
The new strategy comes after Mayor Martin J. Walsh promised a “fast-tracked” set of changes in the wake of a Herald report detailing the city’s grim inventory of 336 unsolved slayings over a decade’s time.
August 14, 2014, USDOJ Bulletin: Developing Protocols for Testing Kits
Addressing the issues surrounding the testing of sexual assault kits (SAKs) is one of the most complex challenges facing our nation’s criminal justice system. What kind of kits are not sent to the lab for testing? Once at the lab, what are the most effective ways to test and track them?
To help find the best strategies, methods and procedures for dealing with SAKs, the FBI and NIJ have formed a research partnership. The long-range goal is improved practices and policies for law enforcement and crime labs.
Capt. Skinner and several of his staff from MCSO attended our recent LEIA 101 class. Lt. Dan.
August 14, 2014, AZ. Republic: Through June 30, the sheriff’s professional standards bureau had fielded 355 allegations of misconduct against deputies and other employees in 2014, compared with 311 in all of 2013, according to the agency’s records.
But what appears to be an uptick in disgruntled citizens is actually the result of heightened community outreach efforts by the Sheriff’s Office, officials say.
In response to a federal court order to remedy racial profiling, the office began inviting the public to submit their reactions — positive and negative — to interactions with sheriff’s personnel, said Capt. Russ Skinner of the court compliance and implementation division.
Contact information for the internal affairs division is now displayed on posters outside headquarters, as well as an enhanced “contact us” section of the website that includes a Spanish translation. Information is also listed on official “receipts” distributed to everyone who comes in contact with a sheriff’s official, regardless of whether a citation or warning is issued.
This is related to the LA Times investigative report we posted in the newsletter on Aug 10. Story at http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-crimestats-lapd-20140810-story.html#page=1
Just a reminder this would be a great opportunity to be proactive on this issue in your agency. Give me a call if you would like some assistance or an outside evaluation. We have done a number of these. Lt. Dan
In response to recent reports that the LAPD was incorrectly classifying its crime stats, the Board of Supervisors unanimously launched an investigation into the Sheriff’s Department’s numbers Tuesday.
The motion to investigate tasked the Sheriff’s Office of Inspector General to review a sample of closed cases from the Sheriff’s Department to see if the crimes were accurately classified.
August 12, 2014, W, X11 12.com: Johnson sued by the US. The US Justice Department accuses Johnson of using his office to violate the Constitution’s promise of equal protection barring unreasonable searches. Retired Lieut. Ken Evans and Stephen Perry testified they are Johnson demand Latino drivers be locked up, rather than issued a citation.
August 13, 2014, Seattle PI: Customs and Border Protection boss grapples with immigration surge
Interesting commentary: Lt. Dan
August 13: Huffington Post Blog: By Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D. Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) and Asst. Professor, University of Florida
How goes Colorado’s experience with legal marijuana? Spend some time on social media or on numerous blogs and you’ll read headlines like “Revenue Up, Crime Down!” or “Youth Use Declining After Legalization.” In this short blog series, I will tackle different topics that have been the subject of myth and misinformation.
August 12, 2014, LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Police Commission voted Tuesday to reappoint LAPD Chief Charlie Beck to a second term. The five-member panel voted 4-1 in favor of a final five-year term despite recent allegations involving disciplinary matters and the inaccurate reporting of crime statistics.
Aug 11, 2014, wbbjtv.com: JACKSON, Tenn. –Tennessee is named the most dangerous state in America by the FBI as part of the agency’s most recent uniform crime report, conducted in 2012.
Memphis was named the most dangerous city in the state, followed by Jackson then Nashville. Jackson is roughly a tenth the size of the other two cities in the top three
August 12, 2014, MSNBC: The U.S. Attorney’s office announced late Tuesday that it would launch a civil rights investigation into the circumstances surrounding Brown’s killing.
“In conducting the independent federal investigation into whether there were federal civil rights violations, we will be working as much as possible with the local authorities who are determining whether there were any state law violations,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement, adding, “We urge witnesses or individuals with any information related to the incident who have not yet come forward to contact the local FBI office.”
Senate Bill 962 has been one of the more high-profile and intensely lobbied bills in the Legislature this year, however, in recent months, many of the bill’s opponents have quieted. The increasing number of smartphone thefts in California prompted the bill by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who said consumers would have more control over their personal information if their device is lost or stolen. The antitheft technology, often referred to as a “kill switch,” allows the owner of a smartphone to remotely render it inoperable, which law enforcement officials said would deter thieves who target the devices.
August 13, 2014, DroneLife: While the question “Who owns the skies?” hangs in the air like a persistent quadcopter, the FAA is assuring U.S. pilots that they won’t be sharing the skies with UAVs on a regular basis any time soon.
The media appears to be taking the same approach to the recent St. Louis officer involved shooting incident as they have in similar situations in other cities with similar issues, such as Albuquerque and New Haven most recently. Potentially setting the stage for another DOJ investigation. Lt. Dan
August 12, 2014, St. Louis Today: The U.S. Justice Department has intervened in cases involving more than two dozen local or state law enforcement departments over the last 20 years.
The most recent intervention is coming in the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson on Saturday.
Since 1997, 21 police departments — ranging from East Haven, Conn., to Los Angeles — have signed consent agreements with the Justice Department to improve procedures and policies. They often have involved use of force or relationships with minority communities, according to Samuel Walker, a national authority on civil liberties, policing and criminal justice policy.
August 13, 2014, Az. Daily Independent: An 11 year-long employee of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Joseph Asarisi, age 49, was arrested by Sheriff’s detectives for misrepresenting himself as a law enforcement officer for purposes of receiving and disseminating sensitive information deemed for law enforcement personnel only.
According to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Asarisi received hundreds of law enforcement sensitive documents from various official law enforcement sites including Homeland Security and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office. He then forwarded this information to non-law enforcement persons, including a renowned anti-government author based in New York City.
Consider an Inspection/audit of training qualifications and standards to examine agency training. This could also be a proactive inspection. Lt. Dan
Irregularities involved a Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training council (GA POST) investigation into online training hours. GA POST, according to their website, is a training system for police and criminal justice officers. GA POST asked police agencies to look into an online training system glitch which allowed as many as 500 Georgia police officers to earn training credits without spending the required number of hours online.
August 12, 2014, The Bakersfield Californian: The family of ex-NFL player David Lee “Deacon” Turner has settled a wrongful death lawsuit against Kern County for $1.8 million.
A father of eight, Turner was 56 years old when a Kern County sheriff’s deputy shot him outside a convenience store in July 2011. Turner had swung a bag containing two 24-ounce cans of beer at another deputy’s head after refusing to comply with orders.
August 12, 2014,St. Louis Today: A 2007 Department of Justice study found that between 2003 and 2005 an average of one person a day died from homicide by law enforcement officers during arrests in the United States.
The study of those three years found that an average of just under 700 people annually died during arrests involving state and local law enforcement in the United States. Of those, about 55 percent — 1,095 in all — were ruled homicides by law enforcement officers, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics study.
Link to arrest related death series from DOJ
August 11, 2014, USA Today: FERGUSON, Mo. — The FBI launched an investigation Monday into a weekend shooting in which an officer here killed an unarmed 18-year-old.
The St. Louis County NAACP, which will have a meeting for area residents at 6 p.m. CT Monday, had called for the FBI to investigate the death of Michael “Mike” Brown, shot multiple times Saturday after police say he was involved in a scuffle with an officer and another person in this predominantly black St. Louis suburb.
August 8, 2014, Govt. Tech: One way to fill the drained reservoir of public trust in municipal government is to make city hall more visibly — and continuously — responsive.
August 11, 2014, Govt. Tech; At the Black Hat 2014 conference, Billy Rios of Qualys Security revealed details about several vulnerabilities he was able to find, most notably in the airport device entrusted to detect trace levels of drugs and explosives.
August 1, 2014, DroneLife: Volunteer search-and-rescue group Texas EquuSearch resumed using drones in their operations on Wednesday.
The group received an email from the FAA in February ordering them to stop using UAVs to find missing persons, citing the agency’s blanket ban on the use of drones for commercial purposes in the U.S.
Two Welsh police forces are to develop a mobile application that will allow officers to record and send witness statements to a shared system while on the beat. The app will work on mobile and tablet devices and will enable officers to record audio and visual statements without having to return to base.
One more thing to consider if your agency is involved in a controversial high profile event. LT. Dan
FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV.com) – “Anonymous,” a group of “Hacktivists,” hacked the City of Ferguson’s website Sunday night. According to officials, none of the city’s e-mails were working Monday morning. Anticipating a problem, the mayor of Ferguson had the IT Department take down all personal information from the site on Saturday.
August 11, 2014, COPS: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are continuing their climb in popularity and becoming a ‘game changer’ for domestic policing in the United States.1 Given their accessibility, cost, size, weight, portability, and payload possibilities, UAS could become universal across police agencies. With small UAS able to fit into the trunk of a patrol car but costing thousands of dollars less than a patrol car or helicopter, they can be especially appealing to budget-strapped agencies.2 Add the fact that a UAS can fly into dangerous spaces without endangering the life of an officer, and UAS secure their position as a valuable tool for police operations
August 5, 2014, In Public Safety: Human trafficking often thrives right under the noses of law enforcement and corrections officers simply because these officers do not know enough to recognize the signs of human trafficking. For example, sex traffickers have found multiple ways to recruit women who are currently serving time in prison.
August 6, 2014, STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — Police say the hostage who died during a bank robbery and chase in Northern California was killed by police, not the suspects.
Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said Monday that the results of a preliminary ballistics report show that Stockton police fired the bullet or bullets that killed 41-year-old Misty Holt-Singh.
Holt-Singh was found dead at the end of last month’s bank robbery and chase, which included a running gunbattle between the three suspects and police before a final shootout.
Police have said the sole surviving suspect, 19-year-old Jaime Ramos, used Holt-Singh as a human shield, but they could not immediately tell whether she died from police gunfire or shots fired by the suspects. They also did not know when she was killed.
In a recently released report, Hidalgo (TX) County Auditor Ray Eufracio said his office determined that more than $1.7 million was spent on fuel alone over a number of years but there’s no way to track the consumption. The audit compared sheriff’s inventory records against what the county purchasing department has on file.
Of the more than 5,400 assets listed in sheriff’s records, about 1,880 items could not be located, The Monitor newspaper of McAllen reported (http://bit.ly/1kt88Xa ). Those items include a dozen weapons and 10 vehicles.
DETROIT — After 11 years, the Detroit Police Department soon may start operating without the watchful eye of a federal monitor.
The city and the U.S. Department of Justice have jointly filed a motion, asking a U.S. District Court judge to no longer require federal oversight of the city’s Police Department. In the motion filed Friday, the city and Justice Department asked the court to terminate the use of force and arrest and witness detention consent judgment on Aug. 18.
The city and Justice Department agreed to enter into an 18-month transition agreement. Under that agreement, the Justice Department would review and evaluate the Police Department’s internal audits, conduct on-site visits and provide “comments and technical assistance where needed, to ensure that DPD’s reform efforts continue and are sustained.”