Fall 2014 Law Enforcement Inspections and Audit Courses

NOW open for registration

Introduction to Law Enforcement Inspections and Auditing Course

LEIA-101, October 28-30, 2014

Silver Spring, Maryland- Baltimore / DC Area

October 23: Bastrop sheriff’s investigator made mistakes on 44 cases

October 20, 2014, BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) — A Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office investigator charged with investigating crimes against children — as well as adults — neglected as many as 44 criminal cases over two years, an internal audit discovered. Five of those cases involving adults were immediately handed to another investigator, while Robert Torres awaits the outcome of a disciplinary review that could bring a written reprimand, demotion or reassignment.

Link to audit:

https://lintvkxan.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/bastrop-county-sheriff-audit-summary.pdf

October 23: FBI Facial Recognition System Gives Officers an Investigative Lead

October 20, 2014, Govt Tech: The powerful tool replaces legacy technology and lets police officers automatically compare a suspect’s digital facial image against more than 20 million images, but it has accuracy limits and has raised concerns among privacy groups.

October 23: Chief deputy found dead of gunshot wound

The second-in-command at the Jefferson County (Kentucky) Sheriff’s Office was found dead Monday afternoon in a state park lodge from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Col. Mike Hettich, a 33-year veteran of the department and well-known for his work as chief deputy with the sheriff’s office and as Kentucky’s national representative with the Fraternal Order of Police, was 56.

October 23: Oklahoma law enforcement officials show interest in fixing DNA sampling oversight

October 20, 2014, The Oklahoman: Oklahoma police, sheriffs, district attorneys and judges are showing new interest in DNA sampling after misdemeanor convictions after reading news that thousands of samples are not being collected in Oklahoma.

October 22: Nancy Rodriguez, Howard Spivak Named To Run National Institute Of Justice

October 22, 2014, The Crime Report: After a long delay in naming a permanent leader of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), President Obama has announced his intention to appoint Nancy Rodriguez, a criminologist at Arizona State University, to the position. Rodriguez also is associate dean of the College of Public Programs. Her research interests include sentencing policies, juvenile court processes, and substance abuse. The research has included evaluations of drug courts, restorative justice programs, and three strikes laws. William Sabol, acting director of the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, has also been serving as acting director of NIJ since a previous acting director, Greg Ridgeway, left last summer. The NIJ directorship no longer is subject to Senate confirmation.

October 22: High-ranking Baltimore police commander stole pay, prosecutors say

October 22, 2014, Baltimore Sun: A former high-ranking Baltimore police commander — who the department said in April stepped down for “personal reasons” — was charged Wednesday with theft..

Prosecutors said Lt. Col. Clifton McWhite was charged with theft between $1,000 and $10,000 following a joint investigation by the city state’s attorney’s office and the Police Department.

October 22: New Cincinnati Police Department contract

October 22, 2014, Local 12 News: CINCINNATI (WKRC) — After months of negotiations, the city of Cincinnati and its police union have agree on their first contract since 2008.

City council passed the new agreement Wednesday afternoon. The two-year contract gave officers a 1.5 percent pay raise. It was not as much as they wanted.

October 22: Judge dismisses suit by SPD officers on use-of-force reforms

October 22, 2014, Seattle Times: Sweeping away all claims, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman has dismissed a lawsuit brought by 100 Seattle police officers seeking to block new, federally mandated use-of-force policies.

October 22: Supreme Court Will Consider Police Searches of Hotel Registries

October 20, 2014, WASHINGTON Post: — The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether the police in Los Angeles may inspect hotel and motel guest registries without permission from a judge.

Dozens of cities, including Atlanta, Denver and Seattle, allow such searches, which law enforcement officials say help them catch fugitives and fight prostitution and drug dealing.

A group of motel owners challenged the law. They said they were not troubled by its requirement that they keep records about their guests. But they objected to a second part of the ordinance, requiring that the records “be made available to any officer of the Los Angeles Police Department for inspection.”

October 22: Police Foundation to conduct comprehensive review of Stockton bank robbery and gun battle

October 20, 2014, Police Foundation: On July 16th, the Stockton Police Department in California responded to a call about a bank robbery at the Bank of the West. When the officers arrived the three robbers fled, taking three hostages with them. Officers gave chase and exchanged fire with the robbers, who had a number of semi-automatic weapons including an AK-47 rifle. The chase ended with the death of one of the hostages.

In order to understand the incident as fully as possible, and to examine all aspects of its response to the robbery and hostage-taking, the Stockton Police Department has commissioned an independent review of all aspects of the July 16th events.  The department selected the Police Foundation to conduct this review and has made it clear they expect a thorough, comprehensive examination.

October 22: When police moonlight in their uniforms

Op-ed piece on off duty work, this issue has been around for years.  This article was in LA Times, so it may get some traction. Might be a good chance to take a look at your off / extra duty policies.  Lt. Dan

October 13, 2014, LA Times: The facts are still emerging about Wednesday’s fatal shooting of 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers Jr. by an off-duty St. Louis police officer, but one topic deserves attention no matter what. The officer involved in the shooting was off-duty, but he was working for a private security firm while wearing his public police uniform. This second job wasn’t secret. The St. Louis Police Department approved it.

The officer involved in the fatal shooting was working for the St. Louis-based CGI Security, and he may have been assigned to patrol the Flora Place Community Improvement District, a St. Louis neighborhood whose residents have agreed to a special tax assessment for security and other services. So extra tax funds go to a private security firm to pay an off-duty public police officer to patrol public streets in his police department uniform. If you’re confused, you should be.

October 22: Voiceprints Being Harvested by the Millions

Very interesting article. Lt Dan

October 13, 2014, ABC: Over the telephone, in jail and online, a new digital bounty is being harvested: the human voice.

Businesses and governments around the world increasingly are turning to voice biometrics, or voiceprints, to pay pensions, collect taxes, track criminals and replace passwords.

 

“The general feeling is that voice biometrics will be the de facto standard in the next two or three years,” said Iain Hanlon, a Barclays executive. The single largest implementation identified by the AP is in Turkey, where mobile phone company Turkcell has taken the voice biometric data of some 10 million customers using technology provided by market leader Nuance Communications Inc. But government agencies are catching up.

 

In the U.S., law enforcement officials use the technology to monitor inmates and track offenders who have been paroled.

October 21: U.S. Department of Justice to work with Fayetteville police to review department practices, policies

October 21, 2014, Fayetteville police are looking to a federal program to help review its practices and policies regarding use of force, a move that officials believe will help build trust between officers and the community.

The U.S. Department of Justice has agreed to work with the Fayetteville Police Department on the review, officials announced Tuesday.

The review will be done through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and funded by the Justice Department, COPS director Ronald L. Davis said during a news conference Tuesday at North Carolina Veterans Park on Bragg Boulevard.

October 21: U.S. Dept. of Justice reveals plans to investigate Baltimore Police Dept.

October 20, 2014, BALTIMORE — After years of alleged police brutality, the U.S. Department of Justice revealed plans Monday to investigate the Baltimore Police Department.

At the U.S. attorney’s office in Baltimore, the Department of Justice announced initial details about collaborative-reform initiative to curb police brutality in the city. Officials at the announcement included U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts and Ronald L. Davis, director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services at the Department of Justice.

October 21: ACLU Questions Taser Policies of Iowa Law Enforcement

October 20, 2014, (ABC 6 News) — The use of non-lethal force is under scrutiny in Iowa after two people died while being stunned by officers in the past year.

While recent events in Ferguson, MO, have brought renewed focus on shootings involving police, some are calling for stricter guidelines on police use of Tasers and stun guns.

“They have darts that are embedded in the skin and there is a 50,000 volt that is delivered to the body. It can kill people,” said Veronica Fowler, a spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa.

The ACLU of Iowa, along with the University of Iowa, recently reviewed Taser policies for all 99 Iowa counties and were surprised by what they found.

According to the report, only eight of the 99 counties prohibit a Taser from being used on a pregnant woman.

Only one prohibits use of a Taser on an elderly person, and only seven, including Floyd County, prohibit using a Taser on a person who is already restrained.

“Basically we found that the policies were woefully lacking,” Fowler said. “They’re very, very minimal and in some cases non-existent.”

October 20: Chicago Police officers ratify contract; 66.5 percent vote yes

October 17, 2014, Sun Times: Chicago Police officers will get an 11-percent pay raise over five years — and $65 million in back pay — under a contract overwhelmingly ratified Friday that averts arbitration for the first time since 1996.

October 20: Massive FBI study sheds light on the lives and minds of serial killers

October 17, 2014, Study took several years to complete and involved an examination of the crimes of 480 convicted serial killers.

October 20: Ex-Romulus police chief sent to prison for corruption

October 17, 2014, Detroit News: – — Former Romulus police chief Michael St. Andre was sentenced Friday to 5 to 20 years behind bars for his role in a wide-ranging police corruption case involving himself and five officers in the department.

Prosecutors maintain the defendants pretended to be investigating the Landing Strip Bar in Romulus and Subi’s Place in Southgate. The fraudulent probes, investigators allege, were a ruse for hiring prostitutes from nearby strip club.

October 20:  Evidence handlers negligent

October 18, 2014, Register Guard: Three Eugene police employees are found to have violated department policies.  Oregon State Police conducted last year’s investigation, sparked by the discovery that more than 1,000 items were missing from the Property Control Unit on North Garfield Street. Those items included several rape kits, nunchuks, drugs, cash, guns and a human skull.

October 20: FBI Director Comey calls on Congress to stop unlockable encryption. Good luck with that.

October 17, 2014, Washington Post: FBI Director James Comey is urging Congress to take up the topic of encryption — setting up a potentially historic debate on Capitol Hill over whether U.S. tech firms can be required to bake into their technology ways for law enforcement to legally access users’ e-mails, texts and other digital communications.

October 19: Confidential informants are an integral but problematic part of federal law enforcement

October 19, 2014, The Post-Gazette identified 384 cases, many with multiple defendants, that stemmed from the affidavits. Of those cases, 148 were built in part on the work of confidential informants. Nearly two-thirds of the cases investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration involved informants.

October 18: Sharp increase in firings at Denver sheriff’s department this year

October 17, Denver Post: A Denver Sheriff Department deputy who was fired last month after igniting racial tension in a women’s dorm at the county jail became the seventh deputy to be fired in 2014.

Deputy Rosanna Jenkins’ dismissal is the fourth since Sept. 5, reflecting a sharp increase in terminations since the department has come under intense scrutiny over its management of Denver’s two jails.

Daelene Mix, a spokeswoman for the Denver Department of Public Safety, said the department has not become more willing to terminate deputies because of public pressure. The safety manager and sheriff are following the department’s disciplinary guidelines, she said.

However, terminations are on the rise.

In 2013, two of the 27 deputies who were disciplined for misconduct were terminated. A third deputy was disqualified after a restraining order prevented him from using a gun, according to disciplinary records obtained by The Denver Post.

In 2012, only one deputy of the 14 who were disciplined was fired from the department.

But in the first nine months of 2014, 30 deputies have been disciplined and seven have been fired.

October 18: Report: Michael Brown’s blood found on Officer Darren Wilson’s gun, car door

(CNN) — Forensic tests have found the blood of Michael Brown on the gun, uniform and police cruiser belonging to Officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot the unarmed teen two months ago in Ferguson, Missouri, The New York Times reported.

The revelation, provided by unnamed government officials familiar with a federal civil rights investigation, marked the first public account of Wilson’s testimony to investigators.

That it could potentially serve as exculpatory evidence — or at the very least, used by Wilson’s supporters to back the officer’s account of what transpired on Canfield Drive on August 9 — immediately drew suspicion and anger from leading activists who portended an ominous reaction from Brown supporters.

October 16: Denver mayor picks Chicago, LA firms to lead sheriff department reform

October 16, 2014, Denver Post: Denver has hired two high-profile, national consulting firms to guide its attempt at reforming the embattled sheriff’s department.

Hillard Heintze of Chicago and OIR Group of Los Angeles will begin work Oct. 29, Mayor Michael Hancock’s office announced Thursday. Both firms have on staff former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors and former police commanders and sheriffs who have worked at major metropolitan departments.

The city is paying the two firms $295,000 combined.

October 16: Florida high court puts limits on phone tracking

October 16, 2014, Palm Beach Post: TALLAHASSEE, Fla. —

In a sweeping ruling, Florida’s highest court said Thursday that police in the state have no right to use a cellphone to track someone’s movements without a warrant.

The state Supreme Court in a 5-2 decision ruled that Broward County Sheriff’s Office had no right to stop and arrest Shawn Tracey for possession of more than 400 grams of cocaine.

October 16: FBI Director Warns Against Cellphone Encryption

October 16, 2014, ABC: FBI Director James Comey warned in stark terms Thursday against the push by technology companies to encrypt smartphone data and operating systems, arguing that murder cases could be stalled, suspects could walk free and justice could be thwarted by a locked phone or an encrypted hard drive.

October 16: U.S. Justice Department’s No. 2 official to step down

October 16, 2014, (Reuters) – The No. 2 official at the U.S. Department of Justice, Deputy Attorney General James Cole, plans to step down, the latest in a series of departures from top officials at the agency.

Cole’s exit, which the Justice Department announced on Thursday, will add to a growing list of confirmation battles over appointments the Obama administration faces in the coming months, including the top three positions at Justice. Attorney General Eric Holder announced last month that he intends to leave the administration.

October 16: Florida prison boss orders use-of-force audit

October 16, 2014, Miami Herald: Over the past decade, Lt. Walter Gielow has been named in more reports of use of force against inmates than any other officer working for the Florida Department of Corrections.

With a record of 179 reports since 2003, Gielow — and fellow officer Patrick Germain, with 172 reports — have helped make Santa Rosa Correctional Institution, in the state’s Panhandle, number three in the state in frequency of use of force against inmates, behind Union Correctional and Charlotte.

In the recently completed fiscal year, state corrections officers logged 7,300 use-of-force cases, nearly 1,000 more than the previous year, according to the department’s data. Use-of-force cases have roughly doubled since 2008.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/special-reports/florida-prisons/article2925586.html#storylink=cpyThese numbers prompted Michael Crews, secretary of the Department of Corrections, to announce this week that he is ordering an independent audit of the agency’s procedures and policies involving the use of force against inmates.

October 15: LAPD Chief: Probe Found No Evidence Of So-Called ‘Ghost’ Patrol Cars

October 14, 2104: LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Police Commission responded Tuesday to a report Tuesday that found LAPD officers may have used so-called “ghost cars” to boost patrol numbers.

KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports Chief Charlie Beck was on hand to dispute the findings and said if any such practice did occur in the past, it’s not happening now.

October 15: What you need to know about 2015 police grants

October 15, 2014, PoliceOne: The United States Bureau of Justice has posted its request for funding priorities for 2015. This request includes both discretionary ($1.5 billion) and mandatory (formula $891 million) funded programs.

Police Departments seeking grant funding in 2015 should review the posted budget in detail to determine whether their strategic plan lines up with the programs intended for funding next year

October 15: Obama delays replacing Holder until after election

October 14, McClatchyDC: WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will not nominate a replacement for Attorney General Eric Holder until after the Nov. 4 midterm elections.

White House officials say they do not want the nomination to become an issue in the already contentious elections. Senate Democrats, who are fighting to maintain their majority, asked Obama to hold off on the announcement.

Holder announced his resignation Sept. 25, but agreed to stay on until his successor is confirmed.

October 15: ACLU lawyer given Justice Dept. civil rights post

October 15, 2014, Yahoo: WASHINGTON (AP) — An American Civil Liberties Union attorney was named Wednesday to be the acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Vanita Gupta, who has served for the past four years as deputy legal director of the ACLU and director of its Center for Justice, starts at the Justice Department next week. She previously worked as a lawyer at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

October 15: Milwaukee Police Fire Officer Who Shot Man in Park

October 15, 2014, ABC: Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said Wednesday that he had fired an officer who instigated a fight with a mentally ill man that eventually led the officer to shoot the man 14 times, killing him.

Officer Christopher Manney, 38, was dismissed nearly six months after 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton’s death. Activists have compared the shooting to that of Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year-old shot by an officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

October 15: New York Police Lieutenant Faces Jail for Leaks in Ticket-Fixing Inquiry

October 15, 2014, NY Times: The first person tried in connection with a scandal that involved New York City police officers’ making traffic and parking tickets disappear for friends and relatives was convicted on Wednesday of leaking information about the investigation.

Lt. Jennara Cobb, 38, was found guilty of divulging an eavesdropping warrant, official misconduct and obstruction of governmental administration.

October 15: Detroit council leader: Cops who leave city should pay

October 14, 2014, To choke the flow of police officers leaving Detroit for other cities, City Council President Brenda Jones said today she is interested in an ordinance that would force departing police officers to reimburse the city for their training costs, which could amount to thousands of dollars.

October 15: First Responders Left in the Dark on Public Safety Network

October 14, 2104, Govt Tech: The people who would actually use the first nationwide public safety wireless communications network have largely been left out of its creation, possibly hurting its effectiveness.

October 14: Who Is Joe Clancy, the New Secret Service Director?

October 8, 2014, US News: Secret Service agents who have worked for Joe Clancy have described him as disciplined, levelheaded and consummately professional. Those who know him well say he relishes a chance to lead from the front and take on a challenge.

For the 27-year veteran of the Secret Service and the agency’s new acting director, those leadership qualities perhaps were never more on display than at the North Korean border two decades ago. They also are indicative of the man President Barack Obama picked to resurrect the battered agency after a string of scandals and public failures.

October 14: FBI Director James Comey says you can’t trust anybody — especially the US government.

October 13, 2014, NY Post: “I believe that Americans should be deeply skeptical of government power — you cannot trust people in power,’’ the director said in a surprisingly candid interview that aired on CBS’s “60 Minutes’’ on Sunday night.

“The Founders knew that,’’ Comey said, adding, “That’s why they divided power among three branches, to set interest against interest.”

Still, Comey insisted that his agency isn’t watching us illegally.

“We don’t do electronic surveillance without a court order,” he said.

October 14: Cleveland City Council approves funding for police body cameras

October 14, 2014, CLEVELAND.com — Cleveland City Council passed legislation Monday authorizing the Police Department to spend $1.6 million to equip hundreds of patrol officers with body cameras as early as the first quarter of 2015.

October 14: N.J. police dashboard video recordings are public records, state judge rules

October 13, 2014, NJ.com: TRENTON — Videos routinely captured by cameras mounted in police cars during traffic stops and other law enforcement activities are public records and cannot be withheld because they pertain to criminal or internal affairs investigations, a state judge has ruled in two separate cases.

October 14: Cops hesitate more, err less when shooting black suspects, study finds

October 13, 2014, Police One: According to findings from a research team’s innovative experiments, officers are less likely to erroneously shoot unarmed black suspects than they were unarmed whites.

October 14: Denver jury: Deputies used too much force in death

October 14, 2014, DENVER (AP) — A federal jury on Tuesday found five Denver sheriff’s deputies used excessive force against a homeless street preacher who died in the city’s downtown jail and awarded his family a record $4.65 million in damages, a verdict an attorney said should send a message to law enforcement everywhere.

October 13: St. Louis police scramble radios after movements revealed

October 13, 2014, LEO Affairs: The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department began encrypting its radio system last week. The move, which was the first time in history it had ever happened, was order by Chief San Dotson.

According to KSDK, he made the decision after he realized demonstrators and protesters in the Shaw and South Grand neighborhoods were posting police movements and 911 calls on social media sites. While Dotson knows anyone can track police movements with a scanner, he was concerned with how the public publishing of the information might affect police operations.

October 13: National Research Council issues recommendations to improve eyewitness identifications

October 13, 2014, Police Foundation: The National Research Council has released a comprehensive report reviewing eyewitness identification methods for criminal investigations, and has recommended a series of “best practices” to guide law enforcement and prosecutors in obtaining and using more accurate eyewitness accounts. The report, entitled “Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification,”  is available free online at the National Academies Press at the link below.

http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18891

October 13: LAPD deployed ‘ghost cars’ to meet staffing standards, report finds

October 10, 2014, Los Angeles police deliberately falsified records to make it appear that officers were patrolling city streets when they were not, an investigation by the LAPD’s independent watchdog has found..

The deception occurred in at least five of the department’s 21 patrol divisions, according to the Police Commission’s inspector general, who released a report Friday on the “ghost car” phenomenon. Officers working desk jobs, handing out equipment in stations or performing other duties were logged into squad car computers to make it appear they were on patrol.

October 13: Police Stops Erode Support From New York Residents

October 10, 2014, Washington Post: A rare, large-scale police department survey of New York City residents found that the more times a person is stopped by an officer, their favorable view of local law-enforcement authorities plummets.

October 13: Former HPD officer convicted in drug conspiracy

October 9, 2014, Click2HOUSTON – Former Houston Police Department officer Marcos E. Carrion has entered a guilty plea for his role in a drug conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced Thursday.

On April 16, a Houston grand jury returned a sealed indictment charging Carrion with conspiring with others to possess with the intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine from mid-2013 through April 2014. Carrion, 36, a five-year HPD veteran, had been assigned to the Southwest Patrol Division prior to resigning from his position.

As part of his plea agreement, Carrion admitted to providing security for a narcotics transaction which involved 10 kilograms of cocaine. During negotiations, Carrion stated he was an HPD officer and that he “had a lot to lose,” but ultimately agreed to providing security in exchange for $2,500. After being paid, Carrion falsely claimed another officer was present and demanded another $2,500.

Carrion also agreed to provide security for future transactions which were to involve 20 to 30 kilogram loads of cocaine. He claimed he could arrange for additional uniformed officers to assist whom he would pay and instruct to just show up, not ask questions and do what he said.

October 13: San Jose police suspend off-duty work with 49ers amid controversy with moonlighting cop

October 13, 2014, San Jose police suspend off-duty work with 49ers amid controversy with moonlighting cop after an officer who was moonlighting with team security complicated a domestic violence investigation by going to defensive lineman Ray McDonald’s home the night he was arrested.

October 13: Md. Lawmakers Back Request For Review Of Baltimore Police Department

October 9:, 2014, CBS BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More pressure on the U.S. attorney general to launch a full review of the Baltimore Police Department after numerous cases of police brutality. Now Maryland senators and members of Congress have also sent a letter supporting the review.

Oct 11: Asset seizures fuel police spending

There have been several reports on this issue recently.  This one is comprehensive and worth a read.  You might expect some local journalist to follow this trend in your area.  You may want to consider taking a look at your program and how it is administered and what has been purchased.  See the survey from the October 8 regarding this issue: Lt. Dan 

Oct 11, 2014, Washington Post: Police agencies have used hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Americans under federal civil forfeiture law in recent years to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear. They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.

The details are contained in thousands of annual reports submitted by local and state agencies to the Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing Program, an initiative that allows local and state police to keep up to 80 percent of the assets they seize. The Washington Post obtained 43,000 of the reports dating from 2008 through a Freedom of Information Act request.

October 11: The Justice Department’s soft side: How one federal agency hopes to change Ferguson

October 11, 2014, St. Louis Today:  The peacemakers arrived on a Sunday. It was a little more than a day after Michael Brown’s shooting.

They introduced themselves to police and city officials that afternoon. They met with Brown’s family late that night, in a Highway Patrol truck down the street from the Canfield Green apartments. The two, both mediators with a secretive unit of the U.S. Department of Justice called the Community Relations Service, were the first federal officials to arrive in Ferguson.

But the Community Relations Service — a 50-person, $12 million-a-year unit has no investigative authority. Its mediators have been in St. Louis quietly working on disputes long before Brown’s death thrust Ferguson into the global consciousness.

And its goal, said Director Grande H. Lum in an interview last week with the Post-Dispatch, isn’t to make arrests or file lawsuits, but to give all sides a private place to talk, and, hopefully, solve their own problems.

October 10: Police thwarted by remote wiping of tablets and phones

October 10, 2014: Naked Security: The BBC has reported that several UK police forces have found that evidence has evaporated into thin air after tablets and mobile phones have been remotely wiped, even after suspects have been taken into custody.

October 10: Grants police have been retaining evidence, audit says

October 9: Police officer allegedly takes 3 hostages in standoff

October 9, 2014, USA Today: BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A Brunswick police officer was arrested after allegedly taking three hostages at gunpoint and barricading himself in a vacant office in an apartment leasing center Wednesday afternoon.

Two shots were fired during the hostage situation, but no one was injured before the Brunswick Police Department officer surrendered to authorities.

October 9: California audit calls for better use of rape kits

October 9, 2014, Sacramento Bee: The California Legislature should require law enforcement agencies to do a better job using and keeping track of evidence they collect from sexual assault victims that could contain DNA evidence, state auditors said Thursday.

The audit says lawmakers should require agencies to submit the sexual-assault evidence kits for analysis every time a suspect’s identity is unknown. State Auditor Elaine Howle said the Legislature also should require crime labs to finish analyzing the evidence within two years of the assault.

Audit scope and objectives:
https://www.auditor.ca.gov/pdfs/analyses/2014-109.pdf

October 9: Justice Dept. refers request to investigate NYPD to civil rights division

October 9, 2014, NY Daily Times: The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division is considering a request to investigate whether the NYPD’s controversial “broken windows” crime-fighting strategy violates the civil rights of black and Hispanic New Yorkers.

October 8: DOJ Presents Findings of 6-Year Review Of Mpls. Police

October 8, 2014, MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis Police Department just got the results of a six-year review of conduct of its officers and oversight process.

October 6: Some Baltimore Officers Attract Repeat Lawsuits, City May Not Keep Track

October 5, 2014, While hospitalized with a fractured ankle and broken jaw, John Bonkowski reached for his smartphone to find out about the man who beat him outside a parking garage, says the Baltimore Sun. He typed “Officer Michael McSpadden” into Google. The results stunned Bonkowski. He found references showing that the longtime Baltimore officer had been accused in three separate civil lawsuits: of kicking and stomping a woman, of breaking a man’s wrist and of beating a man unconscious with a police baton. Settlements in those lawsuits had cost city taxpayers more than $485,000. After two surgeries, Bonkowski also sued McSpadden. The city agreed to pay Bonkowski $75,000.

October 6: California Voters to Decide on Sending Fewer Criminals to Prison

October 5, 2014, NY Times: SAN FRANCISCO — Twenty years ago, amid a national panic over crime, California voters adopted the country’s most stringent three-strikes law, sentencing repeat felons to 25 years to life, even if the third offense was a minor theft.

October 6: Dubai detectives to get Google Glass to fight crime

October 2, 2014,(Reuters) – Dubai police plan to issue detectives with Google Glass hands-free eyewear to help them fight crime using facial recognition technology, a police spokesman in the wealthy Gulf Arab emirate said.

October 6: White House plans to require federal agencies to provide details about drones 

September 27, 2014, Washington Post: The White House is preparing a directive that would require federal agencies to publicly disclose for the first time where they fly drones in the United States and what they do with the torrents of data collected from aerial surveillance.

October 5: US Justice Review of Baltimore Police Sought

October 3, 2014, Boston News: BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore officials are looking for a U.S. Justice Department review of the city police department’s procedures and policies after several cases of use of force by officers have resulted in millions of dollars in legal settlements and public outcry.

Commissioner Anthony W. Batts announced Friday that he was asking for a review. The move was backed by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who said in an emailed statement that she welcomed any partners willing to work in reducing excessive force complaints. A day earlier, City Council President Bernard Young sent a letter to outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking federal officials to take a look at the department.

October 5: FL. Law enforcement admits deleting controversial records

October 3, 2014, New Press: Tampa, Florida – 10 News’ continuing investigation into police conduct during “To Catch a Predator”-inspired sex stings has revealed law enforcement officers who act as undercover “chatters” routinely delete emails and other records that Florida law requires them to retain.

At least three different law enforcement agencies admitted they could not provide requested emails from various operations because they were not saved. State law requires law enforcement agencies to retain all records generated during investigations to ensure “that information is available when and where it is needed, in an organized and efficient manner, and in an appropriate environment.”

The findings raise further questions about how the controversial stings – which target men allegedly looking for children to have sex with online – are operated. 10 Investigates first reported in August how officers were boosting arrest totals by targeting men who were not looking for children:

Oct 5, 2014: Boston police department photos from the 1930’s are awesome (40 Photos)

October 5: Department of Justice Will Not Challenge Proposed Cyber Intelligence Data-Sharing Platform

October 3, 2014, National Journal: WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice announced today that it will not challenge a proposal by CyberPoint International LLC to offer a cyber intelligence data-sharing platform known as TruSTAR.   The TruSTAR platform allows members to share threat and incident data along with attack information and develop remediation solutions to help define more effective strategies across industries to prevent successful cyber attacks.

October 5: More FBI Whistleblowers Allege Retaliation through Loss of Effectiveness Orders

October 5, 2014, Political News: US Senator Chuck Grassley said that 11 whistleblowers have now come forward telling their stories of FBI managers using Loss of Effectiveness orders to retaliate for speaking up about wrongdoing in the agency.

October 2: Police Commissioner Bill Bratton declares war on dirty cops, says he will rid NYPD of those who are ‘poisoning the well’

October 2, 2014, NY Daily Times: The city’s top cop challenged the department to take a hard look at itself Thursday and weed out officers who are “poisoning the well.”

“My intention going forward is to ensure that we will aggressively seek to get those out of the department who should not be here — the brutal, the corrupt, the racist, the incompetent,” Bratton said in a tough talk to police brass….

October 2: City of Detroit reaches contract deal with police union

October 1, 2014, Freep: Detroit reached a 5-year contract agreement with its largest police union on Wednesday, a deal that will give cops a pay raise and put more officers on the street, city officials said.

Members of the Detroit Police Officers Association will receive an 8% pay raise up front. It comes after years of wage cuts all city workers have faced in recent years as Detroit’s finances spiraled into insolvency. Overall, the contract provides for a 15.5% raise over the next five years.

NYPD: Police mistakenly kill man in confrontation

The medical examiner determined that Rafael Laureano, an unarmed man who intervened in the dispute, died from a gunshot wound to the back following initial suspicions that he may have been stabbed.

October 2: Effectiveness of law-enforcement personnel panel questioned

October 1, 2014, AZCentral: AZ DPS Director Halliday recently exercised the power of a 2012 law that grants state law-enforcement directors the final, as well as the first, say on disciplinary decisions outside the courtroom.

The law was created to encourage a higher standard of conduct for employees as part of sweeping personnel reform, but critics say it renders merit-council verdicts toothless and eliminates an officer’s right to due process.

“The LEMSC conducts the disciplinary appeal hearings, judges the demeanor of the witnesses, reviews and weighs the exhibits and evidence and renders a decision accordingly,” said Neil Landeen, Lincoln’s attorney. “The LEMSC is the appropriate body to render the ­final decision, not the ­director who did not ­attend the hearing.”

Since the law took effect in September 2012, Landeen said, state law-enforcement directors’ final decisions have trended toward overruling the council’s judgment with little or no justification.

October 2: 2 PA Attorney General officials resign in porn office emails case

October 2, 2014, HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Two top state officials resigned Thursday in the growing scandal surrounding office emails containing pornography in the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office.

Gov. Tom Corbett disclosed the resignations of Environmental Protection Secretary Christopher Abruzzo and Glenn Parno, a top lawyer in the Department of Environmental Protection, in separate announcements hours apart.

The departures came a week after the attorney general’s office identified eight ex-employees as having sent or received pornographic images or videos. All eight men, who also include state police Commissioner Frank Noonan, worked under Corbett while he was the state’s elected attorney general from 2005 to 2011.

October 2: Harris County Sheriff’s Office requests help from Justice Department

October 1, 2014, HOUSTON (KTRK) — After three days of withering criticism over Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia’s handling the investigation into how an inmate in need of mental health care was left in his cell for weeks, sheriff department officials have asked the U.S. Department of Justice for help.

“We’re looking at other opportunities and so we’re communicating with the DOJ to understand what opportunities can be before us,” Sheriff Adrian Garcia said Wednesday.

October 1: Secret Service Chief Quits Due to Security Lapses

October 1, 2014, ABC: Secret Service Director Julia Pierson abruptly resigned Wednesday in the face of multiple revelations of security breaches, bumbling in her agency and rapidly eroding confidence that the president and his family were being kept safe.

October 1: NIJ Invests $63 Million in School Safety Research

October 1, 2014, NIJ: As part of the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative, NIJ has awarded nearly $63 million to school districts and research organizations. Twenty-four research projects receive funding under two different solicitations. The first, “Investigator-Initiated Research,” includes nine awards to research organizations totaling more than $18 million. The second, “Developing Knowledge About What Works to Make Schools Safe,” provides more than $45 million to 15 school districts and their research partners.

Oct 1: Judge: Stockton must treat pension like other debt

October 1, 2014: SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Striking at the sanctity of public pensions in California, a federal judge ruled Wednesday that U.S. bankruptcy law allows the city of Stockton to treat pension fund obligations like other debts, meaning the city could trim benefits. The case is being closely watched because it could help clarify who gets paid first by financially strapped cities around the nation — retirement funds or creditors.

October 1: Wasted SPD overtime topped $1M, report says

October 1, 2014, Seattle Times: A big portion of the overtime was linked to compliance with a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to curb excessive force and biased policing, though no training plan related to the agreement had been submitted to a federal monitor, according to a watchdog report.

Link to Report:
http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/OPA/Special%20Reports/RecommendationsForManagementActionTraining.pdf

October 1: Former Atlantic Beach Police Chief Classey arrested

October 1, 2014, First Coast News: ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. — The Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested former Atlantic Beach Police Chief Michael Classey Tuesday on a list of drug charges — just a week after he stepped down amid a state investigation.

Classey, 50, is charged with 18 counts of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, one count of trafficking in a controlled substance, one count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, according to FDLE. He resigned Sept. 23 after learning of the investigation.

September 30: New information on the alleged victims of former Flint Police sergeant

September 30, 2014, ABC: FLINT (WJRT) – (09/30/14) – There has been a stand still in the case against the former Flint Police sergeant accused of sexually assaulting young girls while on the job.

So far, eight people have now come forward saying they are victims of Lawrence Bonnet Woods.

Woods’ defense attorney, Frank Manley, ordered that his client undergo a forensic evaluation to see if he is competent to stand trial. The case cannot move forward until that is completed, which could take several months.

September 30: Eric Holder: New Encryption Systems ‘Thwarting’ Child Porn, Kidnapping Investigations

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder plans to slam technology companies Tuesday for launching new encryption systems that will lock out law enforcement authorities from accessing devices even when they have a warrant.

Holder will call it “worrisome to see companies thwarting our ability” to “quickly find and protect the child and to stop those that abuse children,” according to prepared remarks he is set to deliver before the Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online in Washington on Tuesday afternoon.

National Criminal Justice Resource Service:

September 30: Fulton GA. sheriff: I need 339 new positions to bring jail in compliance

September 30, 2014,The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: With a goal of getting out from under federal court supervision by the end of the year, Fulton County’s sheriff said he needs more money to hire 339 additional deputies and jailers to attain the minimum staffing and clear the last major hurdle required by an order that has been in place since 2005.

In a document filed in federal court Tuesday, lawyers for the Fulton County commissioners and sheriff Ted Jackson pointed out that the second quarter of this year — April through June — was the first time since the lawsuit was filed that the number of employees hired exceeded the number leaving their jobs at the jail.

September 30: Attorney General Holder Announces Latest Effort to Strengthen Community Policing with Approximately $124 Million Hiring Grant to Local Law Enforcement

September 29, 2014, DOJ Justice News: Attorney General Eric Holder and Director Ron Davis of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) today announced the department’s latest effort to strengthen community policing through hiring grants that will fund nearly 950 officers at 215 law enforcement agencies in cities and communities across the country.  This year’s $124 million in awards place a special emphasis on increasing community policing, bolstering crime reduction, and making the streets of America safer.

September 30: Seattle Police chief says less paperwork OK for minor use of force

September 29, 2014, Seattle Times: The new Seattle police directive specifically addresses complaints from officers that they were spending too much time on paperwork whenever a suspect complained of pain after being handcuffed.

September 30: California gun restraining order may deter suicide

September 30, 2014, AP: SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s first-in-the-nation gun restraining order legislation was born out of a college-town rampage that left six people dead at the hands of a killer whose family felt helpless to stop him.

Advocates say its greatest use actually might come not in preventing headline-grabbing murderous sprees, but in helping families deal with loved ones who are in danger of taking their own lives or who might be so angry or distraught that they could turn a gun on family members.

September, 30: Use of Facial Recognition Technology Grows for Law Enforcement Purposes

September 30, 2014, Gov Tech: The Raleigh, N.C., Police Department is the latest to choose the technology for criminal investigations. The use of the technology is growing. A Washington Post report said that 37 states are now using it in their driver’s license registries and another 26 states have law enforcement agencies using it in criminal investigations.

September 30: Jailed cop killer is picked as graduation speaker

September 30, 2014, AP: FRACKVILLE, Pa. (AP) — A man serving life in prison for the killing of a Philadelphia police officer in 1981 has been selected as a commencement speaker at his Vermont alma mater.

Goddard College, a liberal arts college in Plainfield with 600 students, says on its website that Mumia Abu-Jamal’s recorded remarks will be played Sunday at a commencement, along with a video about him.

Bob Kenny, the school’s interim president, is quoted on the website as saying the graduates’ selection of Abu-Jamal reflects “their freedom to engage and think radically and critically in a world that often sets up barriers to do just that.”

September 30: Ex-FBI agent pleads guilty in Utah federal court to conspiracy

September 30, 2014, Salt Lake Tribune: A former FBI counter-intelligence agent suddenly reversed course and pleaded guilty on Monday just as a trial was to begin on charges he accepted money and promises of riches in return for trying to derail an investigation into fraud on a military contract in Afghanistan worth tens of millions of dollars.

September 30: California gun restraining order may deter suicide

September 30, 2014, AP: SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s first-in-the-nation gun restraining order legislation was born out of a college-town rampage that left six people dead at the hands of a killer whose family felt helpless to stop him.

Advocates say its greatest use actually might come not in preventing headline-grabbing murderous sprees, but in helping families deal with loved ones who are in danger of taking their own lives or who might be so angry or distraught that they could turn a gun on family members.

September, 30: Use of Facial Recognition Technology Grows for Law Enforcement Purposes

September 30, 2014, Gov Tech: The Raleigh, N.C., Police Department is the latest to choose the technology for criminal investigations. The use of the technology is growing. A Washington Post report said that 37 states are now using it in their driver’s license registries and another 26 states have law enforcement agencies using it in criminal investigations.

September 30: Jailed cop killer is picked as graduation speaker

September 30, 2014, AP: FRACKVILLE, Pa. (AP) — A man serving life in prison for the killing of a Philadelphia police officer in 1981 has been selected as a commencement speaker at his Vermont alma mater.

Goddard College, a liberal arts college in Plainfield with 600 students, says on its website that Mumia Abu-Jamal’s recorded remarks will be played Sunday at a commencement, along with a video about him.

Bob Kenny, the school’s interim president, is quoted on the website as saying the graduates’ selection of Abu-Jamal reflects “their freedom to engage and think radically and critically in a world that often sets up barriers to do just that.”

September 29: Officials call for tougher penalties for police brutality

September 29, 2014, Baltimore Sun: State and local politicians continued the call Monday for heightened scrutiny of Baltimore police officers who are the focus of brutality allegations, urging tougher penalties for offenders and greater disclosure of internal discipline.

“Police brutality is completely inexcusable. I’m going to apply justice fairly, even to those who wear a badge,” said Marilyn Mosby, who is expected to be the next Baltimore state’s attorney. The Democrat is the only major party nominee on the ballot, though she faces opposition in the Nov. 4 election from a write-in candidate.

September 29: Fight between on-duty Philadelphia cops leaves female police officer with two black eyes: report

September 29, 2014, NY Daily News: The female officer was transported to a hospital for treatment after Friday’s on-duty fight that blew up from an argument, NBC Philadelphia reported. Her male fighting companion has reportedly been given desk duty and his gun has been taken away.

September 29: Today’s Police Put On a Gun and a Camera

September 27, 2014, NY Times: In just the last few weeks, law enforcement agencies in at least a dozen cities, including Ferguson; Flagstaff, Ariz.; Minneapolis; Norfolk, Va.; and Washington, have said they are equipping officers with video cameras. Miami Beach approved the purchase of $3 million worth of cameras for police officers, parking enforcement workers, and building and fire inspectors.

The New York Police Department, the nation’s largest urban force, has studied how Los Angeles is incorporating body cameras and is planning its own pilot project. A law in New Jersey, signed this month, requires all municipal police departments to buy car-mounted or body cameras, and creates a new fine on drunken drivers to help pay for it. And the United States Border Patrol, with more than 21,000 agents, recently said it would start testing cameras this year.

September 29: Milwaukee police promise on mental health training unmet

September 27, 2014, JS Online: A scared young man, paranoid and hearing voices, is shot and killed by Milwaukee police.

His heartbroken family wants to know why police weren’t better trained to know the symptoms of schizophrenia. The death sparks demands for improvements. Police promise that all officers will be well trained in mental illness.

That was 10 years ago. It still hasn’t happened.

Since that pledge for better training, at least seven people with well-documented and severe mental illness have died after confrontations with Milwaukee police, an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found.

September 29: Another election, same question: Will Cathy Lanier stay on as DC police chief?

It’s becoming a quadrennial tradition in District politics to ask this question: Will D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier stay? And this one: Does the next mayor want her?

September 29: Should Boston Police Officers Wear Body Cameras?

September 29, 2014, Boston Magazine: A new initiative launched by the “Boston Police Camera Action Team” claims the portable devices would increase both safety and accountability during the call of duty.

September 28: Jerry Brown vetoes bill to limit use of drones

September 28, 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed legislation that would have limited when law enforcement agencies can use drones without obtaining warrants, his office announced Sunday.

The legislation – and Brown’s veto – comes as unmanned aerial vehicles become increasingly prevalent overhead. Proponents of Assembly Bill 1327, by Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo, raised concerns about privacy.

September 28: County jail to open 2nd veterans unit

September 26, 2014, UT San Diego: San Diego County’s veterans-only jail unit is a fairly new experiment in harnessing the memory of military service to put convicts back on the crime-free path. Launched in November, the unit’s success has prompted the sheriff’s department to open a second one later this fall at the Vista jail.  The San Diego Association of Governments is gearing up to study the unit’s track record, thanks to a $334,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice.

September 28: Is this Chicago police commander a reckless cowboy?

September 26, 2014, Chicago Tribune: Glenn Evans is straining the presumption of innocence that he and all the people he arrests enjoy. At a time when Chicago is asking overworked police officers to quell relentless street violence, Evans stands accused of going too far — of recklessly policing some of this city’s most crime-prone districts.

The Tribune reported Thursday that Evans, recently relieved as commander of the Chicago Police Department’s Harrison District, since 2001 has been the subject of at least 50 complaints, often for alleged excessive force. The sole disciplinary action stemming from those complaints is a two-day suspension for an off-duty incident in 2005. But City Hall has paid a combined $226,250 to settle seven lawsuits alleging misconduct by Evans.

September 28: FirstNet: Scandal and Resurrection

September 26, 2014, Gov Tech: FirstNet has hired contractors at rates up to $300 an hour. What were the reasons for that and how does FirstNet resurrect itself?

September 28: Police: Department policy puts public, officers at risk

September 25, 2014, KIROTV: The new Seattle police use-of-force policy is putting officers – and the public – at risk because officers are hesitant to use force, according to an internal department memo obtained by KIRO 7.  “Even in situations when officers are using force, in many cases the force being used is not proportional to the force used by the suspect and officers are waiting to use force way beyond the time considered reasonable,” East Precinct Lt. Bryan Grenon wrote in a memo to sergeants.

September 27: Force Multiplier: Police Seek Effective Uses of Technology

September 22, 2014, Govt. Tech: Localities can achieve effective levels of public safety through the selective use of technology. But which technologies are having the biggest impact and why?

Section I: Wearable Cameras

Section II: Predictive Policing

Section III: Cloud Computing

Section IV: Social Media

Section V: Crime-Fighting Civic Apps

Section VI: The Future of Policing & Technology

September 28: Justice Department to ban profiling by federal law enforcement: report

September 28, 2014, Washington Times: The Justice Department is reportedly expected to issue a broad new policy next month banning federal law enforcement officers from profiling individuals based on their ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.

The long-awaited policy is expected to prohibit federal agents from conducting undercover surveillance of mosques, for example, without some proof of criminal activity.

September 28: L.A. pays millions as police and firefighter injury claims rise

September 28, 2014, LA Times: City leaders across California say the very design of the injured-on-duty program, IOD for short, invites abuse. Because injury pay is exempt from both federal and state income taxes, public safety employees typically take home significantly more money when they’re not working. And time spent on leave counts toward pension benefits.

“What’s the incentive to come back to work?” asked Frank Neuhauser, executive director of the Center for the Study of Social Insurance at UC Berkeley and a leading workers’ compensation researcher. The rate of claims in Los Angeles “is astronomical,” he said. “It boggles the mind.”

September 28: Ferguson police officer shot in the arm; off-duty cop also comes under fire

September 28, 2014, (CNN) — A police officer patrolling in Ferguson, Missouri, was shot in the arm late Saturday, police said. His wound was not life-threatening, and he was released from a local hospital after being treated.

There’s no reason to believe the shooting was connected with demonstrations over the August police shooting of unarmed African-American teen Michael Brown, authorities said.

September 28: Obama Says Mistrust of Police Corroding America

September 28, 2014, ABC: The widespread mistrust of law enforcement that was exposed by the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man in Missouri exists in too many other communities and is having a corrosive effect on the nation, particularly on its children, President Barack Obama says. He blames the feeling of wariness on persistent racial disparities in the administration of justice.

September 27: New St. Louis police unit focuses on officer-involved shootings

September 27, 2014St Louis Today: ST. LOUIS • Shootings here have always been investigated as possible crimes — unless the person pulling the trigger was a police officer.

But as of this month, a full-time team of detectives charged with making sure use of deadly force is legal will scrutinize every St. Louis city officer who kills or wounds someone with a gun. This is apart from the Internal Affairs investigation of whether internal policies were violated.

September 27: La. Deputy Sheriff Shot, Killed By Fellow Deputies During Domestic Violence Dispute

September 27,  WZAKCleveland: Lt. Nolan Anderson, 50, a 25-year veteran of the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s department, was on-duty and in uniform when he was shot and killed by fellow deputies during a domestic violence dispute with his wife, reports WGNO.com.

September 26: Jury convicts NM sheriff in heated traffic stop

September 26, 2104, AP: ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A northern New Mexico sheriff who has fought off accusations of misconduct throughout his career was convicted Friday of abusing a driver during a bizarre traffic stop that prosecutors called a fit of road rage.

Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas Rodella, sitting in the defendant’s chair rather than on the side of the law, and his family were visibly upset when jurors convicted him of pulling his gun on a driver and violating the 26-year-old’s civil rights. His wife, state Rep. Debbie Rodella, D-Espanola, sobbed after the verdict was read.

Rodella, one of the most powerful political figures in the state, now faces up to 17 years in prison. His sentencing date hasn’t yet been determined.

September 26: NC inmate died of thirst after 35 days in solitary

September 26, 2014, AP: RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina inmate with mental illness who died of thirst was held in solitary confinement for 35 days and cited twice for flooding his cell, according to prison records.

Inmate Michael Anthony Kerr was found unresponsive in the back of a van March 12 after being driven three hours from Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville to a mental hospital at Central Prison in Raleigh. An autopsy released earlier this week says the 54-year-old inmate, who had schizophrenia, died of dehydration. The report also said he was receiving no treatment for the symptoms of his mental illness.

September 25: Holder resigning as attorney general

September 25, 2014, FOX News: President Obama formally announced the decision, made public earlier in the day, at the White House late Thursday afternoon. Calling Holder’s resignation “bittersweet,” Obama touted Holder’s record on civil rights, as well as terror and corruption prosecutions.

September 25: FBI director says iOS and Android privacy features put users ‘above the law’

September 25, 2014, Apple Insider: FBI Director James Comey on Thursday responded to the latest attempts from Apple and Google to lock down their respective mobile operating systems, saying he is “very concerned” that the new systems limit or prohibit deemed lawful government access.  Comey revealed that he has discussed the matter with representatives from both Apple and Google, noting that while personal privacy is important, access to sensitive information may one day be vital to national security.

September 25: San Diego to pay $5.9 million to woman assaulted by officer

September 25, 2014, LA Times: The city of San Diego has agreed to a $5.9 million settlement with a woman who was sexually assaulted by a police officer after a traffic stop, officials announced Thursday.

September 25: NYPD Improperly Recorded Some Hate-Crime Data, Audit Found

September 25, 2014, The Republic: Comptroller’s Office Recommends Changes to Reporting Procedures. NEW YORK — An audit by the New York State comptroller’s office has found that the NYPD improperly recorded some hate-crime data.

It says there were disparities between individual incident reports the agency received and what it sent to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services for analysis. State law requires the division to compile a statewide hate crimes report and then submit it to the FBI.

Link to audit report:
http://osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/093014/13s67.htm

September 25: Dashcam Captures South Carolina Trooper Shooting Unarmed Man in Traffic Stop

September 25, 2014, ABC News: Dashcam video captured the moment a South Carolina state trooper shot an unarmed man during a traffic stop earlier this month.

The trooper, Sean Groubert, was arrested Wednesday and charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

September 25: CHP agrees to settle, officer resigns in beating case

September 24, 2014, LA Times: California Highway Patrol officer caught on video repeatedly punching a woman on the 10 Freeway earlier this year has agreed to resign, the agency said late Wednesday..

The CHP announced that Officer Daniel Andrew was stepping down and that the state law enforcement agency had agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit brought by the woman, Marlene Pinnock, 51.

September 25: Marijuana legalization effort begins in California

September 25, 2014, USA Today: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A U.S. marijuana advocacy group took steps Wednesday to begin raising money for a campaign to legalize recreational pot use in California in 2016, a move with potential to add a dose of extra excitement to the presidential election year.

The Washington, D.C.-based group also has established campaign committees to back legalization measures in Arizona, Massachusetts and Nevada in 2016.

September 24: D.C. police will wear body cameras as part of pilot program

September 24, 2014, Some will mount to a D.C. police officer’s collar or to the front of the officer’s shirt. Another model will be mounted to an eyeglass frame. But all will be ready to record the movements of 165 police officers as they interact with the public every day.

On Wednesday, Lanier and Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) released details of the six-month, $1 million program, which has been in development for more than a year. Starting Oct. 1, dozens of officers will test five camera models in each of the city’s seven police districts as well as in the school security and special operations divisions.

September 24: NYC mayor de Blasio facing criticism for curbing counterterrorism programs

September 17, 2014, Homeland Security Newswire: New York City mayor Bill de Blasio is facing backlash over his decision to curb several counterterrorism programs introduced by former mayor Michael Bloomberg. Among other things, de Blasio has restricted the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program; approved issuing municipal IDs of standards lower than those mandated by the federal government’s RealID program; is refusing to reinstate a special surveillance program which targeted Muslim communities in New York; and has also replaced the highly regarded deputy police commissioner for intelligence.

September 24: FBI Can’t Find Files After Spending $550M to Digitize Them

September 24, 2014, NextGov: This story has been updated to include a comment from the FBI on the status of improvements.

FBI special agents and technicians say the agency’s first-ever, decade-in-the-making computerized case system has slowed their investigations and work, according to an internal audit.

The computer application, called Sentinel, was flipped on in 2012 to make cases easier to search, both for clues and possible links to other ongoing investigations. Previously, FBI personnel had shared information, approved documents and updated files by circulating piles of paper.

An inspector general report released Wednesday finds the majority of employees feel the program has had an “overall positive impact on the FBI’s operations, making the FBI better able to carry out its mission, and better able to share information.”

But a subset of employees, including special agents and technicians, report that headaches with the new system, such as ineffective searching and burdensome indexing, persist.

Link to report:
http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/2014/a1431.pdf

September 23: A Watchdog for the NYPD Is Accepting Complaints

September 22, 2014, NY Times: For months now, Mayor Bill de Blasio has peppered his remarks on improving relations between the police and the community with references to the new office of the inspector general for the New York Police Department. The office, the mayor has suggested, would be an early warning system for potential flare-ups of the sort that engulfed the department over its stop-and-frisk policies.

On Monday, the inspector general’s office became a part of the real world of police oversight and citizen involvement, unveiling its website and encouraging New Yorkers, including whistle-blowers, to come forward.

September 23: Ex-Trenton police officer charged with stealing drugs

Another Oxy case!!! As you know this is a big problem.  Make sure you have an inspections process in place for your drug room!!! Lt. Dan

September 5, 2014, Times Free Press: Investigators say Trenton, Ga., police officer Shawn Dewey Chapa sneaked into the evidence room and walked away with hydrocodone, oxycodone and other pills.

September 23: LA County Sheriff’s Department testing body cameras at 4 stations

LOS ANGELES — Dozens of sheriff’s deputies at four stations in Los Angeles County are testing body cameras during a six-month pilot program, officials said Monday.

A total of 96 cameras are now being tested in Antelope Valley and in the harbor region. Deputies in the San Gabriel Valley and portions of South Los Angeles will begin testing by the end of the week

September 23: Predictive Policing: The Promise and Perils

September 22, 2104, Gov Tech: As analytical tools have become more sophisticated and data sets much larger, the ability to forecast crime has grown more nuanced.  Some of the pros and cons identified by the Rand study.

September 23: Denver concedes liability for acts of deputies in inmate death

September 19, 2014, Denver Post: In an unusual move for a government entity presumed immune from civil liability, city of Denver defense attorneys have stipulated that the city is liable for the actions of five deputies accused of causing the 2010 death of jail inmate Marvin Booker.

The strategy helps Denver because it could mean plaintiffs will not be allowed to present evidence at trial of numerous excessive-force complaints that have recently plagued Denver, legal experts say.

September 23: Top-level turnover makes it harder for DHS to stay on top of evolving threats

September 21, 2014, Washington Post: An exodus of top-level officials from the Department of Homeland Security is undercutting the agency’s ability to stay ahead of a range of emerging threats, including potential terrorist strikes and cyberattacks, according to interviews with current and former officials.

Over the past four years, employees have left DHS at a rate nearly twice as fast as in the federal government overall, and the trend is accelerating, according to a review of a federal database.

The departures are a result of what employees widely describe as a dysfunctional work environment, abysmal morale, and the lure of private security companies paying top dollar that have proliferated in Washington since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

September 23: Florida fires 32 prison guards after inmate deaths

September 21, 2014, Tallahasse: MIAMI –  The state of Florida fired 32 prison guards Friday as part of an investigation into the deaths of inmates at four state prisons.

September 23: DOJ’s Ferguson Town Hall Meetings Ban Media, Non-Residents

September 22, 2014, Huffington Post: WASHINGTON — An obscure arm of the Justice Department known as “America’s peacemaker” banned reporters and non-residents from two town hall meetings Monday in Ferguson, Missouri. The ban was enforced by Ferguson police officers, even though a city spokesman said local officials wouldn’t prevent outsiders from attending.

September 23: Media Groups Ask DOJ To Include Police-Media Relations In Ferguson Probe

September 23, 2014: A coalition of 44 media groups organized by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is calling on the U.S. Justice Department to include in its probe of last month’s killing of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., “an examination of the manner in which police interact with and release information to the public and the press during such contentious events.” The organizations say, “An important element of protecting civil rights is allowing uninhibited news coverage of the sometimes scalding controversies that follow race, gender, and other issues relating to political equality around the nation.”

September 23: As Run-Ins Rise, Police Take Crash Courses On Handling Mentally Ill

September 22, 2014, A number of high-profile police shootings, including that of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., last month, have led to increased scrutiny of police interactions with civilians.

September 23: Will Smartphone Encryption Hamper Law Enforcement?

September 22, 2014, Wall Street Journal: New encryption technology that puts some data on smartphones out of the reach of police and the courts are raising some alarms. WSJ’s Danny Yadron reports on the News Hub with Sara Murray.

September 23: Gilbert AZ police to test body cameras

September 22, 2014, AZCentral: Some patrol officers in the Gilbert Police Department will begin wearing cameras the first week of October as a pilot project to decide whether to order more for permanent use.

The department is spending $130,000 to purchase 32 cameras for the pilot project that will run through December. The price includes the cameras and data storage for three years.

September 23: NJ Police Dashcam Video Shows Different Side To Man’s Harassment Claims

This is the third case I have seen recently where an audio or video recording has cleared an officer of false allegations.  Good cases for on body cameras and officer buy in for the technology. Lt. Dan

September 22, 2014, CBS: NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A New Jersey man claims he was harassed by police and has video evidence to prove it, but the police dashcam of the officer who pulled him over was also recording — and police said that video shows a completely different set of events.

September 22: Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for police, even with search warrants

September 9, 2014, Washington Post: Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user information.

September 22: Baltimore Mayor criticizes police handling of video case and calls for plan to address brutality

September 17, 2014, The Baltimore Sun: The Mayor says changes needed to Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights.  Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake criticized the Police Department’s handling of a high-profile police brutality investigation on Wednesday, and said she had directed the police commissioner to develop a “comprehensive” plan to address brutality in the agency.

Speaking to reporters at City Hall, the mayor said top commanders should have quickly seen a video of an officer repeatedly punching a man, and should have moved immediately to take the officer off the street.”It is outrageous,” Rawlings-Blake said of the conduct of the officer shown in the video, whom authorities have identified as Officer Vincent E. Cosom. “We have a situation where we know that video was held by the police, yet the people who needed to see it didn’t see it. That’s a problem.”

A police surveillance camera captured the incident on North Avenue the night it happened in June, and a department monitor flagged the footage, officials have said. Though prosecutors and detectives from internal affairs were aware of it, officials said, Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said he didn’t see it until Monday — the day it was made public as part of a $5 million lawsuit filed against Cosom. Cosom remained on the job until he was suspended with pay Tuesday.

September 22: Houston PD probe may lead city to dismiss hundreds of tickets

September 18, 2014, Houston Chronicle: Prosecutors are dismissing what could be hundreds of traffic tickets written by four Houston police officers under investigation for potentially falsifying citations, the latest scandal to hit the state’s largest police force.

An internal affairs investigation was prompted by allegations that some officers who were listed as witnesses on traffic citations were not present when the violation or offense occurred, Chief Charles McClelland said Thursday. The Houston Police Department’s investigation is now focusing on four officers who were recently relieved of duty.

September 22: ACLU-PA files lawsuit against city police officer

September 20, 2014, PhillyTrib: The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) and civil rights attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a local woman who was forcefully restrained by a Philadelphia police officer for photographing the arrest of a protestor.

This is the fifth in a series of ACLU-PA lawsuits aimed at stopping the Philadelphia police practice of confronting individuals who observe or record the police performing their duties.

September 22: Las Vegas cop behind controversial killing now influential union leader

September 21, 2014, Review Journal: Detective Bryan Yant was the face of incompetence at the Metropolitan Police Department: a poster child for wrongful shooting deaths and million-dollar payouts, a driving force behind sweeping reforms to the agency’s deadly force policies.

The officer, in­famous for the 2010 killing of Trevon Cole, a small-time marijuana dealer, is doling out advice in his new job as a union director in the Las Vegas Police Protective Association.

September 22: Apple Privacy Policy Seen as a Double Down on Security

September 21, Govt Tech: The company has reworked its latest encryption so only the owner of the device it’s on can gain access to user data typically stored on iPhones and iPads.  Apple’s new privacy policy was perceived Thursday as a new hard line meant to counter allegations that technology companies participate too readily in government efforts to collect user information.

September 22: Two Baltimore councilmen to file bill requiring city police to wear body cameras

Two City Councilmen plan to submit legislation today requiring every police officer in Baltimore to wear a body camera that records audio and video as the officers go about their jobs.

September 22: How long should it take to fire a police officer?

David Bisard’s resignation from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department last November severed the final tie the disgraced former officer had with a department stung by his fatal drunken driving case.

The contentious case also brought to light another issue — the length of time it takes for IMPD to fire an officer. More than three years passed from the time Bisard rammed his patrol car into a group of motorcyclists — killing one and injuring two others — until he officially left the department.

Officials pledged to seek Bisard’s firing in the days after the fatal accident he caused in August 2010. But city code wouldn’t allow such steps to be taken that quickly. The code specifically prevents the police chief from recommending termination — and the Civilian Police Merit Board from hearing and deciding cases — until after an officer’s criminal case is resolved.

September 22: ABQ council passes ‘historic’ overhaul of police oversight system

Albuquerque’s police force would face more robust civilian oversight under a bipartisan plan that emerged out of a bruising City Council debate late Thursday.

But neither the police union nor civil-rights activists seemed particularly happy with the proposed measure, which now goes to the mayor.

The union, in fact, predicted that passage of the ordinance will result in litigation for jeopardizing the rights of officers and violating the terms of their contract with the city.

The proposal abolishes the old Police Oversight Commission and replaces it with a new “Civilian Police Oversight Agency.”

There would be a Police Oversight Board and an executive director who would lead an administrative office that investigates complaints against police.

The agency would be funded through a dedicated amount of one-half of 1 percent of APD’s budget. That would boost the funding from about $500,000 to $750,000 a year.

September 22: IT insolvencies rise as startups take risks with digital technology

Use caution when selecting an IT product vendor, particularly in the area of emerging IT tech.  Lt. Dan

September 22, 2014, Insolvencies among information and communication companies have risen year-on-year by just under 10% in the quarter to August, up from 495 to 542. This is a decrease from the figure of 581 for March to May, although that was a rise on the previous year of 7.2%.

September 21: Big data meets crime fighting: Seattle police launch SeaStat to quickly pinpoint ‘crime hotspots’

September 21: People are using data to help analyze elections, stocks and sporting events.

September 20, 2014, GeekWire.com: Now, the Seattle Police Department — under the direction of newly-appointed chief Kathleen O’Toole — has launched a new program called SeaStat that’s attempting to use data to help wipe out “crime hotspots” across the city. The program also includes community reports of incidents.

September 21: NOPD wants more money for body cameras, despite low usage found in recent report

September 19, 2014, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Friday (Sept. 19) asked the City Council for an additional $4 million in Police Department funding, in part to pay for new body and dash cameras.

September 21: Police chiefs pledge more transparency after Ferguson

September 17, 2014, (Reuters) – Dozens of police chiefs meeting in Chicago this week said a notorious fatal police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri in August had been a defining moment for law enforcement and pledged greater transparency over such incidents.

Speaking to Reuters in a group interview, the heads of police of Dallas, Chicago, Austin, Houston, Elk Grove, California, Boston, and Toronto, Canada said that every police shooting since Ferguson has been followed by protests.

They said they had agreed to quickly release details of such shootings, including names of officers involved, in jurisdictions where it is legal to do so.

September 21: Three finalists for Portland job to monitor compliance of mandated police reforms

September 5, 2014, OregonLive: The city has named three finalists for the job of compliance officer, the person  tasked with monitoring how the city is adhering to a negotiated settlement with federal justice officials that requires changes to Portland polices, training and oversight .

September 21: Dallas police union issues road map for improved morale

September 16, 2014, WFAA.com: DALLAS — The Dallas Police Association says the Dallas Police Department has a morale problem, and the employee group says it knows what needs to be done to make it better.

To that end, the DPA issued a “10-point plan to reform the Dallas Police Department.” Some of the recommendations have been sticking points for years — such as changing the department’s strict chase polices, following transfer procedures, and clarifying when officers can use deadly force.

September 21: Bratton’s Numbers on Use of Force by New York Police Raise Questions

September 18, 2104, New York Times: When Police Commissioner William J. Bratton appeared before the New York City Council on Sept. 8, he brought three large charts showing a two-decade decline in the use of force by officers.

One stood out with its steep drop and surprising statistics: Of nearly 400,000 arrests last year, only about 2 percent, or roughly 8,000, involved force recorded by the officer, down from 8.5 percent two decades ago.

Mr. Bratton heralded the numbers, saying they showed an “extraordinary record of restraint” by officers and suggesting they provided a retort to the outcry over the deadly arrest of Eric Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk in July. Force is not commonplace, he said; it is rare.

September 21: Police Accept Restrictions on Using Decoy Purses

September 17, 2104, Under a decade-old decoy operation known as Lucky Bag, New York City police officers place purses, wallets or other valuables out in the open and wait to see who takes them.

The ploy has led to the arrest of thieves, but it has also ensnared passers-by who insist they had picked up the valuables, often left on subway platforms or in Central Park, only in the hope of returning them to their rightful owners.

As early as 2007, judges and prosecutors criticized the way the Police Department ran the decoy operation. In 2012, the department’s top legal official acknowledged that in some arrests it was not clear that the person who had picked up the property had intended to commit larceny.

Now, the department has agreed to new oversight and restrictions for the decoy operation, according to court documents filed on Tuesday in Federal District Court in Brooklyn.

September 21: Boston police wisely jettison outmoded civil service exams

September 15, 2014, Boston Globe:  A federal judge recently ruled that the civil service exams used historically to promote police officers in Boston did not discriminate against minority officers who generally score lower than their white counterparts. But that doesn’t alter the test’s fundamental problem: The civil service exam, which mostly measures rote memory skills, is a poor mechanism for promoting police officers regardless of race. Wisely, the Boston Police Department has jettisoned the civil service test.

September 21: Albuquerque Police Defend Camera Contract

September 19, 2014, Officer.com: Albuquerque police officials defended APD’s sole-source contract for lapel cameras with Taser International, telling the city’s Office of Internal Audit that the contract did not violate any city, state or federal regulations.

APD’s contract with Taser is for about $1.95 million.

APD has a total of 715 on-body lapel cameras, which is the most of any police department in the country, Schultz said this week.

 

 

September 21: Joseph McNamara, former San Jose police chief, dies

September 20, 2014, SF Gate: Joseph D. McNamara, a former San Jose police chief who gained national attention for his progressive views on community policing, drugs and gun control, passed away on Friday at his Monterey home of pancreatic cancer. He was 79.

Mr. McNamara, who started his career as a Harlem beat cop in New York City and earned a doctorate from Harvard University, served as San Jose’s police chief from 1976 until retiring in 1991. He worked as a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution from 1991 until his death, and wrote five novels dubbed cop noir.

September 21: Cases could be jeopardized after ex-Longwood police chief allegedly hired felon for bribes

September 19, 2014, wftv.com/news: ORLANDO, Fla. — 9 Investigates has learned Longwood’s former police chief is accused of hiring a convicted felon as an officer and then took thousands of dollars in bribes from the man.

Channel 9′s Ryan Hughes found former Longwood police Chief Thomas Jackson allegedly went to great lengths to keep the situation under wraps.

The federal court indictment lists the scathing allegations against Jackson, saying he violated federal law when he hired convicted felon Samer Majzoub while obtaining federal grant money.

September 21: Mount Vernon Police Slow To Update Sex Offender Info, Audit Finds

September 19, 2104, Daily Voice: MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. — The Mount Vernon Police Department was one of several around the state that failed to take swift action to update information and photographs for sex offenders, according to LoHud.com.

An audit conducted by the office of Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli reported Mount Vernon and other police departments failed to verify addresses and update pictures for sex offenders, according to the story.

Link to audit report:
http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/swr/2014/SORA/global.pdf

September 21: Baltimore police should revamp misconduct probes, audit says

September 20, 2014, Baltimore Sun: Even as the Baltimore Police Department faces criticism over its handling of an officer caught on video punching a suspect, an outside audit of the Internal Affairs Division has raised questions about the thoroughness and fairness of the agency’s misconduct investigations.

Among the other findings:

•Internal Affairs officers need additional training to make sure investigations are complete, thorough and fair. They also need better legal advice throughout the probes to make sure the cases are successfully presented to trial boards, which determine guilt or innocence.

•Internal Affairs and district-level investigators are frequently taken from their jobs to supplement patrol staffing at special events and to cover overtime posts — a practice that Kruger recommended stopping.

•The division has used questionnaires to replace or supplement interrogations of officers accused of misconduct. The forms can be completed off-site with the help of any person, including officers’ attorneys.

“These questionnaires are an ineffective investigative technique and the use of them diminishes the reputation of” Internal Affairs, Kruger wrote.

September 21: Law enforcement finds arbitration imperfect

September 21, 2014, Columbian:  In lieu of legislative changes, some law enforcement agencies have sought to bypass arbitrators by coming up with alternative ways to get rid of officers accused or convicted of crimes — such as payoffs in exchange for a resignation — but those methods don’t prevent the officer from taking a job at a different law enforcement agency.

September 20: FBI adds animal cruelty as ‘crime against society’ in uniform crime report

September 19, 2014, NJ.com: The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced this week that it will start reporting crimes of animal cruelty as a separate offense under its uniform reporting system, leading the way for more comprehensive statistics on animal abuse.

September 20: Jailed, some mentally ill inmates land in lockdown

September 20, 2104, AP: In jails around the country, inmates with serious mental illnesses are kept isolated in small cells for 23 hours a day or more, often with minimal treatment or human interaction.

Some states have moved to curb long-term “solitary confinement” in prisons, where research shows it can drive those with mental illnesses further over the edge. But there has been little attention to the use of isolation in the country’s 3,300 local jails, the biggest mental health facilities in many communities.

Unlike prisons, jails hold those awaiting trial or serving shorter sentences, limiting time in lockdown. But inmates with serious mental illnesses are more likely to break rules and stay jailed longer, increasing the chances of weeks or months in isolation that risks inflicting additional psychological damage.

A report obtained by The Associated Press found mentally ill inmates in New York City’s jails were disproportionately put in lockdown, some for thousands of days. Inmates who spent time in isolation were far more likely to harm themselves, according to a second report by staff of the city’s health department.

September 19: The subdued media response to murders of police officers

September 18, 2014, LEO Affairs online: Editorial: Although media outlets report police officers killed, the depictions seem scant in nature. Brief blurbs in comparison to, say, the Ferguson-based incident imply bias. Both the media and citizenry appear to voice less concern, loss, and empathy when reports of slain cops transpire. Why?

Is it based on what John Jay College of Criminal Justice criminologist David Kennedy calls “implicit bias”? Via an article published in The Crime Report, Kennedy theorizes the “unconscious distrust that clouds many police-community interactions” is firmly rooted, creating a metaphorical wedge dividing one from the other. Is it possible the distance people place between themselves and the police engenders apathy to the level of a non-reaction to police murders?

September 18: Sebastian FL police officer arrested on drug-related charges

Another oxcy case, if you are not doing random inspections on your drug room, you should consider implementing them.  If you need some ideas on property inspections, give us a call. Lt. Dan.

September 14, 2014, SEBASTIAN — Police arrested one of its veteran sergeants on charges of trafficking in oxycodone and tampering with evidence, a police spokesman said in a prepared statement Sunday.

Sgt. William Grimmich, 45, a 25-year veteran of the department, was jailed early Sunday on the two felony charges and is being held in the Indian River County Jail in lieu of a $150,000 bail.

He is on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the case.

The case “is shocking information to us (a police agency of 37 officers)” in Indian River County’s largest city, said police spokesman Officer Steve Marcinik. “We had no hint. It caught us off guard.”

Sebastian Police Chief Michelle Morris said routine accounting and auditing procedures earlier this year revealed discrepancies in the amount of controlled substances placed in the police evidence room. The chief, in consultation with the State Attorney’s Office, immediately requested an independent investigation by an outside agency so the inquiry wouldn’t appear biased.

September 18: Meet Don Hrycyk, the LAPD’s Veteran Art Detective

Not audit related but I found it interesting, check out some of the cases on the LAPD website link :  Lt. Dan

September 17, artnet.com: Los Angeles Police Department’s Art Theft Detail, the only unit of its kind in the country, has cracked some impressive cases, reports the Los Angeles Register. Sixty-three-year-old detective Don Hrycyk, the squad’s leader and only member, has been a full-time art cop for 20 years, and has been on the force for twice as long.

Over the decades, working mostly without a partner, he’s recovered over $107 million worth of stolen goods. “These are big cases, multimillion-dollar cases. The problem is that it was never meant for one person, wandering a city of 4 million people and handling these cases alone,” he told the Register.

http://news.artnet.com/in-brief/meet-don-hrycyk-the-lapds-veteran-art-detective-105921

September 18: Commission grounds LAPD’s drones until guidelines formed

September 15, 2014, Daily News: As local officials debate whether and how to make use of drones, the Los Angeles Police Commission on Monday announced it has placed two of the devices under the authority of the LAPD’s Inspector General until an official department policy is adopted.

September 18: Justice Department study to explore police bias

September 16, 2014, USA Today/DOJ News Brief: 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 17: Fracking’s Financial Losers: Local Governments

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.

September 17: Columbus, Ohio, Buying Software to Improve Crime DNA Analysis

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:
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/03/26/police-investigate-DNA-results.html

September 17: New Device in the Works to Catch Texting Drivers

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.

September 17: OJJDP Releases Guide to Law Enforcement Response to Child Abuse

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 16: Bratton Hires Ex-NYPD Official to Revamp Use-of-Force Training

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: Wisconsin DOJ wants additional $738,000 for officer-involved death investigations

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: White House backs use of body cameras by police

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 16: Cell Phone App Prevents Texting While Driving

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: Sacramento City Council to review cellphone audit

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:

http://portal.cityofsacramento.org/Auditor/Reports/Audit-Reports

 

September 15: Ex-Phoenix officer gets prison for stealing drugs

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 15: Three Myths About Police Body Cams

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 15: New app will fly drone to your emergency situation

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: FBI’s face-tracking program up and running

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 14: Resignation Leaves King County Sheriff Oversight In Doubt

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.”

September 14: San Diego Police Staffing Problem Growing Worse

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:

http://kpbs.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/news/documents/2014/09/11/IBAreport-09112014.pdf?__utma=172782713.1507971651.1395983454.1400547495.1410757189.4&__utmb=172782713.15.7.1410757285463&__utmc=172782713&__utmx=-&__utmz=172782713.1410757189.4.4.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=(not%20provided)&__utmv=-&__utmk=100779457

September 14: Include St. Louis shooting in investigation of civil rights violations

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 14: LAPD Union Declares Impasse In Contract Talks

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.

September 14: Chicago police commander sued for allegedly putting gun in man’s mouth

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.

September 14: Justice Department denies reports of investigation of Chicago police shootings

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 13: Community Oriented Policing Services Outlines Best Practices for Use of Body-Worn Cameras for Police Officers

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:

http://ric-zai-inc.com/ric.php?page=detail&id=COPS-P296

September 13: Poll Voters mostly approve of police, but views split along racial lines

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..

September 13: Policing and Wrongful Convictions, NCJ Number: 246328

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:

https://ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/246328.pdf

September 13: RICO Sheriff Charged With Attempted Misconduct (cyberstalking) Resigns

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.

September 13: Office of Independent Monitor identifies ‘critical issues’ within the Denver Sheriff’s Department

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:

http://media.thedenverchannel.com/documents/Letter%20from%20N%20Mitchell%20to%20Councilman%20Lopez.pdf

September 12: Columbus Ohio safety director announces retirement after mayor’s reprimand

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 12: LAPD Encounters Fingerprint Backlog Due To Staffing Shortage

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 12: DOJ Employees Avoid Prosecution; Are There Two Standards Of Justice?

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 12: NYPD, Bratton Defends His Policing Policies

September 10, 2014, Wall Street Journal: Expects Crime in New York City to Decrease for the 24th Consecutive Year.

September 12: St. Louis County Police Get Body Cameras; One Of Largest U.S. Forces To Do So

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 12: Mostly White Forces in Mostly Black Towns: Police Struggle for Racial Diversity

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:

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/183648.pdf

September 12: Florida prison system, under fire, releases data on inmate deaths

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 12: The “Silent Epidemic” Of Domestic Violence By Police Officers

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 11: NJ police camera bill signed into law

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.

September 11: Police body cameras to be mandatory under Norcross’ proposed bill

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: Huge Los Angeles Raid Nets $90M in Cartel Money

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.

September 11: L.A. County Sheriff’s Department overstated violent crimes, audit finds

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 11: Atlantic City Police Department may be replaced by county-run force

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.

September 10: Coral Gables FL. Police Chief Dennis Weiner resigns amid crime statistics controversy

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 10: Fort Worth police chief gets vote of confidence

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 10: Dallas police to sideline officers for a month after shootings, other traumatic events

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 10: Seattle police officer crowd funds lawsuit

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.

September 10: NOPD among the most racially balanced U.S. police departments; Hispanic officers lacking across country

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?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline/wp/2014/08/22/do-diverse-police-forces-treat-their-communities-more-fairly-than-all-white-ones-like-fergusons/

Lt. Dan

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 10: Bay area police agencies consider body cameras

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 10: I-Team: Harbor Police officer arrested on numerous fraud charges

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: Military surplus equipment has saved officers’ lives, needs better oversight, Police Foundation President Jim Bueermann tells US Senate Committee

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 9: Attorney General Holder Announces New Drug Take-Back Effort to Help Tackle Rising Threat of Prescription Drug Addiction and Opioid Abuse

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: Justice Department jeopardizes Ferguson case

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: Justice Department Watchdog Complains Of Interference

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:

http://www.justice.gov/oig/testimony/t140909.pdf

September 9: Albuquerque officials to Nevada to study police

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: Indy Council Clears Funding For More Police

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 9, D.C. is the Wild West when enforcing tickets for traffic violators, audit finds

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:

http://app.oig.dc.gov/news/view2.asp?url=release10%2FPATE%5Ffinal%5F9%2D8%2D2014%2Epdf&mode=release&archived=0&month=00000&agency=0

September 9: HealthCare.gov Breached, No Data Stolen

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.

http://www.idtheftcenter.org/ITRC-Surveys-Studies/2013-data-breaches.html

September 8: Albuquerque PD DOJ Changes

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: Judge Won’t Disband Polygamous Sect Police

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 5: DOJ announces Pattern or Practice Investigation into Ferguson Police Department

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: Chicago police to get 11 percent raise over 5 years

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 5: With Reporting Voluntary, FBI Justifiable Homicide Data “Very Incomplete”

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 5: New York Police Officers to Start Using Body Cameras in a Pilot Program

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 5: Audit OKs Justice Department’s use of ‘material witness’ detention powers

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:

http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/2014/s1409r.pdf

September 4: Feds launch probe of Ferguson police department

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: FBI mum on why former Milwaukee chief still holds top job

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.

Sept 4: Federal agencies investigating Hebron Ohio PD

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: Departments use technology to ID troubled officers

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: Justice Department to investigate Ferguson police in wake of shooting

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 3: Attorney says feds investigating shootings by Chicago police

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: Judge Says Los Angeles Law Enforcement Doesn’t Need To Turn Over License Plate Reader Data

September 3: NYPD goes to ‘Twitter school’

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: D.C. cops making big investment in body cameras for patrol

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: Iveda’s live-streaming body cam software maximizes real-time awareness

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 3: St. Louis County reveals cost for Ferguson law enforcement

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: Tucson Police chief speaks on new policy: Ticket quota or proactive policing?

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: Cameron McLay named chief of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police

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: Guns still missing five months after ND Game and Fish audit

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:

http://watchdog.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2014/08/228314382-Game-Fish-Audit.pdf

September 1: Dozens of police agencies report loss of Pentagon-supplied military weapons

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: Visible tattoo ban for San Antonio police officers

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: Okla. cop charged with assaulting 8 black women; NAACP seeks hate crime charges

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: Virgin Island PD head detective charged with making false report against fellow officer

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: Google Drones: Tech Giant Plans Robot Fleet

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.

August 29: Federal judge accepts agreement between DOJ, city of Portland over treatment of mentally ill

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 29: Police union tries to block camera plan for Miami-Dade officers

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: Following Ferguson, Push for Federal Oversight of Local Law Enforcement

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:

•Training:

•Accountability

•Diversity: “”

•Engagement:

•Demilitarization:

•Examination and Change:

•Oversight:

August 29: Denver Post review: Lengthy delays in sheriff’s disciplinary process

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

https://public.tableausoftware.com/profile/kevin.hamm#!/vizhome/DenverSheriff/Dashboard1

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

G.402

 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.