Using existing technology to safely manage cross-jurisdictional pursuits Police departments can now hand off surveillance of vehicle pursuits from one jurisdiction to another safely, quickly, and at minimal risk to the public
Jan 21, 2020
PoliceOne Brand Focus Staff
High-speed pursuits are a deadly problem for U.S. police departments. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, an average of 355 people were killed in high-speed pursuits every year between 1996 and 2015. That’s almost one person per day. In addition, there are upwards of 50,000 injuries per year from pursuit related events. The resulting financial strain is in the billions.
Technology can help police departments hand off pursuits from one jurisdiction to the next. (image/Getty)With statistics like these, it is no wonder that police departments are seeking safer alternatives to high-speed pursuits. At the same time, they still need to apprehend the vehicular perpetrators who are putting themselves, officers and the public at risk by escaping police at excessive speeds.
This conundrum only gets tougher when high-speed pursuits cross jurisdictional lines. Even with lots of warning, it is difficult for one police department to have cars in place ready to take over a pursuit from a neighboring jurisdiction. When they do succeed in taking over, the dangers inherent in any high-speed pursuit remain.
Addressing these issues is a big concern for Californian communities in Contra Costa County, including the cities of Pittsburg and San Pablo. Working together, their police departments have come up with a solution to this problem by leveraging their existing traffic cameras, automated license plate readers, and launchable GPS tags supplied by StarChase.
CONNECTING THE DOTS
Traffic cameras are a fixture in much of Contra Costa County. In the cities of Pittsburg and San Pablo, real-time videos are scanned by automated license plate readers (APLRs), which run the plates against stolen vehicle reports.
Cameras aimed at Interstate 80 are helping these departments detect and deter the increasing number of gang-related shootings taking place on I-80. The reason: The ALPRs alert the department to stolen vehicles typically used in such shootings as they hit the highway, often before the shootings actually take place.
The good news is that existing traffic cameras and ALPRs are identifying a record number of stolen vehicles as they move through Contra Costa County. This is an effective repurposing of existing city infrastructure.
The downside: More detected stolen vehicles on the I-80 means more police pursuits, which means more cross-jurisdictional handoffs.
The cities of Pittsburg and San Pablo are now working together to coordinate these hand-offs, aided by StarChase’s GPS tracking tags and AppTrac-365, their secure tracking app, together, they allow command staff, at multiple jurisdictions, simultaneously insight into the event. The result has been more vehicles intercepted and more arrests, with reduced risk to officers and the public.
MAKING PURSUITS SAFER
StarChase’s pursuit management system uses less-lethal GPS tags, which are aimed by vehicle-mounted or hand-held compressed air launchers at the suspect vehicle. The heavy-duty adhesive on the GPS tag enables the tag to stick firmly to the suspect vehicle, “tagging” it like a radio-tagged wild animal. The GPS tracker then sends real-time positional data to the agency’s StarChase web-based mapping platform.
Viewable at dispatch and on laptops, mobile data terminals, and smartphones, StarChase’s secure mapping displays (and records) the GPS-tagged vehicle’s real-time position on a computer street map, not dissimilar to Google Street View. This eliminates or minimizes the need for law enforcement to pursue the suspect in a traditional high-risk pursuit. Instead, officers use the GPS mapping data to plan and coordinate an adrenalin-free intercept of the vehicle down the road, or wherever law enforcement chooses to make the safe stop of the suspect. With this smart technology, command and control remain with law enforcement. And the suspect is no longer leading how the event will end.
One immediate safety benefit of the StarChase system: Data shows that as soon as the suspect believes that they are no longer being chased, they slow down. With reduced speed comes a significant reduction in risk of injury and loss of life.
THE CROSS-JURISDICTIONAL SOLUTION
When neighboring police departments use the StarChase pursuit management system – as is the case with Pittsburg and San Pablo – potentially life-saving results can occur.
Specifically, the two can keep each other alerted on fleeing/tagged vehicles approaching each other’s jurisdictions, monitor the same real-time tracking data on their secure StarChase mapping program and have cars in place to intercept the fleeing offenders in a tactical, low-adrenalin, low-speed manner.
Based on a recent IACP (International Chiefs of Police) presentation given by Pittsburg PD Captain Steve Albanese and San Pablo PD Lieutenant Mike Gancasz, titled “Multiagency Coordination Leveraging Existing City Infrastructure,” working together has delivered impressive results.
Since the StarChase technology was deployed by the two departments, their police vehicles have fired 230 GPS tracking darts at fleeing vehicles with 171 recorded hits, a success rate of 74%. More importantly, the joint efforts of Pittsburg and San Pablo have contributed to 113 arrests.
Worth noting: The same StarChase system can be used to track the GPS locations of police cars in real time, and to report when their speeds exceed pre-set maximums. This can be extremely helpful at the dispatch level in tracking which resources are involved in high-speed pursuits or able to render assistance in interceptions ahead of the fleeing vehicle. In addition, an app-based officer tracking tool provided by StarChase, AppTrack-365, enables an agency to track in real time all their officers whether on patrol or on foot. This combination of tools enables law enforcement to gain tactical visibility of both the suspect and their blue line force.
A BETTER, SAFER WAY TO REDUCE RISK AND CAPTURE THE VEHICLE SUSPECT
In a perfect world, high-speed chases would only take place in movies using trained stunt drivers on closed sets. No one would be injured or die due to a suspect’s dangerous driving and terrible impulse decisions, often made worse by alcohol and drugs.
No one knows better than police that this isn’t a perfect world, and that irresponsible, self-centered criminals think nothing of putting other people’s lives at risk as they race down the road in stolen cars.
The combination of inter-departmental cooperation, StarChase pursuit management technology and AppTrack-365 significantly reduces the risks when apprehending these criminals. By GPS tagging suspect cars, police can instantly de-escalate high-risk vehicle events and effect a reduced-risk suspect capture.
At the same time, the power of StarChase’s AppTrac-365 allows agencies full visibility of blue line resources during coordination of these reduced-risk suspect capture events. When used, this technology has shown its ability to increase officer and public safety, even when the event crosses jurisdictional boundaries.
The bottom line: It is possible to apprehend fleeing /high-risk vehicles safely, efficiently, and with high levels of success when agencies use StarChase risk-reducing technology.
How do you fight America’s deadliest drug?
Insights from veteran officers fighting fentanyl.
Law enforcement agencies need better resources to respond to the opioid crisis without sacrificing officer safety.
By PoliceOne Brand Focus Staff
Fentanyl has quickly become America’s deadliest drug. In 2016, a new record was set. Fentanyl-related overdose deaths surpassed common opioid painkillers and heroin and emerged as the leading cause of overdose-related deaths in the country. This opioid is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine and kills around 130 Americans a day on average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But what makes this crisis especially challenging is that new analogs (even naloxone/Narcan-resistant ones) are constantly being introduced.
Modern challenges like the opioid crisis call for modern, innovative approaches.
In response, law enforcement and its first responder partners have identified high-priority needs for improving responses to the opioid crisis nationwide through the Priority Criminal Justice Needs Initiative. These objectives include developing response models based on data gathered during investigations. Seized materials can be analyzed to inform public health and law enforcement interventions and help agencies be more agile in responding to needs for new equipment and approaches.
Patrick Glynn, commander of the narcotics special investigations unit for the city of Quincy, Massachusetts, saw a surge in opioid-related crime as early as 2008. After working in law enforcement for over three decades, he knew that law enforcement would play a critical role in the response to the nation’s unprecedented epidemic. Around the same time in Maine, Roy McKinney, director of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, also saw the rise of fentanyl in his communities and introduced evidence-based risk mitigation strategies.
Although both officers worked in communities about 120 miles apart, the challenge they shared was keeping up with evolving drug use trends and consequences. Both agencies needed to improve their drug field test capabilities to make informed decisions to disrupt the distribution of fentanyl.
That’s what drew the Quincy Police Department and the Maine DEA to add the MX908, a field ready trace detection device, to their arsenal of fentanyl fighting strategies. We asked McKinney and Glynn to share their experience with the MX908 and how it helps their agencies disrupt the distribution of fentanyl.
OVERCOMING THE LIMITATIONS OF TRADITIONAL FIELD TESTS
Using traditional presumptive drug testing methods like colorimetric tests had limited effectiveness in the face of the fentanyl crisis, though there have been advances. Some of the biggest drawbacks of using color-change tests include the subjectivity of test result interpretations, and possible risk of exposure. Similar to Raman and FTIR spectroscopy instruments, colorimetric tests also require bulk amounts of test samples, which is often unrealistic in field settings.
The potency of fentanyl and its analogs is also a big challenge; the active ingredient is so toxic that street samples contain relatively little active drug – sometimes 1 percent or less. Some leading field tests can reliably identify cutting agents and high concentration drugs but are unable to identify compounds under 10 percent concentration.
Unlike traditional detection techniques, the MX908 can identify trace amounts of fentanyl in the presence of a cutting agent in under a minute.
When fentanyl and its analogs first emerged on the drug market, McKinney recalled ordering his officers to hold off on testing bags that were possibly fentanyl-related to avoid exposure.
“It was all about the safety of officers as we learned about this drug,” said McKinney, who has worked in law enforcement since 1976.
That’s why using the MX908 was a no-brainer for McKinney and his agents, who knew that having a detection tool that could quickly and easily analyze substances at trace levels would not only improve officer safety, but also help reduce the backlog of substances that needed further testing.
Now in many cases, according to McKinney, officers don’t even need to open sample pouches to test substances. The MX908 allows users to simply swab outside of the package because the device can analyze substances at quantities invisible to the eye. What’s more, MX908 requires no extra steps, or extra chemicals, for the detection of drugs like heroin. And the portable design of the tool transformed the way Maine DEA agents conduct presumptive drug tests.
The devices’ broad trace detection capability was another differentiator for the Quincy PD.
“It used to take a very long time to test substances because we needed a specific test kit for each and every drug out there,” said Glynn. “But with MX908 it’s a no-brainer. We now have one device for the detection of priority drugs and more. The most outstanding part is that it can detect a wide variety of substances at trace levels.”
FOCUS ON PRIORITIZATION, REDUCING BACKLOG
Timely and accurate analysis of substances like fentanyl is critical to law enforcement. It is not uncommon to hear how inadequate resources can lead to backlogs in forensic laboratories, but for Glynn this has improved since his team started using the MX908.
“The MX908 allows us to bring presumptive drug test results into the grand jury session much quicker,” said Glynn. “We can now safely run tests out in the streets, quickly identify the harmful substance, and expedite adjudication to get these substances out of our communities.”
FOCUSING ON OFFICER SAFETY
As one of the first law enforcement leaders to encourage the use of Narcan to reverse overdoses, safety is a top-of-mind subject for Glynn.
“While the hype of fentanyl exposure to officers is great, we know that a small percentage of officers still overdose,” said Glynn. “That small percentage is still a percentage, and if officers don’t have naloxone with them to counteract that exposure, we could still end up with a risk.”
From Glynn’s perspective, adding the MX908 is adding another safety layer to protect officers.
Of course, resources and budgetary constraints are realities that every law enforcement agency faces, and Glynn says that modern challenges like the opioid crisis call for modern, innovative approaches.
“Some might say that having tools like the MX908 is a luxury, but I’d say that it’s a necessity of working in narcotics today,” said Glynn. “The safety, accuracy and speed with which we can identify substances without having to disturb the product itself is worth it – after all, it’s our job as administrators to make sure our officers have the tools they need to do their jobs.”
The History of Policing in the U.S.
Written by Dr. Gary Potter
Policing in an Age of Digital Evidence and DNA
Steven R. Casstevens, Chief of Police, Buffalo Grove Police Department, Illinois
Our society continues to change and evolve with constant advancements in science and research. Innovative technologies, novel communication platforms, and developments in data management mold how we live our lives, thereby also impacting the policing profession. We see profound examples of this through changes in our approaches to investigating criminal activity, as well as the processes we use to do so. In direct correlation to the shifting nature of criminal activity, our crime-solving methods have changed along with the challenges and barriers we face.
Our agencies are repeatedly confronted by the need for lawful access to encrypted data, advanced tools, and forensic capabilities. It is imperative that these demands, coupled with a sensitivity to individuals’ concerns over privacy and the increasing importance of digital evidence to investigations, are well understood. The International Association of Chiefs of Police understands this and recently passed two resolutions aimed at mitigating the challenges to investigating crime, including addressing concerns over privacy and liability.
Perhaps at the forefront of such changes are the methods in which we collect and analyze DNA. Private companies now evaluate DNA samples from private individuals at their request to provide a range of services such as delineating ancestry composition and predicting possible health predispositions. With these services becoming increasingly popular, their potential benefits to public safety also rise, with the opportunity for partnerships with law enforcement to generate leads and solve crimes. To date, law enforcement has been successful in following through on this opportunity, and DNA samples from violent crime scenes sent to these companies have led to the successful resolution of a significant number of crimes and several long-unsolved murders, including the arrest of the Golden State Killer.
Genetic testing and genealogy, therefore, have enormous potential benefits for public safety, the clearing of innocent parties, and the provision of justice for victims’ families. But with an increased wealth of information also comes public concern over privacy, and genealogy companies have remained hesitant to comply with law enforcement requests for DNA samples. The IACP calls upon our elected leaders to establish legislation to further support and enable the use of this investigative technique and urges genealogy companies to engage in productive dialogue with the law enforcement field in order to reach a balance between privacy and the safety of our communities. Honest conversation and reflection are crucial to upholding trust within our communities and making the policing profession as effective and efficient as possible.
Methods of storing and encrypting data have also had a profound influence on our profession’s ability to obtain vital information for investigations. In 2017, more than 130,000 requests for digital evidence were placed with just six tech companies—Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, Oath (formerly Yahoo), and Apple. A lack of regulation regarding lawful access to digital data has led to inconsistent compliance with such requests. Encryption has not only hindered law enforcement’s detection and prevention of crime, but it has also inhibited the identification of those responsible for crimes already committed. The expanding implementation of user-only access encryption has also been seen by some in the industry as a means of plausibly denying knowledge of and responsibility for the use of their services or devices by criminals, terrorists, and spies, thereby obviating any legal obligation to stop or mitigate such harm. While it is understood that no one technological solution will resolve everything, IACP’s resolution calls for the enactment of legislation and regulations regarding lawful access to digital data in order to aid in the investigation of criminal activity. Just as with DNA analysis, law enforcement must juggle privacy, liability, and lawful access concerns by continuing to work with industry leaders and elected officials. The ultimate goal of law enforcement should be to reach a balance between what we need to do to effectuate good police work while being understanding of communities’ concerns.
The ultimate goal of law enforcement should be to reach a balance between what we need to do to effectuate good police work while being understanding of communities’ concerns.
Recently, there has been forward movement in getting members of the U.S. Congress to understand the challenges for law enforcement, especially in cases involving human trafficking, child exploitation, and drug investigations. IACP leadership intends to continue talks with legislators and their staff to make progress in these critical areas.
While complex criminal activity continues to rise, it is important to note most crimes are still carried out through more commonplace approaches. In fact, more than 75 percent of crimes committed each year involve motor vehicles. The IACP understands the importance of providing resources that cover the gamut of criminal activity and investigative procedures. Recently, the Vehicle Crimes Committee created a comprehensive educational toolkit aimed at helping agencies better prepare to investigate vehicle-related crimes. I hope you review this toolkit and share it with members of your agency.
Access the 2019 IACP Resolutions.
Access the Educational Toolkit for Vehicle Crimes.
As enforcement continues to advance and the technologies that aid us in our daily jobs and investigations continue to expand, we must not lose sight of the fact that criminals will continue to advance and continue to have access to expanded technology to aid them in committing crimes.
In this ever-growing digital age, we must continue to evolve in the technology we use and our investigative tactics, while still maintaining public trust, safeguarding the public, and dismantling sophisticated transnational criminal networks. We must be committed to continued collaboration among law enforcement, government, and across the world to succeed.
Please cite as
Steven R. Casstevens, “Policing in an Age of Digital Evidence and DNA,” President’s Message, Police Chief 87, no. 2 (February 2020): 6–7.
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How cops will be affected by new gun laws in 2019.
Many new restrictions will impact law enforcement officers.
Jan 10, 2019
With the start of a New Year, many states often usher in new restrictions on the sale, purchase, transfer, ownership and use of firearms and ammunition. Many of these restrictions will have an impact on law enforcement officers, so it’s worth a moment to discuss some of them.
Citizens in California, Florida and Vermont will now be subject to additional restrictions that prohibit the purchase of firearms by adults under 21 years of age. Previously, young adults in these states could purchase long guns after age 18, but new laws will now prohibit them from making these purchases.
In this Oct. 4, 2017 file photo, a shooting instructor demonstrates the grip on an AR-15 rifle fitted with a "bump stock" at a gun club in North Carolina. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed, File)
BACKGROUND CHECKS AND WAITING PERIODS
Citizens in Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington will see changes to background check requirements in their states. Florida residents purchasing long guns will now have to abide by the existing three-day waiting period for handguns, and Illinois residents will have to wait three days to get their long guns as well. Residents of Washington will have to undergo a new 10-day waiting period after purchasing a semiautomatic rifle.
BUMP STOCKS AND TRIGGER ACTIVATORS
Citizens in California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Washington will face new restrictions on the purchase, ownership or use of bump stocks and trigger activating devices. It’s important to note that some of these laws are drafted in a way that their language could be interpreted to place restrictions on commonly used aftermarket replacement triggers, like those that are frequently installed as upgrades to stock factory units. A federal ban on similar devices – in the form of an ATF rule change – has been published in the federal register, and is now in effect as well.
Citizens in Washington will be subject to new laws that impose penalties on people who store their guns in a way that they remain accessible to prohibited persons. Officers with children at home who are not yet 21 years of age should be particularly concerned about the impact of this new law on their storage practices, since young adults are now considered “prohibited persons” in respect to semiautomatic rifles.
In California, certain provisions of the new ammunition laws will come into effect in 2019. The import or purchase of ammunition across state lines – such as internet sales, or purchasing ammo out of state and driving it back to California – without a license is already prohibited, and all ammunition sales must be processed through a registered dealer. But in June 2019, the background check requirement for ammunition sales will become active. This has the potential to impact law enforcement officers who want to purchase ammunition for training and practice, and will have a dramatic influence on the supply and demand of ammunition in the state, which will influence price and availability for agencies wishing to place orders.
Residents of New Jersey and Vermont will be subject to new laws that limit magazine capacity. In Vermont, the new limit will be 10 rounds for a long gun and 15 rounds for a handgun. The New Jersey law is more complex, and the limit depends on your status. Retired officers who are residents of New Jersey will continue to be permitted to possess a magazine that holds up to 15 rounds. Active officers who are off duty in New Jersey will be allowed to possess magazines that hold up to 17 rounds of ammunition, or more than 17 rounds if the firearm is issued by the officer’s agency for use in the officer’s official duties.
The New Jersey law passed earlier in 2018 previously prohibited the possession of magazines that held more than 10 rounds for off-duty and retired law enforcement officers, but was amended in the closing days of 2018. Despite the amendment, there are still concerns about the language of the New Jersey law. Most significantly, the status of retired officers who are not New Jersey residents is potentially still unclear, as it relates to LEOSA carry in New Jersey. The New Jersey statutes clearly allow retired officers who are New Jersey residents to make an application with the Superintendent of State Police to apply for an identification card that permits them to carry firearms with 15 round magazines, but the process for a non-resident, retired officer to carry under LEOSA is less clear. Additionally, the New Jersey law provides an exemption for off-duty active officers to possess magazines that hold more than 17 rounds if the firearm is “issued to the officer by the officer’s employer,” which creates potential jeopardy for an officer who is required to source and provide their own weapon (such as a personally-purchased patrol rifle). In any case, the New Jersey law’s exemption would not extend to magazines for personally-owned, non-duty weapons if the magazine capacity exceeded 17 rounds.
Some of these new laws have specific exemptions for law enforcement officers, but others do not. In the case where law enforcement exemptions are provided, it’s not always clear whether or not these exemptions apply strictly to firearms and ammunition that are used for duty, or if they also extend to firearms and ammunition that are privately-owned and/or kept for personal use. Officers in the these states will want to fully understand the details of these exemptions before they make assumptions that could get them in legal trouble.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR FAMILY?
Even if it’s determined that a law enforcement exemption applies to the personal property of the individual officer, there is no provision to extend that exemption to the officer’s family. A spouse, child, parent or other relative will be subject to the same restrictions as any other citizen of the state, which may create a problem for officers wishing to gift or transfer a firearm or ammunition, or allow access to them to family members that have suddenly become “prohibited persons” in the eyes of the law.
I DON’T LIVE THERE. WHO CARES?
Some of these laws have the potential to impact officers all over the United States because they apply to officers who want to carry their firearms under the guise of the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as “H.R. 218.” For example, Vermont House Bill 25 placed K-12 school buildings off limits to armed persons who are not law enforcement officers engaged in law enforcement duties. This would place these areas off limits to a retired or off-duty officer carrying under the terms of LEOSA. Additionally, the magazine capacity restrictions present in some states might arguably be applied to officers carrying under LEOSA, because the federal law doesn’t provide a specific exemption to these restrictions.
More important, once these laws take hold in some states, they may spread to other states not currently impacted by them. You may not live in a state with these restrictions right now, but these ideas could be introduced in your legislature.
A UNIQUE LEOSA CHALLENGE
An additional concern for officers is the apparent rejection of federal law by states who have declared that the provisions of LEOSA don’t apply within their borders.
The Hawaii Attorney General, for example, has published guidance that rejects the idea that off duty or retired law enforcement officers are covered by the terms of the federal law. Instead, Hawaii holds that officers in Hawaii who are not on official duty with their agency “are not considered a ‘law enforcement officer’ in the State of Hawaii,” and the state’s laws will be applied “as if they were civilians.” This, of course, is the very situation that LEOSA was signed into law to eliminate.
In practical terms, the Hawaii guidelines mean that off-duty or retired officers will be required to comply with registration requirements, pay registration fees ($43.25, as of January 1, 2019), comply with a 10-round magazine capacity limitation, and comply with restrictions on the type of ammunition that may be carried, to include a ban on ammunition that is designed to “segment” – a vague term that could be construed to apply to many types of commonly carried duty and defensive ammunition.
The constitutionality of such a move by the state of Hawaii is certainly suspect, but while the legal battle is waged, officers should be aware that they may be subject to legal jeopardy and may unwittingly become pawns in a political chess game if they don’t comply with the Hawaii guidelines.
NOT OVER YET
Many of these laws have been challenged in the courts, and others will see challenges in the near future. While some may be declared unconstitutional, they are still the law in their respective jurisdictions until they are stricken or enjoined by the courts.
Most of us have strong opinions about the constitutionality and effectiveness of these laws, but the reality is that officers are required to comply with these laws until they are voided by the courts. If you disagree with the laws, use the power of your voice and your vote to correct the situation for you, your family and your community.
In the meantime, make sure you stay educated on the status of gun laws in the areas where you live and travel with firearms. It’s important – for your sake, as well as the profession’s reputation – to ensure you don’t run afoul of these laws.
God bless you all and be safe out there.
About the authorMike Wood is the son of a 30-year California Highway Patrolman and the author of "Newhall Shooting: A Tactical Analysis," the highly-acclaimed study of the 1970 California Highway Patrol gunfight in Newhall, California. Mike is an Honor Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, a graduate of the US Army Airborne School, and a retired US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel with over 26 years of service. He’s a National Rifle Association (NRA) Law Enforcement Division-certified firearms instructor, serves as a member of the PoliceOne Editorial Advisory Board, and has written the “Tactical Analysis” column at PoliceOne.com since 2014. Mike is the senior editor at RevolverGuy.com, and has been a featured guest on the Excellence In Training Academy and American Warrior Society podcasts, as well as several radio and television programs. He’s grateful for the opportunity to serve and learn from the men and women of law enforcement.
19 on 2019: Expert predictions on the top police issues in 2019.
What challenges will law enforcement face in 2019?
Dec 11, 2018
By PoliceOne Staff
As 2018 comes to a close, it is time to look ahead to the critical issues, challenges and trends law enforcement faces in 2019.
PoliceOne asked 19 law enforcement experts to share their predictions of the biggest issues police will face in 2019 and their top tips for how to navigate the path ahead. Read their predictions in this slideshow – which you are welcome to download, print, or share on your social networks. You can also read the full text of the predictions and tips below the slide share and keep scrolling to the end of the article to add your predictions in the comments area for the top issues confronting law enforcement and police officers in 2019.
ACTIVE SHOOTER RESPONSE
The active shooter trend will not abate in 2019. While attacks from garden-variety crazies will certainly continue, it's possible that we'll see an increase in politically motivated attacks, as disaffected political groups continue their slide toward the violent radicalism that plagued America from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s. My hope for 2019 is that law enforcement leaders will take a more active role in promoting training the responsible citizens in their communities in the lawful and ethical use of force in self-defense.
Top Tip: If you're not already carrying an individual first aid kit (IFAK) on your person while on duty, fix that immediately. You can easily bleed out before you reach the kit in your patrol vehicle.
— Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Mike Wood is the son of a 30-year California Highway Patrolman and the author of “Newhall Shooting: A Tactical Analysis,” the highly-acclaimed study of the 1970 California Highway Patrol gunfight in Newhall, California.
2019 will usher in three major technologies – Next Generation 911 (NG911), Artificial Intelligence for 911 (AI911) and FirstNet. Implementation of NG911 infrastructure will allow emergency communications centers to accept text, photos and videos from citizens. This rich data, which will be supplemented with robust artificial intelligence search engines, will provide emergency call takers with more complete information before dispatching first responders. A social media dashboard, integrated into the CAD system, will generate mind-blowing possibilities. Even if only location accuracy is augmented for the caller with NG911 and AI, this will be a significant improvement compared to the current capabilities of most emergency call centers. FirstNet is being rapidly deployed to first responders, which will allow for quick and seamless transition of the super-rich data collected by call takers to first responders in the field.
Top Tip: An unintended consequence of this intelligent information will be that some call takers will find it challenging to witness the images coming into call centers, which will create vacancies in 911 centers and require a major training shift in order to replace those who depart and ensure that those being hired are capable of processing graphic information.
— Eddie Reyes is director of the 911 center in Prince William County, Virginia. He retired from the Alexandria Police Department with the rank of senior deputy chief after 25 years of service. He also served as a project manager at the National Police Foundation.
Civil unrest will continue to be a challenge for law enforcement in 2019. Currently, most agencies do not address crowd control training until they are found ill-prepared by a large disturbance. I predict that more academies and agencies nationwide will begin to deliver training to ensure every police officer is equipped to respond to civil unrest and the challenges posed by today's professional rioters.
Top Tip: Team training should take place shortly before any anticipated event, and at least once a year. The latter can be an opportunity to have officers clean and inspect their tactical equipment.
— Lt. Dan Marcou is an internationally-recognized police trainer who was a highly-decorated police officer with 33 years of full-time law enforcement experience. He is a co-author of “Street Survival II.”
Law enforcement needs to prepare for the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) such as wearable technology, internet-connected home assistants and vehicle infotainment systems. The growing reliance on digital evidence in both cybercrime and conventional criminal investigations will necessitate that agencies re-evaluate how to address the subsequent increased inventory of “virtual evidence” that must be preserved. Police agencies need to be able to substantiate the authenticity of digital evidence, while still providing access that offers verifiable accountability. This has the potential to become a mounting financial and logistical challenge.
Top Tip: Cloud-based storage options may offer an affordable solution over investing in servers maintained on an agency’s premises. However, departments must diligently consider various issues such as rules of evidence, cybersecurity and fiscal sustainability before deciding what solution meets their needs now and in the future.
— Major Christian Quinn is a 22-year veteran law enforcement officer and currently serves as the commander of the Cyber & Forensic Bureau with the Fairfax County Police Department in Fairfax, Virginia. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
Genetic genealogy will successfully be used to identify active serial offenders in addition to solving cold cases. New forensic technology advances, such as DNA methylation analysis and phenotype prediction of novel physical traits, will assist with these identifications.
Top Tip: Don’t wait for a case to go cold before employing advanced DNA analysis.
— CeCe Moore is the lead genetic genealogist at Parabon NanoLabs, and an internationally recognized DNA investigative expert, educator and pioneer in the field of genetic genealogy.
My hope is that evidence-based policing will enhance strategy, operational deployments, initiatives and policy while being aware of policing’s inherent uncertainty. Unfortunately, we will continue to resist research and data partly because U.S. policing is decentralized (18,000 individual police departments) and based mostly on tradition, culture, politics, law, agency-specific values and public opinion. However, if we look deeply at our roles in a democratic society and restructure reward systems that focus at times on deterrence/prevention (where appropriate) and legitimacy, then we may align our actions to desired outcomes. The result might be the institutionalization of evidence-based approaches to policing based partly on analyzing and assessing data with the exponential growth of leveraged technology and more crime analysts.
Top Tip: If police leaders can build a receptivity to scientific research in policing, then we might understand the impact of our responses by reviewing and using the best available evidence to inform, challenge and strategically inform our long-term decisions, policies and practices, and place cops at times and locations of crime to make us more effective in improving public safety.
— Jason Potts is a lieutenant with the Vallejo (Calif.) Police Department, a NIJ LEADS scholar, an American Society of Evidence-Based Policing (ASEBP) executive board member, a Police Foundation Fellow and a reserve special agent with the Coast Guard Investigative Service.
I predict that law enforcement agencies will push for more social service involvement with their homeless populations, as most issues facing these populations are best handled by those outside of law enforcement. Communities across the country have already begun to make this shift and I expect this to continue in 2019.
Top Tip: Engage your social service community and encourage them to respond to calls involving those who are experiencing homelessness alongside your officers. By doing so you can start the process of getting people the help they need from those who are best suited to provide assistance.
— Dr. Booker Hodges has been a police officer for over 11 years and currently holds the rank of undersheriff for the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Hodges is the only active police officer in the history of the NAACP to serve as a branch president.
More law enforcement agencies will hire civilian PIOs. This concept has been trending upward for approximately five years and it makes sense. Former journalists or candidates with communications backgrounds make for strong storytellers, which is traditionally a skill set law enforcement has lacked. This is not to say sworn PIOs can't do the job and do it well, but hiring media professionals to do a media job makes sense. Having a PIO who knows how the media operates, what “sells” and the ability to do it on a reporter's timeline generally generates positive press for the agency.
Top Tip: The civilian PIO or lead spokesperson should be a direct report to the police chief of sheriff. Barriers cause delays and there is little time for delay in today's split-second news cycle.
— Julie Parker is a former TV news reporter in Washington, DC, turned media relations director for two large suburban DC police departments, turned communications consultancy president.
MENTAL HEALTH RESPONSE
Local law enforcement agencies will be asked to assist federal law enforcement in the handling of potential targeted mass violence subjects who suffer from mental illness. These subjects often do not reach the threshold for prosecution and diversion to mental health linkages is a more appropriate response.
TOP TIP: Local agencies should reach out to their local mental health authority to determine what resources are available for these subjects. Federal agencies need to reach out to their local agencies to learn about their law enforcement/mental health collaborations and develop a system to refer subjects.
— Lieutenant Brian Bixler is a 22-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department and is in charge of the Mental Evaluation Unit and Threat Management Unit. He is the LAPD's Mental Illness Project Coordinator and is appointed to the Los Angeles County EMS Commission.
There will be continued training emphasis on responding to persons in crisis, the mentally ill and impaired. Health and wellness programs will be adopted by more agencies as part of officer survival. Technology will become increasingly important to the delivery of training from use-of-force simulation that approaches virtual reality to the development of on-demand learning modules that will enable officers to call up training they need while working on a problem in the field much as we might ask Alexa or Google for the weather forecast.
Top Tip: Body worn and other cameras are providing us with improved feedback on the effectiveness of training and increased transparency for law enforcement. Trainers can be of value in educating the public, politicians and pundits of the realities of use of force and other aspects of police work. Without this context we may be burdened with politically motivated training/policy that will not increase safety for anyone.
— Harvey V. Hedden is ILEETA’s executive director, having previously served as deputy executive director for six years. He served 38 years in law enforcement in ranks from patrolman to chief.
Millennial officers will continue advocating for increased resources for emotional wellness and a stigma-free culture in policing. While many administrators will see the value, they will be challenged in successful implementation if they are resistant to seeking out mental health services for themselves, having come up through the ranks when counseling and psychiatric medications were viewed as only for the weak. As a result, clinical depression, anxiety disorders and PTSD will go untreated in police officers and suicides will remain the same or increase because continued stigma prevents cops from seeking out services from a licensed mental health professional.
Top Tip: Make emotional wellness as important as tactical training. In order to be tactically strong, an officer needs to be emotionally intelligent as well. Begin implementing a wellness check program where officers are able to see a licensed mental health professional of their choosing in a completely confidential setting, three times a year. This will de-stigmatize the act of seeing a counselor, provide a therapeutic outlet and foster a relationship with a professional before a crisis hits.
— Officer Mike Wasilewski, LCSW, is a full-time police officer for a large Chicago suburban department. Both Mike and his wife, Althea Olson, LCSW, are psychotherapists at Fox Bend Counseling in Oswego, Illinois.
In the latter half of 2019, policing will begin to feel the effects of the coming global recession. This will be exacerbated by the impact of climate change on policing in the form of increased flooding, hurricanes, fires and drought, and flare ups of civil unrest in urban centers resulting from controversial police use-of-force incidents gone viral via social media. This will begin a noticeable reduction in personnel in many policing agencies and force the re-examination of basic service delivery models, civilianization, volunteers in policing and regionalized or consolidated/contracted services. It will also accelerate the expansion of disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, biometrics and drones in policing. These technological advances and integration in policing will outstrip practitioner understanding of their consequences and policy/legislation development, which will lead to increased tension in community-police relations.
Top Tip: To prepare for an increasingly unstable operating environment, agencies should make an organizational decision that focusing on the department’s future is a priority and take definitive steps to operationalize and support the decision. Agencies should designate an organizational champion to lead the “developing organizational foresight” initiative.
— Chief Jim Bueermann (ret.) began his policing career in 1978 with the Redlands (Calif.) Police Department, retiring as chief and director of housing, recreation and senior services in 2011. In 2012 he was appointed the President of the National Police Foundation, America’s oldest non-membership, non-partisan police research organization.
We recognize that we cannot arrest our way out of the opioid epidemic. This has led to a shift in police culture toward proactive non-arrest programs that prevent overdose deaths, improve public safety and enhance trust between police and communities. Police now have tools in their toolkit that enable them to create pathways to treatment and recovery. As more departments join PAARI and see the benefits to their communities, my prediction is that these non-arrest responses to the opioid epidemic will become a widespread practice in many more police departments across the country.
Top Tip: As police officers, you have a front row seat to the opioid epidemic. You are problem solvers and you got into this job to help people. Your community and your agency need a champion to take action. I encourage you to be that champion. Get started and PAARI will be here to help.
— Allie Hunter McDade is the executive director of the Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (PAARI), a movement of law enforcement agencies that believe in treatment over arrest.
In 2018, agencies continued to make significant progress in establishing programs and policies to assist personnel recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder. However, the reality is that not all officers will be able to recover. Individuals seeking PTSD-related workers’ compensation and/or a disability pension continue to face many obstacles to obtaining such benefits. While some individual states have attempted to reduce obstacles, the pace of change is far too slow. Law enforcement agencies and administrators need to work with state legislators to improve access to workers’ compensation and enact pension laws to help officers who are unable to recover from non-visible, career-ending injuries.
Top Tip: It is important that agencies address the cognitive, emotional, physical and behavioral symptoms associated with traumatic stress by implementing CISM interventions and peer-support programs.
— Dr. Chuck Russo is the program director of criminal justice at American Military University. He began his career in law enforcement in 1987 in central Florida and was involved all areas of patrol, training, special operations and investigations before retiring in 2013.
RECRUITMENT & RETENTION
Hiring the right people is critical. Recruiters will focus more on looking for candidates who display integrity, effective communication skills, empathy for others and a spirit for public service. Creating a culture where these traits are valued and rewarded will keep those employees professionally fulfilled.
Top Tip: Every encounter with the public is an opportunity to build trust, or harm trust. When the public believes that they are being listened to, and that their police department is well intended in their actions, trust is built.
— J. Thomas Manger has been a cop for 42 years, and served as the police chief in both Fairfax County, Virginia, and Montgomery County, Maryland. For the past four years, he has been the president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association.
School safety will continue to be a major challenge for law enforcement and educators in 2019. When we put police in schools, we must use a community-based policing approach. If we put police in schools only to stop school shootings, we will fail. If we put police in schools only to solve a gang problem, we will fail. The number one goal of any police officer working in a school must be to bridge the gap between law enforcement and youth. Achieving that goal produces valuable intelligence that helps prevent active shooter situations.
Top Tip: Have at least one carefully selected, specially trained law enforcement officer in every school.
— Mo Canady is the executive director for the National Association of School Resource Officers, which provides training for school resource officers.
A 2018 Pew Research survey concluded that 91 percent of U.S. adults use a smartphone and 97 percent use the internet. As more people prefer to do their business online through smartphones, police departments must begin to understand the benefits of deploying a “mobile-first” strategy as it relates to their ongoing use of social media platforms to communicate and should begin to shift their social media and outreach efforts to provide a better customer service mobile experience for their residents.
Top Tip: Think about everything residents can do or ask for when they walk into your police department lobby. Would they be able to ask the same questions or request the same services through their smartphone? If it's less, you disappoint. If more, they'll thank and praise you for it and you'll earn a loyal follower.
— Captain Chris Hsiung from the Mountain View Police Department in California is an internationally recognized speaker, trainer and blogger on law enforcement's use of social media to engage communities and change the narrative about policing.
SWAT teams need to increase their focus on protecting communities from terrorist and homegrown extremist attacks. As more cowards attack our citizens as they enjoy themselves socially, SWAT teams need to step up and provide protection details. This level of regional, preventive cooperation may be problematic at first. Teams will have to work with emergency management and fire rescue agencies to develop a matrix to determine when these protection details are needed and what resources are to be deployed. The impact on staffing, costs and equipment will necessitate teams work together to share responsibilities. This may mean a neighboring team is on standby to assist if a call occurs while the home team is providing security, or it could be a mutual response at the venue.
Top Tip: While many SWAT teams conduct great training, they often fail to seek training on terrorism awareness and response. SWAT members need to understand current terrorist threats and train team members on IED response.
— Lt. Matt Hardesty is a 26-year veteran of law enforcement who served 22 years on the SWAT team as an operator, grenadier, rappel master and team leader and executive officer.
USE OF FORCE
Use of force in response to mass gatherings of individuals at protests, political gatherings and concentrated population areas such as dealing with the border caravan and homeless encampments with a focus on de-escalation will continue to be a high-profile issue.
Top Tip: The ability of officers to recall, articulate and implement the training, procedures and policies that they have learned will be more significant in the defense of officers' choices and actions. Remember: You only get one chance to tell your side of the story for the first time. LEOs need to be better prepared to explain their understanding of laws, policy and training in support of their choices, whether that is in a report, interview, deposition or courtroom.
— Attorney Mildred O'Linn is a trial lawyer with over 30 years of experience defending law enforcement. She is a former peace officer, FTO, defensive tactics instructor trainer, academy manager and accreditation manager
Lack of use of force data fuels negative narrative.
OIS videos are shared broadly across the internet and can fuel the negative anti-police perception, even if the data isn't there to back it up.
By Eric Tucker
WASHINGTON — Dramatic videos of deadly law enforcement encounters and the absence of reliable data about how often police use force contribute to a regrettable narrative that "biased police are killing black men at epidemic rates," FBI Director James Comey said Sunday.
That story line has formed amid a lack of comprehensive, national data about how many citizens are killed or injured at the hands of police officers.
Videos of fatal police encounters that capture the public's attention and are shared broadly across the internet can fuel the perception that "something terrible is being done by the police," even if the data aren't there to back it up, Comey said, speaking in San Diego during a gathering of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
"It is a narrative driven by video images of real and gut-wrenching misconduct, by images of possible misconduct, by images of perceived misconduct," Comey said. "It's a narrative given force by the awesome power of human empathy."
Americans "actually have no idea if the number of black people or brown people or white people being shot by police is up, down or sideways over the last three years, five years, 10 years," or if black people are more likely than white people to be shot during police encounters, Comey said.
That narrative creates a wedge between law enforcement and the public, keeping "good officers in their car" and perhaps causing them to think twice before making a certain traffic stop at midnight, Comey said.
"Our officers see the videos. They desperately do not want to be in one. They think about that all the time," he added.
On the other side of the divide are distrustful community members who stay quiet instead of sharing information with the police after a crime, he said.
"And so into the chasm, into that gap of distrust, fall more dead young black men. In places like Chicago, we know what the chasm looks like and how much pain it causes," the FBI director said.
The FBI is moving forward with plans for a national database to track information about police use of force, Justice Department officials announced last week.
"We need to collect actual, accurate and complete information about policing in this country so that we have informed debates about things that matter enormously," he said.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
POLICE VERSUS PRISONS
by Alex Tabarrok
April 26, 2016 at 7:31 am
Economics, Law | Permalink
Here’s a remarkable graph from the Council of Economic Advisers report on incarceration and the criminal justice system. The graph shows that the United States employs many more prison guards per-capita than does the rest of the world. Given our prison population that isn’t surprising. What is surprising is that on a per-capita basis we employ 35% fewer police than the world average.* That’s crazy.
Our focus on prisons over police may be crazy but it is consistent with what I called Gary Becker’s Greatest Mistake, the idea that an optimal punishment system combines a low probability of being punished with a harsh punishment if caught. That theory runs counter to what I have called the good parenting theory of punishment in which optimal punishments are quick, clear, and consistent and because of that, need not be harsh.
We need to change what it means to be “tough on crime.” Instead of longer sentences let’s make “tough on crime” mean increasing the probability of capture for those who commit crimes.
Increasing the number of police on the street, for example, would increase capture rates and deter crime and by doing so it would also reduce the prison population. Indeed, in a survey of crime and policing that Jon Klick and I wrote in 2010 we found that a cost-benefit analysis would justify doubling the number of police on the street. We based our calculation not only on our own research from Washington DC but also on the research of many other economists which together provide a remarkably consistent estimate that a 10% increase in policing would reduce crime by 3 to 5%. Using our estimates, as well as those of some more recent papers, the Council of Economic Advisers also estimates big benefits (somewhat larger than ours) from an increase in policing. Moreover, what the CEA makes clear is that a dollar spent on policing is more effective at reducing crime than a dollar spent on imprisoning.
Unfortunately, selling the public on more policing is likely to be difficult. Some of the communities most in need of more police are also communities with some of the worst policing problems. We aren’t likely to get more policing until people are convinced that we have better policing. Moreover, people are right to be skeptical because the type of policing that works is not simply boots on the ground. As the CEA report notes:
Model policing tactics are marked by trust, transparency, and collaborations between police and community stakeholders…
Better policing and more policing complement one another. Greater trust can come with body cameras as well as community oversight and other efforts to bring transparency and accountability. Most importantly, the drug war has eroded trust between police and community and that has led to an endogenous equilibrium in which some communities are rife with both drugs and crime. Fortunately, marijuana decriminalization and legalization have begun to move resources away from the war on drugs. Legalization in states like Colorado does not appear to have increased crime and has likely contributed to a dramatic decline of violence in Mexico. As we move resources away from drug crime, police will have more resources to raise the punishment rate for those traditional crimes like murder, robbery and rape that communities everywhere do want punished.
Addendum: See also Peter Orszag’s column on this issue. * Corrected: Earlier I said spending rather than employment.
Understanding Each Other: New Perspectives on
Traditional Community Policing Ideals
By Todd B. Pearl, M.A.
Detective Pearl serves with the Paterson, New Jersey, Police Department and is an instructor with the Bergen County Police Academy.
Law enforcement exists to reduce crime and maintain order. However, in addition to those sworn to protect the public, community members also have roles and responsibilities in achieving these goals. Over time these burdens have shifted to the few, instead of being shouldered by the many.
The shared desire for crime reduction and order maintenance cannot be fully realized without the cooperation of everyone in the truest sense of community. To this end, new perspectives can be gained from ideas that have existed for over 100 years.
In 18th century London, England, unpaid members of society commonly referred to as “constables” would police the local parish. A constable or layperson who pursued a wrongdoer would holler a “hue and cry,” summoning any able-bodied member of the community to assist in the apprehension. Community members were duty bound to respond to any call for help.
This system remained in place until 1829 when Sir Robert Peel established the London Metropolitan Police, consisting of 1,000 officers known as “bobbies.” This became the foundation for today’s police agencies, earning Peel the title of “father of modern policing.” In addition to founding this new police force, he codified a set of nine principles that he wanted his bobbies to operate by.
These Peelian principles highlight the importance of the community-police relationship. However, the seventh holds particular interest.
Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
The latter half of this principle suggests that the people who live, work, play, or serve in a neighborhood have an obligation to contribute in a reasonable way to that community’s goals regarding crime and disorder. In other words, they must do their part. While not enforced by law, this obligation suggests that civilians should accept responsibility for the consequences of their inaction.
The shared desire for crime reduction and order maintenance cannot be fully realized without the cooperation of everyone in the truest sense of community.
The first half of the principle indicates that for members of the community to stand up and do their part, law enforcement must make sure civilians do not feel alone in doing so. The police are public servants. Although citizens’ position as tax-paying members of society does not provide them a license to dictate the actions of the police, it does establish their right to expect a reasonable level of service.
According to FBI data examining 9,894 cities, the 2013 national average ratio of full-time police officers to civilians was 2.2 per 1,000. Accounting for officers with inside assignments and those off duty, the number of on-duty law enforcement personnel challenged with policing a community is far fewer than that already low figure, illustrating that police and civilians must work together.
Similar symbiotic relationships exist in other areas of life. For example, people can eat well, exercise daily, and get enough sleep. However, they could wake up one morning realizing that a lingering minor cold has worsened. At some point they likely will seek a doctor’s help.
Most people know that they are primarily responsible for their own health. They do the best they can, but understand that at times they will need the help of someone with special training and skills to handle issues they cannot. Of course, reasonable persons realize that their health would deteriorate if they relied solely on a doctor. Similarly a dentist is not responsible for the rotting teeth of a patient who does not brush, nor is a cardiologist to blame because a patient’s eating habits have resulted in clogged arteries.
But, what if people lost trust in their physicians? What if doctors were difficult to reach when needed? What if they dismissed many concerns as menial and simply tended to “more important” patients? Their actions may have merit. Perhaps, they did have more crucial matters to tend to. However, patients would not care why they were neglected, only that they were treated as unimportant. Over time, if persons did not have their expectations met, strained relationships and a lack of trust would result. Most people would change physicians. After all, health is important, and placing it in the hands of unreliable professionals would be frustrating and troubling.
As with their bodies, people must learn to take ownership over their environment and the things they tolerate therein. Likewise, police must recognize the damaging effects of their actions or inactions on the citizens from whom they seek cooperation. Everyone must conduct themselves as both protectors and members of the community in which they live, work, play, or serve.
Criminal justice research has supported the positive correlation between public perception of law enforcement and order maintenance. “Procedural justice,” or the procedural fairness with which officers operate, is a key factor in citizens viewing the police as legitimate authority figures. This results in voluntary compliance with the law (even when no one is looking). Two of the key elements used by people to judge police legitimacy are neutrality and trustworthiness. Citizens who view their local police as unfair less likely will practice voluntary compliance.
Criminal justice research has supported the positive correlation between public perception of law enforcement and order maintenance.
Perhaps, people have a supervisor at work whom they view as unfair and unreasonable. Over time they will lose respect for that person as an authority figure and, perhaps, the regard they once had for the organization. They might remain compliant enough to keep their jobs; however, with the decline of their respect comes the loss of incentive for them to follow the rules when they think they will not be caught. Hence, voluntary compliance is lost.
In a wider perspective, given the nation’s low officer-to-civilian ratio, if criminals believe that only the police are watching, they will consider the chances they will be caught as unlikely. But, what if an entire town is watching?
The police have important roles and responsibilities in achieving the cooperation of the public. However, the onus is not only on the police to buy into this concept of true cooperation. Members of the public also must remain fair and open in their willingness to accept officers as legitimate authority figures.
One nontraditional approach toward crime reduction indicates that the manipulation of social norms is important for the deterrence of crime. “Informal social control” (peer and community pressure) can have more influence than “formal social control” (laws) in shaping what offenders consider social norms (acceptable behaviors).
Although members of high-crime communities actually may have a lower tolerance for deviant behavior, they also less likely may express their disapproval of offenders’ crimes because of a “lack of support for authorities and their actions.” Citizens may not like kids shooting guns and dealing drugs on their block, but their lack of respect for law enforcement will make them reluctant to take any action that would align them with the police.
In turn, “[I]f the dislike of authorities and their actions prevents, as it often does, expressions of disapproval for offending, informal social control will not be exercised. Further, offenders may read that silence, or expressions of disapproval of authorities, as approval for them and their actions.” Therefore, a lack of respect for the police likely will result in citizens’ silence, and, ultimately, offenders will see their own behavior as acceptable.
Certainly, everyone’s perception of the police plays a role in voluntary compliance and informal social control, leading to the deterrence of crime. These concepts should guide the allocation of community resources.
While the work of individual community policing divisions around the country undoubtedly is valuable, the net needs to be widened. To that end, programs and training should be molded to appropriately address these matters and target diverse groups. Systematically targeting captive audiences, such as those in police academy and in-service training, schools, religious and community groups, correctional centers, and probation programs, can help promote understanding and tolerance among the law enforcement, civilian, and offender communities alike, thereby improving the police-community partnership.
Placing blame on any one person or group is pointless. Simply, these issues need fresh thought and discussion to lay groundwork for a new outlook toward the application of community policing. There needs to be a shift away from a time in which community policing officers, a trained minority, worked closely with specific members of the community. Rather, an era could begin in which everyone understands the importance of everyone working together. Officers and civilians alike should look through the eyes of the other to better understand their own roles and the obstacles facing the other group.
Detective Pearl can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHEN OFFICERS BECOME THE TARGET:
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM DOXING
SEPTEMBER 1, 2015
By Leischen Stelter, managing editor of In Public Safety
CBS News reported that after the fatal shooting of a man by a LAPD police officer, someone posted the officer’s private information online including his home address, phone number, and other personal details including his child’s school location.
This practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual is referred to as doxing (or doxxing) and is typically done with malicious intent. The information published can be anything from home addresses to vehicle identification to social media accounts. Once an individual has been exposed through doxing, they may be targeted for online harassment. Doxing is becoming enough of a concern that the FBI and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) have issued warnings to law enforcement and public officials.
Protecting Yourself and Your Family
American Military University (AMU) recently hosted a webinar on this topic as part of its Law Enforcement Webinar Series. Presenter James Deater, who spent more than 23-years as a Maryland State Trooper specializing in wiretaps and other forms of electronic investigation techniques, provided advice for how officers can protect themselves.
“Any officer could end up in a situation where you do everything right in accordance with agency policy, but the incident is captured on video and it looks wrong to the public. It happens all the time and as soon as your name is released to the public, you become a target,” said Deater. “You may not be able to stop it, but you can at least make it difficult for people to find your private information.”
Here are some recommendations Deater made about how to protect your personal information:
Request Information Be Removed
During the webinar, Deater discussed ways that officers can proactively remove personal information from the dozens of websites that sell this information. He included specific details about what forms to submit, what identification documents to send, and how long it will take for information to be removed. However, some of this information is law enforcement sensitive and cannot be included in this piece. If you are a police officer, you can request to view the recorded webinar by sending an email (using your agency email address) to James Deater (JDeater@apus.edu).
Due to the level of interest, AMU will soon be hosting additional webinars on doxing. To be notified when this and other new webinars are announced, please complete this form.
Here are a few sites to consider removing your information from:
About the Author: Leischen Stelter is the editor of American Military University’s premier blog, In Public Safety. She writes about issues and trends relevant to professionals in law enforcement, corrections, fire services, emergency management, and national security. You can follow AMU on Twitter@AMUPoliceEd or Facebook.
2 Responses to When Officers Become the Target: How to Protect Yourself from Doxing
Kevin September 20, 2015 at 11:37 am #
To mask your information, you need to throw up smoke screens and obscure your information from being collected by data mining firms and deep web crawlers. They collect, compile, and synthesize your information from public information disclosures such as your DL/ID information, voter registration, property tax and appraisal records, vehicle registration records, birth records, marriage records, criminal and civil court records and combine it with data mining information compiled from third party disclosure agreements from credit reporting agencies, magazine subscriptions, warranty cards, surveys, spam lists, social networking sites, and web browser cookies, who then sell your information wholesale through information brokers. There are a few simple things a peace officer can do to confuse the collection and synthesis of their private information and thus make it harder to search, purchase, and “dox” their information on pastebin.
A Texas Peace Officers can use the county courthouse of their residing county as an alternate address on their DL and ID. You will need to show up to the DPS office in person, fill out a change of address form, show your peace officer license, agency ID, and pay the $11 fee. You can remove your voter registration from all public disclosure by filling out Texas Form BW9-3 Request for Peace Officer Confidentiality. You can also change the address on your vehicle registration to a PO Box or private mailbox service for your vehicle registration address. If you are purchasing a vehicle, you may be able to use your initials or combination of initials and last name as the owner instead of full name on the car title. If you own a car and have the car title in your possession, you may also request to reissue the title under your initials or combination. If not, you will need to ask your lien holder for permission to reissue the title for a name change.
If you do not already have a PO Box or private mailbox service -GET ONE- and -USE IT-. You should not have any mail going to your residential address. Do not give your residential address out to any company or billing agency or use your residential address for online shopping, catalogs, magazines, or shipping. Do not fill out any surveys and do not enter yourself into drawings, sweepstakes, or disclose any of your information for freebies. You need to be very paranoid about postcards, catalogs, and mail lists, or anyone asking about your mailing address, especially marketing companies asking to photo capture your DL/ID. It may seem harmless but it opens the door to public disclosure of your privacy.
The final task is to opt-out of data mining brokers. The most important is to opt out of credit reporting agencies from third party disclosure and telemarketing databases. This can be done online through optoutprescreen.com and donotcall.gov. These two will make it harder for data brokers to collect information on you. You will then have to go each and every data broker that offers opt out option. There are approximately 270+ data brokers. Some offer this option through an online form while most require you to send a letter requesting opt-out, and a copy of your DL/ID (black out the DL#, picture, and DOB), others offer partial opt-out, opt-out for law enforcement only, while some do not offer any opt-out. It is nearly impossible to remove your information entirely but you can definitely make it harder for someone to look you up and find correct information.
BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO POLICE HARASSMENT
Vol.45, No.8 | NZPA | Sat September 1st, 2012
A North Island police station received this question from a resident through the feedback section of a local Police website:
“I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?”
In response, a sergeant posted this reply:
First of all, let me tell you this ... it’s not easy. In the Palmerston North and rural area we average one cop for every 505 people. Only about 60 per cent of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as “general patrols”) where we do most of our harassing.
The rest are in non-harassing units that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents. At any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60 per cent of general patrols are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty. So, roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 6000 residents.
When you toss in the commercial business and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 15,000 or more people a day.
Now, your average eight-hour shift runs 28,800 seconds long. This gives a cop two-thirds of a second to harass a person, and then only another third of a second to drink a Massey iced coffee AND then find a new person to harass. This is not an easy task. To be honest, most cops are not up to the challenge day in and day out. It is just too tiring. What we do is utilise some tools to help us narrow down those people we can realistically harass.
PHONE: People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment. “My neighbour is beating his wife” is a code phrase used often. This means we’ll come out and give somebody some special harassment. Another popular one is, “There’s a guy breaking into a house.” The harassment team is then put into action.
CARS: We have special cops assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars with no insurance or drivers with no licences and the like. It’s lots of fun when you pick them out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light. Sometimes you get to really heap the harassment on when you find they have drugs in the car, they are drunk, or have an outstanding warrant on file.
LAWS: When we don’t have phone or cars, and have nothing better to do, there are actually books that give us ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called “statutes”. These include the Crimes Act, Summary Offences Act, Land Transport Act and a whole bunch of others... They spell out all sorts of things for which you can really mess with people. After you read the law, you can just drive around for a while until you find someone violating one of these listed offences and harass them. Just last week I saw a guy trying to steal a car. Well, the book says that’s not allowed. That meant I had permission to harass this guy.
It is a really cool system that we have set up, and it works pretty well. We seem to have a never-ending supply of folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because, for the good citizens who pay the tab, we try to keep the streets safe for them, and they pay us to “harass” some people.
Next time you are in Palmerston North, give me the old “single finger wave”. That’s another one of those codes. It means, “You can harass me.” It’s one of our favourites.
WAR ON DRUGS
September 15, 2015
John Blackmon /Conversation
From the President
In a recent editorial in the Washington Post, Radley Balko claims that no War on Cops exist. He goes even farther to suggest that anyone referring to a War on Cops is “playing a dangerous game.”
Mr. Balko throws out some statistics to back his claims. Gunfire deaths of law enforcement are near an all-time low. Sure, if January 1 is used as a marking point to determine the aggression against law enforcement. However, remove the situations where a criminal was trying to evade arrest. Look at the incidents where officers were targeted – where they were assassinated for wearing the badge.
Then shift the date to August 9, 2014. Look at the attacks against law enforcement since the incident in Ferguson, Missouri. Since then, too many law enforcement officers have been murdered simply because they were law enforcement officers. No other reason.
Locally, Berkeley County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Will Rogers was close to being another statistic.
Riots and vile messages of hate became the norm for “activists.” It became ok to demand the deaths of people because of the profession they chose. The men and women who protect our communities unfairly became the villains.
CNN reported in March of 2015, concerning these type of attacks on law enforcement. Even before the killings of Texas Deputy Goforth and New Orleans Patrolman James Bennett, this problem was on the forefront. National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Chairman Craig Floyd was quoted in the article, “With the increasing number of ambush-style attacks against our officers, I am deeply concerned that a growing anti-government sentiment in America is influencing weak-minded individuals to launch violent assaults against the men and women working to enforce our laws and keep our nation safe.”
The Wall Street Journal published an article recognizing this dilemma. The articles quotes a female sergeant in New York, “The perps feel more empowered to carry guns because they know that we are running scared.” This boldness is concretely resulting from the War on Cops that Mr. Balko wants to ignore.
Mr. Balko is wrong. No matter how he intends to spin the numbers, there is a war on cops. The war is not just about numbers. It’s about numbers and sentiment. And the time has come for the American public to say enough is enough.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said it best, “In our society we need leaders, not just in elected office, we need clergy and business and other leaders in our community to say enough is enough.”
He continued, “These are the men and women we need to stand up and protect us. We need to make sure they have the training and they follow through on that training. We need to increase and improve relations for sure, but we cannot have it any more this idea that it’s OK to go after law enforcement just because they wear the uniform and just because they have a badge.”
I encourage all citizens to stand up and be heard. Whether physical or otherwise, the attacks on law enforcement must stop.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
President at Tri-County FOP Lodge #3
A retired law enforcement officer who now serves as the President of the Fraternal Order of Police Tri-County Lodge #3.
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund...
The research and analysis conducted by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund helps raise awareness of the dangers officers face each day and highlights areas where improvement in officer safety and wellness is needed.
64 Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Nationwide in First Half of 2015
According to preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 64 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty during the first half of 2015. This represents a three percent increase over the same period in 2014 in which 62 officers were killed.
Total Fatalities: 1965-2015
For the third year in a row, traffic-related incidents were the leading cause of officer fatalities in the first half of 2015. Thirty officers were killed as a result of traffic-related incidents, increasing 20 percent from the same period in 2014.
Firearms-related fatalities were the second leading cause of death among our nation’s law enforcement officers in the first half of 2015, decreasing 25 percent with 18 fatalities compared to 24 in the same period last year.
Officers feloniously killed during a traffic stop or pursuit was the leading circumstance of fatal shootings, with four fatalities.
In the first half of 2015, 16 officers died as a result of other causes unrelated to firearms or traffic, increasing 23 percent during the same period in 2014.
Job-related illnesses, such as heart attacks, increased in the first half of 2015, with 16 officer deaths compared to 13 officers during the same period in 2014.
Sixty-two fallen officers were male and two were female. Their average age was 40 years, with 13 years of service. On average, each officer left behind two children.
Read the full report at www.LawMemorial.org/ResearchBulletin.