NEWS FROM THE FIELD
New Sensitivity Training Tool for Recruits
The New York Police Department is unveiling a new sensitivity training for its recruits in order to teach them how to better interact with communities of color after recent protests against excessive force by the police. This new training employs an unexpected medium: theater. Recruits sit through a one-act play, Anne and Emmett, which encourages recruits to step away from personal prejudices and casual bias. It tells the story of Anne Frank, a Jewish teenager who hid in an attic with her family during World War II and died in a concentration camp, and Emmett Till, a black 14-year-old from Chicago who never returned home from a visit to a then-segregated Mississippi.
According to the cadets interviewed, most knew Anne Frank’s story, but had not heard of Emmett Till. They also noted the similarities in the experiences of both Anne Frank and Emmett Till, even though they were in different parts of the world, and put the responsibilities they will have as police officers into perspective. The new sensitivity training is directed primarily toward cadets, not veteran police officers.
New Sub-Saharan African Regional IACP Chair Takes Helm
The fourth International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) sub-Saharan Africa Executive Policing conference in Kigali, Rwanda, began on November 2, 2015. The conference is being held under the theme “Contemporary Policing for a Safer World.”
During the event, Inspector General of Police Emmanuel K. Gasana handed over the IACP regional chair to his Ugandan counterpart, General Kale Kayihura, after serving a two-year term. In his acceptance speech, Gen. Kayihura thanked his predecessor for bringing police institutions and organizations closer, upon which he will build.
FAA Forms National Drone Registry Task Force
The Federal Aviation Administration named 26 individuals representing aviation and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) trade organizations, drone and camera suppliers, and major retailers to a recently announced group tasked with developing drone registration requirements in the next three weeks.
Responding to a surge in reported rogue drone sightings and a concern that upward of a million drones will be given as gifts during the upcoming holiday season, the FAA and its parent agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced plans in October to establish a registry of small drone owners in the United States. They pledged to immediately form an industry-government task force to develop recommendations for creating the registry by November 20, 2016. The agencies’ stated goal is to have rules in place by mid-December.
Police Deaths in High-Speed Chases Understated
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), only 24 police deaths from high-speed chases have occurred since 1980, but records from the U.S. Department of Transportation, as well as information from the Officer Down Memorial Page and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, show more than 370 officers killed in vehicle pursuits. This inaccuracy is the result of the FBI’s decision to label most cases of police killed in chases as “automobile accidents,” which means officers killed in high-speed chases are generally in the same category as those killed in vehicle crashes during routine patrols. Usually, just those officers’ deaths caused directly by a fleeing driver are labeled as ones occurring while “engaging in vehicle pursuit.” In addition to police, bystanders and passengers in fleeing cars are at risk during chases.
Recent criticism about these types of inaccuracies has prompted more calls for better data collection. The FBI said that it would improve its public reporting of officers killed in chases after the completion of the new database system in an effort to provide better data.
Best Practices for Forensic Interviews of Children in Cases of Alleged Abuse
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention highlights the best practices for interviewing children in cases of alleged abuse. It discusses the purpose of the child forensic interview, provides historical context, reviews overall considerations, and outlines the stages of the interview. It emphasizes that no two children will relate their experiences in the same way or with the same level of detail and clarity, that some children may require more time to become comfortable with the process and interviewer, that encouraging children to give detailed responses early in the interview enhances later responses, and that forensic interviewers should use open-ended questions and allow for silence or hesitation without moving forward too quickly.
Read the bulletin.
Advanced Crime Analytics Survey Results
During September 2015, the Wynyard Group conducted a survey of almost 450 police chiefs, federal investigators, analysts, and other law enforcement officials to see how they felt about crime analytics software and their use of it. The survey found that 88 percent of respondents supported the use of the software and believed that an intelligence-led law enforcement agency that uses data analytics could be much more effective and efficient. The majority of those surveyed also thought crime analytics software would be much more widely used in the future, especially since it can be used to fight a variety of crimes, but only 34 percent of those surveyed reported using it, with 66 percent of them citing budget restrictions as the reason for lack of use.
View the infographic.
DOJ Announces Guidebook on 21st Century Policing
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced a new resource guide, The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Implementation Guidebook. This guidebook, announced by U.S. President Obama at IACP 2015, provides strategies to help communities, law enforcement, and local government implement recommendations from the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Report. In addition, the U.S. Attorney General will launch Phase Two of the Justice Department’s Community Policing Tour, which will highlight jurisdictions that are effectively implementing one of the six pillars from the guidebook. According to Director Ronald Davis, the implementation guide suggests actions for local elected and appointed officials, law enforcement agencies, etc. to support a comprehensive approach to reducing crime as well as build trust and legitimacy.
Access the guidebook.
Strengthening Connections: Fostering a Positive School Climate (12/1–12/2)
The 2015 school climate summit, Strengthening Connections: Fostering a Positive School Climate, is being held December 1–2, 2015, in Richmond, Virginia. This summit will support the efforts of schools and their partners to provide a positive and safe school climate for all student and educators. To ensure the feeling of being socially, emotionally, and physically safe to learn and work, this summit will address Student Engagement, Safety, and the School Environment, which are the three components of the U.S. Department of Education’s Safe and Supportive Schools model of school climate. Attendees will gain low-cost and high-impact implementation tools and resources.
Registration Open: National Conference on Juvenile Justice in Las Vegas, Nevada (3/20–3/23, 2016)
This important educational opportunity features cutting-edge information, state-of-the-art programs, and current research in the juvenile justice system. Some of the featured topics will include alternatives to detention, trauma-informed justice, cross-over youth, deep-end youth, dating violence, ending solitary confinement, recidivism, indiscriminate shackling issues, disproportionate minority contact, LGBTQ issues in the juvenile justice system, sex-trafficking of minors, juvenile drug courts and runaways, and the Interstate Compact for Juveniles.
Scholarships are available for active judicial officers who are National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) members through the John Shaw Field Scholarship Fund. Registration fees are $790 for non-members and $595 for NCJFCJ members.
Read more about how to apply for a scholarship.
Learn more or register.
FLETC Law Enforcement Legal Refresher Training (11/24)
The two-hour Law Enforcement Legal Refresher Training webinar presented by Bruce-Alan Barnard, FLETC Legal Division focuses on Fourth and Fifth Amendment law and is designed to meet the training requirements for state and federal law enforcement officers who have mandated two-hour legal refresher training requirements. The webinar takes place on Tuesday, November 24, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. EST.
Sign up for the webinar.
Forensic Analysis Webinar (11/4)
Dr. Randall Clark at Auburn University has applied gas chromatography combined with infrared spectroscopy (GC-IR) to provide an alternative for analysis by forensic labs. In this webinar, Dr. Clark will present an overview of regioisomer differentiation using GC-IR and describe the advantages of the technique. He will be joined by Mr. Lewis Smith of the New Jersey Police Department to describe his experience and advice in implementing GC-IR in a forensic lab. As synthetic compounds, new precursors, and isomers proliferate, it will become increasingly important for forensic laboratories to recognize the limitations of GCMS and have the ability to use GC-IR when needed.
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