ABQ Group Looks to Las Vegas PD for Leadership Inspiration to Change Police Force
Albuquerque, N.M., officials are looking to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for ideas on implementing a force-wide culture change. In particular, they are studying Las Vegas' training programs on de-escalation of potential use-of-force incidents and crisis intervention with mentally ill or severely distressed individuals. The Albuquerque Police Department is also looking at best practices in a number of areas, such as computerization of Internal Affairs reports, citizen complaints, and human resource issues involving officers, so officers in need of counseling or remedial training can be more easily identified. Las Vegas cited a "Safe Village" model of community policing. Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill said that although the change took time, they found that having the police captain at community meetings--rather than lower-ranking officers--made a big difference. In addition, the department has come up with a small budget for a program to paint over graffiti and participate in community activities. Local pastors are part of a team that goes to gang shooting scenes, helping to calm onlookers and visit with the family members of the victim and the suspect.
Albuquerque Journal (09/14/14) Gallagher, Mike
Police Embrace Social Media
Police across the country are glad to have social media as a crime-fighting tool. Police departments are posting mugshots of criminals on Facebook on a daily basis and mining tweets with relevant hashtags for information from the public on Twitter. However, social media gives police access to an overwhelming amount of information, which requires a significant time commitment and at times a good filter. Officials say the key is to take the good with the bad and apply traditional police tactics when vetting online statements and separating real tips from the fake. The International Association of Chiefs of Police surveys more than 500 law enforcement agencies across the nation each year on social media. The 2013 survey found that 95.9 percent of agencies use social media in some capacity, with the most common use being criminal investigations. Social media has helped 80.4 percent of agencies solve crimes.
Indianapolis Star (09/08/14) P. A1 Mack, Justin L.
Diversity in Ranks Limited, Mass. Police Try to Build Links
Various local law enforcement officials in Massachusetts to work to foster relationships with community groups that have long had a history of mistrust of police due to a lack of diversity on forces. "You've got to have those partnerships, so that if something does happen, you can reach out to either side,” says Lynn police chief Kevin Coppinger. "You've got to have a dialogue." Boston's police department reflects the city' demographics, although diversifying its upper ranks has been a struggle. Black residents constitute slightly more than 25 percent of Boston's populace and 23.2 percent of the police force. The department's first black superintendent in chief, William Gross, was appointed last year. Boston also has dispatched officers into neighborhoods such as Roxbury, Mattapan, and Dorchester to identify and mentor promising candidates, notes Jack McDevitt with Northeastern University's Institute on Race and Justice. He also says Boston is engaged in a $2 million revamp of its promotional exam to remove performance gaps between Caucasian and minority officers seeking to enter the department's higher ranks. Just as important for police departments to better reflect their communities is the cultivation of positive community relations, according to University of California Los Angeles Center for Policing Equity president Phillip Goff. "If I'm getting my behind beaten, it doesn't matter what the person looks like," he says. "The folks in the community need to feel they are being treated fairly, that they have involvement, a say, and that in the end they feel the law enforcement agency shares their values." Meanwhile, the Chelsea police department has made strides in expanding its diversity since police chief Brian Kyes joined the force in 1987. He notes back then there was only one Spanish-speaking officer and one black officer, while today there are 27 Latino officers on the 103-member force.
Boston Globe (09/02/14) Valencia, Milton J.; Allen, Evan; Wallack, Todd
Abstract News © Copyright 2014 INFORMATION, INC.