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Re: We spend $100 billion on policing & have no idea what works

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NerdyMom--THANK YOU

Gee, I miss having a real President!!
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Re: We spend $100 billion on policing & have no idea what works

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@pc6063 wrote:

nerdymom--OMG--just read your post, and I am so glad that you do what you do and have commented on this problem.  I don't know in what part of the department you work, but I did notice that when I worked at a jail teaching (took a voluntary transfer to our country jail the last two years of my career), the inmates and the COs were very close.  It's that interaction--that personal touch that is so important.  I comented on other things in another post in this thread, but got so excited when I read your post, I had to respond!!!  I so agree with you!! Thank you!!!

Really, I would give you a thousand kudoos if I could!!!


Thanks!  Smiley Happy  I started out working in the Baltimore City Jail to work my way through college.  More than 30 years ago now, but I have a fondness for that job still, although I wouldn't hold it up as anything near a best practice, lol.  But thank you for working in the jail.   Education and the subsequent ability to get and maintain a job is the best way to reduce recidivism when they get back outside.   Smiley Happy   It really helps....

 

The Community Policing that you mentioned "is" a best practice.   And it's horribly difficult work -- being a police officer.  I was lucky enough to get use of force training a week ago, and I was put through a simulated call for a "suspicious person, wearing green, outside the 7-11."  I was going to be all Ms. Nice Cop and go up and chat with the two guys who were there, who, incidentially, were both wearing green.  Something in me made me more suspicious of the guy on the right, and of course it was the guy on the left who shot me within about 2 seconds.   Smiley Very Happy

 

The trainers there at the academy are really good.  They realize everyone brings their own life experiences to the job (implicit bias), and they train that out of them as best they can.  They provide training on crisis intervention, mental health issues, domestic violence, approaching people with autism, de-escalation techniques, and implicit bias.  School resource officers are trained on adolescent development and child abuse as well.  And they regularly get refresher training.

 

My police chief is huge on accountability.  If someone does something wrong, or racist, or whatever, that person is disciplined.  We have also implemented a more objective system of review for use of force cases that result in death.  A neighboring jurisdiction's states attorney office reviews ours, and we review theirs.   This helps ensure we don't show favoritism or cover up.   This is also a best practice, but it's not always easy for other places to implement.  

 

And he's big on community relations.   I try to go to most public forums, but they have about 3 or 4 a week in different parts of my county.  They work closely with community leaders, including faith leaders, education leaders, neighborhood leaders, minority rights advocates, the LGBTthe disabled community, etc.  Those people can speed dial the Chief and they always have a voice.  That makes a HUGE difference in community relations.

 

We happen to have a very low recidivism rate, low crime per capita rate, and (hoping not to jinx it) a very low and rare use of force rate.

 

I have huge respect for police officers who try their best, because they truly are helping the community, and it's a very dangerous and unappreciated job.  But they are also incredibly powerful as a profession.  They are incredibly powerful government agents who can take away our freedom and our lives at any moment.   It's imperative that we hold them to a high standard because of this. But that high standard isn't fair unless we provide them with the training and equipment necessary to do the job right.   Implementing best practices is part of that.  

 

 

 

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Re: We spend $100 billion on policing & have no idea what works

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nerdymom--OMG--just read your post, and I am so glad that you do what you do and have commented on this problem.  I don't know in what part of the department you work, but I did notice that when I worked at a jail teaching (took a voluntary transfer to our country jail the last two years of my career), the inmates and the COs were very close.  It's that interaction--that personal touch that is so important.  I comented on other things in another post in this thread, but got so excited when I read your post, I had to respond!!!  I so agree with you!! Thank you!!!

Really, I would give you a thousand kudoos if I could!!!

Gee, I miss having a real President!!
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Re: We spend $100 billion on policing & have no idea what works

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hey Cent--As the mother and mother-in-law of police officers, I can tell you that I try not to know when my kids are working.  This is a very dangerous job.  Both daughter and son-in-law are quick to admit when people working in their department have done something stupid.  They have talked about how personally upsetting their jobs can be. They try not to tell me about the dangers, but some of their police friends have told me a few things that made me want to curl up in a ball and hide!

This is what I can tell you.  Their department has put officers on the street-no squad cars--no bikes--foot patrol.  Officers are encouraged to interact with the community.  This has worked somewhat.  In the areas where they are being put on the streets, trust between police and citizen has eroded. Kids report that there has been some degree on increased trust.

Another thing this department has done is to send in liasons who act as mediators between gang bangers.  Modest success there also.

This is a very convoluted problem, and it will need a multiplicity of strategies to "fix it." 

Best Practices were of almost Biblical proportions when I was teaching.  Different practices, different jobs--but  best practices in any environment are  always the best answer.  Now we just have to figure out what they are--and how they will differ from one community to another, from one part of the country to the other.

I realize that the  items I have commented on are only two of many very complex problems in the policing community.

 

Gee, I miss having a real President!!
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Re: We spend $100 billion on policing & have no idea what works

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@rk9152 wrote:

I believe that for the most part those whose responsibilities are about policing know what they are doing. The problem is that those who are supposed to "police" are saddled with so much more that is not their job. 

 

Example, for a long time we had a topic about those bad police who killed people - even if those people were shooting at them. We have had the racial component where the race of the perp was supposed to be a factor in policing.


what has one paragraph to do with the other? you do realize part of what the topic post is about is the police shooting innocent citizens right?

So it begins.
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Re: We spend $100 billion on policing & have no idea what works

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I believe that for the most part those whose responsibilities are about policing know what they are doing. The problem is that those who are supposed to "police" are saddled with so much more that is not their job. 

 

Example, for a long time we had a topic about those bad police who killed people - even if those people were shooting at them. We have had the racial component where the race of the perp was supposed to be a factor in policing.

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Re: We spend $100 billion on policing & have no idea what works

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Thank you for your informed response, NerdyMom.  Sadly, it's not common place on this forum.


"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in Washington DC, January 21, 2017.
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Re: We spend $100 billion on policing & have no idea what works

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This is what I do for a living.   Most larger jurisdictions do have cost benefit analyses of law enforcement practices, and they access existing information on best practices.   


The ones I use are:
Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)

COPS office in the Justice Department

Major Cities Chiefs Association

International Association of Chiefs of Police

CALEA

IIIHS (for information on speed cameras, red light cameras, and school bus cameras).

 

The problems, in my opinion, are:  1)  smaller jurisdictions often don't have the expertise or funding to access/implement all of these things; 2)  effective law enforcement does not exist in a vacuum; it must work in conjunction with other community-based services; and for all jurisdictions 3) politics get in the way. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We spend $100 billion on policing & have no idea what works

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We spend $100 billion on policing. We have no idea what works

 

Watching the debate in this country over public safety, you’d think some people wish to live securely, while others welcome Armageddon. Conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly recently went after “liberal politicians” in Chicago and San Francisco, noting crime in those cities and saying, “The situation is out of control and a disgrace, and that’s what happens when incompetent politicians demand the police stop enforcing laws.”

 

The truth is, we all want to be safe. The struggle isn’t about outcomes, it’s about methods. Should law enforcement have ready access to everyone’s phone location-tracking data? Should police be required to undergo deescalation training before being authorized to use force?

 

These aren’t questions to be resolved by free-for-alls on cable news channels. They require facts and analysis. And yet, although the United States shells out well over $100 billion each year for public safety, we have remarkably little idea whether that money is well spent. It’s possible that any given policing tactic or technology — from Tasers to facial-recognition systems to body cameras — is a fine or poor idea. But we really don’t have much sense of which tactics and tools work, or whether they are worth the cost. We don’t know how much money we may be wasting, or whether we are compromising civil liberties, or harming people or property, without good reason.

 

Throughout the rest of government, we use cost-benefit analysis to answer these sorts of questions. (Many economists prefer to call it benefit-cost analysis, or BCA, rightly asking: Why worry about the costs until we know if there are any benefits?) Whether it is environmental regulation, workplace safety, financial rules or the provision of health care, BCA is pervasive. But as a 2014 report by the Vera Institute of Justice pointed out, BCA has not been widely taught or used in criminal justice. That’s a stark understatement when it comes to policing.

 

Take ShotSpotter, a technology that uses sound waves to pinpoint where a gun has been fired. The product is marketed as allowing police to know about gunshots and respond quickly, especially in neighborhoods where people aren’t inclined to call the cops. ShotSpotter leases the technology to cities at a cost of $65,000 to $95,000 per square mile per year. (The District of Columbia is one of ShotSpotter’s major clients; it installed sensors in 2005 with the help of a $2 million federal grant and spent $3.5 million maintaining and expanding the system through 2013, according to a Washington Post investigation published that year.) This is serious money for cash-strapped cities, so the question naturally is: Is it worth it? To answer this, we’d want to see good data on whether the technology is helping cops nab shooters, whether there are fewer shots fired when it is in place or whether gun violence is down. And we’d then want to know if the technology is more effective than an alternative, such as hiring more officers.

 

Unfortunately, it is harder than it should be even to get data for BCA around policing. The reasons for this are many. An unnecessary cloak of secrecy envelops too much policing. Law enforcement’s instinct is to give no information beyond what is necessary, making democratic engagement with policing extremely difficult. Additionally, the technologies for police data collection are in many ways primitive, as anyone who has watched a police officer filling out incident reports in duplicate on the back of a cruiser knows. There are about 18,000 departments, and aggregated data would be useful, but we often don’t have it.

 

more at:  We spend $100 billion on policing. We have no idea what works.

 

It sure would make sense to create Best Practices and standards that all law enforcement must follow.


"FAKE 45 #illegitimate" read a sign at the Woman's March in Washington DC, January 21, 2017.
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