Category Archives: Law Enforcement

Shared Perceptions Among Lesbian and Gay Police Officers – Barriers and Opportunities in the Law Enforcement Work Environment

Source: Roddrick Colvin, Police Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 1, March 2009
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Building on existing race- and sex-based research into the law enforcement workplace, this study examines differential treatment of lesbian and gay officers. A survey of 66 police officers revealed that lesbian and gay officers not only face barriers to equal employment opportunities similar to those faced by women and other minorities in law enforcement but also perceive some workplace benefits as lesbian or gay officers. The research suggests that police departments have made good strides in opening the law enforcement workforce but continue to face ongoing challenges in creating fair, diverse, and representative work environments for lesbian and gay officers. Policy implications as well as the organizational effects of both barriers and opportunities identified are discussed.

Law enforcement officer deaths: Mid-Year 2009

Source: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Research Bulletin, July 2009

After falling to their lowest level in nearly five decades in 2008, line-of-duty deaths among U.S. law enforcement officers rose 20 percent during the first six months of 2009. Still, officer fatalities remain low when compared with mid-year totals in recent history.

Reforming Repression: Labor, Anarchy, and Reform in the Shaping of the Chicago Police Department, 1879-1888

Source: Sam Mitrani, Labor, Volume 6, Number 2, Summer 2009
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
In the article “Reforming Repression: Labor, Anarchy, and Reform in the Shaping of the Chicago Police Department, 1879-1888,” Sam Mitrani examines the dramatic strengthening of the Chicago Police Department in the 1880s. Beginning in 1879, Mayor Carter Harrison pulled the department back from its least popular activities, such as enforcing temperance regulations and breaking strikes, to increase the legitimacy of the force. This was part of Harrison’s policy of class collaboration aimed at calming the tension in the city after the strike and riot of 1877. His administration also hired hundreds of new officers and funded an extensive police telegraph system. Meanwhile, the city’s workers were organizing in new unions, anarchist organizations were growing, and the city’s business leaders were preparing for new clashes by organizing themselves in a citizens’ association and an organization known as the Commercial Club. When a new strike wave began in 1885 and his class collaborationist policies ceased to ensure civic peace, Harrison deployed the newly strengthened force against strikers and their anarchist allies, with telling effect. After the Haymarket bombing and the repression of the anarchists in 1886, the police department further consolidated and reinforced itself with increased support from the city’s business leaders and their organizations. The article concludes that the Chicago Police Department was largely built in this era in reaction to the labor movement. The department’s main task was to contain that movement and protect “order” as defined by businessmen.

Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project

Source: Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2009

The Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project, coordinated by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, is an unprecedented, national effort to help local, state, and federal policymakers and criminal justice and mental health professionals improve the response to people with mental illnesses who come into contact with the criminal justice system.

The landmark Consensus Project Report, which was written by Justice Center staff and representatives of leading criminal justice and mental health organizations, was released in June 2002. Since then, Justice Center staff working on the Consensus Project have supported the implementation of practical, flexible criminal justice/mental health strategies through on-site technical assistance; the dissemination of information about programs, research, and policy developments in the field; continued development of policy recommendations; and educational presentations.
See also:
The Law Enforcement Response to People with Mental Illnesses: A Guide to Research-Informed Policy and Practice

ARRA-funded justice grants available

Source: American City and County, March 13, 2009

Of the $787 billion in federal aid included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) will distribute $2.76 billion through several grant programs. The largest program, OJP’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), will receive $2 billion from ARRA that will go to help local governments prevent crime and improve the criminal justice system. JAG funding is distributed according to a formula of population and crime statistics. Read the entire article here.

State and Local Law Enforcement Training Academies, 2006

Source: Brian A. Reaves, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ 222987, February 2009

From the press release:
A total of 648 state and local law enforcement training academies were providing basic training to entry-level recruits at yearend 2006, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, announced today. An estimated 57,000 recruits entered basic training at these academies during 2005. Eighty-six percent of recruits successfully completed training and graduated from the academy.

The average cost of operating a training academy totaled $1.3 million during 2005. Academies spent an estimated $16,000 per successful recruit.

Nearly all academies trained recruits for careers as local police officers (92 percent), and many academies trained recruits who were hired as sheriffs’ deputies (70 percent) or campus police officers (50 percent). Some academies also trained recruits for careers as state police officers (21 percent), constables (16 percent), tribal police officers (15 percent), natural resources officers (15 percent), or transportation police officers (14 percent).

More than two-thirds of academies were operated by colleges and universities (45 percent) or municipal police departments (22 percent). Training programs averaged 761 hours of classroom time. A third of academies required an average of 453 hours of mandatory field training.

The academies employed more than 10,000 full-time and 28,000 part-time instructors during 2006 and spent around $33,000 per full-time equivalent employee.

Federal Funding for State Innovation: Implementing the Recovery Plan: A Resource Guide for State Legislators and Advocates

Source: Progressive States Network, Stateside Dispatch, February 19, 2009

Recognizing the severity of the economic crisis our nation faces, President Obama this week signed the landmark American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a plan aimed at “restoring or saving” 3.5 million jobs and investing in the long-term future of the American economy.

Built into the plan is a recognition that while the federal government can assist in funding the work, most of the implementation of the plan will happen in the states. This Dispatch provides facts, guidance and a collection of resources to state leaders and advocates on how to implement the recovery plan in a strategic manner that strengthens our states and honors our progressive values.

Contents include:
Overview – Summaries and Key Resources

Transparency Requirements for States

Education

Health Care:

* Medicaid Support | Health Care for the Unemployed | SCHIP expansion and inclusion of immigrant children and pregnant women | Health Information Technology

Clean Energy and Transportation Investments

* State Energy Conservation Programs | Upgrading the Electrical Grid | Transportation and Infrastructure Investments

Broadband Provisions

Unemployment and Training Programs:

* Extended and Expanded Benefits | Modernizing Unemployment Insurance Systems | Training Funds | Expanded Safety Net Support | TANF Funding | Nutrition Programs | Child Care and Support | Affordable and Emergency Housing

Criminal Justice Funding

Justice Department Issues New FBI Guidelines

Source: Center for Democracy and Technology, October 03, 2008

The Justice Department today issued new guidelines for FBI investigations, weakening the standards that have long been in place to ensure proper targeting of law enforcement and national security investigations. The guidelines represent another step in the creation of a domestic intelligence system in the United States. They permit FBI agents to go undercover to collect information, send in informants and tail citizens, all without suspicion of wrongdoing or connections to a foreign power.
Attorney General Guidelines
DOJ Fact Sheet
FBI Dir. Mueller/ A.G. Mukasey Statement

Combat Deployment and the Returning Police Officer

Source: Barbara Webster, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, COPS Innovations, e08086158, August 2008

Strategies for reintegrating police officers who have been deployed in combat zones are presented. This report has these sections: introduction; project background; psychological effects of combat and natural disasters; intervention and treatment; law enforcement agency responses — L.A. Police Department Military Liaison Program, L.A. Sheriff’s Department Military Activation Committee, Kansas City (Missouri) Police Department, and Richland County (South Carolina) Sheriff’s Department; and conclusions and recommendations.

Improving Responses to People with Mental Illness: The Essential Elements of a Specialized Law Enforcement-Based Program

Source: Matt Schwarzfeld, Melissa Reuland, Martha Plotkin, Council of State Governments Justice Center in partnership with the Police Executive Research Forum For the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs U.S. Department of Justice, 2008

The ten essential elements comprising a specialized law enforcement-based program are described. Elements are: collaborative planning and implementation; program design; specialized training; call-taker and dispatcher protocols; stabilization, observation, and disposition; transportation and custodial transfer; information exchange and confidentiality; treatment, supports, and services; organizational support; and program evaluation and sustainability.