Category Archives: Law Enforcement

Electronic Privacy on the Job

Source: Devallis Rutledge, Campus Safety Magazine, December 10, 2010

Can a department monitor its officers’ use of official devices?

Several important points can be derived from statements in the court’s decision in City of Ontario v. Quon:

* Public employers are bound by the Fourth Amendment.
* Legitimate expectations of privacy may evolve with changing technology.
* It is important for employers to have clear, comprehensive policies that put employees on notice of the conditions of use of department-issued equipment.
* Since police communications may become evidence in a criminal case, officers should realize the risk that their messages may have to be disclosed.
* The ruling in Quon may not apply to all future scenarios of employer access to employee communications made over employer-issued devices.

Reluctant Supreme Court nonetheless guides employers grappling with the electronic media revolution

Source: Paul Secunda and Christine Lyon, CCH Labor Law Reports, August 11, 2010

From the Workplace Prof Blog summary:
Will Quon impact private employers? The case involved a public employer’s search of a public employee’s work-issued pager, but the Court’s holding may have implications that extend beyond public employment…. Analysis links reasonableness of search with private sector context.
Supreme Court Reverses Employees’ Win in Texting Case (Quon)
Supreme Court Takes New First Amendment Public Employment Case
(Duryea v. Guarnieri, U.S., No. 09-1476, 10/12/10)

Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2010

From the overview:
This page provides information about duly sworn law enforcement officers (who met certain other criteria such as having full arrest powers, ordinarily carrying a badge and gun, etc.) who were killed in the line of duty during 2009. These officers came from city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal agencies.

* In 2009, 48 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty.
* Thirty-two of the slain officers were employed by city police departments. Of these, nearly half (15) were with law enforcement agencies in cities with 250,000 or more inhabitants.
* Line-of-duty deaths occurred in 18 states and Puerto Rico. Twenty-one officers lost their lives in the South. Thirteen of the officers died in the West, 7 died in the Northeast, and 5 officers who were feloniously slain were employed in the Midwest.

The Debate over Police Reform: Examining Minority Support for Citizen Oversight and Resistance by Police Unions

Source: Steve Wilson and Kevin Buckler, American Journal of Criminal Justice, published online 5 August 2010
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Researchers have argued that the creation of citizen oversight often involves debate between those that support its use and the police which do not. Police unions, for example, have a long history of objecting to the creation of oversight, especially during collective bargaining. Minority demands for police reform, on the other hand, can lend support for its implementation, especially after a highly publicized case of misconduct between the police and minority citizens. Using a retrospective approach, this study examined the extent to which these opposing forces influenced the existence of oversight. Findings suggest that departments that engage in collective bargaining were no more likely to use an oversight agency than departments that did not engage in collective bargaining. Cities with large percentages of African Americans, however, were more likely to have an existing oversight agency.

The Long Haul Effects of Interest Arbitration: The Case of New York State’s Taylor Law

Source: Thomas Kochan, David B. Lipsky, Mary Newhart, and Alan Benson, Industrial & Labor Relations Review, Vol. 63, No. 4, July 2010
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The authors examine debates about the effects of mandatory interest arbitration on police and firefighters in New York State under the Taylor Law from 1974 to 2007. Comparing experience with interest arbitration in the first three years after the law was adopted with experiences from 1995 to 2007, the authors find that no strikes occurred under arbitration and that rates of dependence on arbitration declined considerably. Moreover, the effectiveness of mediation prior to and during arbitration remained high, the tripartite arbitration structure continued to foster discussion of options for resolution among arbitration panel members, and wage increases awarded under arbitration matched those negotiated voluntarily by the parties. Econometric estimates of the effects of interest arbitration on wage changes in a national sample suggest wage increases differed little in states with arbitration from those without it. The authors therefore propose a role for interest arbitration in national labor policy.

Women in Law Enforcement, 1987-2008

Source: Lynn Langton, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Crime Data Brief, NCJ 230521, June 2012

During the 1990s and 2000s, the percent of sworn law enforcement officers who were women increased only slightly in federal, state, and local agencies.

By 2007 nearly 4,000 state police, 19,400 sheriffs’, and 55,300 local police officers were women. In 2008, across 62 reporting federal law enforcement agencies there were about 90,000 sworn officers, of whom approximately 18,200 (20%) were women. These 2007 and 2008 numbers suggest a combined total of almost 100,000 female sworn officers nationwide in federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

2010 Mid-Year Officer Fatality Report

Source: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Research Brief, July 2010

From the press release:
After reaching a 50-year low in 2009, the number of U.S. law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty surged nearly 43 percent during the first six months of 2010, according to preliminary data released today by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF). If the mid-year trend continues, 2010 could end up being one of the deadliest years for U.S. law enforcement in two decades.
See also:
2009 report
2008 report
2007 report

Is Job-Related Stress the Link Between Cardiovascular Disease and the Law Enforcement Profession?

Source: Warren D. Franke, Marian L. Kohut, Daniel W. Russell, Hye Lim Yoo, Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Sandra P. Ramey, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Vol 52 no. 5, May 2010
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Objective: To determine whether job-related stress is associated with alterations in pro- and anti-atherogenic inflammatory mediators among law enforcement officers.

Conclusions: Law enforcement officers may be at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease due to a relatively greater pro-inflammatory vascular environment. However, this increased risk cannot be attributed to either chronic stress or the work-related stress measures assessed here.