Category Archives: Law.Enforcement

South Py. holds first public talk on police dept.

Source: Quinn Schwartz, The Herald, March 16, 2018
 
Township supervisors remained mostly silent at the first public hearing to discuss the future of their community’s law enforcement. Supervisors approved a motion in February to advertise for proposals to outsource the municipality’s police services. … Aside from outsourcing police services, other options regarding the future of the township’s police department are to disband the department altogether and rely solely on state police coverage, negotiate a new contract with AFSCME, which represents the township police, or extend the existing contract, which expires at the end of 2018. Acker said that he has been contacted by AFSCME, and that the parties hope to schedule a meeting for later in the week to discuss contract negotiations. He added that if the township does decide on a contract with an outside entity, or to continue without local police, a public meeting will be held before a final decision is made. …

Old Lyme police union raises concerns over potential East Lyme merger

Source: Kimberly Drelich, The Day, December 8, 2017
 
The Old Lyme Police Department’s union is raising concerns over a potential consolidation with the East Lyme Police Department and said police officers should be part of the conversation over the town’s policing needs. “The Old Lyme Police AFSCME Local 2693 are in 100 percent agreement that the consolidation is not in the best interest of the townspeople and the police officers,” said police Cpl. Bill Zipadelli, president of local 2693, which comprises the department’s six full-time police officers. “We plan to share our concerns with the first selectman and the Board of Selectmen. It’s important for the voice of police officers to be heard and involved in any discussions regarding our future.” East Lyme and Old Lyme officials announced last summer the beginning of preliminary discussions on a proposal to create one police department for the two towns. East Lyme established an independent police force on July 1, while Old Lyme is under the state police program with a resident state trooper, six full-time officers and one part-time officer. … Larry Dorman, public affairs officer for Council 4 AFSCME, said the union doesn’t believe it’s in Old Lyme’s best interest to lose the current model of a small but dedicated police force that protects and serves the town. “There are statutory concerns, collective bargaining concerns and public safety concerns for the townspeople in Old Lyme,” Dorman said. “It just makes sense that these dedicated police officers are part of any due diligence regarding outsourcing.” … The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen is planning on forming a committee to study the town’s police services and whether or not a potential consolidation makes sense. …

Why are U.S. universities arming themselves with grenade launchers?

Source: Frank G. Karioris, Salon, September 16, 2017

Sending an ominous signal to student protest movements nationwide, universities across the US are once again able to equip their police forces with castoff military gear, tying them ever more intimately into the military-industrial complex. Program 1033 has been running since the 1990s but was stopped two years ago by President Obama. … Concerns about this supply of military gear is exacerbated by the reality that many campus police organizations are privatized, leading to less oversight and accountability in many cases. A 2014 Vice article laid out the difficulties faced regarding the University of Chicago Police force, which is privatized, and the fact that these private police forces often have “the legal status of a private police force and the powers of a public one.” How these privatized police forces are themselves policed is a critical question that is still, in many ways, unanswered. …

Update public on airport security

Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 23 June 2017 

Last summer the state awarded Securitas a three-year, $130 million contract for security at all Hawaii airports. …The Hawaii Government Employees Association, meanwhile, is questioning whether private security guards are qualified or legally authorized to have police powers. The union contends that, over the years, the DOT has allowed Securitas to expand its role. …

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State says it ‘didn’t’ fire deputy sheriffs at airport, but wants to re-examine duties
Source: Hawaii News Now, June 20, 2017
 
The state Transportation Department did confirm that it had given the Public Safety Department a 180-day notice of its intent to terminate an agreement to station 57 deputy sheriffs at the airport.  But Fuchigami said he wants to work out a new agreement that gives deputy sheriffs new duties and better coordinates security operations at the airport. … Despite reassurances that the sheriff’s department will remain part of the airport’s security detail the sheriff’s union believes this shake up is an attempt to drive it’s deputies out.   “That is our biggest concern that this is just another step toward privatizing law enforcement at the airport and that is something we violently object to,” said Randy Perreira, HGEA Executive Director.

Lawmaker demands answers after state boots deputy sheriffs from Honolulu airport patrols
Source: Manolo Morales, KHON, June 19, 2017

Major changes are in the works at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport with regards to security. The Hawaii Department of Transportation sent a letter to the Department of Public Safety to say deputy sheriffs will no longer be patrolling the airport. The Department of Public Safety tells us it has 57 deputy sheriffs and two civilians working at Honolulu’s airport. … Deputy sheriffs belong to the Hawaii Government Employees Association. The union filed a lawsuit against the state last year because it allowed Securitas to take over some of the law enforcement duties at all of Hawaii’s airports. We asked about this latest issue, and received the following statement from Randy Perreira, HGEA executive director: “HGEA is aware of the letter from the State Department of Transportation to the Department of Public Safety regarding termination of services of State Sheriffs at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. We are working to get more information regarding this issue.

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JSU Police canceling Calhoun County 911 dispatch service management

Source: Patrick McCreless, The Anniston Star, May 5, 2017

Jacksonville State University police are set to return to in-house dispatch services in July, less than a year after outsourcing those duties in the expectation of improved efficiency. JSU officials now say contracting out the emergency and non-emergency medical calls hasn’t made the dispatch service more efficient. The JSU police will instead use a combination of professional dispatchers and student workers to handle all emergency and non-emergency calls moving forward. JSU police Chief Shawn Giddy sent a letter to Calhoun County 911 Monday stating his department no longer wanted the organization to manage its dispatch services. …

Nevada National Guard security will be privatized

Source: Sean Whaley, Las Vegas Review-Journal, March 8, 2017

A panel of lawmakers on Wednesday approved funding of nearly $400,000 to provide contracted security for the state’s National Guard facilities, although some committee members expressed concern about the move to privatization. The Nevada Office of the Military learned in October 2016 that it was improperly allowing its Army Military Security Officers to use privately owned firearms on duty, contrary to an Army security agreement. As a result, the office was forced to disarm its security officers, which it said is an unacceptable security risk for the guard bases. The $392,000 contract approved by the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee will transfer funds from a different military account to allow the guard bases to use private armed security. While some lawmakers expressed concern with the move, the office said the use of contractors for such services is common for the military. …

Walking the line on police privatization: efficiency, accountability, and court decisions

Source: Pace William Rawlins & Sung-Wook Kwon, International Review of Administration Sciences, September 2016

Abstract:

This research reviews key issues in the privatization of local police services by discussing economic and political pressures for police privatization and concerns regarding the quality and accountability of privatized police. In particular, the authors explore whether the cost-efficiency sought from police privatization outweighs a critical side effect of a growing confusion regarding police oversight and significant uncertainties in accountability. They analyze court decisions in the US dealing with the question of whether constitutional protections extend to private police conduct. Relevant court decisions suggest that the confusion may grow even worse and local policy makers may need to pay more attention if they decide to privatize police services.

Points for practitioners While police privatization occurs at all levels of government, this research focuses narrowly on the municipal level because there are significantly more local police agencies than at any other level of government. This study first clarifies the motives behind police privatization and then brings to light the side effects that may occur, especially accountability issues. This will act as a guide for local policy makers because accountability and cost-efficiency are major concerns when considering police privatization. Local officials can more comprehensively consider the demand for privatization of local police services and potential legal issues caused by the privatization effort.

The Mysterious Private Police Force That’s Killing People In The Nation’s Capital

Source: Carimah Townes, ThinkProgress, August 31, 2016

Beyond DC, a handful of cities and states contract with security companies to employ special police officers who face far less scrutiny than traditional law enforcement, even though they operate almost identically. These companies establish their own standards and procedures, disciplinary measures, and managerial discretion. … Today, D.C. has 120 private companies that employ 16,580 law enforcement agents: 7,720 special officers along with 8,860 guards, stationed at apartment buildings, colleges, commercial buildings, and hospitals, compared to approximately 3,700 MPD officers in the city. Some are stationed in D.C. government buildings, including the Wilson Building, where the mayor and city council member’s offices are located. And 4,523 of those special officers are armed. … A General Order released by the MPD in 1993 says special officers function much like MPD officers in that they have the power to make arrests and carry firearms — privileges that private security guards aren’t afforded. Special officers are also allowed to use force on the properties they’re employed to oversee. … Beyond the high-profile cases, however, information about special officers’ use of force throughout the city is extremely limited. What little information is available paints a picture of an unaccountable body of agents that frequently uses abusive tactics.

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Editorial: When death comes at the hands of private security guards
Source: Washington Post, December 21, 2015

IN SEPTEMBER, a 57-year-old man allegedly wielding a knife was fatally shot by a private security guard in Union Station. In October, a 74-year-old patient at MedStar Washington Hospital Center died two days after a clash with private security guards. And last month, a 27-year-old man died after he was restrained by security guards at a Southeast apartment building. It will be up to police and prosecutors to determine if there was criminal culpability in any of the cases, but the fact of these three deaths in three months demands that D.C. officials take a serious look at how they regulate the private police forces that help patrol the city. … So the inevitable question is whether the training required and received by private security officers is sufficient. According to city officials, there are nearly 17,000 private security officers (special police and general security) affiliated with 122 security companies who staff housing projects, hospitals and other properties in the District. Some carry weapons and can make arrests after undergoing certification by the police department. Training is conducted by a third-party vendor …

Morro Bay drops police outsourcing after public outcry

Source: Lindsey Holden, The Tribune, August 10, 2016

Morro Bay residents on Tuesday night showed strong support for their local police force, speaking out against a plan floated by the city to outsource law enforcement services to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office as a way to save $500,000 a year. City Council members, who were to consider whether to further research contracting out the city’s policing, heard from dozens of constituents who packed Veterans Memorial Hall to praise Morro Bay’s department and the level of service officers provide. … The idea first came about in 2015, when Management Partners, a consulting firm Morro Bay officials hired to provide feedback on how the city could function more efficiently, proposed outsourcing law enforcement to save money. Morro Bay was to take up the issue in 2017, but the Aug. 1 departure of police Chief Amy Christey, and the need to find her replacement, prompted city officials to consider the topic now. … A 10-year budget forecast by Management Partners prompted the city to look into cost-saving measures last year, Buckingham said. Although Morro Bay’s finances are in the black and basic services can be met, he said, the city has about $3 million in unfunded needs, including an annual $1 million shortfall for street repairs and $2 million per year for facility replacements and expanded services. … Prior to the council’s vote, angry residents booed Buckingham when he brought up potential cost-savings during his report. Residents who took to the podium said their quality of life in Morro Bay depends on maintaining local services, such as police, fire and harbor patrol. Ken Vesterfelt presented council members with a petition, signed by 2,200 people, urging the city to keep its police department. …

Emergency dispatch consolidation plan advances

Source: Leon Lagerstam, QC Online, July 27, 2016

A decision to consolidate emergency dispatch centers into what’s called Public Safety Answering Points was approved Tuesday by a statewide 911 administrator. Administrator Cindy Barbera-Brelle emailed Rock Island County Emergency Telephone System Board chairman Steve Seiver that the county’s proposal has been accepted. … Agencies were required to submit a consolidation plan by the end of June and now have until June 30, 2017, to finish developing specific operational guidelines. Rock Island County was tasked with cutting its centers to three. Emergency telephone system board members decided to keep Rock Island and Rock Island County’s centers open, but close a Centre Station center handling Moline and East Moline calls, as well as Milan and Silvis. Moline, East Moline, and Milan decided to create a new dispatch center to be housed in Milan. Silvis has started negotiations with Rock Island’s department. …

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RI County begins plans to merge police dispatch centers
Source: Leon Lagerstam, Dispatch Argus, July 10, 2016

A plan to consolidate local police dispatch centers was filed a day before its state-mandated deadline. The plan for what is officially known as Public Safety Answering Points — PSAPs– was needed by June 30. It was filed June 29, Rock Island County Emergency Telephone System Board chairman Steve Seiver said. … On June 29, 2015, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law that required reducing the six Rock Island County emergency dispatching centers to three by June 30, 2017. … Milan, Moline and East Moline will consolidate and be housed at Milan. Where Silvis will go will be determined later by the newly consolidated PSAPs, according to information in the “Application for 9-1-1 Consolidation or Modified Plan.” Silvis city administrator Jim Grafton said city leaders were disappointed they didn’t get to see a copy of the proposed application before a city council meeting could have been convened. An emailed copy of it arrived in Silvis June 28. Revisions were suggested, but a council meeting couldn’t be called in time to approve it. … Dispatch centers employ about 54 full-time employees represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, as well as part-time employees and supervisors, according to reports. Staffing and budgetary requirements will be addressed this year ahead of an implementation stage. Ignoring or postponing a PSAP consolidation decision would have jeopardized future 9-1-1 surcharge funding, according to materials.