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Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Elimination Program Funds Available from the New York County District Attorney

The New York County District Attorney’s Office (DANY) has announced it is taking Requests for Proposals for its national Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Elimination Program of up to $35 million. The office is inviting RRPs from any state, municipality or other law enforcement agency for funding to pay for the cost of testing untested or backlogged sexual assault kits. Applicants will be asked to submit information about the size and scope of their untested SAKs, current state and/or local SAK testing policies, and their willingness to follow SAK testing best practices. Applicants are limited to States (including territories), units of local government from any state (including federally-recognized Indian tribal governments as determined by the Secretary of the Interior), law enforcement agencies, prosecutor’s offices, and public forensic labs. All applications must be submitted through DANY’s online grant administration portal by June 1, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Funding Available to Help Improve School Safety

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) — the scientific research arm of the U.S. Department of Justice — is overseeing the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative (CSSI) to build evidence-based knowledge about the causes of school violence and test innovative approaches that will contribute to our understanding of how to keep schools safe. Grant funding under CSSI is now available to develop knowledge about what works to make schools safe, to explore the causes and consequences of school violence, and to develop and evaluate a comprehensive school safety framework. The deadline for applications is 11:59 pm ETon June 12, 2015. Register now for an April 16 webinar to learn more details on how to apply for funding.

Police Foundation Releases “5 Things You Need to Know about Open Data in Policing"

With an increasing number of law enforcement agencies considering how to make their key data more accessible and thereby improve transparency, the Police Foundation Wednesday unveiled “5 Things You Need to Know about Open Data in Policing,” the latest in the Foundation’s Five Things series. Police agencies have traditionally kept data close hold, in light of their responsibility to protect the privacy interests of the communities they serve and to ensure that operations and safety are not jeopardized. But the open government movement has shown that it is possible to provide data to the public without compromising privacy, operations or safety. The benefits of providing data in an open format include better police-community collaboration as a result of increased transparency, and new ideas from researchers, community leaders and others on ways to improve the delivery of police services.

Wilmington crime commission submits crime-reduction report to governor

The Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission has unanimously approved a report prepared by the Police Foundation on ways to improve police practices and reduce violent crime in Delaware’s largest city.The commission submitted the report to Gov. Jack Markell, who had convinced the Delaware legislature to create the group in January in response to continuing reports that Wilmington has one of the highest per-capita violent crime and homicide rates in the nation. Governor Markell praised the work of the commission and the Police Foundation and the other author of the report, Vigilant Resources International.

Webinar: Restorative Justice in Schools: Highlights of Research and Practice in the U.S.

Date: Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Time: 10–11:30 a.m. Pacific (1–2:30 p.m. Eastern)

In this webinar, the WestEd Justice and Prevention Research Center's researchers will describe their project examining current policy and practice around restorative justice in U.S. schools. In this project, WestEd conducted interviews with over 40 experts in the field, surveyed over 150 practitioners nationwide (and interviewed 15), and conducted a comprehensive literature review.

Wisconsin State Trooper Trevor Casper killed while responding to a bank robbery

The Police Foundation expresses deepest sympathy to the Wisconsin State Patrol and the family of Trooper Trevor Casper, who was shot and killed while pursuing an alleged bank robber. Casper had been sworn in as a new trooper in December and was on his first day of solo patrol.

Casper pursued a suspected bank robber after identifying a stolen vehicle in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, exchanging gunfire with the suspect. Both Casper and the suspect were killed in the exchange.

San Jose Police Officer Michael Johnson shot and killed responding to call

The Police Foundation sends deepest condolences to the San Jose Police Department and the family of Officer Michael Johnson, a 14-year veteran who was shot and killed while responding to a report of a suicidal man with a gun.

Johnson was shot without warning when he entered an apartment complex responding to the report. The suspect was later found dead of a gunshot wound, although it is unknown if the shot came from police or was self-inflicted.

A field-training officer for rookies, Johnson was known for his ability to make people comfortable, and for being a front-line defender, said

Police Foundation Welcomes Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor as an Executive Fellow

The Police Foundation is pleased to welcome Chief Jane Castor of the Tampa Police Department as a new Executive Fellow. A 31-year law enforcement veteran, Castor is an advocate of community-oriented policing and of using an evidence-based approach to police practices. A Tampa native, Chief Castor was the first female president of a police academy class when she joined the department in 1984. She was a driving force behind the department’s development of the “Focus on Four” crime reduction strategy, which has reduced violent and property crime by 70 percent since its introduction in 2003. She was named Chief of the department in 2009.

Vice President Biden, Bureau of Justice Assistance announce National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative

Vice President Joseph Biden Monday unveiled the Obama Administration’s new Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), which is investing $41 million this year to help communities accelerate testing of the estimated 400,000 rape kits that have been backlogged in law enforcement storage rooms and crime labs across the country. This is a problem which prevents or delays the prosecution of sexual assault crimes.The Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, which administers the SAKI program, will present a webinar at 11 a.m. Monday, March 23, on how law enforcement agencies can seek federal grants to help reduce sexual assault kit backlogs. The webinar requires advance registration, which is available here.

Symposium on crime analysis for law enforcement executives presented by Police Foundation and International Association of Crime Analysts

The Police Foundation and the International Association of Crime Analysts (IACA) are inviting California and Nevada law enforcement executives to a free symposium that will provide them an overview of crime analysis best practices and organizational considerations necessary to integrate crime analysis and evidence-based policing strategies into their agencies’ everyday practices, making them more effective and efficient in reducing crime in their communities. This unique opportunity is supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and will be led by a selected cadre of crime analysis and evidence-based policing experts.The symposium will be held in Oakland, California on Thursday, April 30th at the California Endowment Oakland Conference Center, 1111 Broadway, 7th Floor, Oakland, CA.