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Police Foundation Participates in Key Dialogue on the Future of Robotics in Policing

On October 27, 2016, the Police Foundation participated in a dialogue session with scientists, ethics experts and industry representatives on the future of robotics in policing.  The dialogue was sponsored by the S&R Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was described as the first session of the 2016-2017 Halcyon Dialogue on robotics.  The day-long discussion topic was titled: Promise and Peril of Military Robotics Tech used in Civilian Settings.

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According to the sponsors, “[t]hroughout history, numerous technologies originally designed for military use have found applications in the civilian sector, from radar to the Internet. In recent years, a similar transfer of technology has begun taking place across the field of robotics, and this trend shows every sign of accelerating. While once present only on the front lines, autonomous systems now patrol our borders, capture footage of our weddings, and may soon be driving us to work and delivering packages to our homes. Although these developments have great potential, however, the proliferation in civilian life of technologies originally designed to inflict maximum damage on a battlefield adversary raises significant ethical and policy questions – especially when they involve decisions that are made, at least in part, without human input. As evidenced by the recent use of a robot to kill a domestic terrorism suspect in Dallas, such concerns are not unwarranted. This dialogue will explore the “promise and peril” of this rapidly-evolving interaction between military and civilian robotics research, with the goal of fostering a better understanding of how to maximize the benefits associated with these new technologies while minimizing the risks.”

The Police Foundation was honored to participate in such a distinguished event and to contribute to future discussions.

New Essay: Law Enforcement Must Regain the Public’s Trust

PF On Policing logo final thumbnailPerhaps nothing is more important in law enforcement today than improving community-police relations. In a new essay, Police Foundation Senior Research Fellow and former police officer Dr. David J. Thomas discusses the challenges that law enforcement across the country must address in order to regain the public’s trust and improve police legitimacy. To read the full essay, click here or visit www.onpolicing.org.

If you would like to receive updates when new On Policing essays are posted, please click here to subscribe and indicate that you would like to receive information about the On Policing essay series.

Law Enforcement Must Regain the Public’s Trust

davethomas2By Dr. David J. Thomas
Police Foundation Senior Research Fellow

I write this as an African American male and as a retired police officer.

There is so much American history that some of America wants to forget. Quite honestly, we Americans have short memories when it comes to uncomfortable reality or truth that interferes with our way of life. For instance, if I bring up slavery, police would argue: “Slavery has nothing to do with where we are today. I am not responsible for something that happened 300 years ago.”

What is lost in this argument and what the law enforcement community fails to recognize is that our past is the root of problems today. Read More & Share

On Policing: Solving Crime & Enhancing Community-Policing Using GPS Tracking Technology

PF On Policing logo final versionIn the newest essay in the On Policing series, Lt. Travis Martinez from the Redlands (CA) Police Department discusses how his department has successfully utilized advanced GPS tracking technology to not only apprehend criminals, but to also increase community satisfaction in the police department. To read the full essay, click here or visit www.onpolicing.org.

If you would like to receive updates when new On Policing essays are posted, please click here to subscribe and indicate that you would like to receive information about the On Policing essay series.

Solving Crime and Enhancing Community-Policing Using Advanced GPS Tracking Technology

lt-martinez-hi-res-picBy Travis Martinez
Special Operations Bureau Lieutenant with the Redlands Police Department

As the crime rate continues to increase throughout California with communities feeling the effects of prison realignment and Prop. 47, law enforcement agencies across the state are challenged with finding new strategies to address community concerns.

Several police agencies – including the Redlands Police Department (RPD) – appear to have found an effective strategy to leverage GPS technology to address crime trends that are popping up in the community. Since 2011, RPD has made 220 arrests for all sorts of robberies and thefts using motion-activated GPS devices that have the capability of being deployed in the field for up to 21 months.

It may seem as if success is measured by the number of arrests, but the reality is most deployments do not result in apprehensions. When it comes to enhancing community policing and promoting police legitimacy, all deployments are critical, even those that ultimately do not result in an arrest.  Read More & Share

Police Foundation Releases New Report Showing Strong Potential for Foot Patrol

Arguably, nothing is more important in policing today than gaining and holding the trust of the community, particularly those most affected by crime and violence. Today, the Police Foundation, with generous support from the Charles Koch Foundation, is releasing a new report that provides real-life examples and optimism for how foot patrol can help law enforcement officers and agencies reconnect and build strong, mutually supportive relationships with their communities.

The report, entitled Engaging Communities One Step at a Time, highlights the positive engaging-communities-one-step-at-a-time_cover-250x310interactions and dialogue that are occurring between communities and foot patrol officers from the Cambridge (MA) Police Department, the New Haven (CT) Police Department, the Evanston (IL) Police Department, the Kalamazoo (MI) Department of Public Safety, and the Portland (OR) Police Bureau. The study found that foot patrol facilitates relationship-building between the police and the community while also enhancing the enforcement and problem-solving efforts of law enforcement.

The importance and timeliness of this study cannot be understated. “Given the recent events in policing and the ongoing national conversation about community-police relations, this study offers a glimpse of the positive policing and engagement occurring across the country”, said Jim Bueermann, president of the Police Foundation. Furthermore, it underscores the importance of relationships. As one community member asserted during the study, “The key to policing, no matter where you are in the country, is building relationships. It’s not rocket science.”

To view and download the full report, please click here.

On Policing: Learning Critical Lessons from 9/11, Then and Today

As our country remembers the lives lost and the selfless sacrifices of so many Americans on September 11, 2001, Dr. Frank Straub recalls his own experience in New York City on img_6045that fateful day. In the newest essay in the On Policing series, Dr. Straub stresses the importance of learning from such incidents as 9/11, the San Bernardino terrorist attack, the Pulse Night Club attack, and other critical incidents in order to prevent future tragedies and loss of life. To read the full essay, please click here or visit www.onpolicing.org.

Learning Critical Lessons from 9/11, Then and Today

Frank Straub, Director of Public Safety, waits for his segment of a hearing with members of the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee, Indianapolis, Wednesday, April 18, 2012. Robert Scheer/The StarBy Frank Straub
Director of Strategic Studies
Police Foundation

On Saturday (September 10th), I received an email from Jim Bueermann, my boss at the Police Foundation. The email’s subject line was succinct:

“Is that you in this photo from 9/11?”

I opened the email and clicked on the link Jim had provided; I watched the video, and there I was, kneeling next to a NYC fire fighter whom my partner and I had pulled out of the first tower of the World Trade Center after it collapsed. Amazingly, he had survived even though he had been in the lobby.

I had never seen the photo, and it brought back memories of 9/11, which Jim asked me to share. Read More & Share

New Essay: Big Time Trouble Won’t Only Happen in Big Cities

PF On Policing logo final versionThe newest release in the On Policing essay series features Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Jeffrey Hadley discussing lessons he learned from a series of shootings that occurred in Kalamazoo on February 20, 2016. He emphasizes the critical importance of preparing for critical incidents such as the one experienced by his department, and he stresses the need for an effective communication strategy in the aftermath. To read the full essay, click here or visit www.onpolicing.org.

If you would like to receive updates when new On Policing essays are posted, please click here to subscribe and indicate that you would like to receive information about the On Policing essay series.

Big Time Trouble Won’t Only Happen in Big Cities

jhadley picBy Jeff Hadley
Chief of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety

If the past year has shown us anything, it’s that crime and terror on a major scale can happen anywhere, not just in big cities like New York or Washington D.C.

There were probably a lot of Americans who had never heard of Kalamazoo, Michigan, before an Uber driver went on a killing spree in my community on Feb. 20, 2016, but I am guessing a lot of Americans also had never heard of San Bernardino, Calif., before terrorists attacked it last December.

Just two weeks before the Uber driver killed six people, I was talking to a reporter and discussing the notion that an active shooter event could easily happen here. As police chiefs, we have to be ready for major incidents, no matter the size of the community that we are responsible for protecting. With major incidents comes major attention from the national media, and these days, sometimes even the international media. Read More & Share

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