Archives bcowell

Strong Relationships and Skilled People Will Lead You Through the Chaos

Burguan_JarrodBy Chief Jarrod Burguan
San Bernardino Police Chief

The day of Dec. 2, 2015 will be etched into my memory for the rest of my life. I’ve spent the better part of my career watching other communities experience mass shooting events at schools, workplaces, churches; the list goes on. On Dec. 2, it was San Bernardino’s turn. It became one of those days that, as a chief, you think about and you run scenarios through your head wondering how you might respond if it ever happens in your city.

Some have said they thought the response from our department and our regional partners that day was textbook. Some have heaped a great deal of praise on the response and the leadership on display that day. I’ll readily admit that it’s nice to hear the compliments, and it feels good to play a part in showing the honorable side of our profession, especially in light of what our profession has been through in recent years.

But inside our department, we know it was organized chaos. It was not flawless and it was not textbook since there are no textbooks that can possibly prepare you for handling these types of dynamic incidents.  One person does not make it all happen. This case was brought to a successful ending and was solved because officers not only did their jobs—they showed exceptional skill and intelligence, and they worked together in what will likely be the most complex multijurisdictional event most of them will experience in their careers. Read More & Share

Race and the Police

clarence-edwardsBy Clarence Edwards

Race continues to influence how people of African descent in the United States are treated by law enforcement. Racism has been a systematic feature of American society and all of its institutions since this nation’s inception. Acknowledgement of the role implicit and overt biases have historically played in creating disparate law enforcement practices and the resulting frictions between African Americans and the police is a reality that should be immediately addressed.

The assignment of Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian and even African American police officers to police poor, predominantly black neighborhoods who have had little or no social contact with members of this group or specific training in how to effectively interact in such environments is an ongoing recipe for disaster. Police officers from each of the aforementioned groups sometimes bring negative attitudes and or stereotypes to these communities that can adversely affect their decisions and the fairness of their enforcement actions.

Some police forces in this nation have historically played critical roles in maintaining positional power for whites. This has created a very difficult chasm to overcome when police departments attempt to implement community policing initiatives. Read More & Share

Law Enforcement: The New Caregivers for the Mentally Ill?

bernard-melekianBy Bernard Melekian
Santa Barbara County Undersheriff

One of the greatest public policy failures of modern times is the dismantling of our nation’s state mental health systems and the failure to replace them with any meaningful treatment options. The elimination of the mental health hospital system was as disastrous as it was well intentioned.

In the 1970’s, when I was a young police officer, the stated plan was to replace the state hospitals with neighborhood mental health clinics. Officers could take people they encountered in difficult but not criminal situations to these clinics for an assessment and treatment if required. For those persons who didn’t qualify to be held for 72 hours, they did get counseling, medication or just a place to sit quietly. It was an incredible resource for police officers. Sadly, funding for the program was eliminated. Worse, nothing came along to replace it.

What is left is a system that all too often consigns people to the street and eventually the correctional system, usually the county jail. Our jail and prison facilities have unfortunately replaced the mental health care system. Read More & Share

Executive Fellow Henry Stawinski III Confirmed as Chief of Police for Prince George’s County (MD)

Stawinski, Hank_8x10The Police Foundation is pleased to share that Executive Fellow and current Prince George’s County (MD) Interim Chief of Police, Henry Stawinski III, was confirmed on February 17, 2016 as the new Chief of Police for the Department. Chief Stawinski has served as Deputy Chief for the department since September 11, 2011.

As he named Interim Chief Stawinski to the position of Chief, County Executive Rushern L. Baker III said, “He is a 23 year veteran of the department and has served admirably as Deputy Chief under Chief Magaw. He is commander of the Bureau of Patrol, PGPD’s chief crime data analyst, director of PGPD’s community policing, public relations, and communications efforts. In addition, Deputy Chief Stawinski has served as the top liaison for the police department and public safety for our Transforming Neighborhoods initiative.”

Chief Stawinski joined the Prince George’s County Police Department in 1992, following in the footsteps of his father who also served in the department. The Police Foundation congratulates Chief Stawinski on his appointment and looks forward to working closely with him in the future.

The Police Foundation Releases Infographic on Police Use of Force

UOF Infographic News ItemPolice use of force is governed by a complex set of laws, legal precedents, and policies. While a topic of considerable concern to the community, it is not well understood. Today, the Police Foundation adds to the discussion by releasing an infographic intended to educate the public by visually describing the complex considerations that determine when police use of force is lawful, even when it may appear otherwise.

The infographic, entitled When Can the Police Use Force – and What Happens When They Do?, points out that use-of-force is governed by laws at the federal and local levels, and its justification is dependent on the reasonable perspective of the involved officers at the very moment force was used—not on thoughtful, retrospective examination and questioning. Articulating and explaining this information to the public is critical because these incidents bring challenging and complex considerations that are often not apparent to the public. With this infographic, the public can be better informed about when the police can use force and how police are held accountable for use-of-force situations. The infographic is available here.

Executive Fellow Sylvia Moir Named New Police Chief for Tempe (AZ) Police Department

Moir 042 300dpiPolice Foundation Executive Fellow, and current El Cerrito (CA) Police Chief Sylvia Moir, has been named Tempe (AZ) Police Department’s next chief of police after an extensive national search. The official announcement came last Friday, January 29, from Tempe City Manager Andrew Ching. In a statement, Chief Moir said, “I am excited and honored to join the Tempe team.”

With more than 27 years in law enforcement, including service with the Sacramento Police Department and the Menlo Park (CA) Police Department, Chief Moir brings a wealth of law enforcement and leadership experience to her new position in Tempe. The Police Foundation is very excited for Chief Moir and for the citizens of Tempe on her selection. We look forward to the positive impact she will have in partnership with the citizens of Tempe. To read local news coverage of her selection, please click here.

NLEOMF Seeking Innovative Officer Safety and Wellness Programs

DZ_graphic_tagline_2-fwThe National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is seeking nominations of officer safety and wellness programs as part of Destination Zero—a program dedicated to eliminating officer injuries and fatalities. If your agency is currently engaged in a program that promotes and improves officer traffic safety, general safety, or overall wellness, please consider submitting to help other law enforcement agencies. It only takes a minute to nominate here.

Innovative safety and wellness programs submitted by December 31, 2015 will have the chance to win a 2016 National Officer Safety and Wellness Award during National Police Week in May 2016. In addition, award winners and finalists will be featured on Destination Zero’s website. To learn more about Destination Zero or to submit a program for recognition, please visit www.destinationzero.org.

We applaud the Law Enforcement Memorial for its great work, and we applaud the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) for supporting the effort! As a result of their work, more agencies, officers, coworkers and families will be better supported.

Journal of Quantitative Criminology publishes Dr. Amendola’s study on Site Variance in Lineup Type

Quantitative Criminology

The Role of Site Variance in the American Judicature Society Field Study Comparing Simultaneous and Sequential Lineups

Congratulations to Dr. Karen L. Amendola, Chief Behavioral Scientist at the Police Foundation for her recently published article with colleague Dr. John Wixted from the University of California, San Diego. The article titled “The Role of Site Variance in the American Judicature Society Field Study Comparing Simultaneous and Sequential Lineups” was published December 2015 in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology.

For more information on the findings, visit the Journal of Quantitative Criminology or contact Dr. Amendola.

Omnibus Bill Shows Strong Support for Policing Innovation

The Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee introduced a $55.7 billion FY 16 omnibus bill to support collaborative reform, community trust initiatives, and Smart Policing. After law enforcement budget cuts for the last few years, this bill represents a much-needed boost to innovation, reform, evaluation, and evidence-based strategies in policing. Specifically, the bill calls for $10 million for collaborative reform, $70 million for community trust initiatives, and $5 million toward Smart Policing. This robust omnibus appropriations bill portrays a true bipartisan understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing law enforcement today.

Korean National Police Study Tour Stop at the Police Foundation

KNP VisitorsDuring the week of December 6, 2015, the Police Foundation was pleased to host Superintendent Moonjoon Kwak and Senior Inspectors Jae Myung Kim and Duho Song from the Police Training Institute of the Korean National Police Agency, as well as current Police Foundation International Fellow Senior Inspector Minhwan Shin, also from the Police Training Institute. As part of a fellowship for overseas studies, Kim, Kwak, and Song have spent the last two months in the U.S. studying issues surrounding the use of unmanned aircraft systems in policing.

COMING SOON!
New Police Foundation Reports and Training Opportunities!