Archives Erica Richardson

National Police Foundation releases new report with results from national survey on how small law enforcement agencies respond to calls involving persons in crisis

January 24, 2021—The National Police Foundation, with funding support from Arnold Ventures, recently published the results from a national survey that examined how small law enforcement agencies are preparing for incidents involving persons in crisis as a result of mental health or substance abuse issues.

Police frequently respond to calls involving persons with behavioral health needs, particularly those with mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders. These calls are often time-consuming and potentially dangerous for officers and the persons experiencing crisis. Large and medium-sized law enforcement agencies have increasingly adopted specialized police response models, such as Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) and Co-responder programs, that entail collaboration between law enforcement, mental health agencies, and medical facilities. However, little is known about the adoption of specialized responses by small agencies with fewer resources, less occasion to see persons in crisis, and fewer nearby mental health facilities.

Between February and October of 2020, NPF distributed a national survey to a random sample of 380 municipal police and sheriff’s offices with between 10 and 75 sworn officers. The survey aimed to explore the extent to which small law enforcement agencies have adopted specialized response models for dealing with calls involving persons in crisis, the amount of training provided in this area among small agencies, and what percentage of small agencies employ CIT-certified officers or are part of a regional CIT partnership.

Read More & Share

Apply Now to Join the Nationally Recognized Law Enforcement-Mental Health Learning Sites Program

January 22, 2021/via www.csgjusticecenter.org—In partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), The Council of State Governments Justice Center is seeking applicants to expand the Law Enforcement–Mental Health Learning Sites Program. This program is designed to identify and highlight agencies from across the country with successful police-mental health collaborations (PMHCs) between leaders from law enforcement and behavioral health systems who are willing to serve as examples of effective PMHC response models.

Learning sites will be chosen, not just for their programmatic successes, but also for their ability to provide insight and guidance to other jurisdictions interested in starting or expanding a PMHC. While learning sites do not receive funding directly from BJA or the CSG Justice Center, they are reimbursed for approved costs associated with hosting site visits from other jurisdictions or travel to other jurisdictions to provide training and technical assistance. They also have access to no-cost, expert technical assistance provided by CSG Justice Center staff.

Following a competitive application process, selected jurisdictions will gain national recognition as members of the Law Enforcement–Mental Health Learning Sites Program and will work closely with the CSG Justice Center to provide peer-to-peer learning opportunities to programs nationwide. They may also be called on to collaborate with fellow learning sites and stay abreast of current research and best practices.

Learn more and apply here: https://csgjusticecenter.org/2020/12/01/apply-now-to-join-the-nationally-recognized-law-enforcement-mental-health-learning-sites-program/

*Apply no later than Friday, January 29, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. E.T.*

#lawenforcement #police #mentalhealth #collaboration

The Danger to Policing in Normalizing Extremism

By Chief (Ret.) Jim Bueermann

The sights and sounds of January 6, 2021, are etched into our minds for the remainder of our lives and will no doubt be studied and read about for decades to come. This was no ordinary Wednesday. It could be classified as one of the worst, if not the worst day yet, in American history.

As we contemplate what went wrong and reflect on the differential response and treatment, we should keep our minds open to the possibility that there isn’t one sole explanation or just one take away from the day’s events and how police responded. It is certainly fair to say that had the gathering been a Black Lives Matter protest, the police response may have been significantly different. I believe it would have been. But there may be many more points of failure, blame and cause for concern, including distractions, cultural influences, or even a profound failure of leadership within the federal agencies and offices involved.

Read More & Share

From Contradiction to Confusion: Reflections on the challenges facing policing and questions to help bring clarity

January 13, 2021—The year 2020 will be remembered as an incredibly difficult and challenging year for many for good reason. With the death of George Floyd and on the heels of other controversial deadly force incidents, we witnessed a spring and summer of unrest with a serendipitous outcome—people across all backgrounds came together to declare that Black lives matter. Furthermore, in a number of these events, we saw law enforcement officers and leaders marching in solidarity.

As unrest and deadly force incidents continued, including the June 2020 shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, calls for police reform and defunding emerged. Key demands included less force and violence, decreased militarization and enforcement, the elimination of racism, increased relationship building and trust, and a fair, and just unbiased response when and where needed. Local and state governments took steps to reduce police presence and restricted the types of force that were used, including the prohibition of certain tactics, such as tear gas and other less lethal tools. The failure to use such tools is legitimately being questioned today.

VIEW FULL STATEMENT BELOW

Department of Justice Establishes Community of Practice for Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness

PRESS RELEASE

U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
Office of Public Affairs
Email: cops.office.public.affairs@usdoj.gov
Phone: (202) 514-9079

December 22, 2020, WASHINGTON—The Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) has established the first-ever Community of Practice for state, local and tribal grantees  to connect, learn, share experiences, and network in an effort to continue the growth of law enforcement mental health and wellness work. Good mental and psychological health is just as essential as good physical health for law enforcement to be effective in keeping our country and our communities safe from crime and violence. The Community of Practice recently launched its work with a virtual meeting establishing short and medium term goals.

“Supporting the health and well-being of the nation’s front-line law enforcement as they ensure public safety is paramount to the Department of Justice,” said COPS Office Director Phil Keith. “The Department has dedicated resources to critical areas of concerns for officers including resilience; officer suicides; felonious and other assaults on officers; and mental health peer support networks. Establishing this new Community of Practice will provide the guidance, assistance, resources and support needed to further develop solutions to keep law enforcement safe and well, as they keep our communities safe and well.”

Read More & Share

Baltimore Police Department partners with the National Police Foundation to launch new peer intervention program for officers

December 22, 2020—To support the efforts of the City of Baltimore and the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) in implementation of the consent decree, through funding from the Ford Foundation, the National Police Foundation (NPF) currently serves as a Technical Advisor to BPD. NPF is providing subject matter expertise and other support to BPD on a broad array of reforms the department is currently undertaking. So far, NPF has supported BPD in completing a Technology Resource Study and a Staffing Study, and supported BPD’s development of a Community Policing Plan. NPF staff are currently assisting BPD with their implementation of “Ethical Policing is Courageous” training, a peer intervention program, and development of neighborhood policing plans.

Keywords: Baltimore, BPD, Baltimore Police Department, EPIC, Active bystandership, training, police training

Developing Evidence in De-Escalation of Potential Use of Force Encounters

By Karen L. Amendola, PhD (Chief Behavioral Scientist, National Police Foundation)

Stories about police use of excessive force continue to appear in local and national news headlines. Community-police relationships continue to be strained by these incidents, many of which have been captured on camera and circulated in media. Witnessed and recorded incidents have reportedly led to a loss of trust in the police1 and for calls to defund local police departments. In a post-2020 era, public protestors are calling for replacing police responses with alternative, non-police emergency service members, such as social workers or mental health professionals, with the intent being better outcomes for all parties involved. The emergence of Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics (ICAT) training is, to a great extent, an outgrowth of this strong sentiment across the country, gaining traction after the shooting of Michael Brown.2

Strengthening Community Policing and Trust

In 2015, the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing issued its report with recommendations to strengthen community policing and trust among law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.3The report showcased the disparity between the level of confidence in law enforcement among various communities while including a special emphasis on de-escalation—a technique used to reduce the potential for a conflict to become more volatile or violent.3 Pillar 2 of the report, which focused on Policy & Oversight, Action Item 2.2.1 stated, “Law enforcement agency policies for training on use of force should emphasize de-escalation and alternatives to arrest or summons in situations where appropriate.”3 While the statement is general enough to allow room for interpretation and adaptation to local community preferences and needs, it was the subject of much discussion among police leadership as it was not adequately defined.

Read More & Share

National Police Foundation to develop techniques to automate analysis of BWC recordings of police-community interactions to evaluate implementation of procedural justice

December 10, 2020—Although the use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) has expanded rapidly, the capacity to efficiently analyze the enormous amount of data collected by BWCs lags far behind. As a result, the wider potential of BWCs to improve practices and outcomes of policing has gone largely unrealized. With funding from the National Institute of Justice, the National Police Foundation will conduct a new study entitled: “Multi-Modal Analysis of Body Worn Camera Recordings: Evaluating Novel Methods for Measuring Police Implementation of Procedural Justice.”

The purpose of this project is two-fold: (1) develop novel techniques to automate analysis of BWC recordings of police-community interactions and evaluate officers’ adherence to principles of procedural justice and; (2) use a randomized controlled trial to assess the accuracy of those techniques by systematically comparing them to evaluations of BWCs recordings done manually by human raters under conditions of high and low procedural justice.

Read More & Share

National Police Foundation and partners continue awarding microgrants to first responder families impacted by COVID-19

The National First Responder COVID-19 Grant Relief Program is still continuing to take applications to help first responders and essential public safety staff in need during this difficult time. This program provides first responders an opportunity to request a grant of up to $1,000 to reimburse COVID-related expenses such as counseling sessions for mental health, dependent care, isolation lodging, disinfecting expenses and similar costs.

To date, the National Police Foundation and its partners have awarded over $100,000 to 151 first responders in need, the majority of which have been law enforcement. The below charts show types of first responders that have been awarded so far, as well as the types of COVID- related expenses recipients have requested.

Read More & Share

Origins of officer-involved shootings: Analysis of data reported to police via 911 calls reveal opportunities to reduce violent outcomes

By National Police Foundation

November 25, 2020—Through the cooperation of more than 50 of the largest law enforcement agencies across the U.S. and Canada, our research team was granted access to the most detailed dataset ever collected on fatal and non-fatal shootings by officers while on duty. Covering the period from 2015 through 2018, these data cover over 1,000 fatal and nonfatal shooting incidents, including characteristics regarding the reason for and circumstance of the encounter, the location, and the officers and the other individuals involved. While differences in data availability and policies impacted our ability to collect every detail across all agencies and incidents, the data provide important insights on these statistically rare, but massively important, events. In particular, the data shed light on an often overlooked aspect of the events that likely contributes significantly to the problem and yet remains understudied and unaddressed.

Although traditional and social media content may lead some to believe that officer-involved shootings most often begin with encounters involving a traffic or vehicle stop, our data reveal that in the large agencies we worked with and those providing sufficient data to assess the origins of these incidents, over half of these events began with a community member calling 911. Slightly less than half of the encounters began by an officer-initiated activity (e.g. initiating a traffic stop).

Read More & Share