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Facial Recognition Technology Deployment and Mass Surveillance in London

Facial Recognition Technology Deployment and Mass Surveillance in London

Photo by Jason Reed/The Daily Dot

By Jim Burch
President, National Police Foundation

Having the authority to do something doesn’t always mean that we should. That’s the thought that came to mind when reading the news of the London Metropolitan Police’s recent deployment of facial recognition technology in east London.

While some may say we should “mind our own business” and not worry about what the Met does in London, there are times when the decisions and actions of one agency impacts all of policing. I believe this is one of them and it’s regrettable and dangerous. Here’s why:

The ongoing debate here in the U.S. about the use of facial recognition by law enforcement has in many ways been substantially influenced by what-if’s that many in U.S. law enforcement have said they don’t want to see. Mass surveillance is one such example. To be fair, the Guardian’s reporting has included a response from the Met that the deployment is an “intelligence-driven operation” which suggests to us that there may be information that prompted the use of the tool in this area at this time, either for deterrence or enforcement or both. Despite this plausible explanation, and despite the Met’s attempts to be transparent and obvious about the use of the technology at that place and time doesn’t make it a better decision.

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National Police Foundation hosts conference on police body-worn cameras

Dr. Cynthia Lum, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society and Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University and National Police Foundation Board Member, provides an overview of current research findings on police body-worn cameras.

The National Police Foundation (NPF) recently hosted a one-day conference: “Police Body Cameras: What Have We Learned Over 10 Years of Deployment?” The purpose of the conference was to share police body-worn camera research findings with practitioners, as well as to hear directly from practitioners whose agencies have deployed the technology and what challenges and opportunities body cameras bring to their agencies and communities.

The conference featured several presentations from researchers, including a presentation by Dr. Cynthia Lum, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University, on an overview of current police body camera literature and findings. In addition, Sean Goodison, Police Executive Research Forum, Daniel Lawrence, Urban Institute, and Kalani Johnson, National Police Foundation, presented on findings from three recent Arnold Ventures studies that have examined how body cameras affect citizen satisfaction with police encounters and implications for law enforcement. David Makin, Washington State University, also presented on whether BWCs capture a true picture of events, providing an overview of research synthesized by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics lab, which has shown that different people view body camera recordings in idiosyncratic ways and that reliance on video recordings may not provide a full or accurate presentation of an event.

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“The End of Killing”: A Conversation with Axon CEO and Author, Rick Smith

By Burke Brownfeld
Criminal Justice Writer 

Rick Smith wants to put an end to sanctioned killing. This sounds like an ambitious goal, but the CEO of Axon (previously Taser) and author of the book, “The End of Killing,” has both a vision and a strategy to make this goal a reality. Ultimately, Rick wants police officers and soldiers to have more effective weapons so that they don’t have to kill others in the course of their duties.

Why is this topic so important? For starters, as Rick points out in his book, 40,000 people per year are killed with guns in the United States, and 250,000 are killed with guns worldwide. So the stakes in this subject are quite literally life and death, and it is Rick’s life passion to tackle the challenge.

“The End of Killing” is not an Axon sales pitch aimed at promoting Tasers among police departments. The book is also not a gun control book or a partisan political book. Instead, this book takes the reader down a path of intellectual exploration into the topic of killing and challenges the reader’s preconceived notions on these issues. Rick helps the reader to understand the origin story of the Taser, and explains why humans tend to resist change, even when the change is quite clearly better than the status quo.

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Now available: 2019 Annual Report

The National Police Foundation’s 2019 Annual Report is now available. The report highlights the work the Foundation is doing in four key areas: harnessing the power of science to advance policing, encouraging responsible innovation, protecting the protectors and those they serve, and strengthening trust between police and communities to keep communities safe. Click here to view the report. A digital version of the report can be found at: www.npfannualreport.org.

Best-selling author highlights multiple National Police Foundation policing experiments in his most recent book

As 2019 comes to a close, we find ourselves reflecting on the impact we’ve had throughout the year and contemplating what more we can accomplish in the new year. This year, we were honored to see several of the National Police Foundation’s historic policing experiments highlighted in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know.

In the book, Gladwell describes our efforts to engage with strangers in various contexts in society. As he puts it, “In all of these cases, the parties involved relied on a set of strategies to translate one another’s word and intentions. And, in each case something went very wrong.” Gladwell uses case studies to examine the strategies that motivated or guided each interaction and questions their origins and effectiveness.

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New National Headquarters for the National Police Foundation features mission-oriented quotes from policing leaders

The new national headquarters for the Foundation sits between the newly announced Amazon headquarters and the also recently announced innovation campus of Virginia Tech, in Crystal City, Virginia.

The Foundation’s new state-of-the-art training and conference center (located onsite) showcases quotes from policing leaders and historic figures such as Lee Brown, Sir Robert Peel, Larry Sherman, and William J. Bratton. The quotes are designed to promote community engagement and a renewed focus on evidence-based policing.

“Of all the ideas in policing, one stands out as the most powerful force for change: police practices should be based on scientific evidence about what works best.” — Professor Lawrence W. Sherman

“The police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain public respect.” — The Right Honourable Sir Robert Peel

“The reality is that there is a divide between the police and some people in communities that need us most, but that divide can be bridged—the reality is that the people and the police can be partners.” — Commissioner William J. Bratton

The Foundation looks forward to hosting its partners and colleagues in 2020 at its new headquarters.

National Police Foundation evaluates Crime Gun Intelligence Centers in eight local jurisdictions

Crime Gun Intelligence Centers (CGIC) are an interagency collaboration focused on the immediate collection, management, and analysis of crime gun evidence, such as cartridge casings, in real time, to identify shooters, disrupt criminal activity, and to prevent future violence. CGICs rely on an ongoing collaboration between the ATF, local police department, crime laboratory, probation and parole, prosecuting attorneys, U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO), crime analysts, community groups, and academic organizations.

In Los Angeles, CA the post-CGIC period demonstrated a decrease of 18.9% in homicides, a 7.7% decrease in firearm-related homicides, and the firearm related robbery rate decreased by 3.1%. Uchida, C., Quigley, A., Anderson, K. Evaluating the Los Angeles Crime Gun Intelligence Center (2019) (Photo by: National Police Foundation)

Through its National Resource and Technical Assistance Center (NRTAC) for Improving Law Enforcement Investigations, the National Police Foundation (NPF) is providing training and technical assistance to jurisdictions participating in the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Local Crime Gun Intelligence Center Initiative. These sites promote interagency collaboration focused on the immediate collection, management, and analysis of crime gun evidence across local, state, and federal partners. The primary outcome of CGIC sites is the identification of armed violent offenders for investigation and prosecution. Other outcomes include: identifying crime gun source, efficiently allocating resources, providing decision-makers with the most accurate crime data available, increasing case closure rates, advancing public safety, and preventing gun crime.

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National Police Foundation selected to develop critical incident preparedness and response training for public safety leaders

The National Police Foundation, with funding from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, is developing a professional leadership development specialized training program for public safety leaders. The curriculum will be grounded in the lessons learned and best practices identified through rigorous after-action studies of mass violence incidents and responses to them. Focus areas will include tactical and command lessons learned at major incidents, threat assessment, mental health and resilience of responders, and best and next practices in preparation for, response to, and recovery from mass casualty attacks. The training will be piloted in the Summer of 2020.

Alert: The National Police Foundation NEVER Solicits Donations via Telephone!

The National Police Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based national non-profit organization, has received inquiries from across the U.S. by individuals who have been contacted by solicitors asking for donations in support of an organization of the same or similar name. We want to make the public aware that the National Police Foundation or Police Foundation does not now and never has solicited individual donations over the phone.

If you have been contacted via telephone and asked to make donations to the National Police Foundation in Washington, D.C. or the Police Foundation location in Washington, D.C., this is a scam.

Please note that many legitimate local (but unaffiliated) police foundations and organizations may solicit donations from local communities via telephone and mail. If you receive such a call, we encourage you to take note of who is calling (by name and number), the date and time. We also encourage you to require donation information to be sent to you via U.S. Mail before considering any donation or even pledging one.

What you should do if you are receiving unwanted calls:

1. Call your State’s charity registration agency and report the information. You can find a list of your state’s registration agency here (https://www.nasconet.org/resources/state-government/). It does not matter if the caller is from another State, it is your State agency that can protect you.

2. Report telemarketing fraud to the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at https://www.ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection/submit-consumer-complaint-ftc

3. Contact your State Attorney General’s Office to understand how they protect State residents from telemarketing fraud. Many offices have consumer protection units.

4. Consider using a call-blocking feature through your telephone service provider and/or a mobile app to block calls from unknown or suspected telemarketing numbers.

5. Tell solicitors that you will NOT now or EVER make any donation or pledge over the phone and demand that they provide you with the number they are calling from, their full name, the charity name, the website address where their IRS Form 990 can be found, and their physical address.

The National Police Foundation ONLY receives donations online via our website or via U.S. mail at the address listed on our website. We are registered as a charity in every state that requires registration and we are a GuideStar Platinum Charity—a designation given to charities that meet strict criteria around transparency.

PRIVACY POLICY AS IT RELATES TO MAKING A DONATION TO THE NATIONAL POLICE FOUNDATION

Our donations are handled through a third party service provider: Give Lively, LLC, which has its own privacy and security policies. Our secure donation page can be viewed at https://secure.givelively.org/donate/police-foundation.

For more information, please view the National Police Foundation’s Privacy Policy: https://www.policefoundation.org/privacy-policy/

Keywords: fraud, scam, fraud alert, donations, solicitations 

Law enforcement agencies in 78 percent of states in Mexico aim to achieve the “gold standard” in public safety accreditation

MEXICO CITY—Law enforcement agencies in more than three-fourths of all states in Mexico have officially committed to pursuing international law enforcement accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). CALEA was established in 1979 and is a credentialing authority that awards accreditation to public safety agencies in the US, Mexico, Canada, and Barbados that demonstrate meeting an established set of professional standards based on industry best practices.

This initiative, made available to law enforcement agencies in Mexico, is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Mérida Initiative, with additional training and technical assistance provided by the National Police Foundation.

There are currently more than 75 state, municipal, and federal public safety agencies pursuing or maintaining CALEA accreditation in Mexico, including police departments, public safety training academies, public safety communication centers, and as of October 2019, Mexico’s first public safety investigative agency. In November of 2018, CALEA inaugurated its first accreditation hearing in Mexico City.

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COMING SOON!
New Police Foundation Reports and Training Opportunities!