Archives Erica Richardson

National Police Foundation launches real-time situational awareness tool for law enforcement to track COVID-19 officer exposures and PPE impacts

MARCH 25, 2020—In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on law enforcement and other first responders, the National Police Foundation (NPF), in collaboration with the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS (NAPSG) Foundation and Esri, has developed a real-time COVID-19 situational awareness tool for law enforcement agencies. The tool, featuring a real-time dashboard, provides critical insights for executives, commanders, administrators and other decision-makers to better assess and monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our nation’s first responders, including officer exposures, diagnoses, workforce impacts, and personal protective equipment (PPE) needs and projections.

The interactive tool allows agencies to provide confidential, real-time updates that are instantly incorporated into the national dashboard and map. The dashboard identifies the number of officers exposed, officially tested with a positive diagnosis, placed in off-duty status due to exposure, and that are self-isolating due to symptoms or off-duty exposure. The dashboard also estimates the availability of necessary PPE, the most critical PPE that agencies are lacking, and current and projected shortages of PPE. The data is then aggregated and mapped at the state-level in order to show impacts across the country. Individual agencies will not be identified. Law enforcement agencies can then compare impacts in their state with those of other states.

Screenshot of the National Police Foundation’s COVID-19 Law Enforcement Impact Real-Time Surveillance Dashboard. (Photo by: National Police Foundation)

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Passing of longest-serving, former Police Foundation President Hubert Williams

MARCH 12, 2020—The National Police Foundation extends heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Hubert Williams, who passed away earlier this week on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Williams served as the president of the National Police Foundation (formerly Police Foundation) from 1985-2012—becoming the longest serving president in the organization’s 50-year history.

Williams—a Harvard Law Fellow, Graduate of Rutgers Law School, a founding member and former first President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE), and the youngest and first African American to serve as Police Director in Newark, NJ—was a trailblazer and influential leader in the policing profession.

Williams was appointed Police Foundation president in 1985, following the retirement of NYPD Commissioner Patrick V. Murphy. Prior to his appointment as president of the Police Foundation, Williams served as police director in Newark, New Jersey, from 1974 to 1985, and under his leadership the Newark Police Department served as the laboratory for two groundbreaking Police Foundation studies pivotal to the evolution of community policing—The Newark Foot Patrol Experiment and the NIJ-funded reducing fear of crime experiment.

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National Police Foundation, Partners host executive workshop to improve officer safety on the roadway

Law enforcement executives from several local agencies gathered to learn about tactics, model policies, and best practices for roadway safety.    

The National Police Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR), recently held the first training session as part of the newly launched National Law Enforcement Roadway Safety Program (NLERSP), one of three programs launched under BJA’s National Officer Safety Initiatives (NOSI).

The NLERSP provides a suite of no-cost training, technical assistance, and resources to local, state, and tribal law enforcement agencies with the goal of reducing the number of officers seriously injured and killed on the nation’s roadways.

The NLERSP offers in-person, interactive courses for executives, patrol officers, and trainers that teach attendees about the risk factors for officer-involved collisions and struck-by incidents and identify a variety of interventions and technological innovations that can reduce the likelihood of their occurrence. The evidence-based courses—developed by a national working group of subject matter experts from law enforcement, government, and academia—draw heavily from the success of the Las Vegas Police Department’s comprehensive crash prevention program, as well as widely-recognized traffic incident management (TIM) principles, to provide attendees with actionable steps, skills, and resources to improve officer safety on the roadways.

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National Police Foundation to conduct new research study examining crisis intervention response models within small law enforcement agencies

MARCH 2020—The National Police Foundation, with funding support from Arnold Ventures, will conduct a new research study that will examine how small law enforcement agencies (10-70 sworn) respond to incidents involving persons with mental illness or substance abuse issues.

Persistent lack of community-based mental health resources available to people in crisis has resulted in frequent need for police intervention. Law enforcement agencies across the country are turning to Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) and other specialized police response models that focus on cross-sector collaboration between law enforcement, mental health agencies, and advocates. While these efforts have proliferated and show promise in meeting goals, they are largely typical of medium and large departments. However, the vast majority of police agencies are small and may not have the resources to fund CIT training, may not have mental health resources close at hand, nor receive the numbers of calls involving persons with mental illness or substance abuse issues to justify expensive programs.

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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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