News & Events

New Publication – Community Policing & Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Guidelines to Enhance Community Trust

uas-cover-largeEnsuring the safety of the public is a core mission for all professional law enforcement agencies. In pursuit of this mission, law enforcement leverage many different types of tools, including new and emerging technologies.  One of these latest technologies is the small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS).

“UAS technologies provide law enforcement agencies with unique capabilities for rapid, safe, economical and effective responses to a wide variety of public safety tactical challenges. Harnessing these capabilities requires not only the skills to operate the technology, but the input and understanding of the community and a pledge to operate the technology in a transparent manner. This is what community policing is all about,” said Jim Bueermann, President of the Police Foundation and former Chief of Police in Redlands, California.

While the sUAS has significant potential to improve operational efficiency as well as officer and community safety, there are understandable and legitimate concerns about privacy risks. To help law enforcement agencies address these concerns, the Police Foundation is releasing new recommendations for local law enforcement agencies considering the use of small unmanned aircraft systems for public safety purposes. Community Policing & Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Guidelines to Enhance Community Trust provides comprehensive guidance on all aspects of UAS use in public safety, including operational, training, and legal and regulatory compliance considerations.

The guidebook reflects the recommendations provided in five focus groups by law enforcement practitioners and community members on how to best achieve consensus building between law enforcement and the communities they serve on the use of sUAS. The focus group sites were Los Gatos, California; San Bernardino County, California; Draper City, Utah; Morristown, New Jersey; and Milliken, Colorado.

The guidebook also reflects the strong recommendations of the project advisory group that any sUAS program must be created as a public benefit, with public backing and the highest level of transparency, if it is to succeed. This imperative is reflected in both the framework and the language of the guidebook and the importance of maintaining and advancing community policing values is reflected in each section.

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

Dr. Karen L. Amendola Named to Third Circuit Task Force on Eyewitness IDs

Dr. Karen Amendola, Chief Behavioral Scientist, was recently appointed to the Third Circuit Task Force on Eyewitness Identifications. Dr. Amendola is one of 17 members appointed by Chief Judge Theodore A. McKee (and co-Chaired bkaren-amendolay Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg) to this task force, charged with making recommendations regarding jury instructions for the evaluation of eyewitness identification testimony, and the use of expert testimony. The goal of the task force is to make important recommendations “pertaining to eyewitness identifications and testimony that can minimize the risk of wrongful convictions.”

Dr. Amendola was the lead investigator on a series of Police Foundation eyewitness identification field studies. She has published widely on the findings with colleague John Wixted in both the Journal of Experimental Criminology and the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, and has authored the Evidentiary Strength Rating Scale (with Meghan Slipka, 2011).

New Brief: “The Career Pipeline Concept and the California POST”

In collaboration with the California Police Chiefs Association and the California State Sheriffs’ Association and with funding from the California Endowment, the Police Foundation is proud to release the final brief in a series of youth–focused policy briefs, “The Career Pipeline Concept and the California POST.”

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To meet the challenges associated with recruiting and retaining a workforce that is representative of the community, sheriffs and chiefs are exploring creative ways to attract and retain underrepresented candidates to law enforcement. Using POST Career Pipeline concepts, that involve engaging students in structured school-based public safety career pipeline programs, agencies in California have been at the forefront of efforts to recruit, train, and hire qualified candidates that represent gender and racial diversity represented in their community. This brief introduces the Career Pipeline concepts and highlights examples of how law enforcement agencies and schools can bridge the gap between officers and students and encourage youth to consider careers in law enforcement.

This is the final brief in a four-part series of youth-focused policy briefs produced to enhance law enforcement knowledge and understanding of youth development in an effort to improve outcomes for youth interactions with law enforcement. California law enforcement executives, and those nationwide, can use this tool as they examine their policies and processes for ways to improve approaches to youth. The first three in this series ‘Issue Brief 1: Introduction’, ‘Issue Brief 2: Teen Brain: Preparing Your Officers to Engage with Youth’ and ‘Issue Brief 3: Defining the Role of School-Based Police Officers’ were released earlier this year.  

For more information, visit the Youth Policing Project page.

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.

5 Things You Need to Know About Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) in Law Enforcement

The Police Foundation is excited to release the newest in the “5 Things” series, “5 Things You Need to Know About Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) in Law Enforcement.” There is no doubt that technology is rapidly changing thsuasfulle face of policing today, and one of these new technologies is the small- unmanned aircraft system. While this technology has great potential for improving operational efficiency and officer and community safety, there are a number of concerns about the potential for an invasion of privacy.  To avoid these risks law enforcement agencies considering adopting a sUAS should engage their communities in the decision to implement a program.

This one-pager is being released in anticipation of our forthcoming guidebook “Community Policing & Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Guidelines to Enhance Community Trust.” The guidebook is funded by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice. For more information on the project, please visit our project page: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in Public Safety.

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.

New Publication: 5 Things You Need to Know About Near-Repeat Patterns and Crime Prevention

The Police Foundation is excited to release the  “5 Things You Need to Know About Near-Repeat Patterns and Crime Prevention,” providing a resource for quick reference on how to apply the science of Near Repeat Theory to crime prevention efforts.

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This latest addition to the Police Foundation’s “5 Things” series outlines the science behind the near repeat pattern for residential burglaries and its implication for proactive policing and crime prevention that can be enhanced by including the community in crime prevention efforts.

When combined with other police data, “near repeat” patterns can be an effective way of increasing the accuracy with which law enforcement can forecast crime. The crime prevention potential of “near repeat” patterns for residential burglaries is the focus of a current Police Foundation project carried out in the Redlands Police Department (RPD) and Baltimore County Police Department (BCOPD), funded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. For more information, please visit our project page: Translating ‘Near Repeat’ Theory into a Geospatial Policing Strategy.

New Brief: “Defining the Role of School-Based Police Officers”

As part of National Community Policing Week, in collaboration with the California Police Chiefs Association and the California State Sheriffs’ Association and with funding from the California Endowment, is proud to release the 3rd brief in a series of youth–focused policy briefs, “Defining the Role of School-Based Police Officers.”

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School-based police officers often serve as educators and mentors, community liaisons and problem solvers, and ensurers of campus safety and security. Many officers develop positive relationships with students and their families and help guide them through the personal, educational, and social pressures that are part of being an adolescent. This brief aims to advance discussions about the roles for school-based officers and how a balanced approach regarding selection of officers, training, and collaboration can strengthen campus safety, respectful relationships, and student success.

This is the third brief in a four part series of youth-focused policy briefs produced to enhance law enforcement knowledge and understanding of youth development in an effort to improve outcomes for youth interactions with law enforcement. California law enforcement executives, and those nationwide, can use this tool as they examine their policies and processes for ways to improve approaches to youth. The first in this series ‘Issue Brief 1: Introduction’ and ‘Issue Brief 2: Teen Brain: Preparing Your Officers to Engage with Youth’ were released earlier this year.  The series will conclude in the coming months with:

  • The Career Pipeline Concept

For more information, visit the Youth Policing Project page.

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.

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