Cops Take Back Their Image With The Lip Sync Challenge

Observations We’re not just talking about a couple thousand views, police lip sync videos are getting tens of thousands and in the case of Norfolk, millions. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s time to take our public relations into our own hands. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of […]

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Observations We’re not just talking about a couple thousand views, police lip sync videos are getting tens of thousands and in the case of Norfolk, millions. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s time to take our public relations into our own hands. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of […]

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from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

American Police-The World’s Most Trusted Per Gallup

Observations Gallup’s 2018 Global Law and Order report state that US and Canadian police are the world’s most trusted law enforcement officers. There are bad cops and there are good cops but regardless, the data states that overall, officers do a good job and are trusted by the public. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal […]

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Observations Gallup’s 2018 Global Law and Order report state that US and Canadian police are the world’s most trusted law enforcement officers. There are bad cops and there are good cops but regardless, the data states that overall, officers do a good job and are trusted by the public. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal […]

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from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Oregon PD Becomes Go-To Agency for Homeless Crisis

Officers in Salem, Ore., are “problem-solvers” on the front line of a burgeoning homelessness problem. They say the city needs public storage for homeless people to temporarily secure their belongings and sobering stations where people can recover from alcohol, meth or opioids.

Faith-based organizations, advocacy groups and shelters serve Salem, Ore.’s growing homeless population, but police are increasingly filling a mostly unnoticed gap in helping get people on their feet,  reports the Salem Statesman-Journal.  They’re on the front line of homelessness, responding to welfare checks of unconscious individuals, resolving disputes without arrests and checking in on their “regulars” downtown and around Marion Square Park, making sure they’re making it to drug treatment sessions and other programs. Statistically, only a small percentage of interactions between police and the homeless community begin with crime reports. Most interactions involve officers performing social work and community “problem solving,” said Sgt. Kevin Hill, who oversees the Downtown Enforcement Team.

These officers have a unique perspective on Salem’s homeless crisis, one that often leaves them frustrated, yet spotlights needs and solutions that police say ought to be adopted. They include: open sobering stations where people can recover from alcohol, meth or opioids and get plugged into treatment programs and transitional housing; provide public storage for homeless people to safely secure their belongings so they are able to attend counseling sessions, parole and probation meetings, court hearings and housing appointments; and open a 24-hour “clearinghouse”  that can provide food, beds, showers, access to transitional programs and housing representatives to help people get into a stable place to live through the Salem Housing Authority.

from https://thecrimereport.org

‘No Rules’ as Police Use of Facial Recognition Tech Spreads

Amazon has joined the growing number of companies selling facial recognition technology to law enforcement agencies, offering to “identify persons of interest against a collection of millions of faces in real-time.” Civil libertarians are nettled. “This is a perfect example of technology outpacing the law,” says the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The revelation this week that Amazon is selling facial-recognition technology–branded Amazon Rekognition–to law enforcement agencies raised questions about which laws or  regulations govern police use of the technology. The answer: more or less none, reports Wired. More than two dozen nonprofits wrote to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to ask that he stop selling its technology to police, after the ACLU of Northern California revealed documents to shine light on the sales. Amazon says its technology can “identify persons of interest against a collection of millions of faces in real-time.” The letter argues that Amazon Rekognition “is primed for abuse in the hands of governments.”

State and federal laws generally leave police departments free to do things like search video or images collected from public cameras for particular faces. Cities and local departments can set their own policies and guidelines, but even some early adopters of the technology haven’t done so. Documents released by the ACLU show that Orlando, Fla., worked with Amazon to build a system that detects “persons of interest” using eight public-security cameras. “Since this is a pilot program, a policy has not been written,” a city spokesperson said when asked about guidelines for its use. “This is a perfect example of technology outpacing the law,” says Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “There are no rules.” Other companies offer similar technology, including Massachusetts-based MorphoTrust, which works with the FBI, and South Carolina’s Data Works Plus, which has worked with Detroit police.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Suit: Officials Ignored Violence of Wife-Killer NJ Cop

New Jersey police Sgt. Philip Seidle shot and killed his wife in 2015, three weeks after their divorce became final. A lawsuit by the victim’s children says police officials ignored numerous signs of his potential for violence, including a long record of excessive force complaints and 12 different calls for help from the victim, Tamara Wilson-Seidle.

A lawsuit filed this week alleges that a former Neptune Township, N.J., police sergeant who gunned down his ex-wife as she sat helplessly in her car had an internal affairs file that is nearly 700 pages–and was asked to stay on the force even after he offered to retire prior to the 2015 slaying, reports NJ.com. Philip Seidle had already served two suspensions for domestic violence and briefly had his service weapon taken away, the same weapon he used to kill his ex-wife, Tamara Wilson-Siedle, on an Asbury Park street in June 2015, three weeks after their divorce was finalized. The new lawsuit, filed by the nine Seidle children, includes explosive new allegations that their 54-year-old police officer father had an internal affairs file that is 682 pages with excessive force complaints starting in 2004.

When coupled with Seidle’s long, documented past of physical and verbal abuse against Wilson-Seidle, 51, local and county authorities ignored warning signs that ultimately led to her death, the lawsuit contends. They also failed to take action after Wilson-Seidle visited Neptune police officials, including Chief James Hunt Jr., to “complain about the mistreatment, abuse, threats and behavior” of her estranged husband, the lawsuit states. Seidle pleaded guilty in  2016 to aggravated manslaughter and child endangerment and was sentenced to 30 years in state prison. The plaintiffs say there at least 12 calls for help to police from Wilson-Seidle from 2012 to the date of her murder. His police gun was taken away in 2012 and a police psychologist declared him unfit for duty. A year later, the gun was returned to him.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Do You Trust Cops? Do Cops Trust You?

Question Do you trust cops? According to the most recent Gallup survey, you do. Do cops trust you? According to the data below, they have their doubts. Are police officers affected by the national dialog? Do they take (or not take) actions based on media reports and a perceived negative national mindset? Author Leonard Adam […]

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Question Do you trust cops? According to the most recent Gallup survey, you do. Do cops trust you? According to the data below, they have their doubts. Are police officers affected by the national dialog? Do they take (or not take) actions based on media reports and a perceived negative national mindset? Author Leonard Adam […]

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from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Virginia Beach Police Want Encrypted Radios

This article says that the Virginia Beach police are looking to buy encrypted radios. Virginia Beach police believe encryption will prevent criminals from listening to police communications. They said officer safety would increase and citizens would be better protected. Someone should ask them if they want those radios to have a backdoor….

This article says that the Virginia Beach police are looking to buy encrypted radios.

Virginia Beach police believe encryption will prevent criminals from listening to police communications. They said officer safety would increase and citizens would be better protected.

Someone should ask them if they want those radios to have a backdoor.

from https://www.schneier.com/blog/

Human Rights Report Cites Belgian Police Racial Profiling

An Amnesty International report says half of a sample of Belgian police officers surveyed identified the use of racial profiling by local police forces as a problem. While government officials pushed back against the report, the human rights organization said its results constitute a “cause for concern.”

Half of a sample of Belgian police officers interviewed for a new Amnesty International report identified the use of racial profiling by local police forces as a problem, reports Politico Europe. “I’m doing ethnic profiling, it’s true, but I do not see how I could do my job otherwise,” the report quotes one officer is quoted as saying. “Without discriminating, we could never stop anyone.” The human rights group’s survey included interviews with 48 police officers in nine local police zones, as well as several federal agency representatives and 20 people belonging to minority groups. It found the government and police forces have taken “too few initiatives” to prevent discriminatory identity checks.

The report notes that there is no national policy on racial profiling and that local police zones are currently under no obligation to formulate a coherent approach. It calls on the government and local authorities to recognize the issue constitutes a “cause for concern” and to clarify what constitutes “reasonable motivation” to conduct an identity check. The interior ministry hit back against the report’s claim that authorities pay too little attention to the issue and insisted racial profiling is not part of police policy, according to La Dernière Heure. A spokesperson for Interior Minister Jan Jambon also said police officers receive training to make them aware of the dangers of using racial profiling.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Police-Justice Public Relations Suck

Observations Within law enforcement and the overall justice system, we are our own worst enemies through a lack of aggressive media and public relations. My book, “Success With The Media,” outlines a comprehensive, doable gameplan, Amazon. I offer additional suggestions in this article. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of […]

The post Police-Justice Public Relations Suck appeared first on Crime in America.Net.

Observations Within law enforcement and the overall justice system, we are our own worst enemies through a lack of aggressive media and public relations. My book, “Success With The Media,” outlines a comprehensive, doable gameplan, Amazon. I offer additional suggestions in this article. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of […]

The post Police-Justice Public Relations Suck appeared first on Crime in America.Net.

from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Judges Called ‘Last Line of Defense’ for Mentally Ill in Justice System

The lack of adequate alternatives to jail or prison to help mentally troubled individuals who run afoul of the law is a “horrible American tragedy,” judges and prosecutors from around the country were told at a New York University School of Law conference.

When police and prosecutors are unable to act, judges must be the “last line of defense” for mentally troubled individuals who run afoul of the law.

That was one of the conclusions at a conference of leading prosecutors and jurists at New York University’s School of Law examining the plight of the seriously mentally ill who are trapped in the justice system.

The use of jails and prisons as frontline treatment facilities for individuals with serious mental illness—for lack of adequate alternatives—is a “horrible American tragedy,”  Judge Steven Leifman of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida said.

Christina Klineman, a Superior Court Judge in Indianapolis, added that if local authorities fail to provide diversion programs that police or prosecutors can use, judges should still try to find ways of ensuring the mentally ill are kept out of jail.

They are “the last line of defense” for protecting the mentally ill, she said.

The two judges spoke during a panel Friday at NYU’s Tenth Annual Conference on the administration of criminal law. They joined other speakers, including advocates, in calling for greater attention to diversion programs for the mentally ill.

“The criminal justice system should be the last resort for the mentally ill, not the first,”  Leifman said, arguing that the lack of alternatives too often places the burden of care on prosecutors, judges and police officers, who lack the proper resources, training and funding to help mentally ill patients. 

Participants in the conference cited studies showing that 40 percent of individuals with a mental illness will come in contact with the criminal justice system at some point in their lives—usually because family members call 911, not knowing what else to do. 

Police receive 250 million calls each year, but only 25 percent of those calls are connected with an actual crime, said Rebecca Neuster of the Vera Institute of Justice. Ten percent of those calls are made because someone with a mental illness is experiencing a manic episode.

See also: Why Jail is No Place for the Mentally Troubled.

But when the police become involved, the individual is handed over to the justice system.

According to Ronal Serpas, a professor of Criminology at Loyola University of New Orleans, if police officers had an alternative to arrest, they would take it.

But all they have to offer mentally ill patients “is the back of their car,” Serpas said.

That, he added, was a solution for no one.

The police role as first responders puts them in a difficult position, but at the same time makes it critical for officers to know where to take people suffering from mental illness other than jail, said Travis Parker, senior project associate at Policy Research Associates.

“Officers need an answer to the question: ‘divert the mentally ill to what?'”

He noted that in some cities, police have been given iPads to contact mental health professionals, instead of taking troubled individuals to jail.

See also: How iPads Changed a Police Force’s Response to Mental Illness.

Once an individual with mental illness is arraigned, however, prosecutors can step in to ensure mentally ill defendants are diverted to counseling and social services, the panel was told.

“Public safety is not defined by convictions and arrests — people need to feel safe and secure, they need housing and a job—and the criminal justice system removes that for so many people,” said Vermont Attorney General T.J Donovan,  who argued prosecutors should use “restraint” in deciding whether to seek convictions.

Klineman brought up the case of a homeless man urinating in the street and raised the question, “what do I sentence him to?”

“If I put him on probation, I set him up for failure and we have more problems. If I release him, he doesn’t get any help,” Klineman said.

In Florida’s Miami-Dade County, home to the largest percentage of people with serious mental illnesses, decarcerating jails and providing an alternative for the mentally ill is a top priority for court officials.

Authorities there created the Criminal Mental Health Project to provide community-based treatment and support services to defendants suffering from serious mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

The program provides two types of services: pre-booking diversion training for law enforcement officers, and post-booking diversion to help individuals in jail and awaiting adjudication. 

Justin Volpe, a young man who suffered from paranoia and substance abuse, said he was able to avoid prison though the program. His sentence was tossed out, and instead he was offered a job by the courts.

“That’s what people need,” Volpe told the conference. “I went from having no insight of my mental illness to working with other people in same situation. I assist people in community and get them help. I also have opportunity to train law enforcement and share my recovery story.”

In fact, Volpe was able to train the police officer who first arrested him. The officer told Volpe, “I’m surprised you’re still alive.”

Volpe takes participants in the program to out to lunch, or coffee, or even to play basketball.

“People don’t need another person telling them about their court dates and doctors appointments- giving them a list of things to do,” he said. “I give them a person-to-person feel,” he said.

Laura Usher, senior manager at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, commented that Volpe’s point was critical.

“The only way to treat someone with a mental illness… is like a person,” she said. 

Megan Hadley is a reporter for The Crime Report. Readers’ comments are welcome.

from https://thecrimereport.org