In the first five months of 2015, there were 306 fatal police shootings in the U.S., reported The Washington Post. All law enforcement-involved shootings are preventable if officers and citizens understand one another. AMU's Chuck Russo and Anthony Galante discuss what agencies and citizens can do to prevent police-involved shootings.
At the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police annual gathering of police chiefs from around the state, police commissioner of New York City William Bratton provided his perspective on the current state of policing in the country. “The last 18 months has been a time of extraordinary challenges and opportunities for the profession,” said Bratton. “We have a new world of issues that we need to deal with, but there’s an old world of issues that are resurfacing.”
Learn more about the NYPD's focus on five strategic areas, referred to as the "5 Ts", which will guide the agency in its continued fight against crime, while at the same time bridging the gap between police and minority communities.
Recent high-profile events in Baltimore and Ferguson have caused public outcry regarding questionable ethical and moral practices by police officers. These stories have negatively affected the relationships police have in some of the communities they serve. While it is important that these wrong-doings are acknowledged and punished, such incidents should not detract from all the good police officers do each and every day for the citizens in their communities. To ensure that the good deeds of officers do not go unnoticed and in honor of National Police Week, here are just a few stories of officers who go above and beyond the call of duty for the citizens of the communities they serve.
No one can condone the violent actions and civil unrest happening in Baltimore, which has forced the city to activate the National Guard. The death of Freddie Gray—who appears to have died from a broken neck that was sustained while in police custody—has angered citizens because it represents the city’s history of poor police-community relations. Baltimore is just the most current example of similar anger being felt and expressed in cities across the country. AMU professor Dr. Stephanie Hunziker examines the police-community relations in Baltimore and the steps necessary to restore faith in the city's police department.
While there are police officers who may “willfully and wrongfully” utilize excessive force, use of force is often caused by the inability of police—either the individual officer or the organization—to employ better solutions when dealing with certain violent situations. Make no mistake, use of force by police is often necessary. When used within the context of the law and under the correct circumstances, force is most certainly appropriate. Here are suggestions about how agencies can enhance training of officers and better educate the public, as well as the media, on the proper use of force and what that might entail.
Problem-oriented policing (POP) is a policing strategy that involves crime analysis and working with the community to develop effective response strategies to reduce crime. Many law enforcement agencies have adopted the POP concept as a way to reduce crime as well as build and strengthen community relations, but is it effective?
In an effort to capture evidence about specific incidents involving police officers, more and more agencies across the country are considering the implementation and feasibility of department-issued body cameras. However, law enforcement officers—as well as the general public—have voiced concerns about the utilization of body-worn cameras.