April 8, 2014
News From the Field
Fort Hood Shooting Reopens Discussion on Mental Health, Gun Laws
An Iraq war veteran who was recently assigned to Fort Hood opened fire in two buildings, killing three soldiers and wounding sixteen before killing himself. Ivan Lopez, a 34-year-old specialist, served four months in Iraq and was undergoing treatment for mental health issues.
Lieutenant General Mark Milley, the Fort Hood commander said the there so far was no indication Wednesday’s shootings were related to terrorism. But investigators are not ruling anything out.
This is the third shooting on a U.S. military installation in the last five years. It is also the second that involved a gunman with mental health problems, the other incident being the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard last fall. There is widespread agreement among both lawmakers and defense officials that soldiers returning from war need more attention paid to their mental health as well as their physical health.
Mississippi Governor Bryant Signs Criminal Justice Reform Bill
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed a bill designed to make the criminal justice system more efficient and less expensive. House Bill 585, which becomes law July 1, will protect public safety and could save the state $266 million in prison expenses, spread over 10 years.
The bill is modeled on criminal-justice changes made in recent years in Texas, Georgia, and other states with Republican governors who campaigned as being tough on crime. The bill states that anyone convicted of a violent offense will be required to serve at least 50 percent of a sentence, and anyone convicted of a nonviolent offense will have to serve at least 25 percent.
Mississippi’s prison population grew rapidly after the state enacted a law in the mid-1990s requiring each inmate to serve at least 85 percent of a sentence. The state moved away from the 85 percent law several years ago, but Mississippi has the second-highest incarceration rate in the nation, behind only Louisiana.
View the bill.
ICE Launches National Cyber Safety Campaign
Representatives from federal and local law enforcement, along with a leading children’s advocacy organization, announced the launch of Project iGuardian, a national cyber safety campaign spearheaded by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE’s) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).
Project iGuardian is a vital next step in HIS’s ongoing effort to combat online child sexual predation at a time when online sexual exploitation of children has reached epidemic proportions. Last year alone, HSI special agents logged nearly a million hours working child sexual exploitation cases, opening more than 4,000 investigations.
HSI and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department have already conducted more than a dozen Project iGuardian presentations for schools and youth groups in Orange County in the last several months. Organizations and schools interested in requesting a Project iGuardian presentation can do so at http://www.ice.gov/cyber-crimes/iguardian.htm.
Niagara Police Department Begins Walking Beats
Police officers walking through the town of Niagara Falls, New York, are becoming a common sight to the delight of many residents. The department has returned “beat cops” to the patrol plan.
“It’s a way of making people feel safe,” Police Superintendent Bryan DalPorto said. “It gives people a feeling of security.”
Enter virtually every officer on the force—out of their cars and showing a police presence that hasn’t been seen in years. Officers around the city, now spend an average of one hour of their working day out of their patrol cars.
“On all of our beats, the officers are conducting structured patrols,” DalPorto said. “They get out of their cars for an hour and walk either a business district or a (residential) neighborhood. It breaks down that (patrol car) windshield barrier between the officer and the public.”
DOJ Announces Initiative to Strengthen the Relationship Between Law Enforcement and Communities of Color
Associate Attorney General Tony West delivered remarks at the Strengthening the Relationship Between Law Enforcement and Communities of Color Forum. Citing words by the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, he pointed out that negative contacts with the criminal justice system are disproportionately felt by communities of color—especially young men of color, half of whom, one recent study showed, will have at least one arrest by age 23.
He announced a major new Department of Justice (DOJ) initiative aimed at enhancing public safety by strengthening relationships between law enforcement and communities. The DOJ has committed up to $4.75 million to establish the National Center for Building Community Trust and Justice.
This initiative will expand the base of knowledge about what works to improve procedural fairness, reduce bias, and promote racial reconciliation. It will help communities address the challenges arising from suspicion, distrust, and lack of confidence in U.S. law enforcement agencies.
A team of cross-disciplinary experts will fuel the initiative by conducting research, piloting and testing innovative ideas, developing models for rigorous evaluation, and disseminating the latest research and best practices to the field. U.S. Attorneys will lead coordination efforts with five pilot sites that will implement and test strategies.
Read West’s full remarks.
Nationwide Police Chief Vacancies
Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and LGBTI Inmates
Every state in the United States is attempting to show that their prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities comply with the new federal regulations on sexual abuse and harassment. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) inmates are particularly at risk for sexual victimization in these settings, and the rules under PREA require fairly progressive policies to protect these inmates from abuse and harassment.
The general public widely acknowledges rape as a fact of life in all correctional facilities. Prison jokes whose punch lines do not involve rape are rare. Although prisoners are not generally a sympathetic group in the eyes of the public, we as a society have declared—through the unanimous passage of PREA—that a sentence to a term of confinement in a jail or prison should not be a sentence to rape. As the PREA Commission and the Justice Department have examined and reexamined how to prevent and address sexual violence in lock-up facilities, they have established a surprising party line in those facilities: a strong stance against sexual violence requires a strong stance against homophobia and transphobia.
Learn more about PREA and its application to LGBTI issues.
Free Access to Programs and Practice Ratings
The National Institute of Justice invites you to subscribe and receive updates on CrimeSolutions.gov.
CrimeSolutions.gov organizes evidence about what works in a way that helps inform program and policy decisions. It is a central resource you can turn to when you need to find an evidence-based program for your community or want to know if a program you are funding is effective.
On CrimeSolutions.gov, you will find easily understandable ratings based on the evidence that a program achieved its goals. Those ratings are the result of expert reviewers’ assessments of the most rigorous evaluations and research available.
Learn more or subscribe.
DHS’s Blue Campaign to Prevent Human Trafficking
DHS is one of the lead federal law enforcement agencies responsible for investigating and preventing human trafficking. Their investigative authority, screening authority, and assistance programs are authorized under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA).
Blue is the international color of human trafficking awareness, and the Blue Campaign name references the global anti-human trafficking symbols of the Blue Heart and the Blue Blindfold, as well as the “thin blue line” of law enforcement. To increase awareness of human trafficking domestically and internationally, in June of 2010, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano launched the Blue Campaign.
As part of their efforts through the Blue Campaign, DHS components conduct trainings and webinars, produce informational videos, develop informational materials, provide victim assistance, and conduct investigative efforts and outreach. The Blue Campaign collaborated with the Department of State and other federal agencies to create a 15-minute general awareness training to educate the public on the indicators of human trafficking and how to report it. DHS also developed cards, posters, and pamphlets that list the indicators of human trafficking and provide a hotline number to those who need help or want to report a suspected trafficking case. These materials are available in 17 languages to meet the language access needs identified by stakeholders.
Learn more about the Blue Campaign.
Join the campaign or find resources.
Ambush Factsheet from the IACP Center for Officer Safety and Wellness
Free Training on Juvenile Interview and Interrogation Techniques, May 20-21, 2014, Little Rock, Arkansas
No-Cost Training on Alzheimer’s for Law Enforcement and First Responders
April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month
In the United States, April marks both the month for Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness. In addition, this week (April 6–12) is Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Find resources to help bring awareness of these important issues to your community:
Crime Victims’ Rights Week
Child Abuse Prevention Month
Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Inside the IACP
Applications for the 2014 National Law Enforcement Challenge due May 1!
Every year, the National Law Enforcement Challenge (NLEC) recognizes law enforcement agencies for traffic safety programs that address occupant protection, impaired driving, speeding, and state/local issues. The NLEC’s recognition of the important work that law enforcement agencies are conducting within their communities allows for agencies nationwide to learn from one another and establish future goals in traffic safety enforcement and education. All law enforcement agencies are urged to participate in the National Law Enforcement Challenge. Information about the challenge, a “How To” Guide, and the online application can all be found at the IACP NLEC webpage. To be considered for the 2014 awards, submissions must be completed by May 1, 2014.
Applications for the State Association & Governor’s Highway Safety Office Award Are Due May 1!
The State Association and Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) Award recognizes state associations and GHSO partners for exceptional work in promoting, coordinating, and expanding the National Law Enforcement Challenge (NLEC) program in their state and, in effect, reducing fatal and injury crashes. To nominate a state association or GHSO, submit the application, including supporting documentation and appropriate references to Mandy Giordano at firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, May 1, 2014.
2014 Line-of-Duty Deaths – 1st Quarter Report
The IACP Award for Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs (VIPS)
The VIPS Award will honor and recognize agencies who have shown leadership in creating and sustaining programs that successfully integrate volunteers into overall organizational operations and administration of law enforcement work.
Take this opportunity to show your volunteers the difference they make to your organization and community—apply for the VIPS Award today.
To apply, visit the IACP website or contact Carolyn Cockroft at email@example.com. Applications must be postmarked no later than May 25, 2014.
April 22, 2014
News From the Field
Tragedy Leads NYPD to Establish New Fire Response Protocols
The death of an officer who responded to a fire in a high-rise building has led the New York Police Department to develop new mandatory protocols for responding to fires. The officer died of severe smoke inhalation after the elevator he and another officer were using filled with smoke.
The newly issued instructions detail steps dispatchers and officers should take when entering a building for a reported fire. It also includes basic fire safety, such as checking doors for heat, staying low to the ground, and closing stairway doors to prevent fire from spreading.
See the new protocols.
School Knife Assault Brings Questions about Threat Assessments
A teenage boy wielding two kitchen knives went on a stabbing rampage at his high school in Murrysville, Pennsylvania, before being tackled by an assistant principal. Twenty students and a security officer at Franklin Regional Senior High School were either stabbed or slashed in the attack, Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck told reporters.
District Attorney John Peck said during the brief hearing that Alex made some statements after school officials tackled him that indicated he wanted to die. According to one of the students, Hribal kept to himself and didn’t have a lot of friends but he was also known as a really nice kid.
Although she would not discuss the Franklin Regional case specifically, Mary Margaret Kerr, chair of administrative and policy studies and a professor of psychology in education and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, said it can be difficult for schools to predict violent behavior in students. Standard psychological tests haven’t been successful in predicting targeted violence in schools and that many school attackers had no histories of mental disorders.
“Courthouse Dogs” Used to Comfort Abused Children in Court
Courthouse dogs, provided by Courthouse Dogs Foundation, are being used in the state of Washington to comfort sexually abused children while they undergo forensic interviews and testify in court. The animals are trained to provide emotional support to victims and witnesses caught in the often unpleasant procedures of criminal justice. The unique ability of these animals to comfort victims, particularly children, is increasingly recognized by court officials around the United States.
One of biggest challenges is the long and rigorous training process, with the average length from application to receiving the facility dog approximately two and a half years. Critics of the practice argue that having a dog in a courtroom during emotional testimony could be unfair to a defendant by creating a bias towards the alleged victim.
Learn about Courthouse Dogs Foundation.
Attorney General Urges Increased Funding for Active Shooter Training
Following the recent tragedies at a Jewish Community Center outside of Kansas City and at Ft. Hood, Attorney General Eric Holder urged Congress to approve $15 million in funding for active shooter training for law enforcement officers to ensure they have the tools they need to effectively respond to threats, protect themselves, and save innocent lives.
Over the last decade, the Justice Department and the FBI have helped provide active shooter training to 50,000 front-line officers. Via video message, Holder said that continuing this training is critical since the patrol officers who arrive first on the scene are increasingly being relied on to respond directly to active shooters rather than wait for SWAT teams.
Read his message.
View the video.
IACP’s Active Shooter Model Policy
No-cost Leadership Training for Smaller Agency Leaders
The Women’s Leadership Institute Is Visiting Canada!
Free Training on Law Enforcement Responses to Adolescent Girls
2014 Juvenile Diversion Certification Program
The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, the Juvenile Law Center, and the National League of Cities are accepting applications for the 2014 Juvenile Diversion Certificate Program, to be held September 8–10, 2014, in Washington, DC. This program presents an opportunity for prosecutors, probation officers, law enforcement, and other juvenile justice leaders to get in-depth training on juvenile diversion policies, practices, and programs. After completion, participants will develop an action plan related to juvenile diversion. The program is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Apply by May 30, 2014.
No-Cost Law Enforcement Leadership Institute on Juvenile Justice
The IACP is launching a unique program for law enforcement executives to learn about the latest strategies and tools to increase capacity to respond to juvenile offenders and at-risk youth.
With support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the IACP will host the Law Enforcement Leadership Institute on Juvenile Justice in Seattle, Washington on September 16-18, 2014. The Leadership Institute will be a highly interactive, three-day training program for 30 law enforcement executives from across the country. All expenses will be covered for those applicants selected to attend. For more information on the institute and how to apply, visit http://www.theiacp.org/jjleadershipinstitute.
Best Practices Guide for Video Evidence
With the growing use of smartphones, personal handheld devices, and security cameras, video footage capturing criminal incidents is becoming an increasingly important tool to help solve crimes and protect communities. Incidents such as the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup riots, underscore for law enforcement leaders the importance of improving their agencies’ capabilities to efficiently utilize video evidence to solve crimes and improve public safety.
Responding to this need from the field, the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global), supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, is proud to release a new product designed for chiefs, sheriffs, and line officers titled Video Evidence: A Law Enforcement Guide to Resources and Best Practices. This resource is designed to provide answers to straightforward questions that law enforcement officers, or the agencies they represent, may have regarding properly securing, collecting, storing, and analyzing video, as well as to provide sources for training.
Access the guide here.
3 Tips for Effective Interagency Collaboration
IACP Arson and Explosives Committee Provides Guidance on Improvised Explosives Training
The manufacture of primary explosives is a dangerous undertaking and should be performed only by subject matter experts who either have formal education in the field of chemistry or have received extensive training and certification by professional chemists. The IACP Arson and Explosives Committee has prepared a guide in an effort to provide chiefs with information to be considered when deciding how to address the growing threat of improvised explosives through training for their personnel.
This guide may be accessed by IACP members here.
New Study Challenges Domestic Violence Stereotypes
A new study in the journal Psychology of Violence indicates that, despite stereotypes that domestic violence is more prevalent in low-income households, incidents of domestic violence cross economic lines. Twenty-eight percent occurred in households with annual incomes under $20,000; 30 percent with incomes from $20,000 to $50,000; 18 percent with incomes from $50,000 to $75,000; and 24 percent with incomes of more than $75,000.
More than half, 53 percent, occurred in white households; 20 percent were in African-American households; and 16 percent in Latino households.
The study also reveals that parents and caregivers were injured in more than a third of domestic violence cases witnessed by children. According to the study, just one in four incidents resulted in police reports. In cases that did not result in arrest, almost one-third of adults said police should have arrested the perpetrator.
Read the study.
Public Health as a Crime Reduction Strategy
The East Palo Alto, California, Police Department’s Fitness Improvement Training (FIT) Zones are part of an innovative initiative aimed at testing whether improvements in community health can help increase community safety in the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. The FIT Zones implement health-related programs in public spaces that have been underused by residents and overtaken by gang members.
The FIT Zones are just one of a handful of new approaches that use public health strategies to solve community problems. These approaches tend to treat crime and violence like contagious diseases and look for innovative ways to prevent these “diseases” from spreading. Many involve partnerships between public health and public safety agencies and show promise in reducing and preventing crime and violence.
Inside the IACP
The 2014 IACP and Cisco Systems Community Policing Awards Call for Entries
For the 16th year, the IACP and Cisco Systems Community Policing Awards recognizes and pays tribute to departments worldwide that have collaborated with their communities to bring about change, address crime and terrorism, and make their communities and nations a safer place to live, work, and play. Share with the world how your department has addressed these challenges through collaboration, prevention, and proactive partnerships.
Winners will be honored at the 2014 IACP Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. The winning agency from each category also receives one complimentary annual conference registration; transportation for one to and from the conference; and one hotel room for five nights while at the conference. Applications are due June 8, 2014, at midnight EST.
Volunteers in Police Service Program (VIPS) – New Website
The International Association of Chiefs of Police manages and implements the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The VIPS Program provides support and resources for agencies interested in developing or enhancing a volunteer program and for citizens who wish to volunteer their time and skills with a community law enforcement agency.
Please visit www.theiacp.org/VIPS to register for the online course, Building Blocks of a Law Enforcement Volunteer Program, and to download resources. Contact program manager Rosemary DeMenno at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
IACP and August Vollmer Excellence in Forensic Science Award Open for Nominations
IACP/Thomson Reuters Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigations – Deadline Approaching