August 2008 National Impaired Driving Crackdown
August 2008 marks the sixth anniversary of the U.S. National Impaired Driving Law Enforcement Crackdown. This year’s crackdown will continue to feature the message, “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.” Set to kick off on August 15, the crackdown will run through Labor Day, September 1. A multimillion dollar paid media campaign supports the crackdown. To ensure that the message remains credible, the participation of law enforcement agencies is critical.
Despite intensive efforts to address this problem, impaired-driving fatalities have remained essentially constant for more than 10 years. According to research, one of the most effective strategies for reducing this problem is high-visibility enforcement. However, for the campaign to be effective, the public must perceive that law enforcement agencies are making efforts greater than usual, based on the following indicators:
- Number of law enforcement agencies participating
- Intensity of law enforcement activity
- Visibility of law enforcement efforts (such as by using signage and/or paid and local earned media).
Law Enforcement Action Kits (LEAKs) are available to local agencies from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). LEAKs are available also on the NHTSA Web site, at http://stopimpaireddriving.org/tools-campaignheadquarters.htm. The NHTSA is also sending kits to the regional and state law enforcement liaisons, highway safety offices, and traffic safety resource prosecutors in every state. Copies are also available from these resources.
LEAKs contain a tremendous amount of information that should be useful to law enforcement agencies that plan to participate in the crackdown:
- State-specific data and graphics leverage local data to target enforcement resources where they are needed most.
- Time-of-day graphics and narratives increase the visibility and effectiveness of law enforcement efforts using the latest available time-of-day data for traffic fatalities that involve impaired drivers.
- Crimes and crash graphics enable agencies to allocate resources based on a comparison of data regarding impaired driving and other crimes.
- Earned media increase visibility by effectively publicizing an agency’s crackdown activities before, during, and after they take place.
- State-specific crackdown contact lists are provided to facilitate collaboration among law enforcement agencies, highway safety personnel, and other interested partners.
- A list of publications enables agencies to plan activities based on the latest research and guidelines.
To make the 2008 National Impaired Driving Law Enforcement Crackdown successful, the help of local police is essential. Using the resources in this kit, they can help plan an enforcement strategy that will meet the local community needs. By working together, agencies can increase the number of lives the 2008 crackdown will save.
For more information, contact Clarence Bell at 1-800-THE-IACP or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October Is Crime Prevention Month
October is a busy crime prevention month, with initiatives by local communities on organized, safety-focused events. October starts with Celebrate Safe Communities; the second week of the month is Fire Prevention Week; and October is also Domestic Violence Prevention Month. Various resources are available to help communities join forces to focus on each of these opportunities to educate citizens and motivate them to get involved in year-round prevention activities.
Since 1984, police departments, government agencies, civic groups, schools, businesses, and youth organizations have participated in activities that reach out to educate the public and showcase their accomplishments. October is the month for recognizing and celebrating the practice of crime prevention while promoting awareness of important issues such as victimization; volunteerism; and the creation of safer, more caring communities. The monthlong celebration spotlights successful crime prevention efforts.
To assist local departments in planning their activities, resources are available through the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC; www.ncpc.org). Every year, the NCPC releases its Crime Prevention Month Kit. The kit includes reproducible crime prevention resources. This year’s kit helps extend resources and enhance efforts through collaboration with law enforcement and other organizations. The kit provides strategies and reproducible materials, ready-to-go resources for the law enforcement agency looking to educate the public on the basics of crime prevention and how individuals can work together with the law enforcement community to help “Take a Bite out of Crime.”
The NCPC 2008 Crime Prevention Month Kit is now available to order online or download free at www.ncpc.org.
Violence by Teenage Girls
In its June 13, 2005, issue, Newsweek ran a story by Julie Scelfo titled “Bad Girls Go Wild,” which described “the significant rise in violent behavior among girls” as a “burgeoning national crisis” (http://www.newsweek.com/id/50082; accessed June 12, 2008)—a depiction that echoes other recent media accounts. National news media reports often develop a public mindset that affects local police efforts.
According to data from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, by 2004, girls accounted for 30 percent of all juvenile arrests. However, questions remain about whether these trends reflect an actual increase in girls’ delinquency or changes in societal responses to girls’ behavior. To find answers to these questions, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) convened the Girls Study Group to establish a theoretical and empirical foundation to guide the development, testing, and dissemination of strategies to reduce or prevent girls’ involvement in delinquency and violence. One outcome of the Girls Study Group is a report titled Violence by Teenage Girls: Trends and Context by Margaret A. Zahn, Susan Brumbaugh, Darrell Steffensmeier, Barry C. Feld, Merry Morash, Meda Chesney-Lind, Jody Miller, Allison Ann Payne, Denise C. Gottfredson, and Candace Kruttschnitt.
The Girls Study Group series examines issues such as patterns of offending among adolescents and how they differ for girls and boys; risk and protective factors associated with delinquency, including gender differences; and the causes and correlations of girls’ delinquency.
Violence by Teenage Girls assesses the accuracy of these assertions using the best available data. Drawing on information from official arrest sources, nationally based self-report and victimization surveys, and studies reported in the social science literature, the report examines the involvement of girls in violent activity (including whether such activity has increased relative to the increase for boys) and the contexts in which girls engage in violent behavior.
From these resources, the study group establishes what is known about girls and violence trends. Available evidence based on arrest, victimization, and self-report data suggests that although girls are currently arrested more for simple assaults than previously, the actual incidence of serious violence has not changed much over the last two decades. This suggests that increases in arrests may be attributable more to changes in enforcement policies than to changes in girls’ behavior.
Juvenile female involvement in violence has not increased relative to juvenile male violence. There is no burgeoning national crisis of increasing serious violence among adolescent girls.
Although more information is needed, current literature suggests that girls’ violence occurs in the following situations, for the following reasons:
- Peer violence: Girls fight with peers to gain status, to defend their sexual reputation, and in self-defense against sexual harassment.
- Family violence: Girls fight more frequently at home with parents than do boys, who engage more frequently in violence outside the household. Girls’ violence against parents is multidimensional: for some, it represents striking back against what they view as an overly controlling structure; for others, it is a defense against or an expression of anger stemming from being sexually and/or physically abused by members of the household.
- Violence within schools: When girls fight in schools, they may do so as a result of teacher labeling, in self-defense, or out of a general sense of hopelessness.
- Violence within disadvantaged neighborhoods: Girls in disadvantaged neighborhoods are more likely to perpetrate violence against others because of the increased risk of victimization (and the resulting violent self-defense against that victimization), parental inability to counteract negative community influences, and lack of opportunities for success.
- Girls in gangs: Survey research has shown a number of factors associated with girls’ involvement in gangs (such as attitudes toward school, peers, delinquency, drug use, and early sexual activity); qualitative research points to the role of disadvantaged neighborhoods and families with multiple problems (such as violence, drug and alcohol abuse, or neglect). Girls associated with primarily male gangs exhibit more violence than those in all-female gangs. Girls in gangs are more violent than other girls but less violent than boys in gangs.
The full report is available online at http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/218905.pdf. For further information about the OJJDP’s Girls Study Group, visit girlsstudygroup.rti.org.
Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor
The President of the United States awards the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor to public safety officers who exhibit extraordinary valor above and beyond the call of duty. Under the provisions of the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act, up to five awards are presented each year. To be considered for the 2008 award, an officer must be nominated for events that occurred between June 1, 2007, and May 31, 2008. Nominations must be made by the chiefs or directors of the officers’ employing departments and must be received by the U.S. Department of Justice by July 31, 2008. The Medal of Valor Review Board, which comprises current and former state and local public safety officials, will consider all nominations and recommend award recipients.
For additional information about the medal, please visit http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/medalofvalor/.
Web-Based Campus Crime Prevention Resource Center for Students, Parents
The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, Inc. (IACLEA), has created a Web-based Campus Crime Prevention Resource Center. This Resource Center features information on actions and steps students can take to avoid becoming crime victims on campus. The page includes information on personal safety measures, including such topics as safe walking or jogging on campus, residence hall safety, cybersecurity, motor vehicle safety, and how to avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault.
For more information, visit www.iaclea.org. A link to the Resource Center is found under the “About IACLEA” section of the Web site. Readers can also contact Christopher G. Blake, CAE, IACLEA associate director, at 860-586-7517, extension 565, or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Police Chief 2009 Editorial Planning
The Police Chief, the official publication of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, is engaged in the editorial process for the 2009 calendar year.
Although the magazine focuses primarily on leadership, administration, management, personnel issues, legal issues, innovative techniques, and new technological developments and applications, other topics of interest to law enforcement administrators and practitioners are sought during the planning stages of the editorial calendar. Several activities are under way to determine the upcoming focus areas, specific topics, and authors. IACP committee chairs, project staff, and leadership are solicited for their suggestions. An independent research firm also conducts a survey of readers for their opinions about the magazine.
Readers who wish to contribute to the 2009 editorial planning process should send their suggestions to Charles Higginbotham, editor, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.■