All Articles Tagged "law enforcement"
(Washington Examiner) — Twenty-three D.C. police officers have been arrested this year on charges ranging from sexual assault to killing a mother and her 1-year-old daughter, a rate of alleged abuse by city cops that one expert places on par with the worst-run city police departments in the country. The city’s police force was on the wrong side of several crime stories in the past week. An off-duty D.C. police officer with a history of alcohol problems allegedly was drunk and jumped on the hood of a vehicle and shot at transgendered people inside, striking at least one. Another District officer was convicted of having sex with a teenager in West Virginia. And a D.C. officer was under investigation for lying to protect her boyfriend about witnessing a murder.
(The Star Ledger) — The chances of rising to the rank of chief are slim for most rookie police officers, but Sheilah Coley’s were closer to none. There were only 15 women in the department when Coley entered the academy in 1989, and none ranked above detective. Wondering if sergeants, lieutenants and captains were all political appointees, Coley asked one of her instructors how she could make rank. ”They said, ‘Oh, you have to take a test,’ ” she recalled. “I was like, take a test? There’s got to be more to it or we’d have some more (women).” For the next 22 years, Coley took the tests, and she took on some of the toughest assignments the Newark Police Department dished out. It turned out the only political appointment she needed was the last one, when Mayor Cory Booker made her the first female police chief in Newark’s 175-year history.
(Chicago Sun Times) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel could wring $300 million from the combined $1.8 billion budgets of Chicago’s Police and Fire Departments, in part by dramatically altering union contracts that expire June 30, an influential alderman said Thursday. “There’s no more sacred cows when the taxpayers are hurting like they are,” said Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), former chairman of the City Council’s Police and Fire Committee. Beale has already infuriated the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) by targeting the $1,800-a-year uniform allowance officers receive as well as duty-availability pay, a $2,800-a-year lump sum that essentially compensates officers for being on call at any time.
(AJC) — An Atlanta Police Department audit has found at least 85 current officers who had fallen short of mandatory training hours and did not have the authority to make arrests. The findings released Wednesday by the APD were from an internal audit that started a year ago after academy staff found training deficiencies in the files of officers returning to duty after being away for extended periods. Two weeks ago, when the problem first became public, APD Chief George Turner said he didn’t know whether the training issue could jeopardize convictions or pending cases; that is a matter for the courts.
(New York Times) — A federal judge on Wednesday rejected an effort to dismiss a case claiming that New York City police officers use race as a factor in stopping people on the streets, sometimes to frisk them, saying there is enough evidence for a jury to decide. Lawyers for the city had argued that no trial was necessary and moved to dismiss a lawsuit against the city and its police force. In the suit, the Center for Constitutional Rights alleges a widespread pattern of stops based not on reasonable suspicion of individuals but on racial profiling in the Police Department’s “stop, question and frisk” policy.
(Chicago Sun Times) — The head of Chicago’s police union on Wednesday blasted City Hall’s proposal to slash $190 million from the police department’s budget, saying it’s based on phony “Enron-style” accounting. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he would target “central office” positions to cut the police department’s $1.3 billion budget. He refused to say whether he would also eliminate about 1,400 police vacancies in the department’s budgeted strength of about 13,500 officers. Police Supt. Garry McCarthy has said that would achieve about $93 million in savings. Mike Shields, president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, questioned whether cutting vacancies would save any money. “How does ‘eliminating vacancies’ save $93 million when zero dollars were being spent on the vacant spots in the first place?” he asked. “That’s some real Enron-style accounting.”
(New York Times) — The decision by New Jersey’s Supreme Court last week to overhaul the state’s rules for how judges and jurors treat evidence from police lineups could help transform the way officers conduct a central technique of police work, criminal justice experts say. In its ruling, the court strongly endorsed decades of research demonstrating that traditional eyewitness identification procedures are flawed and can send innocent people to prison. By making it easier for defendants to challenge witness evidence in criminal cases, the court for the first time attached consequences for investigators who fail to take steps to reduce the subtle pressures and influences on witnesses that can result in mistaken identifications. “No court has ever taken this topic this seriously or put in this kind of effort,” said Gary L. Wells, a professor of psychology at Iowa State University who is an expert on witness identification and has written extensively on the topic. Other courts are likely to follow suit, and in November the United States Supreme Court will take up the question of identification for the first time since 1977.
(Reuters) – Sylvia McKenzie has seen it all in her New Orleans neighborhood where she was once held up at gunpoint on her front step: Drug deals, shootings and even prostitution on a nearby street. What she has not seen much of, she says, are police officers who she believes could clean up the area she has lived in for 40 years if they so chose but who face an uphill battle gaining residents’ trust after a series of missteps. ”Those streets have been bad for years and nothing has changed,” she said in her eastern New Orleans neighborhood, damaged in Hurricane Katrina, where she complained blighted homes and overgrown lots were inviting crime. “You’re taking a chance every time you come out your door.”
(AJC) — The Atlanta Police Department is still reviewing records but already has found that dozens of officers lacked the authority to make arrests because they had not met state requirements for training. Some cases involving those officers are two decades old, although how many could be affected by the discovery is unknown. All sides in the criminal justice system agree, though, that the end result could be far-reaching. “The APD administration’s failures have just compromised a ton of criminal convictions and pending cases,” said a past president of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Christine A. Koehler. “Somebody’s not doing what they are supposed to be doing over there. … They have big problems.”
(Detroit Free Press) — Mayor Dave Bing’s ambitious plan to make Detroit homeowners out of 200 police officers who currently live outside the city awarded its first home Wednesday. But six months into the project, it is far from meeting its goal. But more incentives are on the way. Chase Bank is expected to announce today that it plans to offer cash to help city workers make down payments on vacant homes in targeted neighborhoods. Bank representatives and Bing are expected to make the announcement in support of the initiative, dubbed Project 14, at 10 a.m. today. The project is designed to help the city reduce blight and crime and add a sense of security to its neighborhoods.