Jackson County, Mo., Sheriff Mike Sharp is resigning amid revelations that he kept up an ongoing romantic, sexual and financial relationship with a female employee of the sheriff’s office while she had a pending lawsuit against Jackson County for harassment. Sharp made the woman the highest-paid civilian employee in his department.
An estimated 10,000 pet dogs are shot by police officers in the line of duty each year. While officers usually explain the shooting of a pet as ‘self-defense,’ a California law professor argues that there is no requirement of public accountability to test their claims.
One study found that more officers die by suicide than in the line of duty, but no one is sure. “If you don’t know your problem, if you don’t know what size it is, how are you going deal with it?” asked Ron Clark, a retired Connecticut trooper who heads Badge of Life, which focuses on police suicide prevention.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson says, “It was completely inappropriate to engage the police” in Philadelphia when two men refused to leave the coffee shop after not ordering food or drink. Two black men were arrested and one was taken away in handcuffs in an episode Johnson called “reprehensible.”
A chief of police is one of the nation’s toughest jobs today. Choosing the right one may be even tougher. As Los Angeles scouts a replacement for Charlie Beck, other cities might pick up some pointers.
City officials had cited many flaws in the 911 call system in recent years. Police Chief Eliot Isaac said something went “terribly wrong” as a teen was being crushed to death in a van and was unable to get help on the phone.
The Ruderman Family Foundation found that while suicide has been an issue for years, very little has been done to address it even though first responders have PTSD and depression at a level five times that of civilians.
Ken Griffin, listed as Illinois’ richest man, is donating $10 million to help establish “strategic decision support centers” in high-crime police districts. There, police officers and University of Chicago analysts crunch gunshot data to determine where best to deploy cops.