After 17 years, Terrence M. Cunningham will leave his job as chief in the Boston suburb of Wellesley to become deputy executive director of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Cunningham gained national attention last month when he apologized for historical injustices police have perpetrated against minorities.
The nation’s organization of police chiefs says it wants details that get beyond “stump speeches and sound bytes” from candidates facing “tumultuous, dangerous and difficult times in American policing.”
Will this Fall prove to be a pivotal one for criminal justice in the United States, or just another flurry of talk with little decisive action? Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced its most significant bill in years on federal crime, one that could roll back many categories of mandatory sentences that have helped pack prisons and strain the Justice Department’s budget. A few hours later, President Barack Obama welcomed to the White House a new group of police chiefs and prosecutors who have vowed to support steps that would reduce mass incarceration. Next week, as part of a national tour on justice issues, the President will address the largest law enforcement organization, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). His speech promises to be far different from a presidential address exactly 21 years ago this month to the same group.
The rapid spread of devices and databases sharing data via high-speed 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) wireless networks is leading to a revolution in police access to information. At last week's annual convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), in Orlando, companies competed to prove that they could unite the myriad streams of fast-moving information into easily accessed, relevant sources of intelligence. “There's been an exponential growth of all data, a giant pool of information, but much of it is kept in silos,” Jeff Frazier, Senior Vice President at the Wynyard Group, told The Crime Report. Wynyard sells crime analytics software that enables beat cops to quickly drill down relevant information from disparate databases. It's one of a number of companies that promise to unite the so-called “Internet of things” — the increasing selection of gear and devices collecting and communicating data, video and other information — with the laptops, tablets and other personal computing tools many cops now carry on the job.
More law enforcement officers commit suicide each year than are killed in traffic accidents and felonious assaults. Despite that fact, mental illness issues have long been stigmatized within the law enforcement community and few agencies properly address suicide prevention, according to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the U.S. Department of Justice's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. In order to develop a national strategy to address officer mental wellness and suicide prevention, IACP and COPS hosted a symposium in July 2013 at which agency officials produced guidelines, released today, focusing on culture change, early warning and prevention protocols, training and event response protocols. Recommendations include: Establish and institutionalize effective early warning and intervention protocols to identify and treat at-risk officers Audit existing psychological services and determine whether they are effective in identifying early warning signs Invest in mental health and stress management training agency Begin mental wellness training at the academies Mental health training for officers' families Establish clear post-event protocols to implement and follow when officers die by suicide. Read the full report HERE.
Can police strike a proper balance between the use of new technologies and the privacy rights of citizens? The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) believes the balance can be achieved if law enforcement authorities follow “universal principles” of transparency and accountability. A set of recommendations released today by the IACP calls for agencies to build “robust auditing requirements into agency policies” that will reassure the public about how the huge amounts of data collected through surveillance and other monitoring tools will be used. Law enforcement data collection came under public scrutiny last year after National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden released troves of classified information about high-tech government monitoring. The IACP said police need to place boundaries on real-time data collection.
A “culture of openness to new information from reliable sources” is a key to reducing the problem of wrongful convictions in American criminal justice, the International Association of Chiefs of Police said today. The IACP issued a federally-funded report, announced in conjunction with The Innocence Project, concluding that “law enforcement can take a lead role in preventing and reducing wrongful convictions by eliminating the arrest of the wrong person.” The report includes 30 recommendations for dealing with the problem. The new report was based on a Wrongful Conviction Summit held last year in which the IACP assembled 75 experts to dissect the wrongful conviction problem. The project was supported by the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs. Its release had been planned for October’s annual IACP convention but was delayed because of the federal government shutdown.