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Police Reform

Examining the evolving landscape of enforcement strategies
Signs of backlash against increased crime associated with oppressive and punitive police reform measures are coming to light
The need to renew and enhance trust and respect between stakeholders and law enforcement partners has never been greater
“It’s clear that cooperation ... and progress accelerated dramatically over the past few months due to the hard work of people in the courtroom and other officers you work with,” a U.S. district judge said. “Their efforts are paying off”
“The [NOPD] is in shambles because of a federal consent decree ... We have to wrestle that away from them, and even if [the judge] gave it to us today, it would take a decade to build that police department back up,” Gov. Jeff Landry said
The files were made public based on a judge’s order from Nov. 2, the same day former officer Desmond Mills Jr. pleaded guilty to federal charges
The policy, which was voted down by the Brooklyn Center city council, would have restricted pretextual stops
“Injuries during transport have become extremely rare, and BPD now has in place the equipment, training, policies and practices to maintain this safety record,” the DOJ stated
“These changes demonstrate a powerful commitment to reform, a commitment that warrants a different approach from the DOJ than has been the case over the past dozen years,” an attorney wrote
While APD’s officers and training have shown exceptional improvement, the Civilian Oversight Board and one OIS hold the department back from full compliance, according to oversight evaluators
“There’s much more work to be done,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley said. “I think we’ve shown over the last couple years that we can both reduce crime and reform a police department at the same time”
“People should get used to hearing good news about BPD, and not just bad news,” an oversight director stated
“[The unit] enables officers to know what to look for, what to do, when they see their partner officer doing something that tarnishes our badge,” said Chief Eddie Garcia
The case evolved from a records request that was rejected on the grounds that unsubstantiated discipline records could be withheld to protect officers’ privacy
The Portland Police Department was one of the last major U.S. police agencies without the technology, which will be implemented next summer
City leaders now must discuss the proposal with the DOJ and U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon, who oversees the city’s federally mandated police reforms
“We have to show some discretion, but we should not say, ‘We should never pursue,’” Lakewood Police Chief Patrick Smith said
The ACT Now bill would allow police to pursue more suspects and review their own BWC footage when filing reports
New reforms include reviews of every incident where officers brandish a firearm, a policy that limits the use of “pretextual stops” and revised training intended to “limit the role of bias and prejudice”
Money will go toward hiring 34 new police oversight workers, including lawyers, trainers and counselors
The Madison Police Department has added six community outreach officers through a federal COPS grant as part of the department’s initiative to combat crime
The judge freed the department from federal oversight in a move he called “the end of the beginning” of Seattle police reform
The new database will allow the public to look into the backgrounds of their local police officers via a PDF document or spreadsheet
“Whoever takes the torch here from me, they’re on a firm foundation,” Cedric Alexander said; he said now people feel safe when they come into the city
The settlement calls for de-escalation whenever possible, limits the use of tear gas and ends traffic stops for broken taillights/searches based on the smell of marijuana
The Task Force on 21st Century Policing’s new report looks at hiring, training and doing away with the military style of command-and-control management
The selection of a civilian head of training is one of the steps the Police Bureau agreed to take to comply with the city’s settlement with the DOJ
Karl Racine is the third consent decree monitor since the city and DOJ started the process in 2015
The department has overhauled training and strengthened accountability, but trust from the community remains a challenge