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From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host1/11/17 6:40 PM 
To: All  (1 of 13) 
 1819.1 

Pew Survey:
Officers More Reluctant to Make Stops, Use Force

by Chris Lee, St. Louis Post Dispatch
11 Jan 17

 

ATLANTA (AP) — The so-called “Ferguson effect” — officers backing off of policing out of fear that their actions will be questioned after the fact — has been talked about but never really quantified. A new study suggests the effect is a reality, with three-quarters of officers surveyed saying they are hesitant to use force, even when appropriate, and are less willing to stop and question suspicious people.

The nonpartisan Pew Research Center questioned at least 8,000 officers from departments with at least 100 officers between May 19 and Aug. 14 last year — most of it ahead of the fatal shootings of five officers in Dallas and three officers in Baton Rouge.

What it found was a significant fear among police about their safety and about carrying out some of the everyday acts of policing.

It also shows a stark difference in how white and black officers view the protests that have taken place after some of the high-profile shootings of black suspects in the past several years, with black officers believing the protests are genuine acts of civil disobedience designed to hold police accountable, while white officers are more skeptical of the protesters’ motives.

“White officers and black officers have very different views about where we are as a country in terms of achieving equal rights,” said Kim Parker, the director of social trends research for the Pew Research Center.

Some of the key findings:

• 86% of officers said that fatal encounters between blacks and police have made policing more difficult

• 93% said they’re more concerned about safety

• 76% said they’re more reluctant to use force when appropriate
• 75% said interactions between police and blacks have become more tense

• 72% said they or their colleagues are more reluctant to stop and question people who seem suspicious

In 2014, a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri shot and killed black teen Michael Brown, setting off a movement drawing greater scrutiny of police use of force, particularly against black citizens. In the years since, other fatal encounters with police in such cities as Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Milwaukee, Chicago and New York have put officers under the microscope, especially as video has captured more of these events.

There has been a concern, largely shared in anecdotes, of officers holding back on stopping suspicious people or other policing out of concern that they’d be cast as racist. But the Pew survey provides the first national evidence that those concerns may be having a real impact on how officers do their jobs.

“Officers are concerned about being the next viral video and so that influences what they do and how they do it and how they think about it,” said Darrel Stephens, executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. He added that he doesn’t believe it’s rampant or that officers are turning a blind eye, “but I still have to believe it may be in a marginal-call situation where there’s a reasonable suspicion on the bubble … that those are the ones they pass up.”

The survey also suggested a divide between police and the communities they serve on some social issues of the day.

For example, two-thirds of all officers say deadly encounters with blacks are isolated incidents, but 60% of the general public said they believe they are signs of a broader problem between police and blacks.

 

  • Edited January 11, 2017 7:29 pm  by  EdGlaze
 
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From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host1/11/17 6:56 PM 
To: All  (2 of 13) 
 1819.2 in reply to 1819.1 

Survey: Officers Say Job Has Gotten Harder
Pew Research Center

11 Jan 17

Police work has always been hard. Today police say it is even harder. In a new Pew Research Center national survey conducted by the National Police Research Platform, majorities of police officers say that recent high-profile fatal encounters between black citizens and police officers have made their jobs riskier, aggravated tensions between police and blacks, and left many officers reluctant to fully carry out some of their duties.

Read the Report

The wide-ranging survey, one of the largest ever conducted with a nationally representative sample of police, draws on the attitudes and experiences of nearly 8,000 policemen and women from departments with at least 100 officers. 1 It comes at a crisis point in America’s relationship with the men and women who enforce its laws, precipitated by a series of deaths of black Americans during encounters with the police that have energized a vigorous national debate over police conduct and methods.

Within America’s police and sheriff’s departments, the survey finds that the ramifications of these deadly encounters have been less visible than the public protests, but no less profound. Three-quarters say the incidents have increased tensions between police and blacks in their communities. About as many (72%) say officers in their department are now less willing to stop and question suspicious persons. Overall, more than eight-in-ten (86%) say police work is harder today as a result of these high-profile incidents.

At the same time that black Americans are dying in encounters with police, the number of fatal attacks on officers has grown in recent years. About nine-in-ten officers (93%) say their colleagues worry more about their personal safety — a level of concern recorded even before a total of eight officers died in separate ambush-style attacks in Dallas and Baton Rouge last July.

The survey also finds that officers remain deeply skeptical of the protests that have followed deadly encounters between police and black citizens. Two-thirds of officers (68%) say the demonstrations are motivated to a great extent by anti-police bias; only 10% in a separate question say protesters are similarly motivated by a genuine desire to hold police accountable for their actions. Some two-thirds characterize the fatal encounters that prompted the demonstrations as isolated incidents and not signs of broader problems between police and the black community — a view that stands in sharp contrast with the assessment of the general public. In a separate Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults, 60% say these incidents are symptoms of a deeper problem.

A look inside the nation’s police departments reveals that most officers are satisfied with their department as a place to work and remain strongly committed to making their agency successful. Still, about half (53%) question whether their department’s disciplinary procedures are fair, and seven-in-ten (72%) say that poorly performing officers are not held accountable.

Conflicting experiences and emotions mark police culture

Other survey findings underscore the duality of police work and the emotional toll that police work can take on officers. About eight-in-ten (79%) say they have been thanked by someone for their service in the month prior to the survey while on duty. But also during that time two-thirds say they have been verbally abused by a member of their community, and a third have fought or physically struggled with a suspect. A majority of officers (58%) say their work nearly always or often makes them feel proud. But nearly the same share (51%) say the job often frustrates them. More than half (56%) say their job has made them more callous.

Most police officers feel respected by the public and, in turn, believe officers have little reason to distrust most people. Rather than viewing the neighborhoods where they work as hostile territory, seven-in-ten officers say that some or most of the residents of the areas they patrol share their values. At the same time, a narrow majority of officers (56%) believe an aggressive rather than courteous approach is more effective in certain neighborhoods, and 44% agree that some people can only be brought to reason the hard, physical way.

Long-standing tensions between police and blacks underlie many of the survey results. While substantial majorities of officers say police have a good relationship with whites, Hispanics and Asians in their communities, 56% say the same about police relations with blacks. This perception varies dramatically by the race or ethnicity of the officer. Six-in-ten white and Hispanic officers characterize police relations with blacks as excellent or good, a view shared by only 32% of their black colleagues.

The racial divide looms equally large on other survey questions, particularly those that touch on race. When considered together, the frequency and sheer size of the differences between the views of black and white officers mark one of the singular findings of this survey. For example, only about a quarter of all white officers (27%) but seven-in-ten of their black colleagues (69%) say the protests that followed fatal encounters between police and black citizens have been motivated at least to some extent by a genuine desire to hold police accountable.

And when the topic turns more broadly to the state of race relations, virtually all white officers (92%) but only 29% of their black colleagues say that the country has made the changes needed to assure equal rights for blacks. Not only do the views of white officers differ from those of their black colleagues, but they stand far apart from those of whites overall: 57% of all white adults say no more changes are needed, as measured in the Center’s survey of the general public.

 

 

 
From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host1/11/17 6:56 PM 
To: All  (3 of 13) 
 1819.3 in reply to 1819.2 

Public, police differ on some key issues

Further differences in attitudes and perceptions emerge when the views of officers are compared with those of the public on other questions. While two-thirds of all police officers say the deaths of blacks at the hands of police are isolated incidents, only about four-in-ten members of the public (39%) share this view while the majority (60%) believes these encounters point to a broader problem between police and blacks.

And while a majority of Americans (64%) favor a ban on assault-style weapons, a similar share of police officers (67%) say they would oppose such a ban.

On other issues the public and police broadly agree. Majorities of both groups favor the use of body cameras by officers to record interactions with citizens (66% of officers and 93% of the public). And about two-thirds of police (68%) and a larger share of the public (84%) believe the country’s marijuana laws should be relaxed, and a larger share of the public than the police support legalizing marijuana for both private and medical use (49% vs. 32%).

These findings come from two separate Pew Research Center surveys. The main survey is an online poll of a nationally representative sample of 7,917 officers working in 54 police and sheriff’s departments with 100 or more sworn officers. (Some 63% of all sworn officers work in departments of this size.) The National Police Research Platform, headquartered at the University of Illinois at Chicago during the study period, conducted this survey of police for the Pew Research Center May 19-Aug. 14, 2016, using its panel of police agencies. The NPRP panel is described in more detail in the methodology.

The views of the public included in this report drew from a Pew Research Center American Trends Panel survey of 4,538 U.S. adults conducted online and by mail Aug. 16-Sept. 12, 2016. That survey included many of the same questions asked on the police survey, allowing direct comparisons to be made between the views of officers and the public.

Contrasting experiences, conflicting emotions

The survey provides a unique window into how police officers see their role in the community, how they assess the dangers of the job and what they encounter on a day-to-day basis. It also gives a glimpse into the psychology of policing and the way in which officers approach the moral and ethical challenges of the job.

Police have a nuanced view of their role — they don’t see themselves as just protectors or as enforcers. A majority (62%) say they fill both of these roles equally. They also experience a range of emotions on the job — often conflicting ones. A majority of officers (58%) say their work nearly always or often makes them feel proud. Almost as many (51%) say they nearly always or often feel frustrated by the job.

Officers are somewhat less likely to say they feel fulfilled by their job (42% say nearly always or often). Relatively few officers (22%) say their job often makes them feel angry, but a significant share (49%) say it sometimes makes them feel this way. Officers who say their job often makes them feel angry seem to be less connected to the citizens they serve. Fully 45% say very few or none of the people in the neighborhoods they serve share their values. Only 20% of officers who say they hardly ever or never feel angry say the same.

White officers are significantly more likely than black officers to associate negative emotions with their job. For example, 54% of white officers say they nearly always or often feel frustrated by their work, while roughly four-in-ten (41%) black officers say the same. Hispanic officers fall in the middle on this measure.

 

  • Edited January 11, 2017 6:56 pm  by  EdGlaze
 

 
From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host1/11/17 6:57 PM 
To: All  (4 of 13) 
 1819.4 in reply to 1819.3 

Officers worry about their safety and think the public doesn’t understand the risks they face

Fatal encounters between blacks and police have dominated the headlines in recent years. But the story took on another twist with the ambush-style attack that killed five police officers last summer in Dallas. Because these attacks occurred while the survey was in the field, it was possible to see if safety concerns of officers were affected by the incidents by comparing views before and after the assault.

Overall, the vast majority of officers say they have serious concerns about their physical safety at least sometimes when they are on the job. Some 42% say they nearly always or often have serious concerns about their safety, and another 42% say they sometimes have these concerns. The share of police saying they often or always have serious concerns about their own safety remained fairly consistent in interviews conducted pre-Dallas to post-Dallas.

While physical confrontations are not a day-to-day occurrence for most police officers, they are not altogether infrequent. A third of all officers say that in the past month, they have physically struggled or fought with a suspect who was resisting arrest. Male officers are more likely than their female counterparts to report having had this type of encounter in the past month — 35% of men vs. 22% of women. And white officers (36%) are more likely than black officers (20%) to say they have struggled or fought with a suspect in the past month. Among Hispanic officers, 33% say they had an encounter like this.

Although police officers clearly recognize the dangers inherent in their job, most believe the public doesn’t understand the risks and challenges they face. Only 14% say the public understands these risks very or somewhat well, while 86% say the public doesn’t understand them too well or at all.4 For their part, the large majority of American adults (83%) say they do understand the risks law enforcement officers face.

Police interactions with the public can range from casual encounters to moments of high stress. And the reactions police report getting from community members reflect the diverse nature of those contacts. Large majorities of officers across most major demographic groups report that they have been thanked for their service, but there are significant differences across key demographic groups when it comes to verbal abuse. Men are more likely than women to say they have been verbally abused by a community member in the past month. White and Hispanic officers are more likely than black officers to have had this experience. And a much higher share of younger officers (ages 18 to 44) report being verbally abused — 75%, compared with 58% of their older counterparts.

The situations police face on the job can often present moral dilemmas. When asked how they would advise a fellow officer in an instance where doing what is morally the right thing would require breaking a department rule, a majority of police (57%) say they would advise their colleague to do the morally right thing. Four-in-ten say they would advise the colleague to follow the department rule. There’s a significant racial divide on this question: 63% of white officers say they would advise doing the morally right thing, even if it meant breaking a department rule; only 43% of black officers say they would give the same advice.

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  • Edited January 11, 2017 6:57 pm  by  EdGlaze
 

 
From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host1/22/17 7:37 AM 
To: All  (5 of 13) 
 1819.5 in reply to 1819.4 

Jittery cops mean you should protect yourself during encounters
by Sam Rolley
12 Jan 17

Recent high-profile denouncements of police actions and deadly attacks on law enforcement like those in Dallas and Baton Rouge last year have police throughout the nation on edge. That means American citizens should take extra steps to protect themselves during encounters.

Pew Research recently interviewed 8,000 police officers, finding that 93 percent are more concerned about their safety than they were before national anti-police protests kicked off.

Because of the current atmosphere, officers report that their jobs are becoming more difficult.

As Pew notes: “Three-quarters say the incidents have increased tensions between police and blacks in their communities. About as many (72%) say officers in their department are now less willing to stop and question suspicious persons. Overall, more than eight-in-ten (86%) say police work is harder today as a result of these high-profile incidents.”

With police increasingly fearing for their safety and workplace stress levels rising within departments, American citizens are likely to find some officers are less friendly on the streets.

That’s more true in some areas than it is others, as Pew reports that 56 percent of officers believe “an aggressive rather than courteous approach is more effective in certain neighborhoods.”

If you find yourself in an interaction with an officer who is armed and unfamiliar to you, it’s a good idea to take certain steps to protect yourself from the power of the state. That’s true even if you feel you are a law-abiding American with nothing to hide.

The Rutherford Institute has published a helpful list of things to remember when you are forced to interact with officers:

  • It is important to remain calm during all encounters with law enforcement officials. It is easier to do this when you have a general idea of your rights and the rights of officers during a stop;
  • Keep both hands in plain view and do not make any sudden movements which might be mistaken by the officers as aggressive behavior;
  • Politely ask the officer the reason for the stop, because the reason limits the kinds of questions the officer may ask as well as the scope of the investigation;
  • Avoid doing anything that could give the officer a reason to suspect criminal activity. Also, if you’re so disposed, answer basic questions concerning who you are and the reason for your presence;
  • If you are stopped while driving, pull the car to a safe place as quickly as possible. Upon request, show the police your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance;
  • If an officer asks to search your belongings or your vehicle, you have the right to refuse. If you consent, you will likely forfeit any constitutional protections against unreasonable searches;
  • With the exception of identifying yourself, you have the right to refuse to answer questions, especially if the questions have nothing to do with the reason for the stop;
  • Finally, if you are arrested, it is best not to argue with or resist the police even if you believe the action is unjust. Resistance allows the police to bring additional criminal charges against you and could result in violence against you. If such charges are brought against you, it may also make it harder for you to be released from jail on bail. Instead, say you wish to remain silent and ask for a lawyer immediately.

A post on the institute’s website goes into further detail about types of interactions you may have with police and how officers are legally required to carry out those interactions.

For the most part, American police officers are honorable individuals and dedicated public servants. There are, however, bad officers out there who see the badge as a tool which gives them the right to hassle and abuse citizens.

For the average American, knowledge of rights and courtesy toward officers whenever possible can go a long way in making sure interactions with police are minor inconveniences rather than life-ruining, or ending, ordeals.

 

 
From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host1/25/17 7:04 PM 
To: All  (6 of 13) 
 1819.6 in reply to 1819.5 

Are you a typical US cop?
Measure against 8,000 of your peers

from www.forcescience.org News #329
24 Jan 17

How typical are your opinions and actions on the job compared to other American LEOs?

• Do you believe that protests over officers shooting blacks are motivated primarily by anti-police bias?

• In light of recent high-profile incidents, are you more reluctant to use appropriate force or to stop and question people who seem suspicious?

• Do you agree that in certain areas of your community “it is more useful for officers to be aggressive than to be courteous?”

• Does your work often make you feel angry or frustrated?

• Have you had at least four hours of scenario-based firearms training or instruction in nonlethal control methods in the last year?

• Are you confident in your department’s disciplinary process, and do you find its force guidelines useful in real confrontations?

• Do residents of the areas you patrol generally share your personal values?

• Does the public really understand the risks and challenges of policing the streets?

These are but a few of the topics explored in a new groundbreaking survey of law enforcement personnel conducted for the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan “fact tank” in Washington, DC, that collects and disperses information on social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends.

In a project called “Behind the Badge,” launched by Pew some nine months ago, the experiences and opinions of a nationwide, representative sampling of nearly 8,000 officers were sought on critical issues in the post-Ferguson world of policing.

The Center offers its findings without judgment or recommendations. It’s goal, according to Pew spokesmen, was simply to discover prevailing attitudes regarding recent events, key factors, and professional concerns, as revealed in “the most wide-ranging survey of police officers ever attempted.”

The actual polling was administered by the National Police Research Platform, a consortium of academics and police professionals who “seek to advance the science and practice” of US law enforcement. Through anonymous online questionnaires, the group sampled 7,917 officers from a cross-section of 43 municipal agencies and 11 sheriff’s departments with at least 100 full-time sworn LEOs.

Click here to access the full, 96-page report of findings free of charge.

Here are some of the highlights. How closely do they jibe with your views and experiences?

PULLING BACK. Whether working in “a quiet suburb or bustling metropolis,” more than eight in 10 officers queried say their job is harder now “as a consequence of recent high-profile fatal incidents involving blacks and police,” Pew reports. And they’re pulling back on their efforts as a result.

Over half (54%) of officers in departments with fewer than 300 sworn and 86% of those in agencies of 2,600 or more say fellow officers “have become less willing to stop and question people who seem suspicious.”

In larger departments, 85% of officers say their peers are “more reluctant to use force to control a suspect even when it is appropriate,” with six in 10 on smaller departments agreeing that’s the case.

The majority of officers (87% in the largest departments, 61% in smaller ones) say that “police interactions with blacks have become more tense.” Roughly nine out of 10 in departments of all sizes “have become more concerned about their safety,” with more than 40% feeling “serious” concern for danger “often” or “nearly always.”

PROTESTS. Most officers are “deeply skeptical of the motives of demonstrators” who protest police shootings, Pew reports. Over 90% believe that “long-standing bias against police” is at least “some” or “a great deal” of the motivation behind demonstrations.

The minority of officers who think protests are “sincere efforts to force police accountability” are more likely to be black, female, older, or in administrative assignments.

Over two-thirds of officers “characterize the fatal encounters that prompted the demonstrations as isolated incidents and not signs of broader problems between police and the black community,” the survey finds. “This stands in sharp contrast with the assessment of the general public.” A separate poll shows that 60% of US adults believe “these incidents are symptoms of a deeper problem.”

As to racial matters in general, “virtually all white officers (92%) but only 29% of their black colleagues say that the country has made the changes needed to assure equal rights for blacks.” More than half the white adult population as a whole agrees with the majority of black officers that “more changes are needed.”

COMMUNITY COMPATIBILITY. “[R]ather than viewing the neighborhoods where they work as hostile territories, about seven in 10 officers say that some or most of the residents there share their personal values and beliefs,” the Pew canvas finds. However, that leaves some 30% who don’t feel that world-view cohesion, a disconnect especially noticeable in larger departments.

A significant majority of officers (about 80%) say “they have been thanked for their service” by a civilian in the last month, but about two-thirds say they have been abused verbally in that same period. Those who’ve experienced abuse are more likely to be white, Hispanic, and/or male. Some 75% of younger officers report verbal abuse, compared to about 60% of colleagues over 44 years old.

“[P]olice and the public often see the world in very different ways,” Pew notes. “When both groups are asked whether the public understands the risks and challenges of police work,” 83% of the public (in a separate survey) say they do, while “86% of police say they don’t — the single largest disparity measured in these surveys.”

Also the public is significantly more likely than police to favor a ban on assault-style weapons (64% vs. 32%), to want more relaxed marijuana laws (84% vs. 68%), and to support the use of body cameras (93% vs. 66%).

 

  • Edited January 25, 2017 7:10 pm  by  EdGlaze
 

 
From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host1/25/17 7:05 PM 
To: All  (7 of 13) 
 1819.7 in reply to 1819.6 

USE OF FORCE. In the month before taking the survey, a third of all officers say they “physically struggled or fought with a suspect who was resisting arrest.” White officers were significantly more likely to have had such an encounter than black officers (36% vs. 20%), as were males (35%) compared to their female counterparts (22%).

More than half the officers (56%) “agree” or “strongly agree” that in “certain areas” of their community “it is more useful for an officer to be aggressive than to be courteous.” And a substantial portion (44%) believe “some people can only be brought to reason the hard, physical way.”

On both measures, Pew finds, “a larger share of younger, less senior officers and those with less than five years of experience favor [aggressive] techniques, while proportionally fewer older, more experienced officers, or department administrators endorse them.”

Questioned about “striking the right balance between acting decisively versus taking time to assess a situation,” a thin majority (56%) say they worry more about officers on their department spending “too much time diagnosing a situation before acting” than they do about their peers not taking enough time before making decisive moves.

Administrators and black officers, however, tend to have the reverse view. About 60% of them fear that officers will act in situations too quickly, with too little analysis.

“[R]oughly half of officers (46%) say fatal encounters between blacks and police in recent years have prompted their department to modify use-of-force policies,” Pew notes. This is especially true in larger departments, which are three times more likely to have made changes than smaller agencies.

Although nearly three-fourths of officers say their department’s UOF policies now are “about right,” about one in four think the guidelines are “too restrictive” and a relative handful (1%) would like them become even more restrictive.

In managing real-world confrontations, about half of officers say their department’s policies are “somewhat useful,” with a third rating them “very useful.” Only 14% say they are “not too useful or not at all useful.”

When department guidelines are not followed, “police overwhelmingly say fellow officers need to step up,” Pew reports. “Fully 84% say officers should be required to intervene when they believe another officer is about to use unnecessary force.”

TRAINING. Departments are “not exemplary” in “training and equipping officers to do their jobs,” according to survey results. Overall, only 30–40% of officers say their agency has done “very well” in training them adequately, in “clearly communicating the responsibilities of the job,” and in equipping them to perform successfully. Smaller agencies (1,000 officers or less) tend to be most favorably rated.

In the last 12 months, according to the survey:

• Scarcely half (53%) of officers say they have had at least four hours of scenario-based firearms decision-making training;

• Only 50% have had at least four hours of training in nonlethal methods for controlling combative or threatening subjects;

• Just 46% have had at least four hours’ training in how to deal with individuals in mental crisis, although three out of four officers consider this task “an important role for police”;

• Only 39% have received at least four hours’ training in “bias and fairness,” and 37% in “how to deal with people so they feel they have been treated fairly and respectfully”;

• And despite the public attention focused on “de-escalation,” only 44% of officers say they’ve had at least four hours’ training “in how to de-escalate a situation so it is not necessary to use force.”

JOB EMOTIONS. In filling their roles as protectors and enforcers, officers “experience a range of emotions on the job — often conflicting ones,” the survey shows.

Most officers (58%) say their work “often” or “nearly always” makes them feel proud, although lesser numbers (42%) say they feel “fulfilled” to the same degree. About half further acknowledge that “often” or “nearly always” they feel “frustrated by the job,” compared to only 29% of all employed adults.

About one in five officers say their work “often makes them feel angry,” and about half say it “sometimes” makes them feel this way.”

The report points out that officers prone to anger “seem to be less connected to the citizens they serve.” Some 45% say “none” or “very few” of the people in the neighborhoods they serve share their values. Among officers who “never” or “hardly ever” feel angry, only 20% feel that disconnect.

“White officers are significantly more likely than black officers to associate negative emotions with their job,” the survey notes. More than half of white officers (54%) say the job frequently or perpetually frustrates them — 13 percentage points higher than their black peers.

“Exposure to the dark side of life, coupled with the stress that officers encounter working in high-pressure situations or with hostile individuals, means that many officers may pay an emotional price for their service,” the report states.

“For example, a 56% majority say they have become more callous toward people since taking their job,” with younger and white officers most likely to feel that change. Those who sense more personal insensitivity are “about twice as likely to say their job nearly always or often makes them feel angry or frustrated.” They are more likely to “endorse aggressive or physically harsh tactics with some people.” And they are more likely to have been in a recent physical or verbal confrontation or to have fired their gun while on duty during their career.

 

  • Edited January 25, 2017 7:06 pm  by  EdGlaze
 

 
From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host1/25/17 7:08 PM 
To: All  (8 of 13) 
 1819.8 in reply to 1819.7 

AGENCY ASSESSMENT. The survey reveals that most officers (74%) are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their department as a place to work and 96% feel “strongly committed” to making their agency successful.

“Still, police do not offer universal praise of their departmental leadership,” Pew reports. Only about three in 10 say they are “extremely (7%) or very (23%) supportive of the direction that top management is taking their organization.” The rest are only “moderately” or “slightly” supportive or “not supportive at all.”

At the most basic level, “most police surveyed (86%) say their department does not have enough officers to adequately police the community.” In agencies of 1,000 or more, 95% of officers voice this complaint.

Departmental disciplinary processes draw “mixed ratings.” Less than half (45%) of officers surveyed believe the disciplinary process in their agency is fair, with one in five “strongly disagreeing” that there is fairness. More than 70% believe that officers who consistently do a poor job are not held accountable for their shortcomings.

About half of black officers (53%) “say that whites are treated better than minorities in their department when it comes to assignments and promotions.”

MISCELLENY. If you love statistics, the Pew report is a treasure trove. Browsing its pages, you can learn that male officers are about three times more likely than their female peers to have fired their service weapon on duty…that only three in 10 officers have patrolled on foot continuously for 30 minutes or more in the last month…that 52% of officers think local police should take an active role in identifying illegal aliens… that 44% of officers don’t believe that body cams will cause police to act more “appropriately,” and so on.

In summary, as Pew puts it, this broad-ranging survey “provides a unique window into how police officers see their role in the community, how they assess the dangers of the job, and what they encounter on a day-to-day basis. It also gives a glimpse into the psychology of policing and the way in which officers approach the moral and ethical challenges of the job.”

 

 
From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host6/30/17 12:07 PM 
To: All  (9 of 13) 
 1819.9 in reply to 1819.8 

Free: UOF-related quick study guides for training reinforcement
www.forcescience.org

Law enforcement officers are involved with an endless variety of encounters, and some of these are relatively rare or very rare indeed.

For instance, Atty. Michael Brave, always popular at ILEETA conferences and other training events for his remarkably detailed, rapid-fire legal updates, points out that on average “for every 71 LEO encounters there will be one use or threatened use of force, and for every 1,000 uses of force there will be one time-associated death.”

Thus, he says, given these comparative infrequencies, “it’s helpful for officers to have study aids to refresh their training, to guide their responses in street situations, to reference after an encounter before generating reports or statements, and to review before grand jury appearances, depositions, and trial testimony.”

Brave has recently created three one-page aids in collaboration with “a significant number of highly knowledgeable authorities” that you can access free of charge and print out for roll call distribution or other training or use purposes.

Click here or visit: www.ecdlaw.info/Study_Aid_CEW for a “rapid study guide” on Conducted Electrical Weapon use

Click here or visit: www.ecdlaw.info/Study_Aid_4th_UoF for a basic review of the 4th Amendment’s Objective Reasonableness Standard and qualified immunity

Click here or visit: www.ecdlaw.info/Study_Aid_Timeline_Cklist for a practical template for recording an “accurate and verifiable” critical incident timeline for investigations.

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Related discussions:

BOOK — Use of Force Investigations

Guns and the law: Using deadly force

  • Edited June 30, 2017 12:21 pm  by  EdGlaze
 

 
From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host4/20/18 4:57 AM 
To: All  (10 of 13) 
 1819.10 in reply to 1819.9 

LAWYER PANEL: What changing the UOF standard would mean to cops
Force Science Institute newsletter 363www.forcescience.org
17 Apr 18

The persistent urge by police critics to tighten restrictions on the use of force surfaced again this month after a controversial shooting in Sacramento, California.

A state legislator told a press conference that she will introduce a bill to change the legal standard for law enforcement in California from using “objectively reasonable force” to “necessary force.” That means officers would be legally allowed to use deadly force only if “there were no other reasonable alternatives to prevent serious injury or death,” according to a spokesperson for the ACLU, which is among the activist groups behind the measure.

Also the bill would “encourage prosecutors to consider whether officers could have de-escalated a situation with verbal warnings or used nonlethal force” before resorting to gunfire, according to reports of the conference.

At this writing, exact wording of the bill has not been publicly revealed, but we asked a select group of police attorneys with Force Science credentials to comment on implications of the proposal. One noted in responding that “there are efforts in several parts of the country” to alter the current standard, so the drive for change is not unique to California.

Here’s what our panel has to say:

Cost will be fatal hesitation, court confusion, monetary windfall for plaintiffs
Atty. Mildred O’Linn, Force Science Analyst, Manning & Kass law firm, Los Angeles

What is required in use-of-force situations by officers under current law is a stringent enough burden without imposing additional scrutiny via a subjective “necessary” standard.

Under the Supreme Court’s decision in Graham v. Connor in 1989, force used by law enforcement must be “objectively reasonable under the totality of the circumstances.” That means that officers must take into account everything they knew and believed to be true up to that moment when they made their force decision, and then they will be judged on whether their assessment was reasonable and their force appeared to be necessary.

Potentially relevant factors for consideration can be extensive, ranging from the perception of immediate threat to the relative size, strength, and age of the suspect compared to the officer.

If the legal standard goes from an objective “reasonable and appears to be necessary” standard to a subjective “necessary” standard — and the “appears to be” disappears — officers will be faced with impossible decisions with unbearable consequences. The evaluation of their choices and actions in those “split-second decisions” in life-threatening circumstances would then be based on the ultimate outcome of the incidents.

Judging an officer’s decisions in the bright light of day, when the smoke has cleared and the danger has passed and when you know the actual facts and circumstances, is clearly untenable. Officers cannot be expected to determine in the split-seconds available to them whether the weapon is real, the knife is sharp, the attacker is skilled, or even if the object in the hand is a gun or a phone when there is what reasonably appears to be an immediate threat to safety.

Requiring officers in dangerous circumstances to further evaluate and make sure their actions are necessary could mean death, for example, when an individual reaches for his waistband. Maybe the suspect is just pulling up his pants or grabbing his cell phone — or maybe he’s drawing a gun.

The cost of a “necessary” standard will be officer hesitation and deaths, a confusion in the legal standard for state and federal claims, and a monetary windfall to plaintiffs in civil litigation at great cost to taxpayers.

This proposal is politically and financially motivated in a time when criminal consequences have been minimized and offenders are empowered by the lack of meaningful consequences. The reality is that we already ask so much of officers and we need to be reasonable in our expectations.

 

  • Edited April 20, 2018 5:05 am  by  EdGlaze
 

 
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