Just Released the Top 100 Police Departments in the United States

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We have a top 10 or 50, or 100 list for just about everything, lists that rank everything from hospitals to best restaurants, pet adoption, day care, grocery stores, retail shops, salons, bars, local TV newscast, news anchor, the products we use daily, cities or states we plan to move to or visit, everything has a top list.   

I searched high and low and couldn’t seem to find an all inclusive list of top rated police departments throughout the United States.

I even checked CALEA, where police departments can obtain accreditation and awards for excellence and could not find a list of the top 100 let alone top 50 police departments within the United States.

I started to wonder why?

I really want to know which police departments within the United States are ranked the highest to the lowest and why. What parameters were used to rank them and where they are.

So that I could better determine if we really have a cop issue or a citizen issue in the US or are these issues a lot more isolated than the media, the Black Lives Matter Movement and other groups make them out to be.

As I searched, I started seeing lists that were geared towards police work. They offered, helpful information such as, where I could find the best police department to work for, those that paid the highest wages, best cities to be a cop in and a top 10 of the most stable departments to work for.

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To put it into perspective…

We are inundated daily with stories of police bias and brutality, officer involved shootings that were perceived as wrongful, stories about police misconduct and abuse at the hands of police.  

When you take a step back and think about it, we do not take the time to appropriately or fairly praise or appreciate departments and the police who work in them for doing an outstanding job of serving the communities they work in.

We ignore the sacrifices these men and women make every working day and focus on the bad. It’s amazing how a handful of cops or departments can take the limelight from those that truly do shine brighter.

We tend to only see the the best of the best, the brightest lights once we are wearing the darkest pair of shades so do not truly see how bright the light is.

The only list I could find easily was a list that ranked the top 10 police forces in the world.

The police forces were ranked by things like resources and efficiency, public protection, how well they did at protecting vulnerable people, ability to tackle crime, implementation of neighborhood policing, fewest citizens beaten and/or shot, fairness, shots fired by the police on the force per year, and local priorities.

I’m sure I missed a few on the list that was used to rank Police Forces, but only two in the United States made the list made by infotainworld.

The California Highway Patrol and the NYPD were on the list, they were the only two departments from the US that made the list. 

It is fair to say the those who created the list did not look nationwide here in the US at all of the departments within our country.

If they had, the list could have been a comprehensive study and a true comparative analysis of all police forces in the US the picture would have been different.

Sadly it still did very little to explain why no such list truly exists in the US. If it did, we’d get a much more clear idea of how widespread police misconduct really is.

The ability to have a list of top police departments in each county and state within the United States would show us that comparatively, all of the news stories about police misconduct really are just a handful of police and departments once you see the bigger picture.

The bigger picture being all of the departments, all of the police that we are not seeing splashed all over the news for getting it right.

That list would be crucial for those that are both for or against police reform. If you look at departments who do well, don’t have issues, wouldn’t you want to model your problem department after those that are being ranked much higher than yours?

Would it not help the Justice Department when it makes a recommendation that may or may not work for instance like in Oakland?

The issue that you have with the DOJ overseeing police reform is that they are not the cops on the street, they are not the departments that have a stellar track record within the communities they serve.

They simply cannot know how to tackle some of the problem departments and when they try, it costs the taxpayers way too much and the recommendations more often than not, end up failing in the long run.

In truth, at the end of the day instead of the DOJ running oversight and starting new programs so they can go in and help departments who feel they need help, these departments should be looking at the one’s who are doing it right.

The police and departments who are doing it right have already set the standard for how it should be done and the DOJ can’t top that let alone replicate it.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop

US ends private prison contracts

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Goodbye Corrections Corp of America

Deinstitutionalisation is the process of doing away with long term psychiatric hospitals and replacing them with less isolating community services such as mental health treatment on an outpatient basis.

The idea was that it would work in a couple of ways first by focusing on reducing the number of patients that were housed in mental institutions by releasing them of course, for some it meant shortening stays, in turn it would reduce both admissions and readmission rates.

The second focused on reforming mental a hospital’s institutional processes, the image it would create of the patient in the mind of the patient. It was the hope that ending the processes it would reduce or eliminate the concepts of patient dependency, the feelings of being hopeless once out of the institution and unable to cope with that, learned helplessness which the institutions drilled into the heads of patients and loved one’s of the patients, and other behaviors that institutions reinforced into the minds of patients and the families of patients.

Not to mention, wide scale patterns of patient neglect, care and unimaginable abuse were occurring in the facilities.  

The idea sounded great, on paper and in presentations.

The idea failed, miserably.  

These days it’s difficult to find a long term psychiatric hospital that cares for the mentally ill.

Today over half of the mentally ill population are left to self manage, mental holds in hospitals are short lived, some patients are released when they truly shouldn’t be, but the hospital psych ward needs the bed space.  

Patients are asked to get continued therapy, over half of which don’t because of cost, the inability to get to and from the therapy or simply because they don’t want it or are too mentally ill to realize they really do need it in order to live through each and every day.

Once in therapy, they are a number in the system and aren’t really always receiving the right kind of therapy.

Patients that are on medications don’t take them or worse mix them with other medications, illegal drugs or they drink with them.

This creates a problem for police because when they are heading to a call they don’t know what the individual was diagnosed with, are they on meds, off meds, mixing alcohol with the meds, etc.

A lot of mentally ill individuals struggle with keeping a job and they struggle to obtain housing so that leaves a good chunk of them living on the streets or couch surfing with friends who may or may not be aware the individual is struggling with mental issues until something happens.

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When we made the move to private prison contracts…

Back in the 1980’s not only was the hair and clothing bad, the public was frustrated over a ‘perceived’ failure of the penal system to rehabilitate offenders and in turn the public was reluctant to provide more funding for correctional institutions, to top it off the penal system was facing a demand for more jail space.

This created a ‘perceived’ issue that needed a very fast solution.

So one proposed solution was the privatizing of prisons and jails by contracting out, in part or in whole, the entire operation.

And now, we want to end the privatization of our penal system and go backwards instead of forward. We are not really looking for a solution to the ‘perceived’ issues.

It’s a reaction, one that I believe is normal for all of us once we realize that privatization of prisons really never was more cost effective.

Some are suggesting that the Department of Justice was maybe misguided on some of the information pertaining to why we need to begin the process of parting ways with private prison contracts.

One group says that private prisons show a savings of between 3-12% on annual per capita costs. Yet the report came with a caution that said they really could not honestly compare the costs between private and non-private prisons because of inmate population differences and programs offered.

The report found that as of January 2014 over half of the prison population housed in private prisons were non-us citizens.

That really isn’t the full picture because that particular report did not truly look at or study the actual demographics of those that were in prison at the time they conducted the study.

The report did study to see how the two compared to 8 measures of safety and security. The study found that private prisons did a poor job when it came to things like contraband, lockdowns, inmate discipline, grievances, phone monitoring and reports of incidents.

It’s easy to conduct a controlled study in order to obtain the outcome one wants. I can do it and so can you. I’m fairly certain a 5 year old can do it as well.

The issue here is, what happens when we or if we truly part ways with private prison contracts?

But let’s back up and look at the situation again…

Severing ties with private prisons will affect maybe 15-20% of Federal Inmates. That’s right, Federal inmates. States can still keep what contracts they have in place for state contracted private prisons.

They can also choose to part ways with private prison contracts if they wish. This decision would not affect states that use private run prisons on the state level.

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I worked for this really great company once, the owner Troy Widgery was a really good owner, and an even better manager/trainer.  

He always pushed me to not focus on a ‘perceived’ problem. He was right, because our focus on the ‘perceived’ problem clouds our abilities to come up with a solution that will provide the outcome we truly want.

It also clouds our ability to figure out if we truly have a problem or if the problem might be something we never even considered as the culprit. 

Just remember, when we decided on Deinstitutionalisation in psychiatric facilities, we saw a ‘perceived’ problem, ran to create a solution and never planned for the outcome that eventually followed.

In the 1980’s, we saw a ‘perceived’ problem with the penal system and today, we are not liking the solution that created the outcome we are now hearing about.

“The problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude about the problem.”

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop

 

 

Police unions holding police reform hostage 

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At least that’s how it’s being sold

While they say they support reform, in many cities the police unions which represent the officers in those cities are holding reform hostage until they can gain monetarily from the reform.

This this month in Cincinnati, a local Police Union attorney sent a “cease and desist” letter to the city that said that officers should only use body cameras if the city was willing to pay them more.

Basically, unions are using the reform as a bargaining chip and are holding it hostage which is so very wrong. I can see something like, well the department needs more funds in order to purchase the body camera’s but, the unions are blatantly using reform as a way to increase police paychecks.

They are asking for money for officers from taxpayers to ensure officers are doing an effective and fair job.

According to a report at the Huffington Post, Daniel Hils, who is the president of one of Cincinnati’s Fraternal Order of Police lodges had this to say with regards to suggesting that police be paid more for the reforms:

“We recognize [body cameras are] the direction we’re going, but I believe this is a game changer, as far as complexity of the job. And this level of monitoring will result in positives and negatives about what it’s like to be a policeman. Because of that, I think it does require some additional compensation or at least bargaining for that.”

The argument is being presented in such a way by the unions that they are suggesting that adding the camera’s adds additional expectations, responsibilities and/or enhances the job of the officers.

Those have to be some of the weakest reason’s to be asking for an increase in police pay that I have ever seen.

Many police departments, not the unions that represent them are for the camera’s, from the top brass to the rookies. They want them, they support them and are willing to wear them. It’s the unions who are pushing back.

Boston just went down this road when the Patrolman’s Association fought the use of body cameras on a voluntary basis. The police in Boston are not being forced to wear them, so now the volunteers were selected by some third party, and the now forced volunteers are wearing the cameras for some time then an evaluation will be done by said third party who I assume is not associated with the department itself or the Patrolman’s Association.

Understanding

Who wants to be under constant surveillance while at work, anyone? The answer is that none of us want that, you may say you don’t care but when push comes to shove, no one really wants that. The idea is uncomfortable for most us, we don’t want it and don’t like the idea of it.

Some think that police have been granted this enormous, great power to be above and over us, they have authority over us, they can abuse us, use unnecessary force against us, be unfair, racist, biased, kill us without reason etc.

The assumption is that police have been give this great power over all of us little people and it needs to be monitored, seen and it has to have this check and balance process.

I agree with that to an extent however…

I personally do not believe that all police departments or police believe that they have been granted this great power over us.

Sure, the ones for instance that we see splashed all over the news have this power and control issue. Except for the Commerce City, Colorado Police Department, those guys are just playing Pokémon Go while on the job. By the way does anyone know how many Pokémon they captured before they were busted?

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I do know several police departments who don’t feel that way at all.

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Both the Denver, Colorado Police Department and the Arvada, Colorado Police Department just to name a couple feel a sense of responsibility to the communities they serve and protect.

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Sure they may have had at one time or another a bad apple or two, many of the officers that work for those departments do not truly feel that they have been handed this enormous power over the people.

I’ve had the privilege to work with many of them and to also know some on a personal level. They don’t feel over us in anyway, they feel a greater sense of responsibility the each citizen and the communities that they serve.

The sense of power over someone and the sense of responsibility to someone are two vastly different things.

All people are asking for are transparency and accountability, this requires nothing more out of police than what they should already be doing today.

Until the Fed’s can think of a way to prevent unions from holding reform hostage, this will continue to be a problem. I don’t know it feels like the unions are now pimping out the police.

The unions need to carefully consider that having the ability to see what it’s like being a cop just might clear up a lot of misconceptions the general public has about police and what they do while on duty… not all of them are playing Pokémon Go while on the clock.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop

 

CIA contracted psychologists getting sued, in turn they sue the CIA

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The United States Central Intelligence Agency

The program was called the “enhanced interrogation program.” James Elmer Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen are considered the architects of the program because they created it.

As you all may be very well aware, earlier this year a Federal Judge cleared the way for victims of the CIA’s torture program to sue the CIA.

As a matter of fact, this was the first time in US history that a Judge has ruled that anyone can file this type of civil lawsuit against the CIA.

So, as you can imagine the CIA decided it was time to blame someone because why would they take accountability for a program they didn’t create but simply approved of….and used?

That someone ended up being 2 contracted-psychologists who worked for them for having devised such ways to torture an individual in an effort to gain intel.

And now the 2, contracted CIA psychologists are in turn, suing the CIA so that they can prove that the torture program was in fact, not their fault after all.

On Monday a motion to compel the documents, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It alleged that the CIA and Justice Department had been uncooperative in supplying James Elmer Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen with “documents critical to their defense.”

So what basically happened was, these two guys asked the CIA for the needed documents and the CIA denied the request, they did however offer to have an anonymous witness answer questions in writing. Actually, I believe the motion said that the Government offered to provide “alternative and creative options,” rather than hand over documents.

How it all started?

Well, James and Bruce were hired by the Central Intelligence Agency back in 2002 in all, they walked away with a cool $81 million for the work that they did for and with the CIA.

They were hired to devise a very horrific torture program for the CIA to utilize so as to get intelligence information from suspects.

The CIA at the time was scrambling to round up anyone that they could who might have had ties with or to al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Both James and Bruce personally feel that they should have immunity from prosecution over the program because it was authorized by the executive branch during a time of war.

The tricky part about that is, should they really be granted immunity as contractors of the Government? Typically, contractors are not afforded that luxury so why would anyone consider making that exception now?

The former contracted psychologists, James and Bruce have tried to have the lawsuit against them thrown out by arguing that the CIA was legally responsible for the program. Technically speaking, that is true of course.

The CIA hired these guys to come up with the program specifics and well, in the real world when you hire someone to come up with specifics for a program it is up to the contractor to ensure all applicable laws will be followed and the hiring agency is aware of anything that might cause a small issue such as, inhumane human torture.

And to the dismay of both James and Bruce Senior Judge Justin L. Quackenbush of the Eastern District of Washington ruled in April that the case would continue and ordered both sides to begin discovery, which is the process of exchanging evidence before trial.

This is where James and Bruce started having issues with the CIA. James and Bruce said in their motion that the subpoenas they submitted to the CIA and DOJ in June requested approximately 30 categories of documents.

The  government has been less than cooperative with the request. James and Bruce alleged through the motion they filed, that basically the government said that they’d love to help the defendants and give them the requested documents but they are “unsure how they can provide such information or when.”

The Department of Justice and CIA shot back that the “psychologists’ request is overly vague and burdensome, ostensibly because of classification issues in the documents related to the CIA’s now defunct torture program.”

Instead the government offered James and Bruce some alternative and creative options. One which was that the CIA would provide an anonymous witness who could answer questions in writing that could be used in court about the team’s role in the torture program.

Seriously that is what the motion alleged. The not so funny part about that, it’s a witness who may or may not have had direct contact with James or Bruce, and the testimony may end up being tossed because it could be viewed as hearsay which would be true in this case.

I agree that maybe the program did go a little too far in some cases, I mean one person froze to death while being held and interrogated.

The program ran over the course of 5 years. 119 men were abused using the techniques devised by James and Bruce. The 3 plaintiffs in the suit were among the 39 subjected to the what many consider as the most harsh torture and scientific experimentation.

Anal penetration, mock execution, being doused with ice cold water, and enduring something a lot like waterboarding and much more.

In 2012, the DOJ announced that CIA officials responsible for the torture regime would not be facing any criminal charges.

This news upset a lot of people and rightfully so. Just because they didn’t come up with the program, they knew it was wrong, they knew it was inhumane to do what they were doing to another human being.

It’s been proven so many times that victims of extreme torture will in fact lie just to make it stop, so did it really get anyone any closer to what it was they were looking for?

Some might argue that flying planes into the Twin Towers was inhumane and wrong and I agree but being the monster in order to fight the monster doesn’t work.

I know that first hand.

At the end of the day, James and Bruce will most likely if the case isn’t eventually thrown out, be the one’s paying the most for the CIA’s ill fated torture program regardless of who actually committed the acts of torture.

The program in and of itself, that was devised by James and Bruce tends to read a lot like many of the cold cases I pour through each week, the torture of the victims, the many ways they died.

James and Bruce each have the mind of a predator who tortures, maims, and kills it’s prey much like being in the head of a killer or rapist.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop

Police Caught Playing Pokémon Go while working

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But walking is good for your mental and physical health…right?

Earlier this week news broke that two Commerce City, Colorado police officers are now facing discipline for well, playing Pokémon Go instead of actually working.

The officers were caught by one of their supervisors in unusual places and it was quickly determined they were chasing cartoon characters and not any actual criminals.

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This announcement comes just after last week’s announcement that the Department of Justice has agreed to look at the departments police practices. The department decided to participate in the DOJ’s new program aimed at police reform.

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The Commerce City, Colorado police department has faced years of complaints from the union, officers and citizens. They have recently dealt with officer misconduct and in 2011 the police union for the department presented the department with some concerns, two of which were poor management and cover-ups.

The city brought in an investigator to look into the union’s claims but that didn’t go so well because as it turned out that particular investigator was accused of having a conflict of interest and long story short is, since then the city has face several lawsuits, which of course they settled them rather than go to court.

It’s also worth a mention that  union chief Tom Boskovich says turnover among officers in Commerce City is pretty much off the charts.

The Justice Department’s Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance which is volunteer by the way, works to analyze a police department’s policies, training and practices.

The DOJ claims that the program keeps an eye toward finding the specific problems that are causing it trouble in the community.

Quite frankly, since the program is new, only time will tell so we’ll have to wait and see if the DOJ can handle what’s coming for them with the recent findings in Boston, Oakland is still a mess, Cleveland, Portland is trying to take a step in the right direction but who knows.

Then look at Chicago, which granted has a huge number of shootings, they also have an equally large number of issues with regards to police misconduct, New York had a cop who was also a pimp, in Texas a cop was also a member of the Mexican Mafia in uniform…that’s just the tip of the iceberg considering stories are becoming more readily available. Daily.

In looking at some of the DOJ’s past history with investigating some of these departments and the outcome of those investigations, not only were some of the departments (like Oakland) still a problem, the investigations took forever but it also, ended up costing taxpayers a lot of money.

I just have this one nagging question…

Will the Justice Department’s Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance prevent cops from playing Playing Pokémon Go while on duty or does that not fall within the scope of “problems that are trouble in the community?”

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop