Police Abuse

WATCH President Obama Announce New Police Data Initiative

President Obama in Camden, but probably won't mention how the city broke free of their police union.

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Miami PD

While the White House's move to roll back some of the transfers of military equipment from the federal government to local police agencies is getting the most coverage, news from the White House's police task force also includes a measure that doesn't just try to fix a problem the feds helped create but provides a tool for local governments to better manage and evaluate their local police departments. The White House announced a police data initiative to be taken part in by the 21 cities participating in fast-track implementation of the task force's recommendations. The president went to Camden today, along with a throng of technology experts who would help Camden with the police data initiative.

From the White House:

Camden is just one of 21 communities currently participating in our Police Data Initiative. Through this effort, local police departments and other participants are responding first to Task Force recommendations within two streams of work:

  • Using open data to increase transparency, build community trust, and support innovation
  • Better using technology, such as early warning systems, to identify problems, increase internal accountability, and decrease inappropriate uses of force

The effort has focused on specific actions law enforcement agencies can take to make progress in these two areas. The collaboration has generated multiple commitments to action and the White House is working with agencies and key enabling partners now to drive quick implementation.

Unmentioned by the White House is how Camden disbanded its police department to get out of an onerous police union contract that prevented real reform. As Jim Epstein wrote in October:

Camden's old city-run police force abused its power and abrogated its duties. It took Camden cops one hour on average to respond to 911 calls, or more than six times the national average. They didn't show up for work 30 percent of the time, and an inordinate number of Camden police were working desk jobs. A union contract required the city to entice officers with extra pay to get them to accept crime-fighting shifts outside regular business hours. Last year, the city paid $3.5 million in damages to 88 citizens who saw their convictions overturned because of planted evidence, fabricated reports, and other forms of police misconduct.

In 2012, the murder rate in Camden was about five times that of neighboring Philadelphia—and about 18 times the murder rate in New York City.

Then in 2013 the city dissolved the 141-year-old department and replaced it with a new county-run force (known as "Metro") that was redesigned from the ground up—or every "police chief's dream," says Jose Cordero, 58, the highly regarded law enforcement expert and Bronx native who was brought in to configure the new agency. Cordero is best known for overseeing a 70 percent violent crime drop in East Orange (another impoverished Garden State town) when he was the city's police director there from 2004 to 2007, a period in which the city's poverty rate barely shifted.

Will President Obama mention this history, or the complementary concerns about Camden's shift toward total surveillance as policing? You can watch below. The president is expected to speak at any minute:

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  1. What’s this “e provides?” Is it Cockney? Or is it a reference to “The Omega Glory?”

    1. Who else would trick you with your own sacred words?

      1. That which is ours is ours again. It will never be taken from us again.

  2. Using open data to increase transparency, build community trust, and support innovation…

    Open meaning you might get a peek after several FOIA requests.

    1. don’t forget paying for the processing of those requests!

  3. Formula for liberal governance =

    – Treat every major national issue as an excuse to throw huge sums of money at unions
    – Repeat

    hopefully you can claim to be “modernizing America” and “addressing climate change” while you do it.

    1. – Treat every major national issue as an excuse to throw huge sums of money at unions

      I agree. I keep reading:

      Unmentioned by the White House is how Camden disbanded its police department to get out of an onerous police union contract that prevented real reform.

      And I can’t figure out if it’s question begging, feigned ignorance, or the genuine article.

      Of course the administration didn’t say this, the message is clear. Abandon local union contracts and we’ll shower municipalities one rung higher with initiatives (money and press coverage) because FYTW.

  4. Last year, the city paid $3.5 million in damages to 88 citizens who saw their convictions overturned because of planted evidence, fabricated reports, and other forms of police misconduct.

    I wonder how many of those officers lost their jobs. Actually I don’t wonder at all.

    1. They need to do a video of a super hero group of nut punchers who go around to workplace water coolers, disperse facts on police abuse, and then swiftly punch in the nuts.

    2. It may not matter if you introduce real top-to-bottom accountability. Incentives matter.

      1. accountability doesnt provide incentives?

  5. I liked it better when Teddy used the White House to press for football reforms.

    “Using open data to increase transparency, build community trust, and support innovation
    Better using technology, such as early warning systems, to identify problems, increase internal accountability, and decrease inappropriate uses of force

    The effort has focused on specific actions law enforcement agencies can take to make progress in these two areas. The collaboration has generated multiple commitments to action and the White House is working with agencies and key enabling partners now to drive quick implementation.”

    Can’t speak for anyone else, but that sounds great and I’m 100% behind White House initiatives to improve the management of local police outfits. “Building community trust” and “identifying problems” by enforcing federal standards at the municipal or county level is bound to eliminate the problems of corruption and mistrust between the people who hand out tickets for a living and those who meekly pay them.

    1. So, when are the feds going to announce the nationalization of police forces?

      1. As soon as we have a crisis big enough. There are people who watch this stuff like I watch my shrinking portfolio.

      2. as soon as we get rid of cash, local education standards, and raw milk… wait… what?!

  6. Watch/listen to Obama? I’ve managed to make it over six years with only hearing a dozen or so words. Why break the spell now?

    1. Let me be clear…

      1. This is not just some…

    2. I thought I never would listen to a politician who spoke as unbearably annoyingly as George W Bush did; then I heard Obama’s first speech and knew the gods were punishing me for my hubris.

      The man is a terrible public speaker. I suspect that the only reason why people think he is a gifted orator is because their racism drives them want to believe he is a gifted orator.

      1. I was quite surprised the first time I really listened to him speak–not impressed at all. And people still will describe him as a great public speaker. It’s odd, because we’ve had a couple of decent ones as president in the last 30 years–Reagan and Clinton (that’s in order).

        1. I, uh…. don’t know… what you mean by that. But, uh… you know… we all… public speaking is a learned skill, OK? And you can’t learn something without, uh… you know, the community, to, uh… to help out.

          1. Yes, that’s about right. I mean, what is good about his public speaking? I swear that I sometimes think we accidentally switched a candidate for student body president with the presidency of the U.S.

            1. In IL, I admit to having gotten caught up in electing him Senator and *some* of the early presidential campaign novelty (remember when pro-intellectualism was a campaign point)?

              Then I heard him talk and it was like a scene from ‘They Live!’.

              1. Did you wear the glasses?

                1. No, but I was all out of bubble gum.

          2. Look, elitist, that’s how folksy men of the people talk when they’re addressing plebes who didn’t go to Harvard Law after making a 30 on their ACT and fucking around their whole undergrad career.

      2. We’re so accustomed to horrible speakers that Obama’s vaguely acceptable and highly scripted oratory seemed miraculous to a lot of people.

        Then you watch Clinton’s 2012 DNC delivery or Reagan’s Goldwater speech and you wonder why anyone else bothers. Clinton made Obama look like an afterthought at his own coronation.

  7. “WATCH President Obama Announce New Police Data Initiative”

    The only thing I want to watch about Obama is him and his family voluntarily vacating the White House on the currently-appointed day in January, 2017.

    1. I’d settle for them involuntarily vacating it sooner.

      Mostly just because a Diamond Joe presidency would be fucking hilarious.

    2. Voluntarily? Voluntarily? Not a single one of the jello-brained idiots in this administration understands the meaning of the word. From their perspective, it’s compulsion or complete anarchy.

  8. Speaking of police unions, they’re not happy about Obama trying to tamp down the flow of military weapons just a tad. http://www.politico.com/story/…..18041.html

    1. The tamping down is a sop to the Jackson/Sharpton constituency.

  9. You Know Who Else claimed that nationalizing the police force was a good idea?

    1. Didn’t they already have a national police force?

    2. Robert Peel?

  10. Obama to Visit Camden, Focusing on Police Efforts
    ‘”The police are respectful,” she said. “They sit back and watch, and these other people, they get ghost – they disappeared,” Lanning, a retired state case worker said, referring to drug dealers and users.’
    http://tinyurl.com/mcmsblq

    Obama Lauds Camden Police; ‘City is On to Something’
    ‘The ACLU pointed to an increase in excessive-force complaints against the department, though separately it also hailed the president’s decision to bar the transfer of certain military gear to local police departments.’
    http://tinyurl.com/mp2hr6b

    Camden County Police Department Struggling to Keep Officers
    ‘Nearly 120 officers – including large swaths of recruiting classes – have resigned or retired, making the department’s turnover one of the highest in the state.’

    And then there’s the all-powerful crony…
    George E. Norcross III.

    It’s corrupt as hell, no matter which way you look at it. They broke the union, which is a good thing but I’m more afraid of the larger, more centralized force. Norcross is one powerful dude in NJ and beyond. I’m on the PA side of Philly but I don’t see this as a good development AT ALL.

    I live in fairly high crime, inner ring suburb and we control our local police force fairly well, after years of rancorous meetings, etc. It can be done to some degree, if the citizens remain vigilant. It’s a 50/50 mixed race suburb & all we need is the DOJ coming in and taking over.

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    Visit this website ????? http://www.jobsfish.com

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