police

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Police departments across the country compile many statistics on crime, and have done so for a long time.  What is now the Uniform Crime Reporting system (UCR) was first conceived in 1929. 

But police do not consistently track the numbers of people killed by police.  So assessing who gets killed and why requires a bit more sleuthing, and the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University-Newark has undertaken just such an investigation. 

Researchers used both national death reporting statistics and numbers compiled by Fatal Encounters, a journalist-led database on police shootings. 

Ashland Police

It's not a term used every day, but police have been referred to as "peace officers."  Their duties include keeping the peace, something often forgotten in the recent years of violent confrontations between police and members of the public. 

It will not be forgotten in Ashland, if the city police and the Culture of Peace Commission have their way.  ACPC and APD recently agreed to include the phrase "peace officer" on all police vehicles. 

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People are full of surprises.  And sometimes they surprise themselves, not in a good way. 

Can you honestly say you're aware of all your biases?  Police officers face a lot of scrutiny for their biases after many shooting incidents. 

Eureka Police take part in a program called Principled Policing, which includes attention to implicit bias and procedural justice. 

Oregon State Police took a hit from the reorganization of state funding in the 1990s. 

The numbers of troopers on patrol dropped steadily for years, then appeared to be on a rebound... when the Great Recession hit. 

There are still fewer troopers than allowed in the budget, and the shortage can lead to slow response times to calls, especially in rural areas. 

Oscar13SMU, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31065179

It's been a fear in Medford for a long time... that gangs would gain a foothold and drive up the crime rate.  Some of that has come true. 

But Medford Police have a few tools in the toolbox for monitoring and curtailing youth gang activity. 

And Matt Sweeney at Rogue Valley Youth For Christ has a plan to turn an old firehouse into a community center, in the heart of the area with the most gang activity. 

Redding Police Facebook page

Redding's Neighborhood Police Unit (NPU) racked up some impressive numbers in curtailing crime in its first couple of years. 

But city voters rejected a sales tax in the November 2016 election that would have provided continued funding for NPU. 

Yet it persists; a campaign to raise the money privately has been set up, and Bethel Church pledged $500,000 and some additional funds to help keep neighborhood policing intact. 

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

As with many statistics, there's some dispute about this one: every 28 hours a black person in America is killed by a vigilante, security guard, or police officer in the United States. 

It gave a name to the Every 28 Hours project of plays begun at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. 

OSF artists and theaters in other parts of the country created one-minute plays about the subject matter, and OSF and collaborators present plays and discussion at an event Monday (October 10). 

Community Policing In The State Of Jefferson

Jul 28, 2016
Zuzu/Wikimedia

Every approach to government programs gets tweaked from time to time.  Police work is no different. 

Long before Ferguson and all the police/citizen confrontations that have followed, several departments instituted "community policing." 

To better understand what that means, we assembled a panel consisting of Lane County Sheriff Byron Trapp, Eureka Police Captain Brian Stephens, and Ashland Police Chief Tighe O'Meara (there may be others). 

Art And Activism With Aja Monet

Jul 13, 2016
Southern Oregon University

  Aja Monet is probably pleased to know that she is difficult to categorize. 

She is a poet, songwriter, singer, activist, and much more.  And she arrives in Southern Oregon for the Youth Artists Institute in Ashland, at a time when issues she holds dear are very much in the news. 

Juvenile justice, police violence, and race relations continue to trouble the country, and they are of concern to her. 

Considering New Laws On Police Use Of Force

Jun 6, 2016
Wikimedia

The term "police force" becomes ominous to people when the words "use of" appear between them.

No history lesson is necessary to understand that how police use force against fellow citizens is very much in the news, for a couple of years now. 

Oregon Humanities and several other groups are determined to let people discuss the issues; a public forum on Wednesday (June 8) in Eugene addresses police accountability and force, with an eye to possible legislation. 

NAACP Lane County President Eric Richardson moderates and joins us for a preview.  We also bring in  Marianne Dugan, a civil rights attorney; Erious Johnson, Jr. from the Oregon Department of Justice; Oregon State Rep. Lew Frederick, and Daryl Turner from the Portland Police Association.

JPR News

Corey Falls had no reason to expect an easy race to the Sheriff's Office in Jackson County, but he got one. 

Now the former Ashland Police deputy chief has been sheriff for more than a year, in a county with a growing population but some challenges in paying for county programs. 

We get a one-year-later perspective from the sheriff about the job. 

Looking For Meaning In A Police Shooting

Sep 2, 2015
captbrianbabb.com

No one disputes that Army National Guard veteran Brian Babb was a man in crisis. 

But his family and friends dispute the notion that Babb's death at the hands of Eugene Police was the only resolution to his crisis. 

The Lane County District Attorney ruled the Babb shooting justified. 

His family is determined to prevent future such incidents from taking place. 

Keith Burtis/Flickr

Some police departments hire employees to build bridges to minority communities. 

That's why Springfield Police hired Thelma Barone several years ago, to serve as "multicultural liaison."  She and SPD agree on that. 

What they do NOT agree on is why she was fired, and Barone is taking her case to federal court

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Police and mental illness... not an ideal combination, but one that happens all the time. 

And it turned ugly last month in Eugene. 

Police arrested a woman who tried to protect her son, reported to be having an episode of mental illness, from police.  The woman's brother happens to be Eric Richardson, the president of the Lane County chapter of the NAACP

He has taken his condemnation of the incident public, while police point to an ongoing issue with officers having to respond to people dealing with mental illness. 

When Police Meet With Mental Illness

Jun 23, 2015
Wikimedia

The role of police is supposed to be straightforward: catch bad guys and protect the people.

But it's seldom that simple, and gets extremely complicated when police have to deal with mentally ill citizens.

Which happens with regularity, and such a confrontation led to shooting death of Brian Babb by Eugene Police in late March.

Babb was a veteran with PTSD, and social worker Becky Higgins was on the phone with him right before his death.