About Gerry Roberts

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Gerry Roberts has created 36 blog entries.

Technology and the Fourth Amendment: Reconciling Law with the Digital Era

Technology and the tenets of American law do not always seamlessly intermesh. As several former and upcoming court cases show, the intersection between the two leads to inconsistent judicial interpretations and opinions. Getting the forces in lockstep will require patience, practice, and precedent. Considering that several emerging technologies currently operate in a gray area of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, the need to align the two is growing.

2017-11-13T11:47:42+00:00 November 15th, 2017|Federal, Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Legal, Local & Tribal, State|

For firefighters, health and safety concerns extend beyond fire grounds

The structures we spend our lives in are protected by carefully designed fire codes and improved alarm systems, but the materials comprising them (and the contents therein) are thinner and quicker to burn than ever. Alongside structural damage and the immediate injury concerns it causes, the toxic smoke these smoldering materials emit can cause long-term illness, the chances of which increase with every second a victim or first responder is exposed. For firefighters, this makes tracking exposure to toxic materials a way of life, whether presumptive illness laws are in place to protect them or not.

Civilian Oversight Holds Promise for Police Accountability — but Problems Remain

Like body cameras, civilian review and oversight organizations have been viewed as a quick fix in the ongoing battle to improve relations between police and the public. The reality, however, leaves several unanswered questions, and little in the way of hard data to back up the practice’s effectiveness.

Training to improve communication and community education

In some areas of policing, the line between a training program and its outcome is as clear as it is reproducible. This cause-effect that is easily measured can make it easier for departmental decision-makers to choose the training their officers receive, and it gives those developing and presenting courses a top-of-the-list selling point. Other outcomes are more difficult to measure through the lens of training. Such is the case with police-community relations.

Spoliation: Why Even the Worst Training Records Are Better than No Records at All

Failure to manage training records correctly cannot only upend a department's ability to defend itself from criminal and civil claims, but can subject it to claims of spoliation. As the definition and consequences of spoliation continue to broaden, departments must ensure that their records management policies and systems are capable of providing them with the necessary layer of legal defensibility.

Rise in body camera usage and support highlights challenges of mass implementation

As public support and grant funding continue to drive body cam adoption across the nation, departments must recognize both the challenges and limitations of implementing this technology. By investing time in policies at the outset, however, departments can effectively use body cams to manage their interactions and communications with the public.

Fire TCP Panel Discussion

The Fire Training Certification Program (Fire TCP) launch occurred on September 30, 2016. The panel was moderated by John Buckman and the panelists included: Leigh Hubbard (Executive Director of ISFSI), Steve Pegram (President of ISFSI – Chief of Goshen, OH Fire Department), Ari Vidali (CEO Envisage Technologies), Eddie Buchanan (Assistant Chief of Hanover Fire & EMS – Advisory for Fire Engineering and FDIC), and John Murphy (Legal Advisory for ISFSI).