Remembering September 11: Seven Statistics That Matter

For many, the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks is a time of deep remembrance. With the 17th anniversary drawing near and the 20th soon to follow, these seven statistics illustrate the sheer impact of the events — and the ways victims, responders, and their families continue to suffer nearly two decades removed.

2018-09-06T13:43:26+00:00 September 5th, 2018|Community & Culture, General, Homeland Security, Public Safety|

Choosing a TMS: The Hidden Risks of Choosing “Generic” Software

Generic software is simple to use and built for a broad number of potential use cases, but that does not make it the best choice when choosing a training management system (TMS). The unique needs of public-sector organizations are best met by software built to serve the industry—a fact that holds both in the field and in the courtroom, where a lack of effective documentation can bring down even the most stringent training policies. This whitepaper will discuss the hidden and not-so-hidden downsides of “going generic” when considering a TMS by contrasting their value against purpose-built solutions, with topics that touch several aspects of first-response life: fieldwork, cybersecurity, certification, and learning exercises, among others.

“Golden State Killer” Arrest Highlights Benefits, Challenges of Cold Case Investigation

For California law enforcement, the stunning announcement that the alleged “Golden State Killer” (also known as the Original Night Stalker) was arrested brought a storybook ending to two-plus decades of investigation. Looking past the media fanfare and controversy surrounding the arresting team’s DNA-checking techniques, the news also brought cold case investigation to the forefront of public imagination: a highly popular, often misunderstood niche of the larger law enforcement world.

2018-08-09T15:17:13+00:00 August 7th, 2018|Community & Culture, General, Law Enforcement|

Transparency is Only One Tool in Shattering the “Blue Wall of Silence”

Public trust in police is volatile. A single action can have repercussions nationwide, and law enforcement cultures that overemphasize silence and loyalty can further damage public perception. While transparency measures are a good step toward rebuilding trust, they are not the only tool departments can use—nor should they be treated as such.

2018-07-26T13:19:29+00:00 July 24th, 2018|Community & Culture, General, Law Enforcement|

Gender in First Response: How Biology and Physiology Shape Male and Female Responders

Gender politics project a considerable presence in most of the working world. So too do ills associated with gender, like sexual harassment and discrimination. The resultant effect is especially pronounced in historically male-dominated fields such as first response, where biases in hiring and testing practices have contributed to an ongoing, undeniable gender gap. Physiological, mental, and societal differences between males and females may further contribute, as can the broad, often volatile range of opinions surrounding gender issues. This paper will explore the biological and societal aspect of first response’s gender gap, reflecting on scientific research, statistical analysis, and real-world examples to provide context and factual basis; it will then discuss the benefits of a gender-aware approach to the hiring and continued employment of first responders of both genders.

For Departments Seeking to Improve Public Image, Emulating Dallas PD Promises Both Successes and Struggles

As evidenced by David Brown’s tenure as chief of the Dallas Police Department, community-focused initiatives can be extremely valuable in building a positive public image. However, for departments seeking to emulate his philosophy, they must be mindful that the measures he implemented did not come without cost. By being mindful of and attentive to these challenges, departments can strive to improve both external and internal relations.

Cross Training: The Risks and Rewards of Consolidating First Responder Skills

As those who work within the fire, law enforcement, and EMS fields know, there is very little middle ground between those who favor cross training—often referred to as “consolidation,” or the act of training one professional group with some combination of the other two groups’ skills—and those who oppose it. Voices on both sides of this debate make cogent points. Though the practice has recently come into vogue as a cost-cutting measure, communities may also utilize it as a talent- or staffing-optimization tool, among other uses. However, several potential risk factors and the need for a highly tailored deployment make initial success anything but guaranteed. The purpose of this report is to provide an objective overview on the topic, including relevant facts, comparison of success and failures, and takes on the opinions first responders have expressed regarding this contentious topic.