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.

ENVISAGE Named “Company of the Year” at 2017 FUSE Awards

Envisage Technologies received the FUSE Business Innovation “Company of the Year” award at the Tech the Halls ceremony held Monday, December 18, 2017. The FUSE Awards, presented annually, highlight the accomplishments of Bloomington, Indiana’s growing technology and innovation community. FUSE Award finalists are determined through a public nomination process.

2018-01-11T14:27:42+00:00 January 10th, 2018|Community & Culture, Press Releases|

Active Listening, Other Communications Skills May Help Responders Deal with “Difficult” Members of the Public

Law enforcement, firefighting, emergency medicine, and corrections are fields often marked by interactions with “difficult” people. Whether their bad behaviors come as the result of a personality disorder or simply a bad day, communications techniques like active listening and de-escalation may be what responders need to provide adequate service — and avoid unpleasant outcomes, such as unnecessary use of force.

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.