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.

Training and Documentation: Two Strong Weapons Against Corrections Litigation

Correctional officers have been called "the unsung heroes of public safety," as the rigors of institutional work can take a heavy toll on both mind and body. But while the physical and emotional impact of the job cannot be underestimated, one of the biggest threats facing correctional officers today is litigation. Thankfully, case law supports the notion that both officers and agencies successfully defend themselves against this threat using carefully-crafted policies, regular training, and thorough recordkeeping.

2018-03-05T14:54:34+00:00 January 31st, 2018|Corrections, Legal, Training & Equipment|

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.

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|

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.