Public safety professionals face no shortage of challenges—from staying fit to navigating the complexities of dangerous calls to staying on top of the latest federal case law. Fortunately, Lexipol’s subject matter experts stay on top of these issues and share their expertise with you. In 2018, we published more than 130 articles to keep you informed and inspired. Even our most dedicated reader probably didn’t catch them all, so here’s a quick recap of some of our most popular public safety articles of the year.
Top Public Safety Article
Making Public Safety Performance Evaluations Work
No one looks forward to annual performance evaluations. But if we did them better, would they be less painful? In this article from series on “Real Risk Management,” Lexipol co-founder Gordon Graham provides six elements of an effective performance evaluation process and introduces the idea of testing employees each year on core critical tasks. He also provides a helpful tool to reduce the chances an agency will be sued for harassment or hostile work environment allegations.
Top Law Enforcement Article
What Not to Wear: Police Officer Professional Appearance Is Much More Than a Uniform
A few years ago a white police officer in the Great Lakes region shot and killed a black man. According to media accounts, the officer was wearing a t-shirt under his vest that included, among other things, a small confederate flag. The prosecution introduced the t-shirt as evidence in the officer’s criminal trial. In this article, Don Weaver uses this example and others to underscore EVERYTHING officers wear and carry on duty—uniform, vest, T-shirt worn under the uniform, cell phone case, engravings on firearms or batons, gear bag stickers, even things hanging in the officer’s locker—must project neutrality, integrity and professionalism.
Check out these other popular law enforcement posts:
- Police Use of Force Legislation: The (Un)Intended Consequences of CA AB931
- Why So Many Shots Fired? Understanding Police Officer Reaction Time to Stop Shooting
- Mass Casualty Threat Assessment and Prevention: Moving Beyond Guessing
Top Fire Service Article
5 Elements of a Firefighter Workout Program
In the last 15 years or so, fitness has become a hot topic in the fire service. Many departments use peer fitness trainers and the IAFF/IAFC Wellness-Fitness Initiative to encourage their personnel to exercise more. Some departments have policies that stress fitness and some even mandate on-duty time for working out. But what’s often lacking is exactly what that physical training should encompass. This blog post shares 5 essential components that should be a part of every firefighter workout, as developed by Aaron Zamzow, a firefighter/EMT in Madison, WI, and owner of Fire Rescue Fitness.
Coming in a close second for the most-read fire blog is this important post from Lexipol’s Scott Eskwitt: “Addressing Firefighter Deviation from Policy.”
Top Corrections Article
Responding to Jail Deaths: Initial Steps
When an inmate dies in a correctional facility, it’s an inherently stressful—and risky—time for facility staff. Although many inmate deaths are the result of natural causes, a disturbing number are the result of suicide or homicide. Such circumstances require thorough investigation. In this blog, attorney and corrections consultant Linda Bryant outlines three important steps for correctional officers and administrators to take when responding to an in-custody death. Linda stresses that the correct response to a jail death is to identify the root cause of why the death happened—which can in turn lead to improvements that prevent deaths in the future.
While you’re at it, be sure to check out “Warning Signs a Corrections Officer May Be Compromised,” by Lexipol’s Mark Chamberlain
Top Legal Article
Repeated TASER Device Applications Didn’t Rise to Excessive Force
On the surface, 10 applications of a TASER device sounds excessive—even more so when the suspect died during the encounter. But when that suspect is bloody from beating a woman in the face with a hammer, under the influence of drugs, and wielding various weapons, it becomes more understandable. In this article, use of force expert Ken Wallentine shares two critical lessons officers should take from the 8th Circuit decision in Zubrod v. Hoch.
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