The public safety profession is ever-changing, and professionals must stay apprised of industry standards, hot topics, training and case law. In 2019, Lexipol’s subject matter experts brought you more than 150 articles to keep you on the forefront of a changing landscape. Here’s a recap of our most popular public safety articles of the year.
Top 3 – Public Safety
- 5 Keys to Avoiding Discipline Failure in Public Safety (Gordon Graham)
No supervisor likes disciplining their employees but sometimes it must be done. In public safety agencies, personnel often enjoy protections that make discipline difficult without the proper foresight. Author Gordon Graham uses a representative discipline case to illustrate how a good lawyer will pick apart a disciplinary proceeding—even if there are solid grounds for it—and identifies five keys for successful public safety discipline.
- The Importance of First-Line Supervisors in Public Safety Agencies (Gordon Graham)
- It’s Coming from Inside the House: Internal Intentional Misconduct in Public Safety (Gordon Graham)
Top 3 – Law Enforcement
- Do Police Officers Have a Legal Obligation to Use De-escalation Tactics? (Michael Ranalli)
The use of de-escalation tactics is often portrayed as the answer to reducing police use of force. While de-escalation is important, it is not the be-all and end-all solution. Law enforcement encounters are challenging, especially when they involve people with mental health issues or those experiencing a mental health crisis. Author Michael Ranalli analyzes three important court decisions that clarify the legal obligations of law enforcement officers to use de-escalation tactics during incidents potentially requiring force.
- Reasonableness and Reaction Time in Police Use of Force Incidents (Michael Ranalli)
- Overcoming the Terror of Testifying (Eric Starnes)
Top 3 – Fire & Rescue
- Understanding and Measuring Fire Department Response Times (Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell)
Every day in fire stations across the country, the tones go off, firefighters suit up, the apparatus pulls out of the station—and help is on the way. It seems simple, but in fact there are hundreds of data points involved with every fire crew response. Author Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell breaks down fire department response times, detailing some of the components involved. She explains how such metrics relate to community risk and why it’s so important for fire service leaders to be measuring, reporting and making decisions around such data.
- Probationary Firefighters Can Be Fired Without Cause–With 4 Important Exceptions (Curt Varone)
- Using Fire Department Operational Data to Demonstrate Community Value (Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell)
Top 3 – Corrections
- Our Weakest Members: Developmentally Disabled People in the Criminal Justice System (Jim Concannon)
For decades, the corrections industry has debated the questions of who should be incarcerated and why. One group that is often overlooked in this discussion are adults who have cognitive or intellectual disabilities. According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics report, 30% of jail inmates reported having a cognitive disability—and the Bureau suspects this reflects significant under-reporting. Author Jim Concannon explores why cognitively disabled people are over-represented in jails, the role law enforcement plays in the equation and positive changes in the criminal justice system that have extended protections to this vulnerable population.
- Writing Probation Reports: 3 Roles Probation Officers Play and How They Impact Reports (Megan Carpenter)
- Be Observant: 10 Warning Signs of Suicidal Inmates (Mark Chamberlain)
Top 3 – Legal
- Despite Legal Marijuana Law, Odor in Car Still Creates Probable Cause to Search (Ken Wallentine)
In the case of State v. Seckinger, an officer performed a traffic stop for reckless driving and smelled the odor of marijuana upon approaching the car. The driver refused consent to a search. Due to the long-established vehicle exception to the search warrant requirement, the officer searched the car, finding four grams of methamphetamine and arresting the driver. The driver appealed the case, claiming the odor of marijuana alone does not provide probable cause for a search. The Nebraska Supreme Court disagreed.
- Supreme Court Reverses 9th Circuit on Qualified Immunity (Again!) (Ken Wallentine)
- Suspect Ignites Questioning After Invoking the Right to An Attorney (Ken Wallentine)
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