From new threats such as synthetic opioids to tried-and-true challenges involving social media and use of force policies, 2017 was a busy year for public safety. And Lexipol’s subject matter experts were busy too, publishing more than 110 articles to keep you on top of the issues. We’re betting you didn’t read them all, so here’s a quick recap of some of our most-read articles of the year.
Top Public Safety Article
Responding to Fentanyl Incidents: First Responder Safety Considerations
Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl can be fatal in extremely small doses. But as recent headlines show, it’s not just drug users who are at risk. Firefighters, EMT/paramedics and police officers have all been harmed by inadvertent exposure to fentanyl and other opioids. In one case, it took four doses of naloxone to revive an officer. Sean Stumbaugh tackles this new risk to emergency responders in an article that compares incidents involving opioids to hazmat incidents. He details the four routes of exposure and how they apply to fentanyl and discusses some important steps all first responders must take to limit their risk.
Also, don’t miss Social Media and the Public Sector: Understanding Free Speech Rights
Top Law Enforcement Article
Imperfect Recall: How Memory Impacts Police Use of Force Investigations
Following a use of force incident, everyone wants to know the details of what happened. When the officer’s account of the event doesn’t match up with video from the scene or the accounts of other officers or bystanders, it can raise questions. Is the officer deliberately trying to distort details from the incident? In this article, Jason Helfer shares important information about how human perception, memory and recall work following high-stress incidents—and why the expectations we place on officers to recall use of force events are often unrealistic and even harmful.
Check out these other popular law enforcement posts:
• National Consensus Policy on Use of Force Should Not Trigger Changes to Agency Policies
• Is It Worth It? Reflections on a Law Enforcement Career
Top Fire Service Article
The 30-Year Incident: Successful Firefighter Retirement Requires Assuming Command of Your Career
It’s no secret that, while taking care of others, first responders sometimes forget to take care of themselves. In this article, Sam DiGiovanna asks readers to approach their career like it’s a 30-year incident. Just as incident commanders must perform continual size-up and hazard avoidance, the IC of the “30-year incident” must consider factors such as exercising and eating right, being prepared for life-changing events such as promotions, marriage, death, etc., and developing a “crew” of trusted confidants. The goal in both cases is successful incident resolution—in the case of a career, that means a healthy, happy retirement.
Top Corrections Article
The Evolution of Prison Design and the Rise of the Direct Supervision Model
Part of a three-article series on the history of jail facilities from Lynne Woodruff, this article focuses on how prison design has changed throughout the 19th and 20th centuries and how societal changes and philosophies about incarceration and rehabilitation shaped prison architecture. Learn how designs such as the Panopticon, radial design and telephone pole design eventually culminated in the Direct Supervision model of incarceration, which is widely used today.
Top Legal Article
6th Circuit Outlines New Guidelines for Police Use of Force During Medical Emergencies
Graham v. Connor is used to judge the reasonableness of police use of force. But what happens when an officer must use force to save the life of someone experiencing a medical emergency? In this article, Ken Wallentine reviews the 6th Circuit decision in Hill v. Miracle, in which the court laid out a new test to judge whether an officer should receive qualified immunity when using force to help resolve a medical emergency.
Check out these other popular legal posts:
• 5th Circuit: Recording Police Officers Is a Clearly Established Right
• 8th Circuit Case Clarifies Scope of Vehicle Searches