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Digital Hate: What Families and Communities Should be Talking About

There are many forms of digital hate, ranging from online bullying to attacks carried out by hate, extremist or terrorist groups. Recently there has been a tremendous surge in these group's destructive agendas and they are affecting our society as they emerge from the online shadows. As the threat of digital hate continues to grow no one is immune to its undue influence, said Rick Eaton, the Senior Researcher for the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Digital Terrorism & Hate Project, during a digital hate presentation for the Columbus Police Academy on October 6, 2017. Not many people surf the web strategically looking for an opportunity to be...

Does Free Speech Come at The Cost of Public Safety?

The First Amendment protects many forms of speech, applicable to citizens of all states under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. As case law continues to define its intent and limitations, however, it is imperative to consider that the following types of speech are not within the reach of First Amendment protections: use of words that provoke actions to harm others, the manufacture, creation and distribution of obscene materials, burning draft cards in protest against war, permitting students to print school newspaper articles that go against the guidance of school administrators, obscene natured speeches made by students at school sponsored events and students advocating...

The Truth about Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse cases are being called in to American police departments more than ever before. From a police officer's point of view, “'It's certainly the most dangerous calls that we can go on. Domestic violence calls are very unpredictable. You have to have compassion when you approach them, but you have to be vigilant,’ Lt. Thomas Haynes with Town of Tonawanda Police Department said” (Moore, 2017). Police must proceed with caution in order to prevent situations from escalating further. Sheriff King of Maine, says, “their work begins before deputies get to the scene. Dispatchers are key, flagging any history of violence at the home. ‘When...

The Media Negatively Impacts Our Understanding of Worldwide Terror

The events of September 11, 2001 still echo in the hearts of many Americans. Those attacks brought the United States to their knees, and fundamentally changed the way Americans view terrorism, national security and public safety. The United States spends billions of dollars in anti-terrorism, hoping to prevent a similar attack from ever occurring. People go about their life in constant fear that they will die from a terrorist attack. In fact, many people believe that the most important issue the nation has to face is terrorism. But what is cultivating this fear in the American people? In short, the media. Between the years 1975...

The Prevalence of Child Abuse in Society

“Moooooom, can’t we just stay in the car?” I whined from the backseat of our mini-van over the screams of my baby brother from his car seat. We were parked outside in front of our local grocery store. My mom seemed to hesitate. It was October, after all, and the weather had begun to cool down exponentially compared to the previous month. After a quick moment's deliberation, she turned off the car, grabbed her purse, stepped out and began to walk to the side of the car. Unstrapping my brother from his car seat, she looked at my 10-year-old-self deliberately. “Come on, you can get a...

New Jersey Creates Community Policing Grant to Honor Fallen Officer

A new grant for police departments across New Jersey has been named after Detective Matthew L Tarentino of Summit, NJ. The “Detective Matthew L. Tarentino Community Policing Grant Program” will provide $10,000 individual grants to state, county, and municipal police departments, sheriff’s offices and college campus police departments. The grants are for innovative programs that will foster better police and community relations. “Detective Tarentino was respected and beloved in his community because he embodied all of the best qualities of a police officer and role model,” said New Jersey Attorney General, Chris Porrino. “We hold Matthew up as a model of community policing and public...

After-School Programs Increase Public Safety

The Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles School Police Department create safe learning spaces for the entire education community through LAPD’s Police Activities League and LASPD’s Youth Programs. These programs would not be possible without California’s After School Education and Safety Program (ASES), which offers educational, athletic, and other recreational activities that help connect police officers with the youth. This program funds after school enrichment activities for thousands of L.A. students. One organization that ASES funds is the community-based L.A.’s BEST. By partnering with Lost Angeles Unified School District and the City of Los Angeles, this organization is able to provide homework assistance,...

Grand Rapids’ Grand Plan for Police and Community Relations

How do community members discuss big issues like policing? Grand Rapids, MI is beginning a “police and community relations” program that will include a series of community listening sessions to increase engagement of all citizens in this issue. The community outreach plan includes listening sessions which will be used to decide how the city will utilize $1 million per year to enrich the relationship between community members and the police in Grand Rapids. Described on the city’s website as an “ongoing, robust and authentic community outreach plan,” it will be led by a commission and will focus on recommendations made by the Safe Alliances for Everyone...

Community Reopens Police Department After Eight Year Closure

In 2008, there were just over 1 million police officers in the U.S. That number has diminished by 7% since the Great Recession as sharply decreased revenues have forced towns all over the U.S. to make very difficult decisions about budget cuts, layoffs, and even closures of police departments (Schoen, 2013, paragraph 5). Despite the economic struggle, one Ohio town hopes to refocus its energy on public safety. “ didn’t like the idea when left” (Armon, 2017, paragraph 25), says Amin Abraham, a resident and business owner in Lakemore, OH, a town that has recently reopened its police department after almost eight years. The department...

Increasing Law Enforcement Transparency to Improve Public and Police Safety

On Thursday May 25, 2017 U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Cory Booker introduced legislation that aims to increase transparency and accountability to law enforcement agencies across the nation. The goal of this legislation is to reduce the use of force by and against police officers. Nicknamed PRIDE, the Police Reporting Information, Data, and Evidence Act would require states and Indian tribes to provide reports to the U.S. Justice Department every 3 months regarding any and all incidents during which a civilian is shot or seriously injured by a law enforcement officer as well as any incident during which a law enforcement officer is...