Friday, September 28, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 53 - Test For Significance

Back in 2009, I did a series of posts covering the excellent book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. The book is published by the US DOJ's Problem Oriented Policing Center (POP Center). Because of the value I think this book has for crime analysts, and policing in general, I am going to re-post this series on here on the blog.

In this post in my journey through Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers we are going to look at Step 53 - Test For Significance. I should warn you though, there is some egghead statistics involved in this post. But before you give up, let's see if we can make it through.

Have you ever noticed that crime sometimes goes up and down for no apparent reason? Given this seeming unpredictability, how do we measure the effectiveness of our solutions? After all, we want to know if crime went down based on our efforts or if there is some other factor at work. A test for significance will give you an idea of whether it was your solution or random chance at work for the variation in the level of crime.

Rather then try to explain it all here, you really need to read it at the original publication. If all this went right over your head (like it did tended to do with mine) the authors have this advice:

The investigation of randomness can become very complex, as there are many different types of significance tests for many different situations. There are some very useful websites, as well as books, which can help you to choose among them, and there are many statistical software programs that can make the required calculations. But if there is a great deal riding on the outcome of a significance test, or a p-value, and you are not well educated in probability theory or statistics, you should seek expert help from a local university or other organizations that use statistics on a regular basis.

Sounds like good advice for the mathematically challenged. Next time, we'll look at Step 54 - Tell A Clear Story.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Choreographing The Dance That Is An LAPD Car Chase

A long time ago, I spent a few years living in the Los Angeles area. Unlike law enforcement in most areas of the US, LA area cops nearly always have police helicopters in the air to assist them in policing the City of Angels. I can still remember hearing them flying over my apartment at all hours of the day and night. There was a fascinating piece over at the Atlantic Cities that looked at just how LAPD uses police helicopters in assisting with vehicle pursuits.
Los Angeles is the undeniable car chase capital of the world; LAPD's Air Support Division was engaged in a total of 245 vehicle pursuits in 2011 alone. The L.A. basin is also considered one of the most congested airspaces in the country, with nearly a dozen major and less-than major airports, a sprawling mishmash of aerially-monitored freeways, a vibrant helicopter tourism business, the world's largest municipal airborne law enforcement operation, and one of the country's major media markets.

When there's a homicide suspect holding an AK-47 and weaving a stolen car through the dense streets of the central city, following the pursuit from the skies is so common as to be almost unremarkable. But from inside a helicopter's cockpit, it's a high-adrenaline dance of air-to-ground and air-to-air coordination. With loaded weapons, crowded skies and a city full of innocent bystanders, chasing bad guys through the city of Los Angeles is a complex operation that's got more moving parts than all the helicopter blades chopping their way through the city's skies.
The piece is a great read. Too bad we don't have that kind of air support in the sleepy little burg where I work now.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 52 - Expect Premature Falls In Crime

Back in 2009, I did a series of posts covering the excellent book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. The book is published by the US DOJ's Problem Oriented Policing Center (POP Center). Because of the value I think this book has for crime analysts, and policing in general, I am going to re-post this series on here on the blog.

When you are in the middle of a crime problem, you probably don't care why your crime problem diminishes. But, in order to most accurately determine what is effective you need to analyze for what is discussed in this step, Step 52 - Expect Premature Falls In Crime. The authors of Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers state:

Offenders often believe that prevention measures have been brought into force before they actually have been started. This leads to what has been called the "anticipatory benefits" of prevention. Though these anticipatory effects can occur by accident, the police can make deliberate efforts to create or intensify them. To do so successfully, police must have useful insight into how offenders perceive the situation and have methods for deceiving offenders as to the true nature of the intervention. 
Here's the main reasons that the authors believe anticipatory benefits occur:
  1. Preparation-anticipation
  2. Publicity/disinformation
  3. Preparation-disruption
  4. Creeping implementation
  5. Preparation-training
  6. Motivation
Read the original article for a full discussion of these reasons. One thing I do think is interesting is deliberately enhancing the effect of some of these reasons in order to reduce your crime problem. Nothing like a little publicity to make the crooks think you are watching them more closely than you might actually be.

Next time, we'll look at Step 53 - Test For Significance.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Is A Subscription Model Of Policing Good For A Community?

I'm not so sure that this is a good idea. There was a piece over at The Indy Star last week that looked at a trend of citizens hiring security companies made up of off-duty cops to patrol their neighborhoods essentially introducing a subscription model to policing.
The cooperative includes six adjoining neighborhoods that are bordered by Interstate 65 on the south; Fall Creek on the north; Meridian Street to the west; and the Monon Trail to the east.

Residents pay annual dues to purchase patrol hours. The more people who pay in, the more hours they can buy. For now, that amounts to 2 ½ hours a day. Those who don't pay still benefit because the officers go by their houses, too.
Of course the flip side of this is that for neighborhoods made up of citizens with less resources, they get less of a police presence than those who can afford to subscribe. This doesn't even touch on the issue of officers using tax payer owned equipment to further their private enterprise.

The article is a long one but one worth reading. I wouldn't be surprised if we see more of this kind of thing poping up in other communities.

Monday, September 24, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 51 - Be Alert To Unexpected Benefits

Back in 2009, I did a series of posts covering the excellent book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. The book is published by the US DOJ's Problem Oriented Policing Center (POP Center). Because of the value I think this book has for crime analysts, and policing in general, I am going to re-post this series on here on the blog.

In this post in our journey through Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers we are up to Step 51 - Be Alert To Unexpected Benefits.

The authors have this to say about this step:

You can drastically underestimate the effects of your intervention if you do not take account of diffusion of benefits (Step 13). You may conclude that the intervention is not worth the effort or that it failed to suppress the problem. This is particularly true when diffusion contaminates your control group.
I have to say that this step is a bit more difficult for me to comment on. I do encourage you to read this one for yourself. There's just not much I can add to a very thorough chapter on measuring the effects of your problem solving effort. I guess the only thing I can say is it's important for us to be very careful in our approach to measuring our effectiveness.

Next time we'll cover Step 52 - Expect Premature Falls In Crime.

Friday, September 21, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 50 - Watch For Other Offenders Moving In

Back in 2009, I did a series of posts covering the excellent book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. The book is published by the US DOJ's Problem Oriented Policing Center (POP Center). Because of the value I think this book has for crime analysts, and policing in general, I am going to re-post this series on here on the blog.

In the last two posts in Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers we looked at types of displacement that might occur in response to your problem solving efforts. In this post covering, Step 50 - Watch For Other Offenders Moving In, we are going to look at another wrinkle in your problem solving solution that of what is sometimes called "perpetrator displacement". This occurs when new offenders move in to fill the void caused by the removal of the previous offenders.

There is a great bit by the authors about this phenomena:

Natural replacement of offenders can be slow, particularly if the opportunities are obscure. But if someone discovered the crime opportunities in the past, others will rediscover them in the future. And if the old offenders were removed through imprisonment, some may return to take advantage of the opportunities upon their release.
Unfortunately, criminals can be a very communicative bunch. Crime techniques are readily communicated among potential offenders. An example in my sleepy little burg when I was just a young police officer involved the use of ceramic spark plug insulators being used to break windows in car burglaries.

These offenders discovered that small chunks of the ceramic material commonly used as automobile spark plug insulators when thrown against auto glass would cause the side windows to shatter very easily and almost noiselessly. It wasn't long before every ne'er do well on the street after midnight had at least one spark plug chip in his pocket.

If we locked up one group of prolific offenders there were more ready to take their place because an underlying component of the problem had not been dealt with, that of people leaving expensive and desirable property in their cars.

Any solution to this problem would have to do more than just remove the offenders from the picture.

If you remember my previous post on the Problem Analysis (Crime) Triangle, there are three components to any crime, a likely offender and a suitable target come together in time and place. If you remove one of these, a crime will not occur. But if you remove more than one, such as the offender and the target, a crime won't occur even if you experience an influx of new offenders.

In your solution to a crime problem try to address as many sides of the crime triangle as possible to have the most impact.

Next time we'll cover Step 51 - Be Alert To Unexpected Benefits.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

If You Want The Law Enforced, Don't Make The Law Complicated

The Austin American Statesman had a story about the difficulty in enforcing the Texas law on gambling machines known as 8 liners.
Eight-liners, or "maquinitas," look and play like slot machines, but Texas' anti-gambling laws forbid them to pay cash prizes. Most purport to offer small prizes, but many operate outside the law and pay cash jackpots. The problem with enforcing the law is that Texas' eight-liner statutes are confusing in distinguishing between "amusement" and "gambling."
The divisiveness of the gambling issue is one reason the law is so difficult to enforce. Because there is no consensus about the morality of gambling, Texas is stuck with a complicated law that says the devices are legal if used one way, and illegal if used another way.  When you start adding arcane exceptions to the statute it makes it very difficult for law enforcement to enforce.

In the case of 8 liners, they aren't illegal to posses the machines or even to play them. They become illegal when the winnings are given in cash and not in "fuzzy animals". While I am not going to get into the morality of gambling, don't Texas police officers have better things to do than parse poorly written statutes?  If you want a law enforced, get a legislative consensus and write a better law. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 49 - Examine Displacement To Other Targets, Tactics And Crime Types

Back in 2009, I did a series of posts covering the excellent book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. The book is published by the US DOJ's Problem Oriented Policing Center (POP Center). Because of the value I think this book has for crime analysts, and policing in general, I am going to re-post this series on here on the blog.

In my last post in Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers we looked at the problem of displacement. There are a number of ways that crime problems can be displaced. Last time the post covered geographic and temporal displacement.

In this post on Step 49 - Examine Displacement To Other Targets, Tactics And Crime Types, we're going to look at some other types of displacement. These other types of displacement are:

  • Target displacement - involves offenders shifting from newly protected targets to other targets
  • Tactical displacement - occurs when offenders change their tactics or procedures
  • Crime Type displacement - this occurs when offenders switch to another type of crime
The authors, have this caution to offer regarding displacement:
There is no perfect solution to this problem and compromises must be struck. The consequence is that it is often difficult to know if displacement is occurring and difficult to judge the effectiveness of the intervention. Compounding these difficulties is that multiple forms of displacement can occur simultaneously. Indeed, sometimes one form of displacement will necessitate another form as well. Target displacement may require a change in tactics, and if the new targets are not in the same places as the old targets, geographical displacement will occur, too.
They also state that "you cannot find displacement unless you look for it". If you are going to determine the effectiveness of your solution, you have to know whether displacement is occurring.

Next time we'll cover Step 50 - Watch For Other Offenders Moving In.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

If You Legalize It, They Will Come

Los Angeles city officials are wrestling with the effects that come from California's medical marihuana laws. A story over at The Atlantic Cities had this bit along with a great map of all the dispensaries found in the city. 
California's tumultuous love affair with marijuana has hit soap opera proportions in Los Angeles. The city's business-minded "Care Providers" latched on to loosened drug laws in the state in recent years and have launched what seemed to many a citywide blanket of medical marijuana dispensaries. In some neighborhoods, such as Venice, locals could hardly walk more than a few blocks without passing one of these green-signed drug stores.
In response to the explosion of medical marihuana dispensaries, the LA city council decided to ban store front dispensaries from operating in the city. Of course none of this is helped by the fact that marihuana, medical or otherwise is of dubious legality. The federal government insists that it's not legal and even California officials have a mixed opinion on it.

Regardless, it seems that Angelinos are going to have to figure out how many is too many and how to best regulate it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 48 - Consider Geographical And Temporal Displacement

Back in 2009, I did a series of posts covering the excellent book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. The book is published by the US DOJ's Problem Oriented Policing Center (POP Center). Because of the value I think this book has for crime analysts, and policing in general, I am going to re-post this series on here on the blog.

 We're up to Step 48 - Consider Geographical And Temporal Displacement in our walk through Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers.

When crime problems develop and an agency comes up with a strategy to tackle the problem, one thing that is often discussed is the possibility of displacement of the problem. Displacement can occur in several ways. In this step, we're going to look at these two ways:

  • Geographic displacement - when the crime problem moves from one physical location to another
  • Temporal displacement - when the crime problem moves to another time or day
For example, if an agency is experiencing a street prostitution problem and then launches the typical "crackdown" response, it wouldn't be unusual for the prostitutes and the johns to move to another nearby area to continue their trade.

The author's have this to say:
If geographical or temporal displacement occurs, it is most likely to shift crime to locations and times very similar to the locations and times affected by the prevention. Such shifts require less effort, learning, and risk for offenders than shifting to very different places and times. It is more likely that offenders will try to outwait the response, which explains Lawrence Sherman's finding that the effects of crackdowns decay. If offenders cannot outwait a response, it will be the most familiar locations and times that will have the greatest chance of receiving displaced crime.
Displacement is one of the reasons that short term crackdowns aren't always that effective. The criminals just wait out the crackdown (temporal displacement). They know that the police often can't keep up the increased enforcement posture for too long. For the criminal, temporal displacement is easier than geographic displacement.

If you plan for displacement when you develop a solution to a crime problem, you can adjust your plan accordingly should displacement occur.

Next time we'll look at other types of displacement when we cover Step 49 - Examine Displacement To Other Targets, Tactics and Crime Types.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Creative Scheduling Is Another Part Of Efficient Policing

I thought this piece over at the Saint Louis Post Dispatch was interesting. The story looked at changes in scheduling for Saint Louis County Police to reduce overtime and make their workdays more efficient.

It's part of a strategy being adopted by police nationwide, and early reports are the staggered shifts can help reduce crime and response times for larger departments, said county Police Chief Tim Fitch. After two years of 10-hour shifts in Accardi's precinct, crime has dropped by 13 percent, although Fitch acknowledges other factors may be helping.

The lean economic times has nearly every department looking for ways to reduce the costs of policing without sacrificing public safety. Changes to scheduling such as staggered scheduling can help lower overtime costs for an agency and save precious budget dollars.

At the sleepy little burg where I worked I did a study that looked at peak days for Calls For Service. We found at our agency that Thursdays were very often the busiest days of the week. Because of this, when it came time to determine days off, my agency fields the most officers on days that Calls For Service volume is traditionally the highest.

Has your agency looked to creative scheduling practices to help minimize overtime costs while keeping your community safe?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 47 – Know How To Use Controls

Back in 2009, I did a series of posts covering the excellent book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. The book is published by the US DOJ's Problem Oriented Policing Center (POP Center). Because of the value I think this book has for crime analysts, and policing in general, I am going to re-post this series on here on the blog.

In this chapter in our walk through the book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers we’re going to look at Step 47 – Know How To Use Controls. When we talk about controls here, we aren’t talking about knobs and buttons, we’re talking about using control groups.

A control group is a way to determine if your problem solving strategy is working. In other words, a scientist working on a new medicine may  give the medicine to one group of lab rats and a placebo to the control group. If the level of sickness in control group is not markedly different than the group that got the medicine, then this experimental medicine may not be working.

In a similar way using controls can help you determine if your response to a problem is working, not working or something else is at work if your problem changes.

There are a number of things that can cause changes in your problem that isn’t related to your response. Some of them are:
  • Cycles of activity
  • Long term trends
  • Unexpected events
For example, in the sleepy little burg where I work, we always see a slow down in crime during the winter months. This is a normal cycle of activity. If we implement a response to a crime problem right before the winter months, any decrease may have little to do with the effectiveness of our program.  Using a control would help us to ensure that any change was due to our efforts and not just coincidence.
Next time we’ll cover Step 48 – Consider Geographical And Temporal Displacement.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Distracted Driving A Problem For Cops Too

From the 'I am really surprised we don't see more of this' department there was a story over at The Atlantic Cities that looked at the distractions posed to police officers driving police cars with in car computer systems or mobile data terminals (MDT's) and the move by some agencies to reduce these distractions.
Police cars are increasingly being seen as mobile offices, where officers can log into databases, run vehicle registration and license numbers and even log into remote surveillance cameras. But of course, being able to do all this while driving kinda takes the safety out of public safety. And the potential distraction is growing.
Law enforcement driving is difficult enough. If you are a cop for any length of time you are going to get into an accident no matter how competent a driver you are. Driving in bad weather, horrible traffic and stressful situations as well as driving day in, day out for the work week will up your chances for a wreck.

Way back when I started in law enforcement as a young police officer, our department didn't have in car computer systems. We had a police radio, a controller for the lights and siren, and maybe if we were lucky a speed radar.  Now, the number of gadgets in a modern police car are staggering.

I was talking to another veteran cop recently and we both agreed we were fortunate to have spent our days in a patrol car back before they got this crowded with buttons, switches and LCD screens. I'm glad to see agencies starting to evaluate and minimize the number of distractions in patrol cars.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 46 – Conduct A Process Evaluation

Back in 2009, I did a series of posts covering the excellent book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. The book is published by the US DOJ's Problem Oriented Policing Center (POP Center). Because of the value I think this book has for crime analysts, and policing in general, I am going to re-post this series on here on the blog.

We’re up to Step 46 – Conduct a process evaluation in our journey through the book, Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. In previous chapters we’ve covered identifying a problem, analyzing problems and finding solutions to the problems. Now we’re going to look at evaluating our solutions to see if they are having the desired effect.

In Step 45 we saw in the example that not every response is implemented correctly, and when that occurs we often reduce the effectiveness of our solutions to problems. The authors put it this way:
A response is a complex piece of machinery with a variety of components, any of which can go wrong (Step 45). A process evaluation examines which components were carried out successfully. The process evaluation checklist highlights the questions that you should ask.
There are four main reasons that a response can go haywire in the implementation:
  1. You may have an inadequate understanding of the problem.
  2. Components of the project have failed
  3. Offenders may react negatively to your response (Step 11).
  4. There are unexpected external changes that have an impact on the response.
If we determine through our process evaluation that we are implementing our solution correctly, we can now measure the impact our solution is or isn’t having on our problem. In the next few chapters we’ll cover impact evaluation starting with Step 47 – Know how to use controls.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Are You An IACA Member?

Today’s the start of the International Association of Crime Analysts’ annual conference. This year, the conference is being held in Henderson, Nevada. There will be some great training courses this year as evidenced by the conference agenda.

If you’re a crime analyst, or a police officer that regularly deals with crime problems in your community, and you are not a member of IACA I would highly encourage you to consider joining. The cost of joining is minimal, and the benefits far outweigh the $25 cost to join.

As a member of IACA, you gain access to training at reduced cost, are eligible to work towards IACA certification and most importantly, gain access to some of the best people in the field. Just being able to access the members’ only mailing email discussion list is worth the membership fee alone. I regularly see an analyst post a query to the list on a complex problem only to have the query answered by list members with minutes. There is something to be said for being able to crowdsource a problem with some really brilliant people.

Are you an IACA member? If not, what’s stopping you?

Friday, September 7, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 45 – Choose Responses Likely To Be Implemented

Back in 2009, I did a series of posts covering the excellent book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. The book is published by the US DOJ's Problem Oriented Policing Center (POP Center). Because of the value I think this book has for crime analysts, and policing in general, I am going to re-post this series on here on the blog.

For several months, I have been posting about chapters in the book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. This book is published by the Department of Justice funded Center For Problem Oriented Policing. The book is divided up into 60 chapters or “steps” that in the authors’ words:
… prepares you for this new role by providing you with a basic knowledge of problem-oriented policing and the related fields of environmental criminology and situational crime prevention.
In this post we’ve made it to Step 45 – Choose Responses Likely To Be Implemented. One of the reasons for a book like this is because problem oriented policing can be complicated. If your problem was easy, it probably wouldn’t be a problem now would it?

You’ve gone to all the trouble to study and evaluate your problem, you may even have a proposed solution, but if the solution isn’t likely to be implemented have you really solved your problem? You have to come up with a solution that is likely to be implemented.

The authors’ list five main obstacles to implementation of any solution.
  1. Unanticipated technical difficulties.
  2. Inadequate supervision of implementation.
  3. Failure to coordinate action among different agencies.
  4. Competing priorities.
  5. Unanticipated costs.
These obstacles are discussed with an example from a problem oriented policing project to reduce school vandalism. Hit the link to read the original chapter. There are some good insights that may help you to avoid pitfalls in your own problem’s solution.

Next time, we’ll cover Step 46 – Conduct A Process Evaluation.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

UCR, Rape and Legitimacy

I've complained about the FBI's Uniform Crime Report (UCR) archaic definition of rape before. Thankfully, the FBI is going to change this definition. Last week there was a piece over at the New York Times that looked at the societal shift in the definition of rape beyond what UCR currently considers a Forcible Rape. 
States have been adjusting their definitions of rape for the past 30 years, many moving away from the insistence on evidence of force because most rapes do not result in harm to the woman separate from the act itself. The armed rapist and severely bruised victim, what some have called “real rape” or “legitimate rape,” account for 14 percent of rape cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control study.
This change by UCR can't come soon enough. I'm sure the other 86% of rape victims not counted by UCR would agree.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

60 Steps Revisited: Step 44 – Find The Owner Of The Problem

Back in 2009, I did a series of posts covering the excellent book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. The book is published by the US DOJ's Problem Oriented Policing Center (POP Center). Because of the value I think this book has for crime analysts, and policing in general, I am going to re-post this series on here on the blog.

We’re up to Step 44 – Find the owner of the problem in our walk through the book Crime Analysis For Problem Solvers. The opening paragraph of this chapter says:
Many problems arise through the failure of some institution - business, government agency, or other organization - to conduct its affairs in ways that prevent crime rather than cause it. In short, many problems occur because one or more institutions are unable or unwilling to undertake a preventive strategy, or because these institutions have intentionally established a circumstance that stimulates crimes or disorder. This creates risky facilities (Step 28) and other concentrations of crime.
For many problems the police face, a large number of them could have been prevented from becoming problematic if the owner of the problem dealt with it early on.

For example, in my sleepy little burg, we occasionally have disorder problems crop up around nightclubs. Most of the time, the management of these problem clubs are so slipshod they allow minor disorder problems to fester into huge problems.

When problems develop the authors suggest you look into the answers to these three questions:
  • Who owns the problem?
  • Why has the owner allowed the problem to develop?
  • What is required to get the owner to undertake prevention?
This is a really great chapter because it’s highly practical. I strongly encourage you to hit the link and read the whole thing.

In the case of our nightclub problems, if we cannot gain the cooperation of the club management voluntarily, we’ll resort to pursuing punitive actions against the club owners/management to force them to improve their operations and remove the environmental conditions that allows these problems to develop.

Next time, we’ll cover Step 45 – Choose responses likely to be implemented

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

There's A Better Way To Deal With Hookers Than Just Locking Them Up

There was a piece recently over at the Austin American Statesman that looked at the unintended and expensive consequence of a Texas law that makes repeat prostitution arrests a felony. 
Many of those trips were courtesy of a 2001 Texas law that allowed prosecutors to charge prostitutes with a felony and send them to a state lockup after three misdemeanor prostitution convictions. The law was designed to clear up chronic problems with truck-stop and street hookers in Dallas.

But now, with more than 350 prostitutes — most from Houston and Dallas — occupying bunks in the state prison system, and dozens more serving time for drug and theft charges related to the sex trade, questions are being raised about whether the enhanced criminal charge is a waste of money. For about one-fourth the cost, such nonviolent, low-level criminals could be rehabilitated in community-based programs aimed at curing their addictions to alcohol and drugs.
I understand peoples' frustration with street prostitutes such as the "lot lizards" who prowl truck stop parking lots. Street prostitution and associated activities are a significant blight on a community and often are a secondary crime generator. As well intentioned as the law was, it has not stopped or even put a dent in prostitution plagued areas.

I can still remember when we charged our first frequent flyer prostitute with a felony after the law was enacted. In spite of her shock (which led to a screaming wall-eyed hissy fit in the back of a patrol car) at being charged with a felony, that shock was short lived when she was back on the streets in less that  a couple of years plying her trade on the very same streets she did before. In the case of drug addicted prostitutes, arrest alone is not a very effective deterrent.

The Center For Problem Oriented Policing has one of their excellent POP Guides that examines approaches to combating a street prostitution problem. If your community is facing this problem, reading the guide is highly recommended. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

Today is Labor Day here in the United States. This holiday is likely more representative of the end of summer than as a celebration of the working man or woman. To that end, I am going to take a break from the blog today and enjoy the fruits of my labors.