Friday, March 30, 2012

Survey Results Are In

The results of our policing survey were released today and community sentiment is unfavorable: less than a quarter of respondents have a positive impression of the Police Department and less than a fifth (18%) think officers are using their time appropriately.  69% of respondents do not trust the Department, either as a whole (48%) because of leadership (18%), or because of officers (3%). When asked what the most significant policing problem is on the Island, the most chosen answer was “problems with Department leadership.” Over half of respondents think the Department has gotten worse in recent years.

Despite these critical responses, respondents do not want to outsource police services. When asked if the Island should maintain its own department, or outsource services to the County, over half (51%) favor retention. 30% would like to contract out to Kitsap, and 19% have no opinion.

A few cautionary notes. This was not a scientific survey, but rather an attempt to get some sense of community sentiment. This gives us a clue of how the community views local policing, but does not represent a "final word." We hope it's the catalyst for more questions--and more BIPD collaboration.

View the detailed results here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

We Meet Again: March 30, 5:00pm-6:30pm

The next ICP forum will be on Friday March 30, 5pm-6:30pm. We very much hope you'll join us. Our moderator is Trisha King-Stargel who teaches criminal justice at Seattle University and, until recently, was a member of the Tacoma police Citizen Review Panel. The meeting will include:

A discussion of community opinions of the PD
A discussion of Richard Packard's 2012 report: Crime on Bainbridge Island 1993-2010
Q and A with new BIPD Guild President Bob Day
Next steps: a discussion with two members of Poulsbo's Community Police Advisory Board to discuss their experience on a citizen/police panel

Location: Bainbridge Public Library. This event is not sponsored, endorsed, or approved by the library.

Link to agenda here.

Dr. Packard's report is available here. Click here for an executive summary.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

New Feature: Ideas from Other Places

The Bainbridge City Council has been woefully inactive on policing matters, despite widespread recognition that problems exist at the BIPD and the community wants to address them. We are obliged, by necessity, to seek ideas from other places. Fortunately, other places have city councilmembers that have thought quite a bit about community/police relations. With this post, ICP will start a new practice of highlighting policing ideas from other jurisdictions.

First up: a white paper from Seattle City Councilmember (and former Seattle police officer) Tim Burgess on "A New Policy for Policing." Many of his ideas are not relevant to our small city. Many of them are. Of particular interest:

-The importance of understanding crime statistics (and asking for the right statistics)
-What a culture of "inquiry and innovation" looks like in a police department
-The nexus between hiring, training, and high quality policing (and why today's officers need a new skill set than what's worked in the past)
-how civilian employees (and volunteers?) can enhance policing efforts

Link to the paper here

Friday, March 9, 2012

Let the questions, and answers, begin

The Seattle Times and Kitsap Sun have stories out about the COBI police department, and the stories are pretty grim: new revelations about the circumstances around the Doug Ostling shooting, indications of low hiring standards, the checkered pasts of several officers (past and present), and the failure of the Chief to provide the public--and county prosecutor--with information he is obliged to give. The community has questions, and rightfully so. But no one in city government has made a real effort to answer them. Collaboration can not happen without communication, and reform will not happen unless we face our problems squarely. Let the questions and answers begin.

Two Cops, an Axe, and Many Questions on Bainbridge
Police Force's Turmoil Unnerves Bainbridge Island Residents
In Officer's Testimony, Ostling Less of A Threat 

Community comments: John Hays
Inside Bainbridge Interview with Chief Fehlman March 8, 2012