Police/Fire/EMS

In the first quarter of 2020, the city’s police solved 31.7 percent of major crimes compared to 36.8 percent the year prior. The drop could be attributed to COVID-19 and social unrest caused by the killing of George Floyd.
Several big-city mayors have announced retirements or have been defeated this year, their approval ratings driven down by the pandemic and policing.
The city’s new $15 million emergency response systems overhaul will encrypt the frequencies of nine city departments, making it no longer possible for the public to monitor police and fire scanners.
The state approved legislation that will require all uniformed police officers to wear body cams by Jan. 1, 2025, but many local agencies cannot afford the technology without financial assistance.
Maryland, Montana and Utah are the only states in the nation that limit what police can access through genealogy websites. State lawmakers have agreed that the final law is a fair compromise.
An appellate court ruling determined that public records penalties against the city of Tacoma, Wash., will be reviewed for the police department’s use of a cellphone tracking system to locate suspect devices.
Body-worn cameras and freedom of information laws do enable oversight and accountability of the police, but they also hold the potential to force sensitive data and stressful episodes in private citizens’ lives into public view that’s easily accessible online.
The legislative package addresses wildfire prevention, workforce training, disaster relief and wetland protection. The state is already spending $536 million on fire-prevention projects.
The death of George Floyd inspired communities across North Carolina to commit themselves to reforming policing practices. A year later, some cities have made more progress towards those goals than others.
At least 42 law enforcement agencies across the state used the facial recognition software but many are discontinuing the service after zero percent of the software’s searches led to an arrest.