Archive for December, 2010

Dec 1015

20 Blogs Criminal Justice Students Will Love

Inside Discover Policing is pleased to be featured by Rasmussen College’s School of Justice Studies as one of 20 blogs criminal justice students will love.  See the full list republished with permission below.  A great list of resources! 


by Matthew Petz, Director of the School of Justice Studies at Rasmussen College.  View the original post . 

Beyond the classroom, there’s no better source of information for criminal justice students than the Internet. Blogs written by real criminal justice professionals, from law enforcement officers and security technologists to criminal investigators and forensic psychologists are a great supplement to your textbooks.

We compiled 20 high quality criminal justice blogs that we think will help you gain an even better understanding of the criminal justice system.

1. Criminal Justice Degree, College and Career Blog – Radek M. Gadek, a graduate of the criminal justice program at Boston University started this blog. Here, Gadek offers his take on top criminal justice colleges in the U.S., information on criminal justice careers, and answers to students’ commonly asked questions.

2. Schneier on Security – Internationally known security technologist and author Bruce Schneier offers a fresh perspective on security in this popular blog. From commentary on security stories in the news to in-depth explanations of security threats and measures, Schneier is the go-to source for information on security.

3. The General Blog of Crime – This blog is maintained by a group of criminologists who are grad school friends. All aspects of crime are covered here, including crime news, politics, the death penalty, and wrongful convictions and guns, just to name a few. 

4. Social Media Five-O – Michael F. Vallez, retired law enforcement officer and social media strategist at USIS writes this blog. Vallez explores social media’s application in law enforcement, offering actionable tips on social networking, Facebook® and Twitter, plus case studies of police departments using social media successfully.

5. Sgt Says – Author of this blog, Bunkermeister, is a reserve police officer and training sergeant for an agency in Southern California. This blog offers practical tips for law enforcement officers on an array of topics from safety and cleaning of firearms, to driving in wet conditions.

6. Spartan Cops – Everything you want to know about police use of force is here at this blog written by Scott and Matt, both first line supervisors in a Texan municipal police department. This blog goes in depth on defensive tactics, TASERs, less-lethal and lethal weapons, firearms, and more.

7. View from the Cop – Steve Rose is a police information officer and blogger. This blog is a great resource for both officers and the general public, offering tales from the night shift, commentary on traffic laws and texting and driving as well as tips for preventing burglaries, and what to do when you get pulled over.

8. The Crime Analyst’s Blog – Scott Dickson is a crime analyst in central Texas and author of this blog. Dickson primarily focuses on crime in the Texas area, but the information in his posts will appeal to readers everywhere. Highlights include the “Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers” series, a step-by-step guide for solving crime.

9. Discover Policing – If you’re considering a career in law enforcement, you’ll want to check out this blog by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. It features in-depth information on recruitment and different jobs within the law enforcement field, plus Q&As with law enforcement professionals.

10. Crime Magazine – This blog is written by more than 40 different authors and covers all topics related to crime. You’ll find articles on organized crime, celebrity crime, serial killers, corruption, sex crimes, capital punishment, prisons and assassinations, plus information on crime books, films and studies.

11. City of Eden Prairie Police Blog – Written by the City of Eden Prairie Police Department, this blog takes a look inside a suburban law enforcement agency. Posts inlclude updates on local crime, department news, and consumer safety tips.   

12. Early American Crime – Anthony Vaver explores the history of crime in the U.S. on this blog. Seeking to provide a more comprehensive understanding of crime in America, Vaver tells stories of the social transgressions of criminals in colonial America, and the early Republic.

13. CSI Blog – If you like tales of crime, murder and scandal, then the National Museum of Crime and Punishment’s CSI and Forensic Blog is for you. This blog dissects crimes of all kinds, from serial killers and stolen paintings to copycat killers and hostage situations.

14. Cops Alive – The mission of this blog, which was founded by John Marx, is to keep cops alive with tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and reducing stress caused by the job. Here, you’ll find tips on reducing heart attacks, handling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), creating total wellness, and much more.

15. All About Forensic Psychology – This forensic blog is written by David Webb, distance learning tutor and research dissertation supervisor. Highlights of this blog include a link to Webb’s Psychology Student Survival Guide, which is an excellent resource for criminal justice students, and information on forensic psychology internships.

16. Take All Prisoners – Marisa Mauro, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, writes this blog from “inside the fence.” She examines the characteristics of psychopaths, neurotic personalities, children who murder and serial killers.

17.  LAPD Blog – Take a peek inside the largest law enforcement agency in the U.S. on this blog. Here, you’ll find information and statistics on Los Angeles crimes, criminal acts caught on video, and updates on police department initiatives.

18.  Psychology and Crime News – This blog was created to aggregate information on forensic psychology and crime, primarily for an academic audience. Twitter updates and quick links on this blog will keep you in-the-know on all the latest forensic psychology news.

19. Law Librarian Blog – Joe Hodnicki is director of Butler County Law Library, Ohio and editor of this blog. Law librarians and other professionals interested in legal research will appreciate this blog’s continually updated resources and daily news.

20. Neuroethics & Law Blog – This blog’s author Adam Kolber is a professor at Brooklyn Law School. This blog is written for a variety of law/justice professionals, including criminologists, and focuses on legal and ethical issues related to the brain and cognition. 

Dec 1007

Look to LEMAS for local police facts and figures

The Bureau of Justice Statistics just released the results of its 2007 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey.  The survey, which includes all departments employing 100 or more full time sworn officer, is a great source for interesting facts and figures on local police departments.   The survey has been administered very three to four years since 1987 and offers interesting historical insight on a variety of factors, including employment, officer demographics, salaries, equipment, and computer use.

Here are some highlights that may be of interest to jobseekers:

  • An estimated 16% of departments had some type of college requirement, including 9% with a 2-year degree requirement.
  • Average starting salary for new local police officers in 2007 was an estimated $40,500, an increase of $5,000 (14%) over 2003.
  • Starting salaries were 38% higher in departments with collective bargaining.
  • 37% of departments offer tuition reimbursement.
  • Nearly half of departments screen recruits for analytical problem solving ability.
  • In 2007, 1 in 8 local police officers was a woman, compared to 1 in 13 in 1987.
  • About 1 in 4 officers was a member of a racial or ethnic minority in 2007, compared to 1 in 6 in 1987.
  • From 2003 to 2007, the number of Hispanic local police officers increased by 16%.
  • 81% of local police departments train new recruits in community policing, up from 73% in 2003.

Other interesting stats:

  • The estimated 12,575 local police departments operating in the U.S. in 2007 employed approximately 463,000 full-time sworn personnel.
  • Three-quarters of local police departments serve fewer than 10,000 residents
  • Local police departments cost $116,500 per officer to operate during 2007
  • 75% of local police departments use conducted energy devices such as Tasers, compared to 47% in 2003.
  • 9 in 10 local police departments use in-field computers, up from 3 in 10 in 1990.
  • Local police departments used about 8,000 dogs and 1,200 horses for law enforcement purposes in 2007.
  • About 3 in 5 local police departments used video cameras in patrol cars.
  • 38% of agencies employ school resource officers
  • More than two-thirds of departments serving populations greater than 10,000 have a written plan specifying action to be taken in the event of a terrorist attack.