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from MuniLand:

America’s police — the third rail

For decades, conventional wisdom has said that federal entitlement programs are the third rail of national politics. Any politician advocating reductions would be penalized at the election booth.

Many vital entitlement programs like the Social Security disability program are nearly broke, but no one discusses how to reform them to make them sustainable. Similarly, at the local level, spending on police has put massive pressure on budgets. But it would be political suicide for a politician to advocate reform.

Violent and property crime rates have dropped in America, but spending on police has soared since the 1990’s. According to a 2012 Justice Policy Institute report, the declining violent crime and property arrests have been replaced with drug arrests:

The Justice Policy Institute report breaks it down further:

Although crime rates are at the lowest they have been in over 30 years, the number of arrests has declined only slightly between 2009 and 2010 and the U.S. still spends more than $100 billion on police every year. This money goes to fund 714,921 sworn police officers and an increasing number of militarized police units.

from The Great Debate UK:

The Consumer Student

--Priyamvada Gopal is a University Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of English and Fellow of Churchill College, University of Cambridge. The opinions expressed are her own.--

The once highly-regarded British public university is not quite dead but it is in terminal care. After half a century of global success on public funding that amounted to less than 1.5% of Britain’s GDP, in the space of two years we’ve seen the partial withdrawal of the state from the sector, and it is expected that this is a precursor to full withdrawal followed by extensive privatisation.

from MuniLand:

Fullerton, CA may be wasting money on its police force

Two Fullerton, California police officers were acquitted Monday in the brutal beating death of a homeless and mentally ill man, Kelly Thomas. Here is the story from Reuters:

The confrontation between six Fullerton police officers and Thomas was captured by a surveillance camera at the bus station and led to demonstrations in the community, as well as the ouster of three city council members in a recall election.

from India Insight:

Mumbai police look to Bollywood for image makeover

Mumbai's police department has deployed an unusual strategy to revamp its sagging reputation and to counter criticism that it hasn't done a good job at solving crimes against women in the city - it called the biggest game in town and asked for help.

Top city police officers, including the police commissioner, have asked Bollywood producers, directors and writers to portray them in a more positive light than they usually do.

from The Human Impact:

Extreme measures to “protect” daughters in India

Gurpreet Singh is a determined man. But he is an even more concerned father.

The 32-year-old investment adviser is leaving India and migrating to Australia. There is nothing new in that -- tens of thousands of professional Indians emigrate every year.

Unlike most of them, Singh’s reason for leaving is not the pursuit of greater economic returns, but a search for something increasingly perceived by parents to be lacking in India -- security for their daughters.

from India Insight:

Updated: Delhi police helpline: if your stalking case is not urgent, please press 1

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Thomson Reuters Corp.)

Citizens First: those are the two words at the top of the Delhi Police department's website. An alternative could be: "first come, first served."

from Photographers' Blog:

The SWAT of Salt Lake

Draper, Utah

By Jim Urquhart

It was four in the morning and for the second day in a row I found myself on the highway headed for a photo assignment before the sun rose. Still a bit tired and sore from the day before, I was however in a decent mood. The day before at the same hour I was trying to get to the start line of the Salt Lake City Marathon in the pouring rain, sleet and hail. On that morning I was assigned to photograph security efforts at the marathon, the first since the Boston Marathon bombing.

That day I covered prevention, this morning I was covering the team that are called in to help when the situation has already gone bad. The Salt Lake City Police Department SWAT team was going to be running candidates through an obstacle course as part of a test of physical fitness.

from India Insight:

Delhi police rightly targeted in gang rape case – Kiran Bedi

The gang rape of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi that sparked public outrage across the country has also put the spotlight on policing in India’s “rape capital”.

Kiran Bedi, a former police officer who won the Ramon Magsaysay award in 1994 for her work in the city, says the Dec. 16 gang rape could have been prevented.

from India Insight:

Delhi rape case and the need to revamp policing

"My father has called me 15 times since yesterday," a colleague told me today as New Delhi recovers from the shock of a woman being assaulted, gang-raped and thrown off a bus on Sunday night.

There were more comments from women on my Facebook feed: "It is a scary thought to go out for dinner at 9:15 pm"; "Men on Delhi streets can literally rape you with words ... met one giggling a** just now. Felt like picking a stone and hitting it right where it all starts from ..."

from The Great Debate UK:

The Leveson Whitewash

--Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School. The opinions expressed are his own.--

If you ask a lawyer what to do, he'll recommend a legal remedy – what do you expect? In the same way, many of our politicians have a background as lawyers, so no wonder we have such a proliferation of unnecessary laws. Besides, it does provide plenty of work for old pals…

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