Most U.S. police departments report sharp fall in applicants

Cops see themselves as a thin blue line, but the job is is turning into a scarlet letter.

Nationwide, interest in becoming a police officer is down significantly. In Nashville, job applications dropped from 4,700 in 2010 to 1,900 last year. In Seattle, applications have declined by nearly 50 percent in a department where the starting salary is $79,000. ...

Videos of police misconduct and fatal shootings have damaged the perception of American police officers but not irrevocably, said Antoinette Archer, director of human relations for the police department in Richmond Many people are “taken aback by the brutality, not by the profession,” she said. “If we can be inclusive” of women and people of color, “those individuals who can see a part of their fabric in the department will come forward. ... If the environment is not inclusive, you’re going to lose them.”

Too many cops and too little crime. The invisible fist, it turns out, prefers "less cops" to "more crime," however hard some departments try to manufacture the latter.

Archer is maybe concerned with recruitment standards falling to make up numbers, creating a vicious cycle with respect to the "white supremacists and outright psychos" policing problem. Read the rest

UK police to scan the fingerprints of anyone unable to present identification

There are about 4,200,000 surveillance cameras in United Kingdom. According to a feature in Wired UK, police want to take an even closer look.

The West Yorkshire Police Service is currently testing a mobile fingerprint scanning system that's connected to databases containing the fingerprints of 12 million immigrants and criminals. 250 mobile fingerprint scanners have been issued in the North Eastern region of England and will be used, as part of a pilot program, to help identify individuals who refuse to or are unable to tell the police who they are or are. The Yorkshire Police Service says that the system would most likely only ever be used on suspects at the scene of a crime, those who are found to have no identification papers or anyone found dead or unconscious. Read the rest

Racist authoritarians insisted that ending stop-and-frisk would increase violent crime, but the opposite just happened

For years, racist authoritarians in New York City defended the stop-and-frisk program in which primarily black and brown people were repeatedly stopped without any particularized suspicion and forced to turn out their pockets, empty their bags, even strip naked in public on frozen-street corners. Read the rest