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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

National Police Misconduct News Feed Criteria

Since there have been a few questions and concerns going back and forth about what stories should and should not go into the National Police Misconduct News Feed I decided that it might be a good time to go over the criteria I've developed for picking stories that qualify and then open it up to comments, questions, and suggestions.

First, any allegations, investigations into, criminal charges for, disciplinary actions on, lawsuits for, or judgments regarding misconduct by an active law enforcement officer while on-duty qualify for the feed.

Second, any story about an officer listed as a former officer but who was an active officer at the time of an alleged incident of misconduct but resigned or was fired afterward will be included in the feed.

Third, any story about off-duty criminal offenses alleged, charged, or convicted or any story about off-duty activities that would be construed as misconduct due to misuse of one's position as a law enforcement officer will also be included. These include incidents of theft, DUI, domestic violence, and assault.

Fourth, other stories may be included in the feed that relate to legal issues that affect police misconduct, such as department policy issues that obscure misconduct, legislative efforts that hinder efforts to prevent misconduct or handicap efforts to document or reduce misconduct, but will not be included in the statistics as a case of misconduct.

Fifth, when compiling statistics from the feed, duplicate stories about the same instance of misconduct and updates regarding a single incident of misconduct are removed from the offline database. So if you see multiple stories about a single incident, those will be addressed on the back-end of the statistic gathering process.

Finally, a note for those who wish to correspond with me via the Twitter feed, since it's used on other sites as a sort of news scroller I really try to limit personal communications and keep it reserved for stories of misconduct as much as possible... so please don't be offended if I don't reply publicly or if I choose to reply via a direct message instead of publicly.

With this in mind, I now open the floor for any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions... and, of course, I always welcome submissions for articles that you think I might have missed!

Thanks for reading!


Gerard said...

Thanks for clarifying. Your news feed is amazing, and I really appreciate all the work you've put into it.

Anonymous said...

I second Gerard's appreciation. I know you're concerned about low response rate, but I would wager that most people, like me, are stunned into silence. It's like seeing a terrible car wreck, except it happens over and over and over and over...

Seriously, you're doing important work and I hope you continue.

Irashtar said...

Fourthly is a little pessimistic, how about administrative actions that are the opposite, harsher penalties to fairer investigations, I need some anti-bad-cop news so I know who in this messed up system I can smile at.

Packratt said...


Actually, now that you mentioned it, I should have included that in the examples since I do include those stories as well whenever I find them... which, sadly, isn't too often. (but, of course, that could be because the parameters of my searches aren't specifically looking for them.)

Thank you all for the feedback, it's greatly appreciated!

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