SAN DIEGO POLICE DEPARTMENT 5
SanDiego Police Department
SanDiego Police Department
The has been receiving a lot of heat over thepast few weeks in cases related to the police department itself andits crime prevention strategies. The San Diego has been on thereceiving end of criticism from the public in the way that the policeofficers have been conducting their business. The police are supposedto be protecting the public but this has unfortunately not been thecase. For instance, in late January a couple from San Diego who werepolice officers were charged for breaking into a home and stealingpainkillers while on duty(CityNews Service, 2015).The ex-police officers were addicted to pain killers and weresubsequently sentenced to three years in prison. Another policeofficer in the area was also charged for demanding sexual favors fromwomen he stopped for breaking some rules. The San Diego PoliceDepartment is embarking on some criminal strategies that are aimed atreducing crime in the area. Some of the proposed strategy includesthe building up of police confidence among the community, operationlemon drop and the use of technology through a tool known asstringray. The has a new boss, ShellyZimmerman and with 30 years of experience under her belt, things willhopefully turn around (Perry,2015).In this essay, the author will delve into the analysis on the natureof public discourse on San Diego’s crime strategy as well as howthe media describes the strategies and the different sides of debateon the issue.
ThePolice Departments all over the country are having a serious issue tograpple with and this revolves around the issue of racial profiling.There has been a public outcry in the way the police departments havedealt with the black community over the recent few months. Thesituation is not any different in San Diego because the minoritiesare evenly spread out within the country. In order to address theissue of racial profiling the new police chief, Shelly Zimmerman hasa no racial profiling policy. The police chief is optimistic thatthrough building community confidence in the workforce the residentsof San Diego can slowly start trusting the police. However, some ofthe strategies the San Diego department is using might have theopposite effect. According to an article by Townes, the San DiegoPolice reckon they can prevent future crimes by questioning people attrolley stops. The operation is dubbed Lemon drop and seeks toidentify people who are likely to commit crime in the future. Thepolice board the trolley at Lemon Grove and interrogate passengers onwhether they have paid the fare, $2.50. The police look out forcertain characteristics from the passengers such as people who arelistening to loud music or people who look suspicious. Since theoperation, the police have issued citations to 451 individuals out ofthe 16,631 people confronted while only 186 individuals were arrestedfor misdemeanor and felonies. This strategy has received some publicoutcry from the residents of population and from a couple of onlinedebate on the website it is evident that this is a set towardsracial profiling. One resident for instance believed the police areon racial profiling mission because they target people listening toloud music (Townes,2015).To be precise, the residents feel that the black community is beingtargeted by the police force considering the unfortunate relationshipbetween the minorities and the police that has been making headlinesover the past few months.
The is also being sued by a non-profitorganization because of using a surveillance tool called thestingray. A stingray captures large amounts of date in cellphones andis used to locate targets. The tool, mimics mobile phone towers andtricks them into transmitting data about an individual’s outgoingtexts and calls as well as their unique ID. Several state agencies inCalifornia have claimed to have used this technology and there isevidence that it has helped in crime. Some of the crimes the stingrayhas helped solve range from homicide, suicide, kidnapping, robberyand narcotic cases. The is being sued fornot disclosing the information collected through the use of stingraysand also the fact that the department has concealed some of theevidence gathered by the stringray from reaching court (Racino,2014).For the case of the stingray, there has been a mix of reactions fromthe public on the issue. Some people feel that the police should haveaccess to information on criminals but on the other hand, some peoplefeel that the police are invading into their private lives. The mediahowever, seems to condone the strategy based on their tone and way ofpresentation. In fact, it seems like the media is in full support ofpolice operations in apprehending criminals and bringing them beforea court of law. They believe that the new technology might helpreduce criminal cases in the San Diego and other parts of thecountry.
Overall,there seem to be lack of transparency in some of the crime strategiesemployed by the especially in the casethe stingray. The public feels cheated that some tool in technologycan be used against them. For example, the stingray offers no privacyfor the residents of San Diego because it can pick up any incomingand outgoing messages from people’s phones who are in the range ofthe stingray and this is a violation of the first amendment. Inaddition, the reluctance of the San Diego’s Police Department torelease the information gathered by the stingray raises issues onaccountability and fairness in their implementation. Adequateinformation on the use of this technology has not been availed forscrutiny by the public. The minority community feels that they arethe likely target of San Diego’s police department racial profilingconsidering that there has always been some bad blood between theminorities and the police. The recent police brutality cases againstthe minority do not seem to help the situation despite some assurancefrom the new San Diego police Chief Shelly Zimmerman.
CityNews Service. (2015, January 30). Ex-SanDiego Police Officers Sentenced To Three Years.Retrieved March 12, 2015, from KPBS:http://www.kpbs.org/news/2015/jan/30/ex-san-diego-police-officers-sentenced-three-years/
Perry,T. (2015, January 8). SanDiego police chief gives public a role in her reform strategy.Retrieved March 12, 2015, from L.A Times:http://www.latimes.com/local/crime/la-me-san-diego-police-chief-20150108-story.html#page=1
Racino,B. (2014, December 18). SanDiego Police Department sued for withholding records about spytechnology.Retrieved March 12, 2015, from inewsource:http://inewsource.org/2014/12/18/san-diego-police-department-sued-for-withholding-records-about-spy-technology/
Townes,C. (2015, January 14). SanDiego Police Think They Can Prevent Future Crimes By Bothering PeopleAt Trolley Stops.Retrieved March 12, 2015, from Think Progress:http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/01/14/3611072/egregious-san-diego-policing/