Paul's Note - October 30th, 2020

After the two in custody deaths of Carlos Ingram Lopez and Damian Alvarado, TPD opened up a process called a “Sentinel Event Review Board” which took a month to examine what went wrong in those cases. The analysis included everything from how our 911 center is staffed to how certain types of equipment are deployed to the attitudes and training of our officers. The department was rightly criticized for both the deaths and how the public was informed of them, but the sort of self-examination that they were willing to do earned it praise from the national press and even some police critics. 

By the way, some of the more than 50 recommendations that came out of that review have already been implemented and my colleagues and I will be working to make sure that they all are. 

Some more recognition came from the Philadelphia Citizen, which wrote about how TPD has changed their response to mental health emergencies, including more training for officers, the plain clothes MHST team and mobile crisis units that respond to incidents and the 24-hour crisis response center. This from their article: 

In effect, Tucson’s strategy is an acknowledgment that cities cannot arrest their way out of many of the problems they face. “There are circumstances and people who need to go to jail, nobody’s denying that,” Magnus says. “But there are a lot of cases where jail should not be the default option, just because you don’t have any other resources or you don’t know other strategies that might work.” 

Another item was from an online newsletter caller Route Fifty that covers innovations in local government. The article details the use of data analysis by the department. I can’t link the article (it’s an emailed newsletter), but here is the second paragraph: 

The police department in Tucson, Arizona, for example, provides a stellar example of a new approach to the use of police data and performance measurement. It’s still a work in progress, but new data sets are constantly emerging, along with helpful definitions to aid in community understanding. “We’re trying to really be transparent and put out honest information, even if that paints us in a bad light,” says Jacob Cramer, analysis administrator for the Tucson police department. 

Cramer was brought in by Chief Chris Magnus to work on this project and there are now nine people on staff. 

The article notes that the data was used to find one officer that needed additional training on de-escalation. What data is collected, however, always needs to be re-evaluated. One of the findings of the SERB was that there needs to be a record of how restraints are deployed in the field. 

The public can access some of the data that is collected at the Tucson Police Department “dashboard.” Much of the work that went into setting up that online dashboard came from surveys and community meetings. 

Election day is Tuesday, but there is still early voting going on. This is from the Pima County Recorder: 

The recommended deadline to mail back ballots has passed but voters have many other options. 

Early Voting sites are peppered across Pima County. Voters can drop off their voted ballot at any of these locations

• Emergency Voting locations are open Saturday, October 31st and Monday, November 2nd. Voters can also drop off their vote by mail ballots at any of these locations. 

• Any Polling Location on Tuesday, November 3rd Election Day will take voted mailed ballots. 

• Recorder’s Offices on Tuesday, November 3rd Election Day will also accept voted ballots. 

REMEMBER, by Arizona State Statute, voted mailed ballots must be received no later than 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3rd Election Day to be counted. 

Voters who have received a ballot in the mail are encouraged to vote their mailed ballot. If a ballot has been sent to a voter and the voter chooses to vote in-person on Election Day, the voter will be voting a Provisional Ballot. Provisional Ballots take up to 10 days AFTER Election Day to be verified and counted. Again, “Be part of the solution”.