On March 5, 2013, Education Week published "Customization Is Key to School-Safety Plans" by Donald Cymrot (CNA Vice President of Domestic Research) and Stephen Rickman (CNA Director of Justice Programs) .
CNA Smart Policing Initiative Subject Matter Expert Talks Gun Violence with Vice President Biden
On January 9, 2013, Hildy Saizow (CNA SPI SME and of Arizona for Gun Safety) participated in Vice President Joe Biden's gun-control task force. During this meeting Ms. Saizow provided recommendations, including a call for greater emergency planning and preparedness in the schools, and more dissemination and promotion of Smart Policing strategies to reduce violence.
The use of deadly force against a citizen is the most serious act a police officer can take. It demands careful, impartial review and the highest professional standards of accountability. In November 2011,the Las Vegas Review Journal (LVRJ) published a five-part investigative series titled “Deadly Force: When Las Vegas Police Shoot, and Kill.” The LVRJ series, using data provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD), reviewed officer-involved shootings (OIS) over the past 20 years. The LVRJ reported that although a number of these shootings were highly controversial and could have been avoided, LVMPD’s internal accountability systems and the Clark County Coroner’s Inquests had ruled that they were justified and held officers minimally accountable. As expected, the LVRJ investigative series raised concern about LVMPD’s lack of police accountability both to the department’s review bodies and to community stakeholders.
In January 2012, in response to the LVRJ’s investigative series, the director of the Office of Community Oriented Police Services (COPS Office), of the U.S. Department of Justice called LVMPD’s Sheriff Gillespie. The director offered the assistance of the COPS Office through its Critical Response Technical Assistance grant to reduce OISs. Within a week of this phone call, Sheriff Gillespie sent members of his executive command to Washington, D.C., to meet with the COPS Office. They discussed the reforms that LVMPD was already undertaking to address the issue and the areas in which technical assistance would be beneficial.
Simultaneously, the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada (ACLUNV) filed a petition with the U.S.Department of Justice Civil Rights Division on behalf of the Las Vegas chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The petition requested that the Civil Rights Division commence an investigation and pursue civil remedies to reform the LVMPD, claiming that the LVMPD “engaged in a pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers . . . that deprives persons of rights, privileges or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.”