Blotter, DragNet

Policing and the Recession

In response to Kevin’s inquiry as to whether or not there was any reporting being done on the impact of the recession on policing, I have posted the following articles:

Budget cuts that are the result of the recession have lead to departments cutting training. The California Peace Officers Association (a bargaining collective) was receiving so many inquiries from departments about the consequences of cutting training that they put out the following memo (mjm-duty2train). has a whole section of its webpage dedicated to policing in an economic crisis:

including the following article:

From the AP on cutbacks in the prison population intended to save dollars:

An article from on the how competition between police departments, corrections, and parole affects incarceration:

From the Chicago Tribune on how the recession is leading to departments to cut positions, over time, and even how long officers run the engines of their cars:


One thought on “Policing and the Recession

  1. Thanks, Brian. This is quite helpful, and was definitely part of what i was looking for. I think this kind of documentation is a necessary first step, with trying to put it all together in some kind of cohesive picture a hopeful second step.

    I guess I was also trying to ask: what kinds of questions can we ask about what’s going on? What kind of insight can ethnographers have, or how can we push the discussion, in ways that it isn’t already going?

    I’m sure active police officers and administrators are much more aware of what the crisis has meant for their operating budgets. I think, on the one hand, its part of our duty to pay attention to what they’re saying about that (making use of some good journalism along the way). I also think that we have something more to contribute to the matter, but I for one am trying to use this blog to make it clear (to myself and others) what exactly that is… that’s where I was trying to go, a bit, with the thinking through of limits.

    By the way, I think this is something that we need to keep talking about, so I’ve created a new “feature” category call “after the crisis”… i’ve also made a link to that discussion via the “resources page” (see the post I’ll make in a second)


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