Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Wasteful police spending, Big Brother, and prison stories

Here are a few brief items that caught Grits' attention but didn't make it into independent posts:

Eliminate waste rather than throw money at new police hires
The Austin PD is requesting nearly 100 more uniformed officers in the next city budget. As Grits has argued many times, instead of hiring ever-more officers the agency should eliminate waste by requiring burglar alarm companies to implement a verified response system, calling the police only when a crime has actually been committed. Austin doesn't need more police officers it needs to be a lot smarter about using the ones they've got.

More exposure on wiretap expansion bill
The Austin Chronicle has a brief item highlighting the bill expanding wiretapping authority to local police in big cities that Grits discussed here, here, and here. I'm a bit surprised the issue hasn't drawn more attention.

'Lawsuit targets prison company over records request'
See the story at the Texas Tribune.

Letters from La Tuna
The El Paso Times has an interesting pair of stories about and by former businessman Bob Jones, who was "Once one of the most powerful people in El Paso, a larger-than-life figure who traveled in his own private jet" but "is now just another inmate in the federal system." See their feature article and an essay by Jones about his first six months in the federal La Tuna prison in which he describes life in solitary confinement and his experience almost dying from near-fatal E. coli infection. Interesting stuff.

IRS using Big Data for tax enforcement
This is creepy and before long every law enforcement and regulatory agency in the country will probably have similar  capabilities.

Do young people care about online privacy?
Turns out, more than you think.


Anonymous said...

Austin doesn't need more police officers. Dallas sure doesn't need them.

Anonymous said...

Democratic Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson laid off 123 active or future police officers, in 2011 while Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Berry’s daughter were held in captivity in a west side Cleveland home.