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Community Policing Dispatch Volume 2, Issue 7, July 2009

NCJ Number
Community Policing Dispatch Volume: 2 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2009 Pages: 1-2
Deborah Spence
Date Published
July 2009
2 pages
This issue provides information on the following topics: how two communities addressed drug-related problems on foreclosed properties; breaking the code of silence that prevents community residents from sharing vital crime information with police; a panel's work on the familicide phenomenon; and the functions of the Response Center established by the Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS).
In an effort to address drug-related operations being conducted on abandoned foreclosed properties, the Community Prosecution Unit in the Third District of Milwaukee (Wisconsin), established a partnership with the local utility company in identifying and shutting down illegal electrical hookups on foreclosed properties, which were likely being used for illegal activities. Another approach was taken in Manhattan, IL. The police department worked with village administrators in creating a database, updated weekly, of all properties in various stages of foreclosure. This database is used by police to track and secure foreclosed structures. Regarding the code of silence that exists in some neighborhoods regarding communications with police, law enforcement agencies must partner with other criminal justice agencies, community members, and organizations in spreading a positive message, lessening the power of intimidation from criminal elements, and reducing fear of retaliation against "snitches." In addition, agencies must develop programs that increase protections for witnesses. A new publication from the COPS Office, "The Stop Snitching Phenomen: Breaking the Code of Silence," provides an overview of codes of silence and discusses a variety of new initiatives and promising practices. The panel on familicides, sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), focused on risk factors and prevention strategies related to an increase in the number of cases in which a family member kills other family members. The COPS Office Response Center was created to be a central source of information about COPS Office resources and programs.