New Europol head announced

This article reports that the commissioner general of the Belgian federal police, Catherine De Bolle, will become executive director of Europol on May 1, when current head Rob Wainright’s term concludes. She was the first female federal police commissioner in Belgium when appointed to that position in 2012, and has said “I have always been the first (woman) in most of the jobs I have done,” as reported here.

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Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland

The Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland was established in 2017 with its report due by September 2018. A recent submission by the Law Society of Ireland, available here, lists 14 recommendations, including simplifying oversight structures, more emphasis on continuous professional development of police staff, a more transparent promotion system, and a stronger commitment to community policing.

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Norway, New Zealand seeking gender parity

This article reports that 48% of students seeking entry to Norway’s Police University College in 2018 are women. This article reports that 42 of 80 recruits in the latest class of the Royal New Zealand Police College are women. Meanwhile, the Northern Territories police in Australia have set a goal of 50/50 gender staffing by 2020, as reported here.

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Police reform in Ukraine

This 25-minute documentary covers the last several years of police reform in Ukraine, with particular focus on policing domestic violence in the country and on gender equity in the new patrol police.

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Thai police show their eyes

This article reports a new rule in Bangkok — police must take off their sunglasses when conversing with the public. According to an official, “Taking off sunglasses reduces your aggressive look. It shows sincerity in your eyes when you talk to the people.” He also noted, “For Thai people, whenever someone wears sunglasses, they look suspicious.”

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Contract Mounties

About 65% of Canada’s RCMP officers serve in municipalities that have contracted with the national government for their police service. This article analyzes the situation in the province of British Columbia, where cities with their own police departments tend to have higher staffing and better clearance rates, compared to RCMP cities, but at a higher cost. The article reviews the arguments pro and con, the history behind the contract scheme, and the potential impact of a move to unionize the Mounties.

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This press release announces that Axon (formerly Taser) has established a Research & Development unit in Tampere, Finland, a city described as “among the world’s leading centres of excellence for imaging.” The new team is expected to “enhance the capabilities of the company’s wearable and in-car cameras and develop a platform for future advancements that leverage Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).” Axon will also explore cooperation with Finland’s police university located in Tampere.

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