Precious resources

Welcome to our 2014 Buyer’s Guide, full of products and companies you can put to use in your agencies as a resource for purchasing questions and decisions going forward. While the right equipment and products can no doubt help increase productivity and even save lives, no gadget can take the place of good employees at all levels of an agency. That is, the men and women on the job day in and day out using sound decision-making, empathy and a little humor.

It’s not always easy. Manpower issues, lack of proper training and equipment; organizational, financial, even personal struggles are constant hurdles. Still, with a little digging it’s not hard to find continued evidence of a job well done.

Take a look at the numbers. A Bureau of Justice Statistics study “Requests for Police Assistance” released September 24, 2013 examined the characteristics and experiences of persons age 16 or older who contacted police to request assistance in 2011. The report describes the perceptions of residents about police behavior and response during these encounters.

Some of the highlights:

An estimated 1 in 8 U.S. residents age 16 or older, or 31.4 million persons, requested assistance from police at least once, most commonly to report a crime, suspicious activity, or neighborhood disturbance.

About 85 percent of persons who requested police assistance were satisfied with the police response.

No statistical differences were found between the percentage of Hispanics (86 percent), blacks (85 percent), and whites (83 percent) who reported a crime or neighborhood disturbance and felt the police were helpful.

About 9 in 10 persons who requested police assistance reported that they were just as likely or more likely to contact the police again for a similar problem.

These stats tell me that despite adversity (and media reports stating the contrary) the great majority of uniformed officers dutifully rise to the challenge. And that’s something to admire.

As we head into the new year, allow us to help contribute to your success. Let me know what topics keep you up at night. Is it aging communications equipment? Manpower or budget struggles? Email me, too, with your success stories—whether you are part of a large metro department or a head up a modest-sized sheriff’s office in a one-horse town. We want to hear from you!

At LET we love to talk technology, but good employees will always trump good products. We know your job is not an easy one. Thanks again to all of our readers, and to all the other heroes behind the badge.