Chapel Hill Police

In Review- A Comparison of Chapel Hill and Carrboro's Forums on Policing

In light of national struggles with policing methods, enforcement and militarization, both Chapel Hill and Carrboro police departments hosted sessions for community members to voice their potential concerns directly to Chapel Hill Police Chief Blue Oct. 4 and Carrboro Chief Horton Oct. 5. The two forums revealed underlying issues in each community, with Carrboro’s discussion especially distinct in the way it gravitated toward racial profiling issues.

Where Are The Six Armored Personnel Carriers?

Two weeks ago, we in Orange County, NC learned that six armored personnel carriers had been made available to law enforcement in our county. We are told, two weeks later, that elected officials within our county are still trying to track them down. Still trying. Two weeks later.

Let me deal with the immediate, and then I'll wax about conspiracy.

The immediate: I can forgive elected officials for not knowing where six armored personnel carriers might be. Maybe. Just. But, after two weeks, if you truly can not find them, and do not know what to say to your citizens about them, then you have no business serving.

Someone sold them. Someone bought them. Someone has a receipt. Some body of elected officials looked at some document saying, we want 'em, or we bought 'em.

And if not the latter, then who exactly is policing the police in our county, and cf. no business serving.

Unless, and here is where we get to conspiracy.

I remember back in 2011, when SWAT was deployed in Chapel Hill, to the anger, consternation, bemusement of the citizenry. As in, really, we have a team like that, why?

Protect & Serve

Many of us were very disturbed by the Yates Building incident in Chapel Hill last year and wondered how the police were trained to deal with public events and demonstrations. How do the police do arrests? What crime and other public safety issues do we have in Chapel Hill? Well, here's a chance for you to find out how our officers are trained and what they do.  

For the last year I've been working with the Community Policing Advisory Committee and the Chapel Hill Police Department to dramatically revamp its Citizen's Police Academy. The new Academy will give participants an inside look at the police department and its work. You'll get to operate a simulator and see what it's like to respond to a domestic call that turns violent, sit in a squad car, watch the SERT and K9 teams in action, and talk to the Chief of Police about tough issues. Along the way you'll learn about the Department's work, how you can help make a safer community and much more. Participation will involve attending one evening session on April 24 or 25 as well as an afternoon session on Sun. April 28.

Are the County and Towns Tracking Our Cell Phones?

In August 2011, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina Foundation filed public records requests with all 100 North Carolina counties and all police departments in municipalities with populations larger than 30,000. The requests were part of a nationwide effort coordinated by the ACLU to determine under what circumstances law enforcement agencies are tracking cell phones. Both the Orange County Sheriff's Office and the Chapel Hill Police Department received the requests, and here's what the ACLU found.

Hal Crowther's cover article on the Occupy movement in this week's Indy lambasts Chapel Hill police overkill like only he can.

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