After several high-profile incidents that have involved police departments all over the country, there have been lots of interest over the last several years regarding the type and style of training that police departments receive to ensure they are adequately prepared to serve the people they are changed to protect.

With all of the input that is coming into departments, including those here in Western New York, there has been a push for new and more innovative ways to train officers to be able to perform their job.

Some departments had started to diversify their hiring practices, while others have started learning various de-escalation technics. One department, in particular, is doing something very different and it's been raising eyebrows across the nation.

What Is A Cop City?

The City of Atlanta, Georgia, has embarked on building a nearly 100-acre Public Safety Training Center that is expected to cost around $90 million and will contain what ABC News describes as a mock city that will include simulated convenience stores, residential homes, apartment buildings, a hotel, nightclub, and other structures and will be used to allow officers to do urban police training.

Atlanta Police Foundation Training Center
Atlanta Police Foundation Training Center

Opponents of this project feel that this is another example of police agencies taking steps to become more militarized, which would allow police departments to marginalize more people by showing they care less about the public service aspect of policing. According to reporting on CNN, some aspects of this were demonstrated when officers in Atlanta cleared people from the site where the training facility is to be built.

Does Buffalo Need One?

After a few recent high-profile events that have put the Buffalo Police Department in the news, maybe the last thing that officials from the City of Buffalo would want to do is clear a large section of the City to build an urban training facility.

Such a facility seems impractical for Buffalo considering that the City already spends nearly 1/6th of its current budget on Police Services, in addition to the fact that Buffalo has seen a large decrease in shootings over the last year.

Hopefully, local officials find better uses for our scarce resources than to build something along these lines in Western New York.

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These 7 Prisons Are The Most Violent In New York State

New York released a report with the most recent number of violent assaults on inmates in state prisons. There were 134 inmate deaths noted in the report, although it doesn't break down the prisons where each death occurred or who caused them. Here's a look at some of the general violent incidents reported for 2020, which is the most recent data reported by the state. Compared to 10 years ago, inmate assaults have almost doubled. In 2011 there were 666 and in 2020 there were 1,205 reported. These numbers do not include inmate assaults on staff members. Overall, the number of unusual incidents includes things like assaults, deaths, accidents, sexual misconduct, and disruptive behavior.  According to the state,
"The number of unusual incidents has increased 132% from 5,980 in 2011 to 13,870 in 2020. These higher incident numbers were largely due to increases in assaults on incarcerated individuals (+81%), assaults on staff (+86%), contraband (+130%), disruptive behavior (+372%), and staff use of weapons (+1,035%)."
  In 2020, 1,836 weapons used to cut or stab, including ice picks, razor blades, can lids and shanks were discovered in state prisons around New York.

The 10 Most Dangerous and Violent Cities in New York State [List]

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